Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Saga in Dramatic Twist

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Fired vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa is still holed up in South Africa and isolated despite claims that he is in China, sources said amid indications President Robert Mugabe has ordered that his finances must be closely monitored.

Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe two days after he was fired by Mugabe on Monday for “disloyalty and deceit”.

A statement attributed to him threatened that he would return in a few weeks to topple Mugabe, but sources yesterday said far from being in a fighting mood, Mnangagwa was desperate to re-open lines of communication with his boss.

“Mnangagwa is in Pretoria and did not go to China as is being claimed,” the source said last night. “He is broken, terrified and scared.”

The source said the former VP was also being shunned by his business associates, including the Indian owners of the Africa Chrome Fields (ACF).

ACF owners refused to provide Mnangagwa with a private jet last Tuesday and have not been in touch with him since his arrival in South Africa

“He is desperate to reconnect with Mugabe and his wife so that he can be allowed to return home,” the source added. “He has told his children that he is not feeling well and is desperate to return home and rest but his supporters are putting pressure on him to fight his dismissal.”

Mnangagwa is said to be with his son Emmerson Junior.

War veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa, who addressed a press conference in Johannesburg last week and announced that the former VP was on his way to South Africa, promising he would join the opposition ranks, was tongue-tied yesterday.

On Friday he promised to answer about 10 questions from The Standard about the Mnangagwa debacle, but eventually delivered two lines before going quiet.

“I am focused on the future, not this parochial history. The Mugabe era of monumental misrule is in imminent sunset,” was all Mutswanga could say about the questions, including whether he penned the statement attributed to Mnangagwa or not.

Meanwhile, in Harare state security agencies were said to be investigating a number of Mnangagwa’s alleged crimes, including suspected money laundering that could see the once powerful VP being arrested on his return.

“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe financial intelligence unit has been instructed to keep a close eye on his bank accounts and his business interests because there are fears that he could be funding terror and violence within Zanu PF structures,” a senior government official said.

“His close allies, both in the business sector and outside the country, are under monitoring and surveillance — be it mobile money or their business operations — from the amounts they are banking to sales.”

The former VP is said to have interest in sectors such as banking, hotel and leisure, energy, mining and agriculture.

Mnangagwa has allegedly been linked to a case where a local company was using bank transfers to mop up foreign currency in contravention of the Exchange Control Act.

The matter was partly investigated by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission under RR 27/10/17 but was dropped under unclear circumstances.

Companies identified as Europium Star Investments, Spartan Security and Makanaka Investments are involved in the saga.

Spartan is owned by Mnangagwa’s close relative, Tarirai David Munangagwa who initially tried to leave the country for Mozambique via Forbes Border Post.

Makanaka Investments, also trades as Pote Investments and operates largely in the Zvishavane area, is owned by for former VP’s ally, Antony Clever Pote.

The directors of Europium and Spartan are being investigated for allegedly violating the Exchange Control Act by selling money through bank transfers.

A Billy Tanhira, who is believed to be opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s late wife, Susan’s brother is also being investigated as part of the case.

According to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) documents, the matter came to light after two men, Fordias Nyerere and Onesimo Ndoro; accused of converting $100 000 to personal use by Tanhira, who claimed to be the owner of Europium, were arrested for theft of property.

Tanhira’s, whose name does not appear on the ownership documents of the company but is the complainant in the matter, claimed Nyerere and Ndoro were supposed to give $201 000 from Makanaka Investments realised from the transfer of $232 000.

Nyerere and Ndoro’s lawyers, Bherebende Law Chambers have now written a complaint against the police claiming their clients were being victimised because they were small fish.

The lawyers said several transactions of a similar nature where several millions of dollars were sold by Makanaka Investments to several companies including Spartan were conducted through t Nyerere and Ndoro.

Sources this was part of many cases that could be used to put Mnangagwa behind bars.

Source : The Standard

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Police Should Only Mount Necessary Road Blocks-Zimbabwe Home Affairs Minister

 Zimbabwe’s Home Affairs Minister and his Deputy have called on the Police to reduce the road blocks on the country’s roads.

They made this call while appearing before  a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Infrastructural Development.

