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Madzibaba Wimbo dies at 96

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Madzibaba Wimbo

JOHANE Masowe eChishanu Vadzidzi VaJesu Church founder Aaron Mhukuta Gomo, popularly known as Madzibaba Wimbo, died yesterday morning at Arundel Hospital in Harare after succumbing to pneumonia. He was 96.

Madzibaba Wimbo, also known as Mudzidzi Majinesta, was born on December 25, 1922.

Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha, Provincial Administrator Mr Cosmos Chiringa and Zanu-PF candidate for Shamva South Cde Oscar Gorerino visited the Centre Zimbabwe Africa headquarters and the family homestead in Goora area of Madziwa to pay their condolences yesterday.

Adv Dinha said the province and country had lost a hero who offered spiritual guidance during the liberation struggle.

“I have a history dating back to the 1990s with the late Madzibaba Wimbo when I offered the church legal assistance,” said Adv Dinha.

“We have lost a strong man of God who supported the Government and Zanu-PF. African independent churches, especially Madzibaba Wimbo, fought colonialism and the Smith regime.

They stood for black emancipation. During the liberation struggle he prophesied that former president Robert Mugabe would rule this country,” said Adv Dinha.

“He had another prophecy that President Emmerson Mnangagwa would rule this country. Madzibaba Wimbo worshipped the traditional way of climbing mountains, but he was not resistant to change leading to the development of this area,” he said.

“He wanted to build a school and a state-of-the-art school was built here. He also wanted to build a clinic and I hope you will fulfil his wishes.

Some apostolic sects are following in his footsteps in terms of development. We leave all the funeral processes to the party to decide what is fitting for the late Madzibaba Wimbo.”

Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde Kazembe Kazembe also paid his condolences and described Madzibaba Wimbo’s death as a loss to the province.

“We have lost an inspirational leader in the person of Madzibaba Wimbo,” he said.

Family spokesman Mr Tavengwa Chihuri said he was the only family member present at the church as there were conflicts between the church and the family.

“He was ill for a long time. I know there is a lot of talking in the family but I accept that death is our way.

I am the only family member here. The past is behind us, now we must bury him in peace,” said Mr Chihuri.

A church member, Mr Shepherd Chingwena, said they had informed the family about the death of Madzibaba Wimbo and asked them to join them in mourning.
Madzibaba Wimbo’s son, Professor Gomo, said they heard of the death from the grapevine.

“For three years we were not allowed to see our father. I hope we will be allowed to view his body.

I live 10 minutes away from the hospital where he died but I was not informed. I do not know how we will co-operate with such people. We appeal to Government to assist us,” he said.

Madzibaba Wimbo joined the apostolic sect in 1935 and became a popular prophet in 1945.

In 1987, Madzibaba Wimbo took over from Mudyiwa Dzangare, known as Emmanuel “Jesus from Chiweshe”.

In 2012, he appointed Ishmael Mugodi as his successor, deputised by Chingwena, Zexpa Macheche and Edson Mukohwa.

He is survived by two wives, 18 children and several grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements will be advised in due course.

The Herald

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BUSINESS

Zimbabwe agrees to pay $3.5 billion compensation to white farmers

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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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NEWS

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

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Chinamasa

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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HEALTH

Perence Shiri, Zimbabwe Agriculture Minister Dies

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Perrence-Shiri-Dead

Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister Perence Shiri, a retired general who helped plot the ouster of Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup, has died, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday.

Perence Shiri, who commanded the air force for 25 years until he joined the government in 2017, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday, two government sources said. He died in the early hours of Wednesday.

“Shiri was a true patriot, who devoted his life to the liberation, independence and service of his country,” Mnangagwa said in a statement. He did not say how Shiri died.

But domestic media said Shiri, 65, succumbed to complications from the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, which has infected 2,817 and killed 40 in Zimbabwe.

A liberation war veteran,Perrence Shiri had a chequered past. He commanded the army’s Fifth Brigade unit that carried out the 1980s massacres of thousands of civilians in western Zimbabwe as the government sought to quell an insurgency.

The army massacres, known as ‘Gukurahundi’, a Shona term meaning the ‘early rain that washes away the chaff’, remain a sore point for the people of the Matabeleland region, many of whom demand justice and reparations.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change accused Perence Shiri of being among the security chiefs who organised violence against its members after Mugabe lost the first round of the presidential vote in 2008.Reuters

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