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Peter Chingoka dies

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Peter Chingoka

THE International Cricket Council described yesterday as a sad day for the game around the world after former Zimbabwe Cricket chairman, Peter Chingoka, died in Harare.

He was 65 and is survived by wife Shirley, two children Farai and Dambudzo, and one grandchild.

Mourners are gathered at 36 Sandringham Drive Alexandria Park.

“The International Cricket Council (ICC) was today saddened to learn of the death of Peter Chingoka,” the ICC said in a statement.

“Chingoka had a long career as a cricket administrator, including as the president of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (as Zimbabwe Cricket was called then) from 1992 to 2014, where he assumed the title of chairman in 2001 and significantly contributed to the game’s development across Africa.

“He also was a member of the ICC Board during that time.”

ICC Chief executive, Manu Sawhney, said the global cricket family was mourning.

“The death of Mr Chingoka is sad news for the cricket world. He was widely acknowledged as an important leader in cricket in Zimbabwe and was a respected member of the ICC Board.

“It was with great sadness that we learnt of his death. On behalf of the ICC, I would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”

Chingoka died yesterday morning at the Avenues Clinic.

According to a family spokesperson, Patrick Chingoka, his younger brother, the late administrator was in and out of the hospital and suffered from a combination of hypertension and kidney problems.

ZC chairman, Tavengwa Mukuhlani, described him as a humble and dedicated person

“It’s sad for cricket. It’s a sad day for sport. He served over 20 years on the ZC board and served in the cricket council. He was there when we got our Test cricket status. I served under him as vice-chairman.

“We will greatly miss Peter. He was very humble and approachable. He weathered the storm for cricket locally and internationally.

“He will be missed by many,” said Mukuhlani.

The Sport and Recreation Committee also paid tribute to Chingoka.

“The Sports and Recreation Commission has received with a deep sense of sorrow and sadness the news of the passing on of Peter Chingoka a revered and long-serving cricket administrator.

“Peter’s commitment to sport in general and cricket, in particular, was unquestionable as evidenced by his immeasurable and invaluable contribution to the growth and development of cricket.

“Though Peter had retired from the active administration of Cricket, he still remained a vital cog and a repository of cricket knowledge in the country which could be called upon to give wise counsel at any time.

“The void that Peter has left will undoubtedly be very difficult to fill.

“On behalf of the Sports and Recreation Commission, we will like to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and the cricket fraternity for the sad loss of a beloved one and a colleague.’’

His death comes a year after his brother Paul, a former Tennis Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president, also passed away.

Chingoka was one of the first black Zimbabweans to establish themselves in cricket where he started as a player and then an administrator.

A local cricket fan, Columbus Makumbe, also offered his condolences.

“With deep sorrow, I learnt about the death of one of the best cricket administrators in this country.

“As a devout fan of the Chevrons, I will remember Peter Chingoka as a highly experienced administrator, outstanding personality endowed with unique human properties,’’ Makumbe said.

Chingoka was made honorary life president of ZC just three months after he stepped down as chairman.

During his playing days, he was a seamer and quite a handy lower-order batsman and played in the Gillette Cup knockout competition in 1975-76 and 1976-77.

One of his most notable scalps was South African legend, Barry Richards.

“Peter Chingoka was the first black Zimbabwean to make his name in cricket,’’ the authoritative Cricinfo said.

“A seam bowler and useful lower-order batsman, his greatest cricketing achievement was his appointment as captain of the South African African XI that played in the Gillette Cup knockout competition in 1975-76 and 1976-77.

“He was able to play multiracial club cricket for Universals, but was not a major figure and pursued cricket administration.

“He was appointed vice-president of the ZCU in 1990 and took over as president at the resignation of David Ellman-Brown in 1992, shortly after Zimbabwe gained Test status.’’The Chronicle

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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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