By Staff Reporter
THE central bank has disbursed US$7 million for the procurement of 19 000 metric tonnes of wheat bonded in Beira, Mozambique in a move that could ease current bread shortages.
This was revealed Wednesday by Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairman Tafadzwa Musarara.
“The 19 000 metric tonnes of wheat will cover the national flour requirements for the next two and a half weeks and the National Railways of Zimbabwe is in the process of loading the paid consignment which will start trickling into the country next week.
“The situation is expected to improve the supply of flour starting next week,” Musarara said in a statement.
The GMAZ chief said the millers group had another consignment of 60 000 metric tonnes of cereal in Mozambique and were still to reach an agreement with RBZ for possible funding to avert an immediate return to shortages of the staple cereal.
This comes after GMAZ reported early this week that wheat stocks in the country had “drastically” reduced in the country.
Zimbabwe uses 30 000 tonnes of wheat every month while bread bakers depend on millers for wheat which they use to produce the staple.
The country needs 1.5 million loaves of bread a day.
According to the GMAZ, the association needs $12.5m from the government to import wheat to avert a complete bread bread shortages.
Government figures indicate that $100m is required annually for wheat imports.
The $12.5m needed could get over six weeks’ supply of the cereal because annually Zimbabweans consume 500,000 tons of wheat.
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The Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare is crumbling at the seams, assailed by overcrowding and a critical shortage of medicines, food and other basics as the economically-crippled country battles to care for its inmates.
Convicts and wardens alike bemoan packed cells where running water is erratic and shortages of food, clothes and bedding prevail. Basic painkillers and antibiotics are impossible to come by, meaning prisoners risk dying from easily treatable conditions.
“We don’t have drugs for… ailments like pneumonia and meningitis. We need a functioning X-ray machine. As of now, our machine is down and yet this is a basic tool required for diagnosis,” Blessing Dhoropa, a doctor at the prison hospital, said as lawmakers visited Chikurubi last week.
AFP correspondents saw prisoners wearing threadbare uniforms in the prison’s male and female sections. Inside the cells, paint flaked off some walls and for bedding, prisoners had thin blankets on bare cement floors. One complained the cells were infested with lice and other vermin.
Such conditions are common in Zimbabwe’s 46 prisons. They were built to collectively incarcerate 14 000 prisoners, but hold more than 20 000 today.
Chikurubi’s men’s section houses 2 508 inmates, instead of the 1 360 it was designed for.
“Our population is much higher than we should hold,” conceded Senior Assistant Commissioner Alvord Gapare, who oversees jails in the Harare province.
Diet ‘not suitable’
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has condemned such “deplorable” conditions, which it said “exposes inmates to illnesses and psychological trauma”.
In 2013, the body said, more than 100 prisoners died of malnutrition-related illnesses.
At Chikurubi, donors provide life-saving anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs for inmates who need it.
“I am HIV positive. Drugs for HIV are available. But other medicines, antibiotics… even the painkiller paracetamol, are not there,” 18-year-old prisoner Chiedza Chiwashira told members of parliament’s child welfare and justice committee on a fact-finding mission.
Another inmate complained there was “no medicine for epilepsy”.
And according to Gapare, Chikurubi’s only ambulance “is down”.
At Chikurubi, prisoners grumble about the staple diet of maize porridge without salt or sugar for breakfast, followed by the same, served with boiled kale, cabbage or beans, for lunch and dinner.
“Our diet is not suitable for people with ailments like diabetes and hypertension,” an inmate of the female section told the official visitors.
‘Not supposed to be here’
Gapare conceded the prison food has little nutritional value.
“We have challenges preparing the food that’s suitable for our prisoners. We cannot follow the dietary scale that we should follow. We serve mostly beans and vegetables,” he said.
In a bid to decongest the country’s jails, President Emmerson Mnangagwa granted amnesty to at least 3 000 prisoners in March last year.
But overcrowding persists as Zimbabwe’s convicts, like the general population, suffer the consequences of a moribund economy that has been in ruins since hyperinflation peaked at 500-billion percent and wiped out savings under former president Robert Mugabe.
Zimbabwe is undergoing another bout of price rises and shortages of fuel and daily essentials. Inflation is at more than 75%, putting basic goods beyond the reach of many.
The government is struggling to provide relief for citizens, let alone the prison population.
And the harshness of daily life continues feeding Zimbabwe’s already over-full prisons as many turn to crime to survive.
