politics

Tributes paid to ‘true Zimbabwean hero’ Mike Auret who died in Ireland

BULAWAYO – Former Movement for Democratic Change MP and human rights campaigner Mike Auret died in the Republic of Ireland on Good Friday, his family said. He was 83. His death sparked a stream of tributes, with many reflecting on his role as a human rights defender who as part of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace from 1978 to 1999 fought hard for the rights of ordinary Zimbabweans. “We shared trenches in the struggle in the National Constitutional Assembly in 1999 before Mike was elected as MDC MP for Harare Central in 2000,” MDC leader Nelson Chamisa wrote on Twitter. He described Auret as a “consistent gallant fighter, an indefatigable defender of human rights, a great guy and our hero.” Bulawayo lawyer and former MDC MP David Coltart, who worked with Auret in the Catholic C...

Chamisa’s MDC leadership ascent ‘flawed’, Supreme Court orders new congress

HARARE – The Supreme Court on Tuesday weighed in on the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leadership dispute, ruling that Nelson Chamisa is not the legitimate leader of the party and confirming an earlier ruling of the High Court that Thokozani Khupe is the party’s interim president. Dismissing Chamisa’s appeal against the lower court ruling, Justices Paddington Garwe, Bharat Patel and Antonia Guvava ordered Khupe to convene an extra-ordinary congress within three months to elect a new leadership. Should she fail to do so, the court said Morgan Komichi, who was restored as party chairman, should convene one within a month of the lapse of the first three months after the judgment. Justice Patel, who wrote the judgement with concurrence from Garwe and Guvava, admitted that the judgement m...

Mnangagwa driver in court for stealing Zanu PF leader’s phone

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s driver stole a mobile phone given to the Zanu PF leader as a gift during a field day held at his Kwekwe farm on March 12, a court heard on Tuesday. Chamunorwa Tapa, 45, was not asked to plead to a charge of theft during a brief appearance before Harare magistrate Joy Chikodzore. He was freed after posting bail. Court documents show that Simbarashe Mangezi, the district intelligence officer for Harare Central, is the complainant. Prosecuting, Francesca Mukumbiri said Mnangagwa received various gifts from individuals and companies that attended a guided tour of his Precabe Farm. Among those gifts was an Itel A56 mobile phone with a value of US$100. A day later, at Zimbabwe House in Harare, a reconciliation of the gifts was conducted and it was discover...

Mnangagwa flouts own public gatherings ban by addressing rally

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed a Zanu PF rally attended by thousands of partisans on Wednesday – a day after banning public gatherings to keep the new coronavirus “at bay”. Mnangagwa commissioned a pump house for the Nyakomba Irrigation Scheme before addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters at Chatindo Secondary School in Nyanga. He justified the decision by telling the crowd that the ban comes into effect from March 20. “Today is 18, tomorrow Thursday it’s 19 and Friday 20. My commandment will come into operation on March 20. You are allowed to be here, by gathering here you have not violated by commandment,” Mnangagwa said, as defence minister Oppah Muchinguri sitting next to him clapped her hands. The opposition wasted no chance to attack Mnangagwa, accusing him of “p...

Ailing Chiwenga flown to China as health problems resurface

HARARE – Vice President Constantino Chiwenga was airlifted to China on Sunday after his health deteriorated. The 63-year-old disappeared from the public eye more than two weeks ago – missing three official engagements and triggering media speculation of a major fallout with President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Chiwenga left Harare shortly after mid-day Sunday on a Dubai-registered private jet, a Boeing 737-7AK (BBJ), which is regularly used by Mnangagwa, even for domestic travel. George Charamba, the spokesman for the presidency, said: “I can confirm that the vice president left for China for his medical check-up. Obviously, we can’t say how long that will take because that will depend on what experts say. But he is out of the country.” Over the weekend, Charamba told journalists that Chiwenga ha...

