New Briefs 22-06-06

Tsvangirai's father dies
BUHERA - Dzingirai Tsvangirai 78, the father of the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai, died at the weekend at Murambinda hospital in Buhera after a short illness and was buried on Wednesday at his rural home at Makuvise village.
He is sur

vived by his wife, Lydia, nine children and several grandchildren.

Student hijacks plane
CAPE TOWN – A 21-year-old Zimbabwean student, Tinashe Rioga, has been remanded in custody here after an abortive attempt to hijack a South African Airways plane last week. The University of Cape Town business science student grabbed a female cabin crew member and threatened to kill her unless he was allowed into the cockpit. Apparently he wanted the Cape Town to Johannesburg flight diverted to Maputo.
Three passengers overpowered him but not before one of them was stabbed with a syringe Rioga was holding. It is not yet clear what was in the syringe. The plane flew back to Cape Town where a special unit of the South African Police stormed aboard. Some reports suggested that Rioga was suffering from mental illness, but this has not been confirmed yet.

Arrested for smuggling
BEIT BRIDGE – Two Home Affairs Immigrations Officers from South Africa and a Zimbabwean, who were arrested at Beitbridge border post for allegedly attempting to smuggle 100 pieces of ivory ornaments and 412 boxes of Zimbabwean cigarettes, valued at R30 000, have been sentenced to an effective eight months imprisonment.
The three are Jacob Martin Venter (34), Ndwamato Lukoto (49), both employed at the Home Affairs Department at Makhado and a Zimbabwean, Takawira Mahachi (29).

Luxury vehicles for army officers
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s cash-strapped government has ploughed US$144 000 into the purchase of vehicles for middle-ranking army and police officers, in a move likely to be seen as an attempt to buy the loyalty of security commanders as public discontent swells in the southern African country.
The money used to pay for the 16 Mazda 18000 series trucks is enough to buy 576 tonnes of maize at about US$250 per tonne. The maize is enough to feed close to 10,000 hungry families for a month. Food aid agencies estimate that an average family requires about 60 kg of maize per month. – ZimOnline

Bus crash
PRETORIA – Forty Zimbabweans were seriously injured when a Pioneer Bus from Zimbabwe overturned near Pretoria after colliding with a private vehicle. Three people in the car died on the spot including two South African police officers. – CAJ News

White farmers snub land offer
KAROI – About 200 displaced white farmers from Mashonaland West province have turned down an offer of farms by the government, saying there was no guarantee the government would not in future turn back on the offer and evict them again.
Authoritative sources said Masonaland West provincial governor Nelson Samkange offered the farmers – among the close to 4 000 whites to lose land to the government over the past six years – new farms in the wheat-producing area of Tengwe which lies in his province about 260km north-west of Harare.
“In fact, we were instructed to make available fuel for the about 200 white farmers who were to be allocated farms in the area of Tengwe. The idea was that the farmers would move in, quickly revive the run-down farms and boost wheat production,” said a senior official with the government’s Agricultural Research and Extension (AREX) services department.
The plan to bring back whites to Tengwe collapsed after ruling party militants chased away white farmer, Justin Boddy, from his Elephants Farm near Tengwe just at the time Samkange’s office was trying to convince the farmers that it would be safe to return, according to our source.- ZimOnline

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