“Most of the patients are not supposed to be here,” Chikurubi’s deputy director for health services and a consultant psychiatrist, Patrick Mhaka, told the lawmakers.
“Some are said to have stolen a loaf of bread and they end up here.”
Lawmaker Daniel Molokela asked prisoners and officials to draw up a list of needs, which he said the government would examine.
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There is an acute shortage of bread in major towns as Zimbabwe’s wheat reserves continue to plummet.
In the four key cities of Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Gweru, there is little or no sign of popular bread brands that make up 90% of the market.
The Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) said it has engaged the government to improve the situation. “We are also jointly working with the bakers in engaging the authorities on a number of issues that would improve bread supplies,” said the association.
Last week, leading bread maker Lobels told industry and commerce minister Mangaliso Ndlovu that it had resolved to suspend some of its operations because of wheat shortage.
According to the GMAZ, the association needs $12.5m from the government to import wheat to avert a catastrophe. “We have 30,000 metric tons of wheat in Beira, which needs to be paid for. US$12.5m is needed urgently so that the wheat can come,” said GMAZ spokesman Garikai Chaunza.
Government figures indicate that $100m is required annually for wheat imports. The $12.5m needed could get over six weeks’ supply of the cereal because annually Zimbabweans consume 500,000 tons of wheat.
However, the government believes that the shortages are man-made. Ndlovu told journalists that the shortages could be because of “sector issues or wars”.
A senior executive at a confectionery company told TimesLIVE that producing bread is no longer viable because of the government’s strict control over the product. “We now make more buns and other delicacies that are deemed as luxury because their prices are not under the watchful eye of the government,” he said.
The government initially hoped to improve the wheat situation, which is largely due to forex shortages, by increasing support for winter wheat farming. Some 90,000 tons of wheat were targeted under the government-funded National Wheat Contract Farming Committee (NWCFC).
However, farmers in Mashonaland East failed to plant wheat because the programme was marred in confusion. The deadline set for planting was May 31, but most of them have not yet received any communication from the ministry of agriculture.
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The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million globally last year – the highest number in the UN refugee agency’s almost 70 years of operations.
The almost 70.8 million people forcibly displaced is 2.3 million more than the previous year, according to the agency’s annual Global Trends report.
The figure is also double the level recorded 20 years ago.
The number averaged out to 37,000 new displacements every day.
“What we are seeing in these figures is further confirmation of a longer-term rising trend in the number of people needing safety from war, conflict and persecution,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.
“While language around refugees and migrants is often divisive, we are also witnessing an outpouring of generosity and solidarity, especially by communities who are themselves hosting large numbers of refugees.”
The number also represents a sharp increase in the number of displaced people as a proportion of the world’s population. According to figures kept since the 1951 Refugee Convention, its previous peak was in 1992, at 3.7 per 1,000 of the population. By 2018, the number had more than doubled to 9.3.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, the actual figure for 2018 is likely to be higher, as the number of people displaced by the Venezuela crisis is only partly reflected in the statistics.
About four million Venezuelans have fled their country, according to some figures from countries taking them in, making it one of the world’s biggest recent displacement crises.
The report identifies three main groups. Firstly, there are refugees, or people forced to leave their country because of conflict, war or persecution. In 2018, the number of refugees reached 25.9 million worldwide, 500,000 more than in 2017. Included in this total are 5.5 million Palestine refugees.
The second group is 3.5 million asylum seekers. These are people outside their country of birth who are under international protection, but are yet to be granted refugee status.
Thirdly, there are internally displaced persons, or IDPs. These people are displaced within their country and amount to 41.3 million globally.
More than two thirds of all refugees worldwide came from Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. Syria had a considerably higher number than any other country with 6.7 million, followed by Afghanistan with 2.7 million.
Only 92,400 refugees were resettled in 2018, fewer than 7% of those awaiting resettlement. The global population of forcibly displaced people has grown substantially from 43.3 million in 2009. Most of this increase was between 2012 and 2015 as a result of the Syrian conflict.
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US President Donald Trump has formally launched his re-election campaign, urging supporters to “keep this team in place” for four more years.
The Republican president made his case before thousands of supporters at a rally in Florida, calling the state “my second home”.
Trump used the announcement to lash out at Democrats, accusing them of trying to “rip your country apart”.
Early polls place Trump behind some potential Democratic challengers.
