Zimbabwe News Roundup

Matinenga in Rwanda

The government will do everything in its power to find and arrest perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide believed to be hiding in Zimbabwe.

The Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Eric Matinenga, visited the Ministry of Justice offices in Kimihurura this week and met Rwandan Justice Minister, Tharcisse Karugarama. Zimbabwe has not yet signed the extradition treaty with Rwanda to arrest and extradite Genocide perpetrators, among whom is the notorious Protais Mpiranya. – Staff Reporter

Trouble for Madiro

There was chaos at Zanu (PF) provincial party headquarters in Mutare this week when irate supporters aligned to Vice President Joice Mujuru faction besieged the office demanding immediate resignation of the executive led by Mike Madiro.The protest follows Mutare`s Saturday District Coordination Committee elections which the rival supporters described as “sham”.

Supporters from Makoni, Nyanga and Mutare denounced Madiro, allegedly aligned to the Mnangagwa faction, and his executive for spearheading cohesion, intimidation and imposition. Joseph Mavhiza from Mujuru faction lost dismally to the incumbent Walter Muparutsa, who is aligned to Munangagwa faction.

They were locking horns in 34 districts in Mutare district but rival supporters said there were a lot of irregularities and fraud. Party spokesperson, Charles Samuriwo said “supporters have spoken their mind”. – Staff Reporter

Quelea birds feast

Quelea birds are wreaking havoc in Nyamandlovu farming area in Matabeleland North where they are feasting on ripe sorghum and millet.Most farmers in the area are contracted by a local beverage company and fear they might not able to fulfil their obligations with the company because of the birds. Some of them have resorted to spending the whole day clanging metal objects and shouting loudly in a desperate bid to save their crops. – Zwanai Sithole

NGO slams UN

An international civil society organisation this week scoffed at the United Nations’ adoption of Zimbabwe’s report at the Human Rights Council.UN adopted the report, which claimed inroads into the upholding of human rights, last month. “Zimbabwe continues to be a difficult country for civil society activists and the government of National Unity has done little to improve the situation.

In the last four years, numerous acts of harassment, systematic detention of human rights defenders and attacks on their offices, impeding their freedom of association and assembly, have been reported,”said Agnes Kabajuni, Policy and Advocacy Officer, of Civicus.

Among recent violations was Provincial Governor of Masvingo, Titus Maluleke, who suspended 29 international and local CSOs in the province on the accusation of failure to register with the local authorities.

Critics argue frustrating NGOs is a ploy by Zanu (PF) to maintain a stranglehold in the province ahead of elections. – Chris Ncube

Cooperatives boom

Mutare – In the absence of formal employment following the virtual collapse of the economy, millions of people have turned to cooperatives.

The chairman of the Zimbabwe National Co-operative Federation, Mike Duru , said more than 4 810 cooperatives registered – 330 in agriculture,77 sewing,56 mining,22 fishery,50 transport sector, construction 29,carpentry 11 and 10 crèches.

“Many people are now earning a decent living through cooperatives, as there is no employment in the country to talk about,”said Duru.

“We are a global movement that is contributing above 65 percent of Gross Domestic Product,” he said, adding that co-operatives are a pathway to economic, democratic and social development in global economics. He said the Federation of co-operatives has been resuscitated after it collapsed a decade ago and took a swipe at bogus co-operatives that defrauded people.

“Some bogus co-operatives have emerged and are using political names to lure clients. We are saying they are illegal under Co-operatives Act chapter 24:05,”said Duru. – Leona Mwayera

Tsvangirai’s top aide freed

A Gweru magistrate this week freed on $500 bail, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Protocol Chief, Abisha Nyanguwo (45) who was charged with bombing Zanu (PF) offices. The amount is the highest seen at the courts this year. Nyanguwo denies the charge. In his ruling, magistrate Sithembinkosi Msipa concurred with Nyanguwo’s defence that the crime is minor.

“The law says if found guilty the accused can either be fined an amount not more than twice the $900 value of the damaged property or imprisonment of a term not exceeding 25 years. Therefore there is no mandatory sentence,” said the magistrate, adding that the weakness of the state’s case meant Nyanguwo was likely to get a “small fine or small jail sentence” if found guilty. – Brenna Matendere

21 die in bus crash

Twenty one people died in a bus accident along the Masvingo-Beitbridge road on Monday after the Mega-Link bus they were travelling in overturned, police confirmed. The accident occurred around 2 am at the 92 kilometre peg along the Masvingo-Beitbridge road. Several people were injured and taken to Masvingo General hospital and other clinics in the area. Several accidents involving Mhunga Bus Company over the years resulted in the bus company being temporarily being suspended from operating. – Staff Reporter

Singer wants justice

Gospel sensation and girl children rights activist Nyaradzo Mashayamombe has slammed the justice system for giving petty sentences to perpetrators of human rights abuse.

“The justice delivery system is so lenient on those who abuse women and children. How can you ask for a bail of $50 from such an offender?” said Nyaradzo.

Mashayamombe who is also the CEO and Founder of Tag a Life, an organization that deals with girl children said she is not going to stop encouraging the girl child to fight for her space.

“We are not going to stop encouraging the girl child to shove for her space”, she said.

In addition she said she has recorded a song with mbira sensation ChiwonisoMaraire entitled Cry which advocates for safeguarding the rights of girl children. – Kundai Marunya

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