Chombo stated that his Ministry had recommended that the road blocks be reduced to four per province, beginning from the end of June.

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“We have told the Commissioner General of Police to reduce or remove all unnecessary roadblocks and leave the necessary ones,” Chombo said.

Towing the argument of his Boss, Chombo’s Deputy maintained that road blocks were only necessary to  curb crimes such as drugs and human trafficking.

“These are the core aspects of the police. These other things were being done on behalf of the Vehicle Inspection Department. There is no need for the police to check on fitness of vehicles and the route (for commuter omnibuses),” he told the parliamentary committee.

 

Opposition Parties In Zimbabwe Request Mugabe To Resign

Opposition parties have requested  the country’s President Robert Mugabe to resign from office.

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Their request revolves on the insinuation the the ailing 93 year old ruler, is presiding affairs of Government from the hospital where he is currently receiving treatment.

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Reports have it that President Mugabe has left for  an unscheduled trip to Singapore.Read more…..

Zimbabwe: Linda Musarira, Others Nabbed Over Toy Gun

Police have denied access to medication to the three human rights activists who were arrested for an alleged illegal possession of a “fire arm” in central Harare on Wednesday.

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Linda Masarira, Zimbabwe National Students Union secretary general, Makomborero Haruzivishe, and the Young Voters’ Platform national programs coordinator, Desmond Sharukai, were arrested at a local restaurant where they were having a drink Wednesday night for allegedly possessing a gun.

Fellow activists, who witnessed the arrest of the three, said Linda and friends were apprehended after they had an altercation with the workers of the restaurant they were having “drinks” at.

“Linda had a misunderstanding with one of the workers at the restaurant and she pointed a toy gun at him,” said the activists who requested not to be named.

According to their attorney, Obey Shava, from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, one of the activists who are detained at Harare Central police station, Haruzivishe, was assaulted during the skirmishes at the scene of their arrest and sustained a “fractured” leg.

“The police have denied my clients access to medication after spending the whole day negotiating with them to have them taken to the hospital so that they can be attended to by doctors,” Shava told NewZimbabwe.com in Harare Thursday.

“They denied the request to have them sent to hospital for treatment despite serious and visible injuries,” he said.

Shava also said the police were yet to prefer charges against the three activists.

“This is an illegal detention which my clients continue to be under given the fact that it is now than 17 hours since they were arrested.

“If they are to charge them I suspect that they might charge them with assault and possible pointing a gun at someone, but they are yet to charge them,” said Shava.

Source : New Zimbabwe(London)

Zimbabwe: Mazoe Evictees Report Grace to Botswana, SA Embassies

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“We cannot fight the First Family with all the resources at their disposal. They are using armed police and there is nothing much we can do but just to approach the courts and the regional bodies to which the country is a member,” said Dube.

Villagers who were evicted from both Arnold and Manzou farms in Mazoe district by First Lady Grace Mugabe have formally reported their plight to Botswana and South African embassies as as SADC.

Botswana is led by President Ian Khama, the only regional leader openly critical of President Mugabe’s rule.

The decision to approach regional leaders comes after Grace Mugabe continues to defy court orders stopping her from illegally and forcibly evicting the villagers.

The Arnold farmers were evicted two weeks ago from the land they had been staying in for the last 17 years after they forced a white commercial farmer out.

Officials from the Lands Ministry argue that the land belongs to the First Family and Grace, who wants to expand her projects, needs an additional 1.400 hectares of arable land.

Over 700 people have been affected.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, the secretary of the Arnold Farmers and Residents Association (ARA), Innocent Dube, said apart from using divide and rule tactics the First Family also continues to defy court orders apparently showing that they are above the law and disregard the country’s Constitution.

“We have already filed a report at the South African Embassy in Harare and they said they were going to forward it to Swaziland,” said Dube.

He added, “We also went to the Botswana Embassy whom we told of our fate and are sympathising with us and honestly speaking they have been very helpful.

“So we are looking forward to get a positive response from the regional body to tell Mugabe to respect the rule of law and the right of Zimbabweans despite of their class.”

Dube said as villagers they were powerless as they could not fight the Mugabe family.

