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At least 5 feared dead as a Cessna 206 crashes



Cessna 182 Skylane crashes in Zimbabwe

Four Finns on a hunting expedition died in a plane crash on Friday that also killed their pilot near Zimbabwe’s southern city of Masvingo, the Finnish consul’s wife told AFP.

“There were four Finnish citizens and their pilot in the plane, they all died,” Sally Ward told AFP.

“It was cloudy and they were trying to get above the clouds.”

The plane, which was en-route to Victoria Falls from Buffalo Range Aerodrome in Chiredzi, crashed at Chamanjirenji Hills near the Tokwane-Ngundu area close to Renco Mine.

By yesterday afternoon, police had secured the wreckage, while awaiting a Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) team to determine the cause of the crash.

CAAZ public relations and communications manager Mrs Anna Julia Hungwe confirmed the plane crash yesterday, but could not she more light.

“I can only confirm that a plane crashed near Renco Mine in Masvingo at about 7:30 am. Our inspectors have gone to do investigations at the crash scene and they’re yet to come back to me with details of what transpired.”

Masvingo Civil Protection Unit (CPU) chairman, who is also the district administrator for Masvingo Rural, Mr Roy Hove, said five identity cards and passports, one from Finland, were found in the wreckage.

“I can confirm that five people have died in a plane crash which occurred at Chamanjirenji Hills, Tokwane-Ngundu near Renco Mine in Chief Nyajena’s area in Masvingo rural.

“It was a private plane belonging to a white man in Chiredzi and the bodies were decapitated and mangled beyond recognition,” said Mr Hove.

He said when police arrived at the scene, they found body parts strewn all over and they had to join limbs to bodies to ascertain the number of passengers that were on board.

“Investigations are still in progress and more details are expected. We are still waiting for CAAZ experts to establish what exactly caused the crash. However, I want to assure the families of the deceased that their property has been secured by the police,” he said.

In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said three passengers died in the accident.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the death of three people in a crash that occurred at Chamanjirenje Hill, Chief Nyajena on November 23, 20118 at 7:40 am.

“The aircraft (a Cessna S206) crashed into Chamanjirenje Hill, killing all occupants on the spot. Investigations are in progress to identify the deceased who are believed to have been all passengers on the plane.

“ZRP is working with relevant authorities to establish the cause of the accident. More information will be released soon,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

The Herald

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Kembo Mohadi resigns amid sex scandal



Kembo Mohadi sex scandal

Zimbabwe Vice President Kembo Mohadi resigned on Monday following local media reports he had engaged in improper conduct.

Kembo Mohadi, along with Constantino Chiwenga, was a deputy to President Emmerson Mnangagwa since 2018, but without a political power base, he was not seen as a potential successor to the president.

In a rare move by a public official in Zimbabwe, Kembo Mohadi said he had taken the decision to step down “not as a matter of cowardice but as a sign of demonstrating great respect to the office of the President”.

I have been going through a soul-searching pilgrimage and realised that I need the space to deal with my problem outside the governance chair,” he said in a statement released by the Ministry of Information.

Local online media service ZimLive has in the past two weeks carried reports that Kembo Mohadi had improper sexual liaisons with married women, including one of his subordinates.

Mohadi, 70, denied the accusations last week saying this was part of a political plot against him. On Monday he continued to deny the accusations saying he would seek legal recourse.

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Zimbabwe agrees to pay $3.5 billion compensation to white farmers



Zimbabwe White Farmers

Zimbabwe agreed on Wednesday to pay $3.5 billion in compensation to Zimbabwe white farmers whose land was expropriated by the government to resettle black families, moving a step closer to resolving one the most divisive policies of the Robert Mugabe era.

But the southern African nation does not have the money and will issue long term bonds and jointly approach international donors with the farmers to raise funding, according to the compensation agreement.

Two decades ago Mugabe’s government carried out at times violent evictions of 4,500 Zimbabwe white farmers and redistributed the land to around 300,000 Black families, arguing it was redressing colonial land imbalances.

The agreement signed at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State House offices in Harare showed white farmers would be compensated for infrastructure on the farms and not the land itself, as per the national constitution.

Details of how much money each farmer, or their descendants, given the time elapsed since the farms were seized, was likely to get were not yet clear, but the government has said it would prioritise the elderly when making the settlements.

Farmers would receive 50% of the compensation after a year and the balance within five years. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and acting Agriculture Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri signed on behalf of the government, while farmers unions and a foreign consortium that undertook valuations also penned the agreement.

“As Zimbabweans, we have chosen to resolve this long-outstanding issue,” said Andrew Pascoe, head of the Commercial Farmers Union representing  Zimbabwe white farmers.

The land seizures were one of Mugabe’s signature policies that soured ties with the West. Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in 2017 and died last year, accused the West of imposing sanctions on his government as punishment.

The programme still divides public opinion in Zimbabwe as opponents see it as a partisan process that left the country struggling to feed itself. But its supporters say it has empowered landless Black people. Mnangagwa said the land reform could not be reversed but paying of compensation was key to mending ties with the West. Reuters

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Chinamasa calls U.S. ambassador ‘thug’ as anti-government protests loom




Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party on Monday called the United States ambassador a “thug” and accused him of funding the opposition ahead of this week’s planned anti-government protests that authorities say are meant to overthrow the government.

Without providing evidence, ZANU-PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa told reporters that U.S. ambassador to Harare, Brian Nichols, was involved in subversive activities to topple President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Chinamasa’s comments echo the Robert Mugabe era, where the ZANU-PF government regularly accused the United States and Britain of seeking to dislodge it from power.

“He (Nichols) continues to engage in acts of undermining this republic and if he does so, if he continues engaging in acts of mobilising and funding disturbances, coordinating violence and training insurgents, our leadership will not hesitate to give him marching orders,” Chinamasa said.
“Diplomats should not behave like thugs, and Brian Nichols is a thug.”

The U.S. embassy in Harare did not immediately respond to Chinamasa’s comments. Political tensions are rising fast in the southern African nation after activists called for demonstrations on July 31 against government corruption, which they blame for deepening the worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

Last month, the government summoned Nichols after a senior White House official said Zimbabwe was among “foreign adversaries” using the civil unrest in the United States following the death of George Floyd to interfere in U.S. affairs.

The U.S., Britain, E.U. embassies and the United Nations have all criticised Zimbabwe for the arrest of journalists and political challengers.
Relations between Zimbabwe and the West were promising when Mnangagwa replaced Mugabe after a coup in 2017, but have soured over the government’s human rights record.

Patrick Chinamasa urged party supporters to defend themselves from protesters and avoid a repeat of the deadly violence that followed post-election demonstrations in August 2018 and the January 2019 protests over a steep fuel price hike.“No, this time no. Use any means at your disposal to defend yourselves,” Chinamasa said. Organisers say this week’s protests will be peaceful. Reuters

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