News briefs 18/05/06

Tsvangirai to visit UK
LONDON - MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai, will visit the UK at the end of May. UK province chairman, Washington Ali, said Tsvangirai would be accompanied by MDC treasurer, Roy Bennett, and Grace Kwinjeh, the party's deputy secretary for International Re


lations.
“The purpose of this visit is to meet the UK structures, friends of Zimbabwe and to introduce the new liberation team of the party,” said Ali. “The agenda will be an engagement of all in the diaspora on the crisis that our country is facing and to map the way forward and our roles together.” – Own correspondent


Herald reporters up for murder
HARARE – Two Herald reporters have been charged with murdering a man they accused of attempting to steal from their flat. Tawanda Kanhema and Costa Mano, who also write for Zimpapers’ Southern Times and Travel Magazine, were arrested last Friday and are being held at Harare Central Police Station.
A senior reporter at the Herald said police first came looking for the two and recorded statements from them soon after the assault but came and took them away after the assaulted man died in hospital. – Own correspondent


Death threats for WOZA
BULAWAYO – Police have threatened prominent woman rights activist, Jenni Williams, with death if she dares organise any more anti-government demonstrations by her Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) group.
Bulawayo lawyer Kossam Ncube, whose law firm Job Sibanda and Associates acts
for Williams and WOZA, told ZimOnline that they had reported the matter to
the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights which is expected to take up the issue
with police authorities.
“These are serious allegations and they should be investigated because these
are grave allegations and we are sending them to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights so that they are documented,” said the group’s lawyer, Kossam Ncube said.
The threat against Williams was allegedly made by one Assistant Inspector
Ndlovu, in charge of the law and order section in Bulawayo, after she and 165 other activists were released after being locked up for days for demonstrating against massive school fee hikes. – ZimOnline


Remembrance activities planned
HARARE – ‘We still remember’, a series of activities to commemorate the government’s dastardly Operation Murambtsvina will start on May 18 with a vigil and musical performances in the main city centres and Johannesburg.
The launch of the nine-week remembrance period will be held on May 21 at Zimbabwe Grounds.
On the same day, churches will hold a National Day of Prayer. There will also be public meetings and seminars on the extent of the damage and lessons learnt.
The second week, which will coincide with Africa Day, will see the participating organizations hosting African diplomats in Harare and Johannesburg to raise awareness of the effects of Murambatsvina and Zimbabwe’s problems.
Events will include theatrical performances, photo exhibitions and the distribution of pamphlets and fliers on issues such as support for the victims of torture, workers and their livelihood, affected children, shelter, unity and women.
Groups involved include: Zimbabwe Congress Trade Union, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, National Constitutional Assembly, Women Coalition, Zimrights, Ecumenical Support Services, Amakhosi, Rooftop, NANGO, and ZINASU.


10,000 ‘vagrants’ arrested
HARARE – As the world remembers Operation Murambatsvina 2005, President Robert Mugabe has demonstrated his callous disdain for his people yet again by ordering police to round up more than 10,000 squatters and street children and dump them in rural areas.
Police spokesperson Munyaradzi Musariri announced Operation Round Up in Harare this week, just as winter begins to set in. “We are going to relocate some of the vagrants and street children to their homes,” he told the press.
“As police, we will not rest until there is sanity in the streets and the operation is continuing.”


‘Warlord’ Langa controls food
BULAWAYO – Archbishop Pius Ncube has expressed concern at the continued partisan distribution of much needed food in Insiza and Gwanda. The outspoken cleric alleges that the notorious Langa family are at the centre of this practice and have made the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) in the area totally disorderly.
Andrew Langa is the MP for Insiza who allegedly brandished a gun and shot an MDC official in front of the police during the 2005 parliamentary elections. There are also allegations that MP Langa intimidates and threatens the local chiefs and has the police in his pocket. His wife is reported to be in charge of the GMB depot in Insiza, which gives her powers to decide who can buy food and who gets turned away.
Archbishop Ncube said the oppression of the people in this region was heartless and that recently at least 200 people were denied food, even though they had the money.
Langa is known as the Zanu (PF) Warlord for the area. The pressure group Sokwanele wrote about him saying; “Those acquainted with Langa in even the slightest way confirm that here is one politician who understands no other style of politics than bullying intimidation and brutal violence.”
We were not able to get a comment from Langa or his wife. – Violet Gonda, SW Radio Africa


Restoring the family to fight HIV/AIDS
HARARE – A unique community-based HIV/AIDS campaign that seeks to build strong families as a defense against the disease and have an impact on the future of African politics by healing the smallest democracy in existence, the family, was launched here last week.
The African Year of the Family is a pan-African initiative being spear-headed from Zimbabwe
by Family Impact, a Bulawayo-based Christian organization involved in Life Skills, Marriage Enrichment and Positive Parenting training in schools, churches and communities throughout the region.
“We hope this remarkable campaign will see the beginning of a move across our nation to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their parents, a movement that will turn the tide of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and restore pride, beauty and honour to the institution of family,” said Minister of Health Dr David Parirenyatwa in a speech read on his behalf.
“This mighty pillar of society remains the foundation of our cohesion as a nation. We must preserve this invaluable line of defence and defend the cornerstone of our culture against the moral corruption and general breakdown that is evident in society today.”
The minister said the AIDS pandemic was a symptom of the breakdown of the family unit at a fundamental level.
“By celebrating the Year of the Family, Zimbabwe will begin to launch an offensive against the disease. The rebuilding of families will address not only the symptoms of the disease, but the root. By raising the profile of family across our nation and restoring it to the place of prominence that it once enjoyed we are saying a glad YES at a difficult time in our history as a nation,” he said.

Congratulations to Budiriro
Student Watch

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