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7 Detained After Rights Meeting

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FARIRAI GUMBONZVANDA

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the local group representing the activists, said that state security agents arrested all seven between May 20 and 27, 2019, at the Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare, the capital, on their return from a workshop in the Maldives.

The workshop, hosted by the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies, focused on peaceful resistance. The charge sheets against the activists specified the meeting and its training in civil disobedience.

“Zimbabwe’s government should stop criminalizing peaceful activism,” said Dewa Mavhinga, southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Participating in a training workshop on nonviolent action is not subverting the government.”

Those arrested on May 20 were: George Makoni of the Centre for Community Development Trust; Nyasha Frank Mpahlo of Transparency International Zimbabwe; Tatenda Mombeyarara of the Citizens Manifesto; and Gamuchirai Mukura of Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development Trust.

The following day the authorities arrested Farirai Gumbonzvanda, a girls’ rights activist and community volunteer with the Rozaria Memorial Trust. On May 27, they arrested Stabile Dewa of Women’s Academy for Leadership and Political Excellence and Rita Nyampinga of the Female Prisoners Support Trust.

All seven activists have been charged with subversion. They are being held at the Chikurubi Maximum Prison in Harare pending their application for bail.

Under Section 22 of Zimbabwe’s Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, “subversion of a constitutional government” is a treason charge. It carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Since the beginning of 2019, the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, which has promoted a “new dispensation” that respects basic rights, has arrested and prosecuted several peaceful activists on baseless charges.

Activists facing charges of subverting the Mnangagwa government and awaiting trial include Pastor Evan Mawarire of the #ThisFlag movement, and Peter Mutasa and Japhet Moyo, leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, all of whom were arrested in January.

On February 25, Rashid Mahiya, the chairperson of the group Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, was arrested and charged with subverting the government. Mahiya was granted bail on March 7 and is awaiting trial.

Obert Masaraure, the national president of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, told Human Rights Watch that armed men abducted him at his home in Harare on January 18 and severely beat him with leather whips.

They later handed him over to the Harare Central Police Station, where he was charged with subversion and inciting public violence.

“Zimbabwe authorities should immediately end the arbitrary arrests and prosecutions of activists who are exercising their basic rights and liberties,” Mavhinga said. “Repressing peaceful activists severely undermines Zimbabwe’s international reengagement efforts.” HRW

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Marshall Munetsi leaves Orlando Pirates for Stade Reims

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Marshall-Munetsi

Zimbabwe Warrior Marshall Munetsi reveals joining French club Reims was an easy choice and adds he is excited about the challenge of playing in Europe.

The 22-year-old signed a four-year deal with the Ligue 1 side from South African giants Orlando Pirates after three years with the Buccaneers.

Despite attracting interest from several European clubs, the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations-bound star said he was impressed by the ambitions and facilities at Reims.

“I was with the national team when I received a call that several European clubs were interested, but as soon as I heard about the ambitions of Reims and visited the facilities I didn’t hesitate to join,” Marshall Munetsi told the club official website.

“It was an easy choice. My family has always encouraged me a lot. I had to get away from them to pursue my football dream.

“I fell in love with football at an early age and coming to Europe was a lifelong dream.

“I’ve managed to do it now so it’s my greatest achievement, but it’s up to me to make sure that I deliver now.”

Marshall Munetsi started his career at local side Blue Rangers before moving to South Africa’s Cape Town FC in July 2015.

After a season he caught the eyes of Orlando Pirates where he signed a five-year deal and was swiftly loaned to Baroka FC.

Two impressive loan seasons at Baroka was rewarded with a first-team spot on his return to Pirates where he made 37 appearances for the club; helping the side reach the final of the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup as well as a second place finish in the South African Premiership.

With seven appearances for the Warriors of Zimbabwe, Munetsi has switched focus to establishing himself in France and at the tournament in Egypt.

“Today, I am just a youngster who wants to help the team. I grew up watching clubs like Barcelona and Ajax,” he added.

“People pay to enjoy unrivalled emotions at the stadium and as professionals, we must give it to them.

“I feel good about the Afcon, it’s a competition that I always dreamed of playing.

“As a country, I think we can prove that we are capable of beautiful things against big teams at the tournament in Egypt.”BBC

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Apostle Talent Chiwenga in accident

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Apostle Talent Chiwenga accident

Controversial pastor Apostle Talent Chiwenga was involved in an accident which has allegedly claimed the life of his wife near Chatsworth turnoff at the 80 km peg along the Harare-Masvingo highway this afternoon.

Apostle Talent Chiwenga who is a cousin to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga had sought an audience with President Emmerson Mnangagwa claiming that he is being tailed and has received death threats from alleged state security agents.

This comes barely a year after his cousin, the VP, warned him against attacking the national leadership using God’s name vowing this was coming to an end. The Mirror has confirmed that Apostle Talent Chiwenga is admitted at Makurira memorial Clinic in Masvingo.

In a letter written on May 27, 2019, Apostle Talent Chiwenga said:
Sir, I am being followed by unregistered vehicles believed to be from the Central Intelligence Organisation or from the Military Intelligence Department of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, I am receiving death threats almost on a daily basis and this is because I preach the true gospel of Christ that condemns sin and calls all men to repentance, for God is not a respecter of persons.

It is my honest and humble opinion Sir, that the people who are giving orders to military personnel or State security agents to kill me are your employees or your subordinates. I don’t see myself as security or political threat to anyone in this country, because I am a preacher of the gospel whose tools are the Bible and the microphone.

I am therefore asking to see you so that I may among other things surrender myself to you and your administration so that if I do not get an opportunity to answer to issues I am being stalked and threatened for, at least I will save the government’s taxpayers’ money which is being used to stalk me and harass me, if I have to die for the gospel I preach (which I am ready to die for), at least I will avail myself.

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Vimbai Tsvangirai Java dies

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Vimbai Tsvangirai Java

Vimbai Tsvangirai Java, the daughter of late Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) founder Morgan Tsvangirai, died on Monday afternoon.

Vimbai Tsvangirai, 36, who was recently elected the MDC Alliance women’s assembly secretary-general, survived a horror crash that claimed two lives outside Kwekwe, 200km south of Harare in mid-May when they were travelling to Bulawayo.

Her death, according to sources, is related to injuries she suffered in the accident. In the crash, her campaign manager and organising secretary for her Glen View South constituency, Paul Rukanda, and Tafadzwa Mundwa, her late mother Susan’s cousin, died on the spot.

Confirming the news on its official @mdczimbabwe Twitter account, the MDC said: “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sad passing on of Glen View South MP and Women’s Assembly secretary Hon Vimbai Tsvangirai Java.”

Party spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the family would issue a statement in due course.

Last week, family spokesperson Manase Tsvangirai said his niece was on the road to recovery.

“The accident was horrific and she has been recovering well. The impact was intense and as a result, the monitoring has to continue for longer. What we can tell people is that the worst is over and she is out of danger,” he said.

Vimbai was the only Tsvangirai child to take up politics after her father. Her mother, Susan, died from in car accident which her father survived on March 6 2009, before her husband, Morgan, was to become prime minister in an inclusive government with Robert Mugabe.

Vimbai is survived by her cleric husband Batsiranai Java of the Tabernacle of Grace Church. She was educated at Mabelreign Girls’ High, a private school in Harare, and New Castle University in Australia, where she attained a bachelor’s degree in development studies, and urban and regional planning in 2008.

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