Friday, September 23, 2011
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
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.