Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Anglican Archbishop blocked from entering churches in Mutare

A handful of supporters from excommunicated Anglican Church Bishop Nolbert Kunonga yesterday barred visiting Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams from entering the Anglican Cathedral in Mutare.

Williams was on a visit to Manicaland where he met Church of the Province of Central Africa followers who were kicked out from worshipping in the church building because they are aligned to Bishop Chad Gandiya.

Williams later met about 500 worshippers at Mutare Show Grounds who had come to welcome him to Manicaland.

The placard-waving Kunonga supporters were denouncing Williams for allegedly supporting homosexuality in the church. Some of the placards read “Gandiya, Makoni and Bakare how can you invite (a) homosexual on our soil,” “Manicaland Diocese says NO to homosexuality” and “Williams go and read Romans 1 verse 26 and 1 Corinthians 6 verse 9”.

“They condone homosexuality and we are saying let’s stand together and say no to that because it’s not biblical,” said Reverand Dean Mwando of the Anglican Cathedral.

One of the demonstrators, Virginia Kasipa, said Kunonga followers stood by the Word of God which did not allow homosexuality.

“We as Christians stand by the Word of God and these are our principles. Williams supports gay marriages and this is against the Bible. We do not fellowship with such kind of people,” said Kasipa.

From the Anglican Cathedral in the city centre Williams visited St Augustine’s Mission School, 20 kilometres north of Mutare, where Kunonga’s supporters had again converged to demonstrate against him.

The boom gate at the mission school was locked and Williams and his entourage had to leave their cars outside the gate and proceeded into the school yard on foot. They again were not allowed into the church at the mission.

Williams only managed to have a few photos taken outside the church and had a few prayers at the Anglican nuns’ premises.

Williams’ entourage included Archbishop Albert Chama, Bishop Julius Makoni, Bishop Trevor Mwamba from Botswana and Bishop Gandiya.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sikhala trial fail to take off again

The trial in which MDC 99 leader Job Sikhala is facing charges of kidnapping and trespassing in to Chiadzwa diamond fields failed to take off at Mutare Magistrate Court because the regional magistrate Livingtone Chipadza who was supposed to preside over the case is off duty.
Sikhala who is representing himself told Kumakomo Community Radio that he was given a new trial date because the magistrate is not available.
“I was told to come back next week on 29 September, the trial could not kick off today because the magistrate is attending to some family issues and the prosecutor’s whereabouts are not known, said a disappointed Sikhala.
The prosecutor for the case Malvern Musarurwa was also not at the court.
Sikhala who is out on a US$500 bail is being charged with kidnapping two men in Chiadzwa after being swindled US$2 500 in a diamond deal.
In the other account sikhala is being charged with trespassing after he entered the protected diamond rich area of Marange.
When Sikhala last appeared in Court he had applied for the state to drop the charges as they had failed to prosecute him for over six months since he was arrested. He argued that this was a violation of his constitutional rights. Musarurwa had agreed that should the trail fail to commence on September 22 2011 the charges will be dropped before plea.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Resident applauds council for not selling Meikles Park

