By Mary Taruvinga
DODGY businessman Delish Nguwaya, facing charges of using fake papers to win a US$6 million government tender to supply Covid-19 material, has been freed.
Nguwaya, a connection to President Emmerson Mnangagwa judging by the former’s links to the first family, was removed from remand by Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna Tuesday.
The local representative of Drax International was arrested in June this year facing fraud charges.
In his ruling, Nduna said Nguwaya had been remanded 10 times with the state failing to give him a trial date.
Nguwaya, President Mnangagwa and Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube pictured some time ago
“The accused has been remanded 10 times without trial and today (Tuesday) the state has sought another postponement.
“The state alleged that the case involved extra territorial investigations and as for now, nothing has been done. The state had cited the Covid-19 pandemic as a restriction for them to conduct extra territorial investigations,’’ said Nduna.
He further said on the initial remand, the State had submitted that it would have completed its investigations by 28 July.
“It seems the State has no idea why it needs further remand for,” Nduna said before ordering the State to proceed by way of summons.
Former health minister Obadiah Moyo was also arrested in connection with the scandal with the case still pending.
The post Drax Scandal: Mnangagwa Connection Delish Nguwaya Off The Hook appeared first on NewZimbabwe.com.
THE state funeral of former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings will be held on 23 December; the funeral planning team has announced.
The ceremony will be held at Independence Square in the capital, Accra.
“The family is working in conjunction with government on the finer details of the funeral ceremony and will communicate the arrangements in due course,” a statement from the head of the funeral planning committee James Victor Gbeho said.
The former president died on 12 November 0n 12 November at the age of 73, in hospital in the capital after a short illness.
He served as the head of state and president of the West African country between 1981 and 2001.
The post Former Ghana President Jerry Rawlings Funeral Set For 23 December appeared first on NewZimbabwe.com.
By Mary Taruvinga
CHIEF magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi has dismissed an application by former cabinet minister Prisca Mupfumira who was seeking his recusal in her trial.
Mutevedzi ruled the application lacked merit adding he cannot recuse himself because Mupfumira’s complaints had nothing to do with his conduct.
The former minister had applied for Mutevedzi to recuse himself because he had presided over her initial remand and also turned down her several bail applications.
In his ruling Mutevedzi said Mupfumira should not always assume that rulings on her bail applications; “should always be in her favour” adding that she can still make as many applications as she wanted.
Mupfumira had also complained that during trial Mutevedzi could be biased because he had already declared there was reasonable suspicion that the former public service and tourism minister committed the offences she is accused of.
She said this is supported by the fact he ordered for the production of a certificate classifying her offences as serious.
However, Mutevedzi said the finding was a legal requirement and the stage of remand processes could not be avoided.
“This court, therefore, dismisses the application for lack of merit and orders that the trial starts forthwith,” he ruled.
Mupfumira is facing criminal abuse of office charges.
She is jointly charged with Ngoni Masoka, a former public service ministry secretary.
They are being charged with two counts of criminal abuse of office and another count of concealling a transaction from their principal.
The case involves US$90 000 they allegedly got from National Social Security Authority (NSSA), which they used to purchase a Toyota Land Cruiser sports utility vehicle instead of a Mercedes Benz.
They also allegedly ordered the purchase of air tickets worth US$10 215 to attend Mupfumira’s daughter wedding in Cape Town, South Africa in December 2015 before paying R113 559 for accommodation without the government’s approval.
They both deny the charges.
The post Ex-Minister Mupfumira’s Trial Kicks Off, Application For Magistrate’s Recusal Dismissed appeared first on NewZimbabwe.com.
SOMALIA expelled Kenya’s ambassador and recalled its own envoy from Nairobi after accusing its neighbour of interfering in the electoral process in Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five semi-autonomous states.
Relations between the countries have been tense over the ownership of potential oil and gas deposits, some of which lie off the coast of Jubbaland.
Somalia did not go into further details on the alleged interference, while Kenya denied any wrongdoing and dismissed what it called “unsubstantiated allegations”.
“As a result of the Kenyan government’s political interferences in the internal affairs of Somalia, the regional President of Jubbaland has reneged on the election agreement that was reached on the 17th September 2020 in Mogadishu,” Somalia’s foreign ministry said late on Sunday.
