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George Charamba deplores NewsDay Zimbabwe posturing

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NewsDay Zimbabwe

GOVERNMENT has described as “regrettable” a decision by NewsDay Zimbabwe to push an MDC Alliance agenda to attack the person of President Mnangagwa after the paper on Wednesday used a routine travel warning by the United States (US) to cast doubt on the sustainability of the peaceful environment in the country.

On Wednesday, the privately-owned newspaper led with a story headlined; “Polls: US issues travel alert”. It followed up yesterday with a leader screaming; “The US travel warnings an indictment on Mnangagwa”, suggesting the situation was volatile in the country.

In a statement to The Herald yesterday, Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba said: “Today’s NewsDay leader, ‘US Travel Warnings an Indictment on Mnangagwa’ is as illogical as it is unfair.

By NewsDay Zimbabwe’s own admission, the last such travel warning by the US Government was issued in November 2017 before Cde Mnangagwa’s Presidency.

“Significantly, fears projected by that travel warning were confounded by the remarkably peaceful outturn of Operation Restore Legacy, and of course by the largely peaceful environment Zimbabwe has continued to enjoy since, even after the recent heinous, but isolated terrorist attack at White City Stadium in Bulawayo, which the world has roundly and unreservedly condemned.

In spite of all this, still, NewsDay Zimbabwe finds President Mnangagwa blameworthy.”

Mr Charamba said the peace prevailing in the country was not accidental.

“Needless to say, the peace which prevails in our country is not accidental or fortuitous but has been deliberately cultivated in our people who shun violence and firmly confirms Zimbabwe as a stable country where law and order are observed and enforced respectively, yet strictly within the confines of democratic governance.

“Against such an enviable record, the latest travel advisory by the US Government which NewsDay Zimbabwe tries to make much of is, quite frankly, nothing to write home about, beyond being a standard, routine precaution which any foreign government issues ahead of elections in any country.”

Mr Charamba said the NewsDay report was regrettable.

“What is regrettable is that NewsDay, which surely knows better, uses this routine communication by a foreign Government to both cast doubt on the durable peace obtaining in the country and to attack President Mnangagwa personally by pooh-poohing his government’s highly successful engagement and re-engagement efforts,” he said.

“To date, this vigorous, multi-pronged engagement and re-engagement programme has successfully ended Zimbabwe’s isolation which had gone on for nearly two decades.

Much more and laudable, it has attracted more than US$16 billion in investments, a significant part of which is beginning to translate into concrete projects set to create thousands of jobs, while laying a strong foundation for sustained economic recovery and growth.”

Mr Charamba noted that foreign direct investment continued to surge courtesy of efforts by the new administration under President Mnangagwa.

“Zimbabwe’s ratings as a safe destination for foreign direct investments continue to soar on the back of this highly successful engagement and re-engagement effort launched barely seven months ago,” he said. “By any count, this is a remarkable turnaround.

“As NewsDay Zimbabwe will readily testify, key among the many Western companies which have shown interest in investing in Zimbabwe are Americans conglomerates led by General Electric, a good many of which are set to invest in many sectors of the economy, most notably in infrastructure, energy and health.

“Before long, the President will commission another high-value mining project which is set to create thousands of much-needed jobs. This level of interest and FDI activity in the country is unprecedented since our independence in 1980.”

Mr Charamba said the growing interest in the country was evident for all to see.

“Here at home, the business mood is palpably upbeat in spite of the foreign exchange challenges which, in any case, have arisen from expanded industrial activity in the country,” he said.

“Needless to say, all this speaks of growing interest and confidence in the country and its leadership, largely enabled by far-reaching policy steps taken under the new dispensation, and which continue to be reviewed as appropriate.”

Mr Charamba said abuse of the US travel advisory by the NewsDay Zimbabwe to further opposition interests was surprising.

“Even more surprising is NewsDay’s abuse of the US travel advisory to push the agenda of an opposition party whose panicky demands on the constitutionally independent electoral body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), is both unlawful and absurd, to say the least,” he said.

“In terms of the Constitution, ZEC is required to take independent decisions for as long as they are consistent with the law, and of course to operate without undue influence from any quarter.

In a poignant, hard-to-miss irony, the idea of independent commissions, of which ZEC is a part, came from the same opposition which now seeks to undermine and/or overrun them.