Residents of this eastern border city welcomed the decision taken by the City Council not to sale land at the Meikles Park to Anjin a Chinese Firm that is mining diamonds in Chiadzwa.
The Chinese Firm wanted to buy land at Meikles Park which is prime land in the central business district for US$1.6 million and they wanted to build an 18 storey hotel which would also house a supermarket and other shops.
Minister of Local Government Rural and Urban planning Dr Ignatius Chombo had ordered Mutare City Council to first give the land to Anjin in exchange for state land that the council would get from the government. Chombo later wanted to buy the prime site for a song and Mutare City Councillors passed a resolution not to sale the land to the Chinese.
Residents who spoke to Kumakomo Community Radio applauded Mutare Mayor Brian James and his councillors for taking a bold decision in denying to sale the land to the Chinese.
Former city of Mutare ward 11 councillor and Mutare businessman Edwin Mauppa said Chombo should stop interfering with councils in the country.
“Chombo can’t continue doing whatever he wants with council that were elected by the people, giving that land to the Chinese was tantamount to empowering the Chinese at the expense of the indigenous business people,” fumed Mauppa.
Victor Munemo another Mutare resident who runs a clothing shop in town said giving the land to the Chinese would have set a bad precedent among city councils across the country.
“I applaud our city councillors for remaining steadfast on matters of principle, this would have set a bad precedent amongst councils across the country, I hope council will manage to sell the land to prospective investors at the right amount,” said Munemo.
Another resident Malvern Magada who spoke to Kumakomo Community Radio said he applauds the decision taken by the councillors because council needs money so that they can improve service delivery in the city
“Mutare city councillors took a very wise decision of not exchanging prime land or even selling it at an inflated price that was going to benefit the Chinese in the long run, we should be careful with these Chinese as very soon they will colonise us,” said Magada.
Whilst others where applauding the local authority for the stance they took Mellissa Mukoyi thinks the Chinese firm should have been given the land, because they want to develop the land that has been lying idle for so many years.
“This land has been not in use for so ever since I was born and if an investor comes wanting to develop it they should give it to them, it’s not like they (Chinese) were going to get the land for free, there was an exchange with state land which council in turn was going to make use of by selling it as residential stands and get revenue,” said Mukoyi.

Friday, July 15, 2011

In Praise of Media Self Regulation.

By Takura Zhangazha

A very significant debate on media self regulation has recently emerged in the United Kingdom and in media related professions across the world. The main reason for this is the phone hacking scandal of one of the UK’s leading private publications, News of the World. This scandal has since led the publication’s proprietors, on their own volition, to shut it down altogether. In the wake of these unfortunate developments, the Cameroon government, the Labour opposition, professional journalists and media related organizations have roundly criticized the media self regulatory body, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) for failing to deal firmly with the unethical conduct of the now closed weekly. This is a debate that has since gone beyond the borders of the UK to countries such as the United States of America and Australia, among others, where the News of the World’s owner, Mr. Rupert Murdoch, has significant ownership of television and print media.
In Zimbabwe the thread has been picked up by some of our local papers and commentators and I am sure the debate has also been noted by those in policy making positions, either by way of Government, Constitutional Commissions or Parliament. It is also a debate that the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) has keenly followed, particularly after the VMCZ Chairperson and other members of the Board were invited to make presentations before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Publicity in the first week of July 2011. It is from the submissions made by the VMCZ Chairperson, Mr. Muchadehama to the Parliamentary Committee that I put up my own perspective on the democratic importance of self regulation of the media in Zimbabwe, notwithstanding the outcome of the debate on the same in the UK or elsewhere.
The premise of self regulation of the media across the world has been the recognition of the right to freedom of expression and access to information that is enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and closer home, in Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. This right is further fortified in our current constitution in Section 20 of the Bill of Rights which states that every Zimbabwean shall have the right to receive and impart information without interference.

Self regulation of the media, in seeking to promote the full enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression by citizens through professional, accountable, ethical, fair and balanced reporting as well as voluntary codes of conduct for media practitioners, does not negate from the media’s responsibility of what is in the public interest or the promotion of democratic practice or culture. In fact it reinforces this through promoting a culture of consensus between the media stakeholders and the public on best democratic practice and understanding of democratically justifiable and publicly accountable reporting.

Self regulation avoids the spectre of prison for anyone who says, writes, broadcasts or prints opinions in pursuit of their enjoyment of their right, as well as that of others, to freedom of expression and access to information. Where there is a false, unfair or unethical report in the media, voluntary self regulatory media councils establish complaints mechanisms that seek to acquire resolution to complaints about the conduct of the media via consensus, apology, retraction and avoidance of costly legal suits.

As the late national hero, Honourable Member of Parliament and former Chairman of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Mr. Eddison Zvobgo once opined while delivering an adverse report during the third reading of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) which introduced statutory regulation in 2002, allowing the state to undertake such actions would be tantamount licensing it’s own people to ‘speak’ and therefore in violation of Section 20 of our constitution. Since AIPPA became law and regardless of the various negotiated amendments by our politicians to it, it has continued the clearly undemocratic practice of seeking to register all of us to be licensed to speak and where we do so without the requisite clearance, we get arrested.
It is exactly because the media, which is the primary target of AIPPA, remains the main medium through which Zimbabwean citizens seek or attempt to speak truth to power in the interests of the public good and democratic values that politicians, as yielders of power, seek to gag the press.