The Somali statement published on Facebook did not give any details on the “election agreement” or how it thought it had been broken in Jubbaland – a southern state which borders Kenya and includes the major Somali port of Kismayo.
Kenya’s foreign ministry said on Monday it had not received any official communication from Somalia about the expulsion of its ambassador.
It is incumbent upon “all political actors in Somalia to stay true to their political commitments, avoid distracting actions, but rather engage constructively to ensure timely implementation of the elections calendar,” it added.
In February last year, Kenya recalled its ambassador after Mogadishu decided to auction oil and gas exploration blocks at the centre of their maritime rights dispute. The two countries restored ties in November last year.
Kenya has backed the Somali government in other areas and contributes troops to an African Union-led force there fighting al Qaeda-linked militants.
Early on Monday, militants attacked an army base in central Somalia and killed five soldiers, Major Nur Mohamud of the Somali army said.
The post Somalia Expels Kenyan Ambassador Over ‘Interference’ In Elections appeared first on NewZimbabwe.com.
WHILE the South Africa National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed that an extradition request has been submitted to the Malawian government through diplomatic channels, the Malawian government says it has not received any formal communication from SA.
The NPA’s Sipho Ngwema said the request was sent last week. “We await further developments,” he said.
However, the Malawian government, through minister of information Gospel Kazako, on Tuesday said the office of the attorney-general of Malawi has not received any formal documentation from SA authorities.
“What is expected to happen is that the NPA in SA must send the application of the relevant documents to the minister of justice. Your minister of justice must send the documents to the minister of foreign affairs in SA.
“That minister must send the documents to the SA high commission in Malawi. Then the documents must be taken to the minister of foreign affairs in Malawi. Our foreign affairs then sends it to the ministry of justice, where the attorney-general, who is the head of state lawyers, will chart a way forward,” explained Kazako.
He said while both the SA and Malawian state lawyers were communicating about the matter, the formal process still needed to be followed.
Meanwhile, the Malawian pastor and businessman, born Chipiliro Gama, and his wife Mary, who fled SA last month, are appearing at the Lilongwe high court on Tuesday.
Kazako said the fugitive couple — whose escape coincided with Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s diplomatic visit to SA — were challenging the constitutionality of their arrest in Malawi.
“Previously, the lower court ruled that the Bushiris’ arrest was unlawful and they were released on bail. Today the state lawyers are appealing that decision.”
In SA, the exact details of how 37-year-old Bushiri, also known as “Major 1”, who founded and leads the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church, left the country remains the subject of a police investigation.
Bushiri was set to stand trial in a case of alleged fraud and money laundering involving more than R100m.
His luxury mansion in Centurion was seized and the couple forfeited combined bail of R400,000 for contravening bail conditions set by the Pretoria Central magistrate’s court.
By Niculin Jager
THIS year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
Forty years ago, in a display of political vision, Switzerland recognised the independence of Zimbabwe ahead of the declaration in April 1980 and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries started on day one of independence followed by the opening of a diplomatic representation.
In the last four decades, Switzerland and Zimbabwe have built strong relations, which intensified in recent years. High-level exchanges have continuously increased – starting with HE President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s first visit to Europe, which he made to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2018; meeting with then Swiss President Alain Berset, followed by the January 2019 visit of the Swiss Foreign Affairs minister, Ignazio Cassis, to Harare.
The sapling of the Swiss-Zimbabwe relations planted 40 years ago has blossomed into a lofty tree.
Without doubt, the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries is an important and symbolic occasion, which we celebrate this year by planting trees for the generations to come.
The planting of trees to mark our growing relations also coincides with the National Tree Planting Day, which has been organised every first Saturday of December for the past 40 years by the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe.
This year’s tree planting event not only honours the long-standing friendship between our two countries, but also expresses our commitment to protecting the environment for posterity.
Our two countries are undeniably highly vulnerable to climate change.
For example, an average worldwide increase of 2°C means an even higher increase in temperatures for both countries of up to 4°C.
Both countries share the same fate when it comes to climate change such as flooding, heat-waves and droughts.
This is why political commitment and practical action is urgently needed to safeguard the environment and people’s health by – among other initiatives – planting as many trees as possible.