He entered the stage with his wife Melania, who said she was “excited” to be first lady for six more years.
Senior figures from the White House, including Vice President Mike Pence and outgoing press secretary Sarah Sanders, also spoke at the rally.
“Tonight I stand before you to officially launch my campaign for a second term as president of the United States,” Trump told supporters. “I promise you I will never ever let you down.”
Florida is a key battleground state and one that Trump narrowly won in 2016.
“We are going to keep America great again,” the president told the Orlando event on Tuesday night, in a reworking of his familiar slogan.
Some supporters had been waiting since the early hours of Monday morning to see the president.
A counter-demonstration against his appearance was also held nearby.
What did Trump say?
During his roughly 80-minute speech, Trump reiterated key themes of his winning 2016 campaign.
He pledged to continue a crackdown against illegal immigration, one day after tweeting that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would soon begin removing “millions of illegal aliens” from the country.
“We believe our country should be a sanctuary for law-abiding citizens, not for criminal aliens,” Trump told Florida supporters.
He also accused Democrats of seeking to legalise illegal immigration in order to boost their voting base, and said they “want to destroy our country as we know it”.
Trump described his opponents as a “radical left-wing mob” who he said would bring socialism to the US.
“A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” he told the crowd.
He also praised the economy, criticised the Mueller investigation into alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, and referred to media covering the event as “fake news back there”.
The president also elicited “lock her up” chants from supporters when he brought up Hillary Clinton, despite her not being in the 2020 race.
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Facebook unexpectedly announced their digital currency -Libra- yesterday. Whilst there are many details regarding the currency itself, the crypto wallet for holding Libra hasn’t gotten as much coverage.
Calibra is said to be launching in 2020 and the website suggests that it will be integrated with other Facebook apps, namely WhatsApp and Messenger. It’s not clear if Instagram will also be part of this integration as the IG icon wasn’t part of the website or mentioned at all.
Apart from being available within Facebook’s social and messaging applications, there will also be a standalone Calibra application, which makes sense as this will most probably be able to offer more functionality than the integration in existing apps.
The Calibra website also contains a video that portrays some of the app’s functionality and maybe even what it will look like in its final form though, I wouldn’t be surprised if the design used in the video changes when it is finally introduced:
Calibra is also making a case for itself to business users by keeping “costs low by cutting fees”, without going into detail whether the fees are cut entirely. They also hope that 24/7/365 support in Messenger and WhatsApp will be enticing to businesses. What about security and privacy?
Calibra wallets will be verified using government-issued IDs and Facebook is promising built-in fraud protections, in-app reporting along with dedicated customer service. Facebook is promising that, “In the rare event of fraud, you will receive a full refund.”
Calibra also promises privacy, which will be believed by most after they see it considering the track record that Facebook has regarding privacy. Calibra does make it clear they are a separated subsidiary of Facebook:
Your transaction activity is private and we will never post it publicly. Calibra is a subsidiary of Facebook that has been set up to be separate to help protect your financial and account information.
The post Calibra -Crypto Wallet- For Storing Facebook’s Libra Currency Coming In 2020 appeared first on Techzim.
The post Calibra -Crypto Wallet- For Storing Facebook’s Libra Currency Coming In 2020 appeared first on The Financial Gazette.
By Anna Chibamu
GOVERNMENT has admitted to employing unqualified personnel to handle accounting duties at most of its provincial health institutions, Parliament has heard.
Finance Director in the Ministry Health, Heather Machamire told the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee that the staff is qualified in other disciplines but not accounting.
“We are not using qualified personnel at district level. Remember, the Ministry decentralised and this information is coming from provinces and districts from bottom to the top,” Machamire told the committee.
Committee member and Masvingo Urban MP, Jacob Nyokanhete questioned why the ministry was failing to recruit skilled people for the job yet the country had thousands of unemployed graduates roaming the streets.
Permanent secretary Agnes Mahomva however, claimed the said personnel had been hired for other duties different from what they are doing now.
“The staff has not been specifically hired for that particular area. We cannot hire because we have no establishment. Those unqualified have to be trained and we are working towards a detailed trimming manual training of staff,” said Mahomva.
The Committee chaired by Harare East MP, Tendai Biti quizzed the officials regarding red flags raised in the Auditor General office’s Report of December 31, 2017 in which anomalies were detected relating to inaccurate receipting.