The current circumstances prevailing in our country wherein those in power, who should be monitored in their exercise of power, are the ones determining which media houses they will permit to publish in a carrot and stick fashion (with the stick the one that is more liberally used), are patently undemocratic and inimical to the exercise of our right to freedom of expression and access to information.
Further to this, the Minister of Media Information and Publicity, Mr. Webster Shamu has been quoted as saying that journalists must understand media freedom to be a privilege and not a right. Such a statement can only be described as unfortunate because it betrays an underlying but mistaken assumption that freedom of expression is only enjoyed at the behest of the governments of the day. Because of this in most instances, government officials and influential members of the public have always found it convenient to seek the arrest of journalists and editors with alarming levels of impunity. Even those that are tasked with executing the arbitrary arrests of journalists appear to consider it ‘normal’ to do so.
What is happening with the Press Complaints Commission in the UK provides important lessons to Zimbabwean media stakeholders, policy makers. The first lesson being that it does not demonstrate anything wrong with media self regulation as democratic practice and principle. It merely demonstrates an aberration in a society where it is generally not expected that journalists can be so unethical. The second and even more important lesson is that the media in the United Kingdom are not the same media in Zimbabwe. And that the Zimbabwean media has committed itself to self regulation does not mean it will go the same route as that of the most likely changes that are going to happen to the Press Complaints Committee in the UK. Given our country’s repressive media history, it is imperative that self regulation be carried through in fulfillment of the broad commitment that all Zimbabweans have in enjoying the right to say their opinion and to defend to the hilt the right of the other to do the same.

Zhangazha is the Executive Director of the VMCZ. He can be contacted on director@vmcz.co.zw; Facebook Username: TakuraZ.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Prominent Mutare Dealer Freed

MUTARE – High Court Judge Justice Francis Bere has granted free bail to “prominent Mutare dealer” Farai Rimai who had been in remand prison since December last year on a charge of raping a then 16-year-old schoolgirl.
Rimai who prior to his re-arrest last December had been released earlier on by the courts and that he would re-appear in court by way of summons, but the police re-arrested him shortly before he had enjoyed his freedom reportedly on instructions from “above”.
High Court Judge Bere released Rimai on free bail unconditionally after his attorney Victor Chinzamba had made an application to a higher court challenging the re-arrest of the “businessman” by the police, as he had been released by the courts. Chinzamba had argued the re-arrest was unlawful.
On releasing Rimai, Justice Bere ruled that the lower court had erred as the accused had earlier been released and that he would appear in court by way of summons and that his arrest had had no change of circumstances. He said since the accused had been re-arrested before being called to court by way of summons without change of
circumstances it was tantamount infringing on his rights.
The state led by chief law officer Michael Mugabe in its submissions conceded to the application for the granting of bail to Rimai citing that Rimai’s re-arrest was “unlawful” and that his placement on remand was also “unlawful” as the accused’s appearance by way on summons had not been flouted.
Rimai, who last year had been reported to have been on the run after allegedly abducting and raping a 16-year-old Hillcrest College pupil in the eastern border city has been in Mutare remand prison for nearly seven months.
Rimai made news headline late last year as the police said the“dealer” was on AWOL and also top on their wanted list whilst he would be seen at most public social joints enjoying and partying with friends.
The state alleges that the “businessman” on August 4, 2010 at around midnight reportedly dragged the teenager from a school function in the city centre into his vehicle before raping her once.
The case, CR 41/08/10, was reported at Mutare Central Police Station on August 5 last year.
Rimai is denying the rape charge