“Not only that, under our Parliamentary system, the opposition directly participated in processes of staffing these independent commissions whose operations they now daily challenge and besiege.

In the case of ZEC, the opposition figure who cries the loudest today – surprisingly with undisguised sympathies from NewsDay – actually played a leading role as a co-chair of a subcommittee of Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders which made recommendations on would-be ZEC commissioners he now attacks.

“All this does not seem to matter to the opposition and, quite surprisingly, to NewsDay. For NewsDay, the President’s ‘crime’, alongside many other quiet opposition leaders and parties, is that he has not joined this irrational shrill against ZEC! Nothing could be more unlawful and politically absurd.”

Mr Charamba said as Head of State and Government, President Mnangagwa reaffirmed his commitment and determination to ensure that all registered Zimbabweans do vote on July 30 and that “they do so in an environment of peace and tranquillity, to secure an electoral outcome which is free, fair and credible by national and international standards”.

He said ZEC should be allowed to carry out its mandate without interference from anyone.

“To that end, ZEC should and will be allowed, and has been capacitated, to discharge its constitutional responsibilities without fear or favour,” said Mr Charamba. “Equally, international observers will be allowed and facilitated to watch over our entire harmonised electoral processes without let or hindrance,” he said.

The Herald

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HEALTH

Zororo Makamba laid to rest

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Zororo Makamba

The government has announced that Zororo Makamba, Zimbabwe’s first coronavirus casualty, has been buried, a day after his death at Harare’s Wilkins Hospital.

Information ministry permanent secretary, Nick Mangwana announced that Zororo, 30, was buried Tuesday.

“All protocols in handling departed loved ones who pass on from infectious conditions were followed,” he tweeted.

Zororo’s death has exposed the Zimbabwe government’s ill-preparedness in handling the coronavirus, with the family narrating how they had been frustrated each time they sought to have the media personality treated.

The family narrated how they had been forced to look for their own ventilator and that when they found it, Wilkins Hospital, which is the main referral centre for the coronavirus, said they did not have power sockets in the media personality’s room.

Efforts to get him to another centre were also frustrated.

Zororo Makamba, famed for his explainer video series, State of the Nation with Zororo, was the son of the politician and former broadcaster, James Makamba.

Zororo Makamba reportedly travelled to New York City in the United States of America and upon his return, he had cold-like symptoms.

At the time of his return, it was suspected that Zororo Makamba had a cold since he had travelled to the US in the middle of winter.

The government has announced a number of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has so far killed 17 250 globally and infected 396 200.

But so far, the Zimbabwe government has fallen short of instituting a lockdown.NewsDay

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NEWS

Pupurai Togarepi, Lewis Matutu and Godfrey Tsenengamu booted out

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Lewis Matutu

The Zanu PF Politburo yesterday removed secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Pupurai Togarepi from the post and suspended his deputy Cde Lewis Matutu and secretary for the Commissariat Cde Godfrey Tsenengamu for a year for indiscipline.

Cde Togarepi will, however, remain a Central Committee member, while Cdes Matutu and Tsenengamu will revert to being ordinary card-carrying members.

Cdes Matutu and Tsenengamu will be required to undergo rigorous training at the Chitepo School of Ideology for three months.

The Youth League secretary for Administration Cde Tendai Chirau becomes the wing’s acting deputy secretary.

Acting secretary for Information and Publicity Cde Patrick Chinamasa said the Politburo unanimously decided that indiscipline within the party should not be tolerated.

He said: “Cde Togarepi, who was serving as the secretary for Youth League at the pleasure of the First Secretary of the party, President E.D. Mnangagwa, will with immediate effect, cease to be the secretary of the Youth League.

“As such, he is no longer a member of the Politburo, but he retains his position as Central Committee member, as you all know, he serves in the Politburo at the pleasure of the President of our party and in this case, Cde Togarepi has been relieved from this position.

“Cde Matutu and Cde Tsenengamu have been immediately removed from their positions as deputy secretary for Youth League and Political Commissar, respectively, and this will be for a period of 12 months.

“This means they will be ordinary card-carrying members of the party and after 12 months, they will be eligible to stand in any elections to any position within the party.”

Cde Patrick Chinamasa told journalists after the 336th Ordinary Session of the Politburo yesterday, the first meeting in 2020, that the Politburo discussed at length issues around a Press conference held by Cdes Matutu and Tsenengamu, purportedly in their personal capacities.