“US$6,741 million was allegedly transferred from Appropriation Accounts to Health Services Fund Account, without paper trail and authority Treasury. The report also showed that the funds were used for purposes not originally intended for.
“You did not have authority to do what you did,” said one committee member.
Mahomva apologised admitting the officials had erred.
“We do express our sincere remorse. The transfer was done verbally with no paperwork. We have external and internal auditors and our monitoring is very clear. An account with IBDZ has been opened after Finance Ministry’s approval,” the Permanent secretary said in response.
The Ministry of Health has a debt of US$70 million as well as a computer system error which the committee suspected had been left to go on for years (since 2015 to date) without being rectified for reasons known to the top officials.
Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna had this to say: “We suspect that there is rampant corruption, collusion and nepotism in this document splitting error.”
Dzivarasekwa MP and committee acting chairperson Edwin Mushoriwa accused officials in the Ministry of hiding “fraudulent activities and using the error as a scapegoat.”
Mahomva denied the fraudulent allegations reporting that a German company had been hired to rectify the computer system error.
The post Unqualified personnel manning Health Ministry accounts appeared first on NewZimbabwe.com.
By Leopold Munhende
ZIMBABWE’s military has become the new “problem child” in the fight to entrench human rights in the country, a rights watchdog has said.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO-Forum, on Tuesday said while over the years the police have been identified as the major perpetrator of rights abuses, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rise to power had presented a new challenge in the form of the military.
Speaking at the launch of ZimHRNGOForum’s Anti Impunity report in Harare, the group’s director Blessing Gorejena said that the army was now a major factor in the state’s continued disregard for basic human rights.
“Initially our focus was on the police because from our documentation, until recently, they were the major perpetrators but we are actually realising that we have a new ‘problem child’ on the block. It is the military given the incidences we have just encountered recently.
“Security services should remain true to their obligations under the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” said Gorejena.
Mnangagwa came to power on the back of a military coup in November 2017 that forced former President Robert Mugabe into resignation. Since then the country’s military has become a lot more visible than ever in people’s daily lives involving itself in civilian matters.
In less that a year, Mnangagwa has deployed the army on two occasion both with deadly consequences. At least 20 people have been killed after the army was called in to pacify protests in Harare while dozens have been left with gunshot wounds.
After the August 1st killings, Mnangagwa, in a bid to placate growing unease with his new administration established a Commission of Inquiry, headed by former South African President, Kgalema Motlanthe. The recommendations by Motlanthe are yet to be implemented.
In January Mnangagwa announced a 150% fuel price increase triggering fresh protests. The army was called in and human rights groups claim at least 17 people were killed to add to the six gunned down last August.
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By Costa Nkomo
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa needs to humble himself and meet opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, Independent Norton MP, Temba Mliswa has said.
In the aftermath of last year’s election won by Mnangagwa albeit with a slim margin, Zimbabwe’s decades old political problems have refused to go away, with Chamisa the MDC leader refusing to recognise his adversary as legitimate President. Mliswa has weighed in to calls for Mnangagwa to find time for Chamisa.
“You cannot ignore Chamisa as well being the leader of the biggest opposition in the country. Yes, the political actors dialogue is there but how influential are they as political actors?
“I have always said some of them don’t have even the votes that I got in my constituency, yet they are leaders of parties. So to be fair he (Mnangagwa) could be meeting with people of no influence at the same time leaving out those with influence,” said Mliswa.
He was speaking on New Zimbabwe.com’s current affairs programme, The Agenda, on Monday. Mnangagwa has convened the Political Actors Dialogue platform that includes all losing candidates to last year’s presidential poll but Chamisa has rebuffed the invite.
Instead the MDC leader has demanded a face to face meeting with Mnangagwa which the Zanu PF leader seems unwilling to grant.
Mliswa said Chamisa was within his rights to demand the meeting.
“I think it is important that we urge them (Mnangagwa and Chamisa) to meet. Chamisa has the right to say I need to meet with you President, on one to one before I meet with others.
“That’s his right from the constitutional point of view and the interface with the President, to say there are issues that I want to talk to you about on one to one basis before we meet anyone. That is what he is asking for. I see no reason why that can’t happen,” the former Zanu PF provincial chairperson said.
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki last week told the SABC that while Mnangagwa’s move to initiate dialogue was noble the Zimbabwean President needed to go on better and find a way of including Chamisa.