Former City of Mutare Assistant Housing Director in Court

Former Mutare City Council Assistant Housing Director Lovemore Chitima, up on allegations of criminal abuse of office for allegedly selling residential stands in the city at inflated priced and pocketing the difference appeared at the Mutare magistrates court Wednesday and remanded to 13 July 2011.
Chitima, 40, who resides in Dangamvura’s Area 13 in Mutare, appeared before regional magistrate Billiard Musakwa accused of selling nine residential stands to nine individuals at high prices without the permission of his employer.
The court heard that through Chitima’s alleged criminal activities the
Mutare city council was prejudiced of $6 595.
Chitima who is being represented in court by Ashel Mutungura of Mutungura and Associates is denying the charge.
The state led by Simon Chabuka is alleging that between 16 January 2009 and 17 February 2010, Chitima sold the nine stands to one T.M Munengwa, T. Mabhurukwa, F.Magombedze, D. Magurameno, C Mashazhu, G.Karimanzira, J Mhuriyengwe and one B. Manyere at inflated the prices and allegedly concerted the difference to his personal use.
Chabuka told the court that Chitima, whose duties included supervising, checking of all records of repossessed stands, allocation of stands in conjunction with the director of housing and community services abused his office when he sold the nine stands at costs not prescribed by the council.
He said the accused was supposed to have sold the stands for values pegged by the council but sold the stands at high prices, adding that Chitima by intentionally pocketing the difference from the sale of the stands was acting contrary and inconsistent with his duties as a public officer.
Chitima, who was fired from Mutare City Council in April last year after an internal investigating team and disciplinary team found him guilty for the said offence and took up the matter with the police. The ex-assistant housing director is appearing in court on summons and will be back in court next Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Provincial Medical Director Warns Hospitals in Manicaland

MUTARE: - The Manicaland Provincial Medical Director Dr Milton Chemhuru has urged all referral hospital to desist from making Tuberculosis, TB, patients pay when they seek treatment.
Dr Chemhuru was addressing media practitioners and a two day workshop organised by SAFAIDS under the theme “Telling the HIV Story”.
“TB treatment is free of charge, we should not negotiate about it, sputum test are also done for free so is the CD4 count tests, I want to urge all health workers to desist from making these people pay because they are poor,” said Dr Chemhuru.
Dr Chemhuru said in Manicaland they received a report that Hauna District Hopsital was making TB patients pay between US$2 and US$3 to have sputum tests and they have since intervened at it has since stopped.
“We have intervened and this has stopped,” said Dr Chemhuru.
Dr Chemhuru also said Manicaland now has seven microscopic centres where people can go and have sputum tests.
He also said Manicaland province now has two gene expert machines which were donated to Murambinda and Birchenough Hospitals by Medecines San Fronteers Belgium. Dr Chemhuru said the machines can examine 10 patients in just two hours.
“The machine can dictate that one has positive TB and that you are already resistant, this machine is more accurate than the microscopic tests,” said Dr Chemhuru.
Dr Chemhuru said these machines will increase the numbers of TB patients who were missing in the community even when microscopic tests where being conducted.
Dr Chemhuru said they are now currently working with communities in empowering them with knowledge on TB.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Parly probes ban on left hand cars

MUTARE - A special parliamentary committee yesterday launched a
countrywide fact-finding mission on the ban of left-hand vehicles to
vitriolic attacks from businessmen in Mutare at the inaugural public

Businesspeople in Mutare told the Parliamentary portfolio committee on
Transport and Infrastructural Development chaired by Blessing
Chebundo, MP for Kwekwe Central, that banning left-hand driven
vehicles and second hand cars more than five years old was irrational
and catastrophic to the economy.

The committee was in the eastern border city to launch a nationwide
mission to consult the public on the controversial move.

Businesspeople who attended the meeting, some who have heavily
invested in left-hand driven haulage trucks, said the government had
failed to show evidence that left-hand driven vehicles were to blame
for most of the carnage on the nation’s roads.

The government has given until end of June as the cut-off date for the
continued use of left-hand vehicles on the country’s roads blaming the
vehicles for a number of accidents experienced in recent years.

But haulage operators in the city advised the government to revamp the
road system in the country, which they said left a lot to be desired.

Hlanganiso Matangaidze, who runs a fleet of trucks plying the Sadc
region, noted that instead of banning the use of the left-hand
vehicles, the government should concentrate on dualising and improving
the road network throughout the country.