During the briefing, the pair accused three prominent businessmen of corruption but did not give incontrovertible evidence implicating the trio.

“The Politburo took note of this irregular modus operandi which is alien to the party’s way of doing its business,” said Cde Chinamasa.

“It is also important to highlight that previously it happened and the Politburo deliberated and specifically gave a directive that the youth if they have any problems which are of significance to them, they should raise them in a proper forum.”

Cde Chinamasa said Zanu PF did not tolerate corruption in whatever form, by whomsoever.

He said anyone with information implicating anyone in corruption should approach the police so that the law takes its course.

“It is important, of course, to say and emphasise that the party does not condone corruption and as you are well aware, that it has set up structures both within the party and at Government level of which these can be approached,” said Cde Chinamasa.

“We basically invite and encourage our general membership that if they are witnesses and have evidence of any corruption against whomsoever, to raise these issues with the relevant authorities, in this case, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and where they think it’s pertaining to senior party members, they should bring them to the party.

“Unfortunately, there has not been any evidence that has been brought to ZACC pertaining to any previous allegations and I am sure that even now, we will probably find out that the claims or allegations are unsubstantiated.

“So, in light of these developments, we felt that the departure from the violation of the directive the Politburo called for, was an act of indiscipline and that it called for severe punishment.”
The Herald

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BUSINESS

Two killed, 20 feared dead in Globe and Phoenix Mine in Kwekwe collapse

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Globe and Phoenix Mine

Two miners died and two others were injured, while more than 20 others are feared trapped underground after a tunnel at Globe and Phoenix Mine in Kwekwe collapsed yesterday.

By the time of going to print, the actual number of trapped illegal miners was not clear, but indications were that about 25 miners were underground at the time of disaster.

Chief Government Mining Engineer Michael Munodawafa, confirmed the accident, yesterday.

He said rescue efforts were ongoing.

Eng Munodafawa said mining inspectors were still trying to gain entry into the collapsed shaft through other channels.

“We can confirm that two artisanal miners died while two others were injured and taken to hospital, after a mine shaft they were working under collapsed,” he said.

“We are still to get more causalities but there is a possibility that those who are said to be missing could have found their way out through other entrances and exit points.

“We are not ruling out the fact that there could be scores others missing, but they could as well have managed to escape; we will give a final update once the operation is over.”

Various groups operating at the mine were trying to account for each other with unconfirmed reports saying at least 20 were still unaccounted for.

It also emerged yesterday that Globe and Phoenix Mine ceased operations in 2007 following an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which showed the shafts, most of which were right underneath Kwekwe central business district (CBD) were posing danger to the city.

Kwekwe District Administrator Mr Fortune Mupungu, who is also the District Civil Protection Unit chairperson, said scores of artisanal miners were operating at the mine illegally.

Some of the artisanal miners were evicted from Gaika Mine.

“We received the sad news that several miners were trapped underground following the collapse of a shaft this morning (yesterday).

“A team which went underground to assess the situation only found two bodies,” said Mr Mupungu.

Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president Ms Henrietta Rushwaya could not be reached for comment last night as her mobile phone was unreachable.

Police only arrived around 3 pm while officials from the Mines and Mining Development Ministry arrived at 4:30 pm.

The police were assisted by some artisanal miners to retrieve the bodies from the shaft, before loading them into their van and left.

It was a tense atmosphere with some self-styled security personnel at the scene threatening to beat anyone who dared to take photos.

Some of the artisanal miners who had gathered outside the mine were ordered to leave.

“We don’t want any pictures taken from here. Those who came out of the shafts, please go home. We have stopped operations here. We only want to see relatives of those missing, everyone let’s go,” said one of the security people.

Eyewitnesses said the two miners, whose bodies were retrieved, were crushed by a boulder which fell off the collapsing shaft.

“The two were at the entrance of the shaft so there is a boulder which fell on them as the shaft collapsed, they were cut into halves but we don’t know what became of their colleagues who were inside the shaft, about 20 of them,” said an artisanal miner, Mr Mthokozisi Moyo.

Mr Moyo said the shaft where their colleagues were trapped was over 8km long.

“From outside up to the entrance of the shaft which collapsed, we need to walk for about 4km while underground, but the shaft itself is over 8km,” he said.
The Herald

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