Mbeki also urged the MDC leader to act responsibly for the good of the country.
Addressing mourners at the late Glenview South legislator Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java’s funeral at City Sports Centre in Harare last week, National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda pleaded with Chamisa and Mnangagwa to bury the hatchet and find common ground.
Chamisa has indicated he is ready to meet Mnangagwa while the Zanu PF leader last week told State radio he will not treat Chamisa like “the special one.”
By Staff Reporter
A Chimanimani man, who purported to be a victim of tropical Cyclone Idai, was arrested after he produced stolen academic certificates and tried to use them to secure employment and humanitarian assistance.
Tawanda Sigauke (21) appeared before Mutare magistrate Tendai Mahwe facing charges of “possession of articles” for criminal use.
He was remanded in custody for trial and was not represented.
Prosecutors told the court that on June 3 around 14:00, Sigauke went to Mutare Central Police Station and approached the community relations office, seeking assistance to be employed in the force claiming he was a Chimanimani resident who lost both parents during the cyclone.
He was asked to produce his academic certificates for vetting. He reportedly produced an Ordinary and Advanced level certificates, a birth certificate and curriculum vitae belonging to Edmore Mangiza.
Sigauke also requested his name to be included on the list of beneficiaries who were receiving Cyclone Idai humanitarian assistance in Chimanimani and Chipinge.
Constable Mutsenhu vetted Sigauke and realised his finger prints failed to match with those of Mangiza.
It also came to light that Sigauke was uneducated as he failed to fill in the forms he was given to write his details.
After an interrogation, Sigauke confessed that he had stolen the certificate to get assistance leading to his arrest.
The post Cyclone Idai ‘victim’ arrested after attempting to use stolen certificates to secure employment appeared first on NewZimbabwe.com.
By Anna Chibamu
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has struck the right tone as regards what needs to be done in order to return Zimbabwe to the international fold but there is little in terms of action to back this especially around the issue of human rights, outspoken Independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa said on Monday.
Mliswa was speaking on New Zimbabwe.com’s current affairs programme The Agenda.
A former Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairperson before his sacking in 2014, Mliswa said government has continued to disregard both the courts and Parliament on the issue of the Marange diamond fields for example.
“The leaders and the public have to know that re-engagement is all about business and not politics. Rule of law lacks in Zimbabwe. Government’s policies have never been consistent as seen in recent black on black land invasions, in mines, illegal settlers throughout the country,” the tough talking Mliswa said.
He added: “It is so disturbing and all these have to be regularised. The Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Mining Development recommended that (the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company) ZCDC must stop its operations and the Supreme Court has ruled that the company is illegal as well.
“The government’s move to take over the diamond claims has also been ruled to be illegal. All this has been ignored. Investment is not safe in Zimbabwe. There is need to respect each other’s human rights.”
After years of isolationist polices under former President Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa has since taking charge in November 2017, embarked on a charm offensive to try and woo investment on the promise of respect for property rights and the rule of law.
The Zanu PF leader’s re-engagement efforts however have yielded little reward although it has resulted in thawing of hitherto frosty relations especially with the European Union.
Mliswa however, defended Mnangagwa’s decision to deploy the military to quell violent protests in August last year and January this year which resulted in the deaths of over 20 people. The legislator argued protestors should desist from looting adding the issue around the deployment of the army while constitutional needs to be guarded including the use of live ammunition.
“The role of the security sector is very important and needs to be recognised. It is constitutional and people should be educated on this.
“The sticking issue is when should live ammunition be used? This is debatable but we cannot as a country allow anarchy to prevail. The law must take its course,” Mliswa told New Zimbabwe.com.
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By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE is among the world’s 10 worst countries for employees, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)’s 2019 global rights index has revealed.
It is the first time since independence that has been bracketed among countries that are seen as hostile to unionism.
According to the index Zimbabwe joins countries like Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
“Brazil and Zimbabwe are in the ten worst countries for the first time, with the adoption of regressive laws, violent repression of strikes, protests, threats and intimidation of union leaders,” ITUC general secretary, Sharan Burrow said.
The index observed that in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president, Peter Mutasa and general secretary, Japhet Moyo were taken into custody on 21 and 25 January 2019 and charged with subversion for “mobilising the nation to participate in anti-fuel hike protests”.
It is noted that the ITUC-Africa general secretary, who had traveled to meet with the ZCTU leadership and the Zimbabwean Ministry of Labour, was later arrested in his hotel room and arbitrarily detained at Harare International Airport.