“The cause of accidents has nothing to do with these vehicles as
stated by the government. Banning the importation of such vehicles
would be catastrophic for the economy of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Matangaidze said the ban on vehicles that were five years old was
ill-conceived since these were the only vehicles affordable to many
Zimbabweans. He said the ban would reduce the rest of the population
to being public transport users making private vehicles a preserve of
the rich.

The businessman advised the committee to wait until the economy was
fully revived and when such companies as Quest Motor Corporation and
Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries began to function.

Another Mutare entrepreneur, Fungai Simango said he could not see the
rationale behind the proposed ban as Zimbabwe was yet to fully recover
from its decade-long economic collapse.

He said locally assembled vehicles were expensive and not readily available.

“Second-hand vehicles imported from Japan are creating employment for
the people as most of these vehicles are being used as taxis by the
people. Banning them is the same as condemning people to destitution
without offering them an alternative,” said Simango.

Misheck Chesa, who runs a transport business, implored the government
to consult people first before coming up with legislation which is
misplaced from the wishes and desires of the nation.

“The problem with these accidents being blamed on left-hand driven
trucks lies with the bad state of the roads that are potholed. One
does not require a rocket scientist to establish that. Work on the
roads and that’s all,” said Chesa.

Chebundo said his committee would take the consultations to Masvingo,
Bulawayo and Harare having kicked off in Mutare yesterday.

“We will present these finding to Parliament and eventually to Cabinet
so they can see for themselves what the people’s thoughts are on the
proposed ban,” said Chebundo, who was accompanied by other members of
the committee, Edward Raradza, Ordo Nyakudanga, Ailess Baloyi, Luke
Mushore, Gift Dzirutwe and Zvanyanya Dongo.

Villagers regret discovery of minerals

MUTARE - Polluted rivers, displaced villagers and violence against
locals are all that Chinese and Russian mining firms operating in
Manicaland province have given back to communities, a public meeting
has heard.

Community members and civil society campaigners speaking at a meeting
on the worth of Zimbabwe’s mineral worth held in Mutare spoke on how
villagers had become poorer with the discovery of minerals and
entrance of shadowy foreign investors in their areas.

In Penhalonga, about 12km north of Mutare, a Russian firm mining gold
along a river basin in conjunction with a Zapu-owned company has left
a trail of environmental damage, including polluting the Sakubva River
which is the community’s main water source, residents said.

The same firm, the Development Trust of Zimbabwe in partnership with
Russian company All Russian Foreign Economic Association on Geological
Prospecting, Ozego, faced a barrage of similar criticism from
Chimanimani residents where it has been prospecting for diamonds.

Villagers from Marange, where Chinese firms are mining alluvial
diamonds in conjunction with state agency, the Zimbabwe Mining
Development Corporation, told horrific tales of miners setting vicious
dogs on locals and their livestock.

Communities expressed concern that without proper evaluation of the
minerals, the foreign firms could as well be plundering the resources
into extinction while ill-treating locals at the same time.

Representatives of civil society organisations said the government
should not be allowed to get away with statements such as “the country
is very rich” without giving actual figures.

“If we rightly know the value of our mineral wealth we can judge our
capacity to develop in terms of how much we need to extract and how
much we are capable of extracting and how much utility we can drive
from the resources.

“Therefore how much our communities can benefit from the mineral
wealth available in terms of per capita resources we can share
depending on the size of our communities,” Solomon Mumbure of the
Institute for Peace Leadership and Governance with the Africa
University and research fellow with the State University of New York
in the USA told delegates.

The Centre for Research and Development, which vigorously fights
unjust exploitation of mineral resources, organised the meeting.

“We want to allow the community to be aware of their rights in terms
of sharing some of the proceeds from what is extracted from areas
where they live, could it timber proceeds, gold and diamonds and even
black granite,” said Farai Maguwu, CRD director.

Trigger happy cop gets seven years

A policeman deployed to Chiadzwa diamond fields, who used his
service AK47 rifle to shoot a reveller who failed a snooker challenge,
will spend the next seven years in jail.