“We cannot fight the First Family with all the resources at their disposal. They are using armed police and there is nothing much we can do but just to approach the courts and the regional bodies to which the country is a member,” said Dube.

On March 23, the police went to Arnold farm and demolished the farmers’ homes. They then bundled villagers into lorries during the night and dumped them along Mvurwi road near Riverside Farm.

It is then that the villagers approached the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights who made an urgent court application to stop the evictions but the police refused to comply with the court order.

The police continued to demolish the farmers’ homes arguing that they only take orders from the First Lady.

The villagers then filed another urgent chamber application for contempt of court and, again, relief was granted by the High Court.

The land dispute between the farmers and Mugabe’s wife has been on-going since 2014 which is when she first attempted to evict them.

At the time, the famers’ representatives went to court which ruled that villagers should not be evicted until the government had offered them another place to stay.

The ministry of lands then gave offer letters to the five representatives in what was seen as a way of silencing them.

Source : New Zimbabwe

Grace Mugabe Defies Court Order, Destroys Villagers’ Homes

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Despite a Zimbabwean court ruling against First Lady Grace Mugabe’s demolishing villagers’ houses and evicting them from a farm , the police, under the First Lady’s order, proceeded with the illegal evictions of mostly women and children.

Zimbabwe: Outlawing of Child Beating Draws Mixed Reactions

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Christian and traditional leaders have slammed the recent High Court decision outlawing the beating of children at school and in homes, saying it had an effect of spoiling the children and promoting indiscipline in the country.

Justice David Mangota declared the practice unconstitutional and struck down relevant pieces of legislation that allowed canning in schools.The ruling bars the beating up of children even for disciplinary purposes.

In an interview, Bishop Patience Itayi Hove of the El Shaddai Ministries International said the decision had serious repercussions to society.

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She relied on Proverbs 13 Verse 24 which reads:

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

Bishop Hove said beating up children was biblical and it helped in the process of training them up.

“The word of God allows that. At least 85 percent of Zimbabweans are Christian and we must read and abide by the word.

“Children should be beaten up but that must be done responsibly,” she said.

Reverend Paul Damasane, principal director in the Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation of Culture and Heritage said beating up children was a necessary evil.

“The Bible commands us to train up our children and we should find ways of complying with the command both in schools and at home. The Bible says foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child but the rod of correction drives it away,” he said.

Rev Damasane said beating up a child should be used only as a last resort because there were several other means of driving away foolishness from children.

Chief Seke, Mr Stanely Chimanikire, weighed in saying the judgment was not in sync with Zimbabwean culture.

“We were brought up in an environment where children were disciplined through the use of a rod and we did not die. Children need some form of discipline to shape them into responsible and well behaved future men and women.

“Grooming in our context, involves some beating, but we must make sure we do it out of love and responsibly,” he said.

Chief Seke said the abolition of corporal punishment would promote juvenile delinquency.

“The decision of the court, if implemented, will bring more problems than solutions to our country. The children will become more mischievous and uncontrollable,” said Chief Seke.

Historian and former Cabinet Minister and educationist Cde Aeneas Chigwedere said outlawing child beating was necessary but some control measures must be put in place to protect the same children from abuse.

“The starting point of progress is discipline. If there is no discipline, there is disorder.

“Beating is necessary but the teachers and parents must be controlled. Some of the parents and teachers are ruthless and they unreasonably and brutally assault the children.

“Under the colonial era, there was a law barring teachers from beating up children. When the child’s mischief got out of hand, teachers would take him or her to the school head for caning.

“Only the head had authority to beat up children but he would do so in terms of the set standard guidelines.

“There were standard sticks used to beat up naughty pupils to ensure their safety,” he said.

However, educationist and social commentator Mrs Rebecca Chisamba had different views.

“Personally, I am against corporal punishment. People are now abusing children in the name of disciplining them.

“These days some teachers may express their anger for delays in getting bonuses on the innocent children. When they have grievances with their employers or their bosses, the innocent souls may simply be caught up in crossfire and they are unjustifiably beaten up.

“Some parents, especially stepmothers, may punish the children to express their anger at the conduct of their husbands.