“This year, Zimbabwe fell into a pattern of violent attacks against workers and trade union members. Protests organised by ZCTU on 14-16 January 2019 against a 150% fuel price hike were repressed by state security forces with live ammunition.
“Twelve workers were killed and 70 sustained gunshot wounds. In total, over 320 persons were injured, while accounts of severe beatings and torture by government forces were reported to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission,” the report reads in part.
It noted that while the ZCTU leaders were released from custody a few days later, they remained under strict release conditions, banned from traveling and forced to check in regularly at the police station while Moyo was even forced to give up the deed to his personal home as a guarantee against skipping bail.
Workers in countries within Zimbabwe’s category are unlikely to get decent salaries, jobs and meaningful protection from the law hence largely fall under the working poor category.
The index says that a significant number of African trade union leaders were arbitrarily arrested and detained in 2019.
“Attempts by countries to silence their people in an age of anger against corporations, politicians and governments who have failed to deliver for workers are on the rise,” Burrow observed.
The report comes at a time when Zimbabwean workers are struggling to make ends meet due to increasing inflation nearing 100% which has eroded workers salaries.
Most civil servants have demanded salaries in foreign currency but the government has indicated this is unsustainable.
Threats of job action loom across the economy and among government workers.
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By Staff Reporter
MUTARE-A self-styled “prophet” allegedly poisoned his father to death in a bid to take over his Mazda 323 vehicle.
Derrick Chitakatira (23), of Chitakatira Village under Chief Zimunya, a prophet with Jekenisheni Apostolic Church, pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody to June 24 to allow police to carry further investigations.
Chitakatira was not presented.
Prosecutor Chris Munyuku told the court that on an unknown day in 2018, the suspect took the deceased to a shrine for spiritual cleansing.
The two went through three days at shrine praying and fasting.
On the last day, Chitakatira reportedly gave his father water laced with an unknown poison as part of the cleaning process.
He passed away after suffering from a running stomach.
The matter came to light after the Chitakatira family consulted a ‘prophet’ in Burma Valley asking for spiritual protection and cleansing.
Chitakatira reportedly confessed to the Burma Valley ‘prophet’ that he was responsible for the death of his father and was afraid of being haunted by the spirit of the deceased. He also confessed that he killed his father in a bid to take over his Mazda 323.
The Burma Valley ‘prophet’ requested Chitakatira to write a letter confessing so that he presents his petition for forgiveness before God.
Chitakatira accepted and wrote the letter confessing that he was responsible for the death of his father.
His relatives were later called by the Burma Valley ‘prophet’ and the letter was revealed to the family.
The matter was later reported to police leading to Chitakatira’s arrest.
By Bulawayo Correspondent
SECESSIONIST group, Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP), has claimed it has burst a “massive scandal” at the Registrar General’s Lupane office in Matabeleland North, where passport seekers from as far afield as Harare and Masvingo are being made to pay bribes as high as USD$100.
But an official at the Registrar General provincial offices in Bulawayo who cannot be identified immediately dismissed the allegations as fabrication.
“It’s pure fabrication. It would make no economic sense for someone to travel from Harare or Masvingo to go and apply for a passport in Lupane.
“If you factor in transport costs, that alone will be more than the cost of that passport. And imagine having to pay USD$100 on top of that,” the official told New Zimbabwe.com.
She said after checking with the Lupane office’s internal systems, no applicants from Harare or Masvingo had completed there.
The official however said the RG’s office was clear on its anti-corruption stance that any staff member found wanting will be severely dealt with.
In the statement Mthwakazi whose activities are confined to the Matabeleland and Midlands regions claimed the latest move was the reason most children in the western parts of the country did not have identity documents especially those affected by the post independence atrocities commonly referred to as Gukurahundi.
“Massive scandal rocks Lupane passport office. Mthwakazi Republic Party is saddened by the level of corruption at the Lupane passport office. The party’s intelligence department through a tip off raised by the Lupane residents has today unearthed a massive act of corruption by the officials at the Matabeleland North headquarters.
“The massive corruption scandal which was witnessed by the MRP intelligence department is so much disturbing. Scores of people from Harare and as far as Masvingo were today being served with urgent passports,” the fringe party led by Mqondisi Moyo screamed.
“They are made to pay bribes of about US$100 to the officials.”
An emergency passport costs RTGS$253 while the ordinary one which normally takes three months to be released costs RTGS$53.
The RG’s office is reportedly facing a huge passport backlog owing to foreign currency problems, which has seen it failing to source the required paper to print passports. President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week said government was capacitating Fidelity Printers, to take over the printing of passports after a foreign company that had been doing the job demanded payment in foreign currency.
By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa left Harare late Tuesday afternoon heading to neighbouring Mozambique to attend the US Africa summit that begins in Maputo Wednesday.
Mnangagwa was seen off at the Robert Mugabe International Airport by secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda and Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri.
Highly placed sources told New Zimbabwe.com that while stricken Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was supposed to be Acting President, Muchinguri-Kashiri is basically in charge.
“She (Muchinguri-Kashiri) has been left in charge. You know VP Chiwenga is indisposed and unable to report for work. That is why for the first time you saw only the Defence Minister seeing off the President.
“In theory VP Chiwenga is Acting President but in reality it’s the Defence Minister who has the reins,” New Zimbabwe.com heard.
Ailing Chiwenga has been in and out of hospital at home and abroad for the past six months. Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said Chiwenga needed rest and will only be allowed to return for duty once he is fit.
It also emerged that co-Vice President Kembo Mohadi was also out of the country for “treatment” leaving Mnangagwa with little choice.
Mnangagwa will on Thursday also attend a tripartite summit between Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana to discuss the Techbanine Project and inter-regional heavy haul railway hub aimed at creating an international trade route linking the three countries to eastern markets according to officials.
Insiders said Mnangagwa was also supposed to meet a high level delegation from the US probably “the highest since sanctions were imposed on the country in 2001.”
“The President was supposed to meet with US President Donald Trump’s representatives but the unfolding drama in Sudan has militated against the plan.
“Focus has shifted and in fact the delegation was supposed to fly to Harare. It would have been a diplomatic coup but it seems the US might have consulted with its people in Harare not only limited to the embassy before deciding against the meeting. They are scared of the effects of the optics of such a meeting,” said a source close to Mnangagwa.
Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo said there is a new scramble for Africa by the major powers and the US was launching a $60 billion counter facility to the China’s Focus on China-Africa Cooperation (Focac).
“You recall that there is been quite a development of the major power starting with China which introduced the $60 billion Focac initiative. The US has also followed with its summit on relations with Africa and is set to launch its own $60 billion facility. But the President is going to Mozambique at the invitation of his counterpart President Philipe Nyusi,” said Moyo seemingly admitting the Zanu PF leader may not have been part of initial plan.
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By Kwekwe Correspondent
LOCAL Government Minister, July Moyo and MDC MP, Lloyd Mukapiko a “professional undertaker” and the man who humbled the Cabinet Minister in last year’s elections, have buried the hatchet and agreed to work together for the development of Redcliff constituency on the outskirts of Kwekwe.
Mukapiko told New Zimbabwe.com in an interview, that the elections were a thing of the past adding he desperately needed Moyo, Zanu PF deputy secretary for administration’s support in order to achieve his vision.
“I was not the victor. The people of Redcliff emerged victorious. I don’t regard Minister Moyo as an opponent but a colleague.
“I need him more than ever, in us working to uplift livelihoods in the constituency. As a Redcliff resident he is familiar with the problems in the constituency,” said Mukapiko..
“Minister Moyo is an important stakeholder in the development of the constituency, both as a senior government official and a resident. The input of each and every resident is important in the development of the constituency.”
Mukapiko described his relationship with Moyo as “cordial.”
Moyo last year speaking after this post election defeat said that there was no bad blood between him and the former Redcliff Municipality employee.
The Local Government Minister instead called on residents of the constituency, including Zanu PF supporters to render support to Mukapiko until the end of his term.
Meanwhile, Mukapiko has roped in other losing Redcliff parliamentary candidates to be part of his Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Committee.
“We have decided to put aside our political differences and work together for the development of Redcliff. Problems bedeviling our area are much more important than whatever differences that we might have,” losing ZIPP parliamentary candidate Edmore Gotora said.
Another losing parliamentary aspirant Brenda Moyo who was representing the National Patriotic Front said she was also working with Mukapiko.
“It is true I am also part of the CDF committee,” Moyo said.
Mukapiko added: “We want all those who were contesting in the elections in Redcliff, to come forward and be part of the committee. We want their input and the ideas which they promised for Redcliff’s transformation not to die but be put to use.”
Mukapiko in 2018 then employed as a graveyard assistant by Redcliff Municipality, stunned his then boss Moyo when he romped to victory in the Parliamentary elections.
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By Robert Tapfumaneyi
LACK of adequate infrastructure has forced hundreds of students at the country’s institutions of higher learning to attend lessons through windows, Parliament heard Monday.
Student leaders from the Zimbabwe Congress of Student Unions (Zicosu) and the Zimbabwe National Students Union (Zinasu), told the Parliamentary Committee on Higher Education, that most institutions are prioritising other things ahead of infrastructure development.
“Students have become peeping toms, attending lessons outside lecture rooms because they cannot fit in one room.
“This is so because the institutions are prioritising other issues ahead of developing infrastructure to accommodate students during and after lessons,” Dyson Nyatsanga, Zicosu secretary for education told the committee.
Nyatsanga added that the state of infrastructure across the country’s universities and colleges has become desperate.
“The buildings are dilapidated. In the 21st century we are learning under the same roof that my father learnt under before independence.
“Most of the universities are operating above their student holding capacity,” said Nyatsanga.
“This is happening at Chinhoyi University of Science and Technology (CUT), because the college does not have enough classroom capacity. There are about 3 000 students at CUT in the Faculty of Business but we have a classroom that accommodates 50 students only.”
Nyatsanga also bemoaned the state of laboratories at most tertiary institutions.
“Most of the laboratories are not equipped with the latest technology and most of the tertiary institutions are not producing students who are competent enough with knowledge.
“Some science students end up coming to one lab in Harare to do their practical which is sad situation,” he said.
“Imagine most colleges do not have even internet, making it difficult for students to do their research. Most of the institutions with internet access have restricted this to administrations where it is used by management to be on social media.”
By Matabeleland North Correspondent
ZIMBABWE needs to adopt adopt cyber currency to solve its monetary problems which have seen prices souring beyond reach of many, a Zambian tax expert has said.
The country continues to be haunted by foreign currency shortages, exacerbated by stunted industrial production and a failure to sustain its own currency value.
Speaking in Victoria Falls recently, Zambia’s National Economic Advisory Council Oswald Mungule said Zimbabwe should learn from the World Bank which invested in Tether (USDT).
Tether (USDT) is a crypto currency with a value meant to mirror the value of the US dollar at a 1:1 rate.
“Zimbabwe should just look for an underlying asset to base the crypto currency. The country can create a cyber currency using stable coins for bigger companies to make international payments and can peg this on gold or diamond which have stable value,” advised Mungule.
Mungule said government should get involved in crypto currency and encourage innovation and support the market in terms of providing regulatory environment out of which it can be able to intercept and get tax.
This he argued will dispel fears about tax evasion, currently believed to be the case around crypto currency.
Zimbabwe is one of the countries that have maintained that crypto currencies are illegal as they fuel bank tax evasion and cannot be monitored.
Expectations were high last year that Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube would introduce crypto currency as legal tender.
Experts believe crypto currency is a medium of exchange for the future and in South Africa the adoption of Bitcoin is considered to be a logical step in the evolution of currencies as it fulfills the key features of money namely divisibility, scarcity, durability, transferability and fungibility.
South Africa and Nigeria are the only countries said to have legalised Bitcoins whose value has a positive effect on the countries’ economies.
In Zimbabwe the government is not clear whether to adopt the cyber currency or keep it an illegal tender.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa a few days ago announced that Zimbabwe was working on a six step process towards establishing its own currency for the first time since the implosion of the local dollar in 2008. In February this year government designated the RTGS and bond note as legal tender but its value has been on a downward spiral against the US dollar due to lack of confidence by the market.
A crypto-currency is a digital currency whereby encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds independently from a central bank.
It has capacity to multiply through a process called mining.
Governments can get money out of crypto markets through tax and what’s needed is to improve on transparency and perception of political leaders, Mungule added.
He said a cyber currency can quicken transactions and sort out storage of value issues in a country grappling with currency issues.
Online transactions in the country have left many citizens unhappy because of exorbitant deductions made by banks and mobile money operators. A bank transfer of about RTGS$30 attracts about RTGS$15 in bank charges while mobile transactions charges have also been increased with RTGS$100 attracting close to RTGS$10in costs.