Dominic Nyani, a 29-year-old sergeant with the crack Support Unit, was
convicted on attempted murder charges on his own plea.

The court heard that Nyani fired three shots on Weston Makarango’s
left arm and abdomen after Makarango failed to sink the black ball as
demanded by the policeman in December last year.

Regional magistrate Livingstone Chipadza said Nyani’s case was
aggravated by the fact that he was in police uniform, on duty and
drinking when he committed the offence.

Chipadza said Nyani used a lethal weapon on Makarango with no
provocation and premeditation hence deserved a lengthy jail term.

“The issue of intoxication of the accused was not reasonable as before
the shooting the accused had spoken to the complainant about the
threat to shoot him and went on to shoot after the black ball was not
sunk. Thus he knew what he was doing,” ruled Chipadza.

The court heard that Nyani was part of patrons drinking and dancing
the night away at Tripple K nightclub at Chakohwa business centre when
he suddenly threatened Makarango with death if he failed to sink the
black ball.

Nyani incredibly went on to shoot Makarango after the ball failed to
hit the spot, the court heard.

The policeman was based at Mike Troop base in Buchwa but was in
Marange as part of corps guarding the controversial diamond fields
where state security agents have been repeatedly accused of gross
human rights violations. Mutare lawyer Cosmas Chibaya of Chibaya and
Associates, represented Nyani.

Case deferred for lack of court space

The trial of two Nyazura farmers Janse and Martinus Grobler (father and son), accused of negligent discharge of a firearm, failed to continue on Tuesday because of lack of space at Mutare Magistrates’ Courts.

The magistrates’ court doubles as a High Court circuit.

Regional magistrate Billiart Musakwa apologised to witnesses and said they would have to return on July 5 for resumption of the trial.

“Gentlemen, we are very sorry the trial can’t continue today because we have a High Court circuit and so the lower court has to give preference to the upper court,” said Musakwa.

Defence lawyer Victor Chinzamba is also attending to cases at the High Court circuit.

Janse and Martinus were initially charged with attempted murder after they allegedly fired shots in the air at suspected land invaders at their farm.

They own Geluk Farm in Chipembere area near Nyazura.

It is alleged on January 31 this year the two fired three shots at Onismus Makwengura, Ephraim Zibunge and Collins Mugayi who had come to settle a land dispute at the farm.

The farm had reportedly been designated for resettlement by the government.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mutare residents want ZESA monopoly to end

MUTARE: - Residents here told the Parliamentry Portifolio Committee on State Enterprises and Parastatals Management that they are not happy with the way the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, ZESA was billing its consumers.
The parliamentary portfolio committee was in Mutare conducting a public hearing on ZESA service.
Denford Vambe the vice chairperson of Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Association, MRRA, said ZESA is sending huge bills yet they spend 16 hours without electricity.
“At the end of every month we get very high bills from ZESA yet we spend long hours without electricity every day,” said Vambe.
Simon Mapuyire complained to the committee that a lot of people were losing their electrical gadgets because of the incessant power cuts from ZESA.
“People are losing their electrical appliances because of these nonstop power cuts from ZESA,” said Mapuyire.
Councillor for ward nine in Dangamvura Chrispen Dube said ZESA should have consultative meetings with members of the public whenever they want to increase tariffs. Dube also the load shedding has also contributed to deforestation.
Huggins Kashiri complained that workers from ZESA are now deliberately disconnecting defaulters from the pole because they want to make more money.
“If one is disconnected from the pole they pay a reconnection fee of US$90 where as if one is switched off from the house you just pay US$10,” said Kashiri.
Sydney Sithole a Mutare resident present at the meeting also made submissions that ZESA should also look into other forms of energy sources rather than just relying on hydro-electrical power.
Sithole also said ZESA should stop exporting electricity to Namibia because they are failing to service its local consumers.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on State Enterprises and Parastatals Management Lawrence Mavhima said they have been going around the country getting people’s views on the service that is being provided by ZESA.
“We will table these views in parliament and make recommendations based on the views that we have been getting from the people of Zimbabwe,” said Mavhima
Other portfolio committee members that attended the meeting are Edward Musumbu member of parliament for Norton, Chirumanzu members of parliament Phares Maramba, Prince Matibe who represents Chegutu in parliament and Patrick Sibanda of Binga.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tekere is no more

