Zimbabwe News Roundup

I will fight: Mayor

Suspended Mayor of Mutare, Brian James, has vowed to fight his suspension to the bitter end while residents and council workers have threatened to demonstrate for his re-instatement.

James was last week suspended from performing council duties by Local Government and Urban Development minister Ignatius Chombo on allegations of insubordination. Chombo accused James of refusing to take his orders and or misconduct. James said everything he did was above board. The Residents and Ratepayers Association said they were behind James, who was being persecuted for exposing corruption and mismanagement in the council.

Residents alleged that some “uneducated and corrupt” councillors were conniving with council officials to further their own interests.

MDC-T spokesperson, Pishai Muchauraya, said they did not recognize the suspension. James is credited with turning around the fortunes of Mutare after he secured a $1 million loan from SIDA to rehabilitate dilapidated infrastructure.- Leona Mwayera

Lions attack goats

People in Bikita are living in fear, according to Chief Mukanganwi, as lions have strayed from the Devuli Ranch Conservancy and are attacking their animals. ..

“The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority were notified that four lions had strayed from Devuli Ranch,” said the Chief.

Vulnerable members of his community have already lost cattle. “People are no longer going out to till their fields and are living in fear of being attacked by the lions,” he said.

ZPWMA spokesperson, Caroline Washaya Moyo, said that only one cow had been attacked. Resettled farmers have been accused of cutting fences and farming in a protected zone, thereby affecting the animals. – Byron Mutingwende

Mujuru case goes to AG

The inquest into the death of the retired army General Solomon Mujuru ended this week with Magistrate Walter Chikwanha referring the family’s exhumation application to the Attorney General’s office.

“I am not going to grant the request of exhuming the body, as I have not yet analysed the evidence which witnesses gave in this court. I want to reflect on the evidence and make recommendations. It is not this court’s jurisdiction to grant exhumation orders. The responsibility to do so lies with the Attorney General,” said Chikwanha.

The Mujuru family said they were disappointed with the result. The failure by forensic experts to establish the cause of death prompted them to apply for the exhumation of the General’s body for examination by their private pathologist Dr Perumal. – Tavada Mafa

Be patient: Ambassador

The Czech Republic has urged government to be patient with companies and banks yet to comply with the controversial indigenisation programme.

The Czech Ambassador, Ludek Zaahradnicek, said mutual understanding between both parties was vital.

“Input by companies has so far been ignored by the government. There is urgent need to redress the issue and seek mutual understanding between the government and the companies,” he said.

Despite a concerted effort by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party to have the programme broad-based, Zanu (PF) indigenization minister Kasukuwere has stuck to a hard-line stance.

Community schemes set up so far include Zimbabwe Platinum Holdings’ U$10 million Ownership Trust, Mimosa Mining Company’s Zvishavane, Unki Mine’s $10 million Tongogara Community Share Ownership Scheme Trust and the Meikles Ltd Employees’ Share Ownership Trust. – Brenna Matendere

Mermaids angry: Minister

Water Resources Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo says that there is need to perform traditional rituals in order to appease angry mermaids at a dam in Gokwe.

Nkomo, presenting evidence on the water supply situation said he had a similar experience in Mutare and had to slaughter beasts.

“All the officers I have sent have vowed not to go back there and I am now appealing to the chiefs to do what is necessary to correct the problem,” he said.

He said a similar situation occurred at Osborne Dam in Manicaland.

“We even hired whites thinking that our boys did not want to work. But they also returned saying they would not return to work there again,” he said.

Nkomo said it was necessary to brew traditional beer and carry out any rites to appease the spirits. Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo agreed.

MMPZ protests

The Zimbabwe Media Commission’s move to ban foreign newspapers is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human rights according to the Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe.

“The decision to deprive citizens of their constitutional right to freely choose their sources of information is a flagrant violation Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” it said.

The ZMC last week said it would stop the circulation of newspapers published outside the country that did not apply for registration under AIPPA.

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