“Newspapers are awash with such cases where children are seriously injured or even maimed due to violent attacks in the name of disciplinary measures.

“I support the decision of the court and we must resort to non-violent means of disciplining our children like dialogue,” she said.

Source : The Herald(Harare)

Zimbabwe: U.S. Dollar Disappears From Banking System

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Transactional activity in Zimbabwe in recent weeks indicates a slow disappearance of the United States dollar, which is being replaced by bond notes.

The bond notes were introduced last year under the $200 million export incentive to supplement dwindling dollar supplies due to weak exports.

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A survey by Standardbusiness in the central business district last week showed that banks were giving out less and less dollars, which are now available only from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).

An FBC Bank depositor said the institution was dispensing money depending on the currency they had at the time.

“Sometimes we are given our withdrawals only in bond notes,” the depositor said.

“There used to be days when I received my withdrawals in United States dollars or bond notes while other times it was in both denominations.

“But, most of the time now we are receiving bond notes and very rarely in US dollars.”

Stanbic Bank was giving out $100 in bond notes inside the bank and another $50 in US$ from ATMs, making a total of $150 daily withdrawals.

Cabs was also giving depositors according to the available currency at that particular time.

“It depends on the branch but money is given out based on what the bank has on the particular day,” a Cabs Bank depositor who identified herself as Julia said.

The dollar has also become elusive in supermarkets where customers used to get them through the cashback facility

In an interview with our sister paper, Zimbabwe Independent, RBZ governor John Mangudya confirmed the scarcity of dollars saying banks were holding on to the currency to facilitate foreign payments.

“Each bond note in the economy represents a proportion of up to 5% of the foreign currency earned on exports generated by the economy. It stands to reason therefore that banks are retaining the bulk of foreign exchange for foreign payments,” he said.

“Bond notes will continue to circulate in the economy alongside other currencies in the multiple currency system.”

According to RBZ statistics, $94 million of bond notes are in circulation against an aggregate value of the export incentive of $107 million.

In a recent monetary policy statement, Mangudya said RBZ was putting in place a redistributable measure that mitigated against skewed concentration of bond notes within the banking sector by limiting the maximum amount of bond notes that each bank should hold at any given point in time in relation to its level and type of transactions

“This measure is necessary to ensure that bond notes are distributed proportionately according to the customer base or customer profile of each banking institution,” he said.

He said the move would ensure that bond notes continued to trade at parity with the US$ and to reflect the fact that they were supported by the $200 million offshore facility.

Source : The Standard

Zimbabwe: Dokora Curriculum – Teachers Vow to Petition Mugabe

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A Teachers union is soliciting for 500 000 signatures from members with the aim of petitioning President Robert Mugabe to stop the implementation of the new curriculum introduced by education minister, Lazarus Dokora.

Dokora, in January this year, introduced a new curriculum in the primary and secondary education system “without” consulting teachers and other stakeholders.

The curriculum, among other subjects, introduced the writing of dissertations by form four students and mandated the same to go for industrial attachment.

The new curriculum also did away with subjects such as Geography, while bringing in a “Muslim” subject which replaced religious studies.

Also introduced was sexual reproductive health studies in primary schools.

Last week, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ), held a stakeholders meeting in Harare, where they deliberated and resolved to approach President Mugabe and appeal for the abandonment of the new curriculum.

Teachers said they were not given enough time to scheme and understand the new curriculum.

“We are going to apply a multifaceted approach as this meeting has agreed which include litigation, naming and shaming the ills and shortcomings of this curriculum so that we try to knock sense to the government ,” PTUZ President Takavafira Zhou, announced after the meeting.

“We are not against government but what we are simply saying is that we want to be consulted and we do not want to be ruled but to be led properly and our massage is that the basic and best thing is to leave the education system as a terrain of professionals not politicians,” said Zhou.

PTUZ secretary general Raymond Majongwe said they wished to petition President Mugabe and parliament as well as challenge Dokora’s unplanned decision to force teachers to implement the new curriculum without giving them time to study it.

“It is the future of our children which is being destroyed because as we speak teachers are not teaching because everything brought by Dokora is relevantly new to them.