MUTARE: - veteran nationalist Edgar Twoboy Tekere is no more. Tekere passed away at 1330hrs at Murambi Garden Clinic in Mutare. Tekere was born on 1 April 1938.
Dr Ibbo Mandaza the family spokesperson said Tekere succumbed prostate cancer.
“He had been ill for some time , he had prostrate cancer which had now gone into the spine, he was put into the intensive care unit at Murambi Garden Clinic,” said Mandaza.
Dr Mandaza said they are waiting for the rest of the family to make funeral arrangements.
Tekere is survived by his wife Pamela Tekere and a daughter.
Mourners are gathered at 9 Alexander Road in Bordevale, Mutare.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Relocated families bitter

MUTARE: - Families that were recently relocated from Chiadzwa said they are worried at unfulfilled promises made by the government and the companies that are mining diamonds in Marange.
The families said their grievances during a meeting held in Mutare that was organized by the Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association, ZELA, and the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust, CCDT.
So far about 60 families have been moved from the diamond rich area of Chiadzwa to ARDA Transau in Odzi area. The families are worried that they were promised that a health centre will be built for them but up to now nothing has been done.
“We were promised that a clinic will be built for us but up to now we have to walk to Odzi Township for medical attention,” said Susan Mangwiro one of the family members that was relocated to ARDA Transau.
Mangwiro also complained that besides not having a school nearby they do not have a good road network to ARDA Transau hence commuters do not ply the route.
“We have to walk a distance of 12 kilometers to the Mutare Harare highway in order for us to get transport into town,” she lamented.
Odzi is approximately 45 kilometers from Mutare along the Harare highway.
Lovemore Matende said they still have not received full compensation from the companies that are mining in Chiadzwa.
“We only got US$1 000 when we were moved from Chiadzwa,” said Matende. “We would also want the companies to construct dip tanks for us and put a perimeter fence along the railway line because we are losing our livestock to trains that are hitting them,” he added.
Gilbert Makore of ZELA said urged the families to remain united to effectively challenge the companies and government on some of the unfulfilled promises.
“You should not allow yourselves to be infiltrated, you have to remain focused until all your that you were promised has been fulfilled.
CCDT chairman Malvern Mudiwa said the companies still have to provide a source of clean water to the families in ARDA Transau.
“The families are still walking long distances to the nearest source of clean water and the companies are quite on this and many other issues,” said Mudiwa.
A Mbada Diamonds official who was present at the meeting refused to talk to the media on the issues that were raised by families that have been relocated.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Zanu Ndonga leader slams GNU

CHECHECHE:- Wilson Tarugarira Khumbula the long forgotten Zanu Ndonga leader has come out of the political doldrums and likened Zimbabwe to a ship that does not have a captain to direct it and its just sailing own its own not knowing where it will end up.
Khumbula blamed the leaders of the three political parties that formed the Government of National Unity of spending most of their time fighting each other at the expense of national development.
“Zimbabwe is like a ship that has just been thrown into turbulent waters without anyone to give it direction,” said Khumbula. “These leaders are spending their energy fighting each other and nothing much has been done to advance the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans”.
The former Chipinge legislator said there was a lot that the three political parties promised the people but nothing has been done two years after the unity government has been formed.
Khumbula said schools still do not have adequate books, in hospitals there is no medicines and the police are mounting roadblocks at will so that they can get money from motorists.
“Police officers are mounting roadblocks so that they can extort from motorists and our soldiers are going to Chiadzwa so that they can get diamonds,” lamented Khumbula.
On the issue of elections Khumbula said his party is ready to participate in the next election. Khumbula said elections should be held so that the country becomes governable. But he also urged all opposition political parties to put their differences aside and unite so as to remove Zanu PF from power.
“We know things are hard and there is a lot of violence that takes place towards elections but that should not stop us from having elections, people should experience difficulties first in order to enjoy the fruits later,” he said.
Khumbula said Zanu PF uses violence as a tool to intimidate voters and the magnitude of violence increases when we approach an election but that should not stop a country from having elections.
“As Zanu Ndonga we have lost so many of our cadres due to political motivated violence and some have even skipped the country,” he said.
“We can’t go for another five years without an election as this will plunder the country into chaos, at present the country is not governable as there in no government to talk about,” said Khumbula.
On the structures of his party Khumbula said they now do not rely on having structures as they are infiltrated and destroyed by Zanu PF. He said instead they now just rely on having members across the country.
“Even Zanu Pf does not have structures maybe the only structures that hey have are from the police and the army, the MDC it’s the same because if they have structures they are beaten up, so we no longer rely on structure but by just having ordinary members allover the country,” said Khumbula.