Chinotimba’s ‘Buruwayo’ maize meal sparks controversy in parliament

HARARE – Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) caused controversy in the National Assembly on Tuesday after turning up with three bags of 10kg maize meal branded ‘Buruwayo Roller Meal’. The row erupted while Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi was on his feet during a debate on the Marriages Bill. Chinotimba had taken a seat on the front benches, with the maize meal at his feet. Jasmine Toffa, an MDC proportional representation MP for Bulawayo, said she was “concerned that we are now bringing mealie-meal into Parliament like it is a supermarket.” Deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi, who was in the chair, turned to Chinotimba and asked the MP: “Honourable Chinotimba, did you bring the mealie-meal?” Chinotimba first addressed what he thought was the source of Toffa’s rage – a deliberate misspellin...

Judge flays Mohadi’s bitter ex-wife, post-divorce maintenance claim fails

HARARE – The High Court has dismissed an application by Tambudzani Muleya, the ex-wife of Vice President Kembo Mohadi, for post-divorce maintenance. Justice Esther Chiremba, in a judgement delivered Monday, said the Matabeleland South Senator was employed and had no dependents. The judge also ruled that Muleya had been awarded capital assets and should use them for her upkeep. “In this case, all factors considered, it my considered view that the applicant is not entitled to be maintained by the respondent. While she is fairly advanced in age, and has greatly diminished prospects of remarriage, she was awarded capital assets upon divorcing with the respondent,” the judge said. “She got three pieces of real estate, two of which are developed, more than 500 herd of cattle, a motor vehicle in ...

Mine ‘will be a life in and out of jail’, Mary Chiwenga tells of fears

CAPE TOWN – Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s estranged wife says she fears for her life as unknown people are allegedly stalking her. Marry told a British newspaper, The Times, that her life had been turned upside down since her initial arrest in December last year on allegations of trying to kill her husband and money laundering. A divorce battle involving Chiwenga and the former model transfixed the country with murky allegations of attempted murder, voodoo and drug addiction. According to Marry, 39, however, the reality of her estrangement from Chiwenga, the former general who toppled Robert Mugabe, is even darker. In an interview, the former model described “feeling thrown to the wolves”, her terror following late-night car chases and fears that her calls are being monitored since...

Coltart bristles at ‘false and baseless’ report of missing MDC $2m

BULAWAYO – MDC treasurer general David Coltart on Saturday dismissed as “false and baseless” a newspaper report claiming $2 million is missing from the opposition party’s bank account. Coltart, voted in as treasurer general in May last year, said the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper’s headline story “appears to be yet another attempt to discredit the MDC generally and its party leader and secretary general.” The Independent, citing one Edwin Dzambara who is described as the chairman of an outfit calling itself Defending Morgan Tsvangirai Legacy (DMTL), led with a front page story claiming: ‘MDC heavies bay for Chamisa’s blood.’ Dzambara told the paper that he had approached Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi seeking details of money disbursed to the party by the government under the Political ...

Tsenengamu vows to continue corruption fight after Zanu PF expulsion

HARARE – The Zanu PF politburo meeting in Harare on Wednesday expelled from the party the demoted former youth political commissar, Godfrey Tsenengamu, after accusing him of “intransigence.” Tsenengamu on Monday refused to attend lectures at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology, which he had been ordered to do as a condition of remaining in the party following his demotion for what the party said was “indiscipline”. Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu, briefing journalists following a politburo meeting, said: “A unanimous resolution was passed today by the politburo on March 4, 2020, at the 337th ordinary session of the politburo that the former youth secretary for the commissariat Godfrey Tsenengamu be expelled with immediate effect due to his intransigence and continued di...

Judge says ‘free man’ Saviour Kasukuwere must get his title deeds

HARARE – Former local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere is a “free man” and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has no legitimate reason for holding onto the title deeds of a Vumba house he tendered as part of his bail conditions, a judge has ruled. Kasukuwere was acquitted by Justice Tawanda Chitapi on corruption charges on August 21 last year, but the NPA sought to hold onto his title deeds on the basis that the former Zanu PF political commissar had forfeited the property by skipping court which resulted in a magistrate issuing an arrest warrant. Justice David Mangota ruled on October 9 last year that the quashing of the charges meant Kasukuwere was entitled to his title deeds and bail money. The NPA wrote to the judge in November asking him to explain his reasoning. On Monday...

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