“We hear that Dokora is saying that we were consulted, but the truth of the matter is that we were not consulted. Our involvement and observations were not factored in, so when they talk of consultations it must be direct day light robbery and thievery that culminated in a document that does not summarize the truth,” said Majongwe.

He added,” So, in as far as we are concerned in the submissions that we are going to be making to whoever wants to listen to us, this process was fake, it is a clear fraud and it does not fit and pass the litmus test of what it was meant to achieve”.

Source : New Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Dumps Jonathan Moyo

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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe ordered Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo to hand himself over to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) over allegations of abusing US$430 000 belonging to the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund, charges the minister is challenging as the case takes a new twist.

Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo

Moyo immediately reacted to his Wednesday arrest by taking his case to the highest court in the land, the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe (CCZ).

Under case number CCZ73/16, Moyo cites the arresting officer Sergeant Munyaradzi Chacha as the first respondent, Zacc as the second respondent, the Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police as the third respondent and the Prosecutor-General (PG), whose office is temporarily held by Ray Goba, as the fourth respondent.

Moyo is represented by lawyer Terence Hussein of Hussein Ranchhod & Co.

The allegations against Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa came to the fore when the anti-corruption body attempted to arrest the minister over the allegations when he was attending a Zanu PF politiburo meeting on October 5. Mugabe stopped the Zacc officers from arresting Moyo.

Gandawa was yesterday questioned by Zacc over the allegations and is expected to appear in court today.

Sources said Moyo on Tuesday had sought a meeting with Mugabe, who gave him audience. Before the meeting with the president, Moyo met with Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

Moyo’s meeting with Mugabe was also attended by Mphoko, sources revealed.

“Mugabe told Moyo to go and present himself to Zacc,” a source said. “Moyo was told to answer to the allegations before the courts and that, if he was not guilty, the courts would clear him.”

At an earlier high-level meeting on Tuesday, Mugabe had pointed out that those facing corruption allegations needed to be tried by the courts. Moyo on Wednesday handed himself over to Zacc where he was questioned for several hours before being released into the custody of his lawyer.

The Higher Education minister, through his lawyers, questioned the constitutionality of his arrest by Zacc and the role played by the police in the arrest as his case takes a new twist.

“The second respondent (Zacc) does not in terms of the constitution or the law have the power to arrest and detain suspects; the fourth respondent (Prosecutor-General) does not in terms of the constitution or any other law have the power to order the third respondent (Commissioner-General of Police) to arrest an individual,” Moyo argued as he also sought to stop his appearance in court today, describing it as an illegality.

“The first respondent (Sergeant Chacha) could not at the same time act on behalf of the second respondent and the third respondent; the applicant’s rights in terms of Sections 49, 50 and 70 of the constitution have been violated by the first, second and fourth respondents,” he said.

He also argued that Chacha could not be part of Zacc and the police at the same time while Goba had no power to order his arrest.

He said he was told on Wednesday that the acting PG had instructed Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri to arrest him after, which he got a visit from Silas Pondo, who is both Zacc’s acting secretary and a senior assistant commissioner of police, inviting him to their offices for an interview. Moyo said his security and ministerial aides were dismissed by a panel led by Zacc investigator, Lovemore Finde.

Finde then ordered Hussein to leave the room, which the legal practitioner objected to. Hussein was later allowed to stay on the grounds he did not ask any questions or make any submissions.

“The ‘interview’ lasted from 3pm to about 7.30 pm. The ‘interview’ was filmed. However, no warning and caution was given that this recording would be for the purposes of a criminal trial,” Moyo argued.

The minister tried to recall the investigator’s remarks after the meeting, which were to the effect that Zacc had carried out an investigation for four months, which basically found Moyo guilty of abuse of office before handing him over to Chacha.

Chacha then read a copy of a warned and cautioned statement which, according to Moyo, contained about five charges.

“Regrettably, I do not have a copy of the warned and cautioned statement as they refused to let me have this, indicating to my lawyers that we were not entitled to it and we would see it in court,” Moyo said.

The indemnity which Moyo got prior to his release into the custody of his lawyer showed he was being charged with criminal abuse of duty as a public officer, fraud, money laundering and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

Source , Zimbabwe Independent