Hunger stalks Manzvire in Chipinge

MANZVIRE: - Drought has hit hard this part of Chipinge South and some women in this area have embarked on a food for work project that has been initiated by Christian Care a Non Governmental Organisation so that they can feed their families.
Villagers in this remote area of Chipinge South were anticipating a bumper harvest but the dry spell that has hit some parts of the country lately has left their crops wilting in the fields. The people of Chipinge normally plant small grain crops that are drought resistant such as rapoko and sorghum but these crops this time around could not stand the dry spell. Cotton is the only crop that seem to be doing well in the area but villagers who spoke to this reporter said the harvest is going to be below 50 percent. It’s easy for one to start fire and raze down the whole field as the crops have completely wilted and died from moisture stress.
NewsDay came across a group of ten women who were slashing tall grass along the Tanganda – Chiredzi highway. In normal circumstances the slashing of grass along the country’s highways is supposed to be done by the Ministry of Roads. These women at the end of the month they get food hand outs from Christian care which has initiated the food for work project.
Phillipa Mtetwa who leads this group of ten women said they have been slashing along the highway for and doing other road maintenance work for the past three months.
Mtetwa said each person gets a 10kg bag of maize meal at the end of the month but the distribution varies with how big one’s family is.
“The amount of food one gets depends on how big one’s family is, if one has registered that they are five in their family they get a $50kg bag of maize meal and five bottles of cooking oil,” said Mtetwa.
She said they are getting basic food stuff such as Matemba, cooking oil, soya chunks, beans, bulgur and maize meal and this has been going a long way in sustaining their families.
“If we had not been engaging in food for work, we could be starving by now,” said Mtetwa.
Another elderly woman who is part of the grass slashing project Lucia Mhlanga said some kids had stopped going to school because of hunger but because of the food handouts they are getting from Christian Care their problems have become minimal.
“Kids where absconding classes because of hunger and some young high school girls were now engaging in prostitution so as to put food on the table,” said Mhlanga.
Mhlanga said before Christian Care came to their rescue they have been engaging in some piece jobs at a farm owned by a company called SABOT in Chisumbanje area which is approximately 40 kilometers from Manzvire. SABOT is a company that is building a multi million ethanol plan in Chisumbanje and when the project is finished it is expected to create jobs for thousands of people in Chipinge area.
Mtetwa said their dilemma now was that the Christian Care food for work project is coming to an end at the end of March and she does not know how they will survive after that.
“Christian Care has indicated that they are going to suspend the project at the end of this month and we don’t know how we are going to survive after they have left,” said Mtetwa.
The secretary of the group Joice Mwaangireni said their wish is to venture into some income generating projects such as sewing clothes and brick molding.
“If we could get a donor who will give us sewing machines we can start income generating projects that can help us look after our families,” said Mwaangireni.
Mark Karinda the Christian Care regional area manager for Manicaland refused to shed more light on the projects they are carrying saying only Reverend Matonga the national director can comment on the humanitarian work they are doing.
“We are assisting the government in food distribution through empowering the community in doing projects that can help them,” said Karinda.
Manzvire and areas such as Checheche, Chibuwe, Tanganda and some areas in Buhera are some pats of Manicaland that have been hit hard by drought and they would need food assistance from the government.