We thus have to collaborate more in our shared responsibility in tackling climate change at national and global levels.
Our bilateral relations with Zimbabwe for the past four decades have always remained positive and cooperative based on mutual respect and long-term interests.
In this regard, we have been working closely with the government of Zimbabwe and other stakeholders to promote peace and democracy and consensus-building, which are hinged on the Swiss principle of direct democracy.
Our support in strengthening Zimbabwe’s institutions such as the Chapter 12 commissions or our engagement towards enabling dialogue initiatives involving the authorities and all political, social and economic actors — in true Swiss neutral style — aims to provide a non-intrusive yet impactful contribution as Zimbabwe furthers its democratic consolidation process.
Switzerland continues to be a dependable partner to Zimbabwe’s democratisation and development agenda and we continue to support initiatives such as devolution that aims to bring governance closer to the people and enhance their participation in political processes.
Checks and balances contribute to better and more efficient governance.
We have also been working closely with partners in supporting Zimbabwe’s efforts to align its laws to the Constitution; national healing and reconciliation processes; strengthening the electoral framework; developing capacity in negotiation and mediation skills; and enabling inclusive dialogue platforms among different stakeholders.
We look forward to seeing Zimbabwe continue to build effective institutions that are trusted by its citizens.
Despite the various economic challenges in the past years, Swiss companies have continued to operate and shine in various strategic areas in Zimbabwe.
Switzerland remains one of the main European investors with a strong economic footprint and commitment in the food, shoe, tourism, construction, energy, pharmaceutical, natural resources and agriculture sectors.
Some of the Swiss companies have been part of the Zimbabwean landscape for such a long time, creating jobs and supporting the economy, to the extent that some people do not even know they are Swiss.
My country is looking forward to further deepening our relations while negotiating new bilateral agreements and implementing existing ones.
This is good not only for Zimbabwe’s path of reform and integration into the world economy, but also for economic benefits for both our countries and people, facilitating future investments.
As we further cement our relationship, we should be aware that trees make substantial contributions to livelihoods, jobs and the economies of both Zimbabwe and Switzerland.
It is estimated that in Zimbabwe, trees account for three percent of the country’s wealth. Forests and trees supply sources of fuel (wood), prevent land degradation, preserve soil fertility and protect soil and watersheds.
They also provide habitats for wildlife and biodiversity.
Yet, trees are disappearing at an alarming rate.
Over the last 40 years, more than half of the forests globally have vanished, and those remaining are sometimes over-exploited.
The impact of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts has been magnified by the reduction of forest coverage.
My government continues to support a wide range of interventions through our development cooperation programme implemented by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to improve the resilience and food security of Zimbabweans through climate-smart agriculture techniques.
I believe that involving communities and building ownership of forest and other natural resources constitutes a firm foundation for sustainable development.
It is for this reason that this year we will partner with primary schools to not only plant trees, but also to engage them as the custodians of the trees we plant today.
Catching them young is a vital step as many people develop a passion for trees at a young age.
Already, our Embassy in Harare has started going green, following the installation of a solar system that powers all our electrical needs.
Starting this year, we are hoping to create partnerships to support the greening of the capital Harare and other cities across the country, raising awareness of the dangers of climate change and deforestation.
There is an African proverb which says, “Anyone who plants a tree knowing that he will never sit in its shade has at least begun to grasp the meaning of life.”
A forest is a mini version of the world, with its inhabitants living respectfully next to each other. Hopefully, we can make the world like a forest again, as that is our responsibility towards the future generations.
Trees continue to be a symbol of dignity. It is not by chance that trees die standing. And so let us, with this symbolic gesture of celebrating our friendship, remind ourselves that we need to do everything we can, not only for a healthy planet, but also for human dignity to be safeguarded in a healthy planet.
Looking beyond the 40 years, Switzerland will continue to work closely with Zimbabwe to jointly advance our relationship featuring coordination, progressive cooperation and stability, so as to bring more benefits to our two peoples and beyond.
In this regard, I am happy to announce that from 2021 Zimbabwe is going to be a new priority country for Switzerland’s cooperation and development strategy – resulting in further partnerships between our two countries.
Niculin Jäger is Switzerland’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia.