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Shock as Zimbabwe accused of fixing last Afcon game against DR Congo

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Zimbabwe v DRC AFCON 2019

A sensational report in a Madagascan newspaper has claimed that Zimbabwe threw their final Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) pool match to allow DR Congo a path in the Last 16 of the competition‚ but there are a number of inconsistencies with a story more likely to be filed under “fake news”.

The report claims that goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze‚ who plays in the PSL for Baroka FC‚ was promised payment to allow DR Congo to score the goals they needed to earn a second-round meeting with Madagascar as one of the four best third-placed teams in the competition.

It claims knowledge from unnamed sources‚ suggesting the Confederation of African Football (CAF) are aware of the matter and would meet to discuss how to handle it.

“From the revelations of this case‚ the CAF‚ according to a reliable source‚ was seized with the matter and an emergency inquest had been opened with the DRC risking a suspension of‚ at least‚ three years from AFCON and a heavy fine‚” Zimbabwe’s Herald newspaper quoted the Malagasy report.

It further claims that the TP Mazembe owner‚ politician and businessman Moise Katumbi had been the one organizing the fix‚ though their ‘evidence’ to suggest this is flaky.

DR Congo needed a big win over Zimbabwe to stand a chance of advancing to the next stage but came into the game on the back of defeats to Uganda and hosts Egypt‚ both by 2-0 scorelines.

Zimbabwe‚ by contrast‚ had performed reasonably well in a narrow 1-0 loss to the Egyptians and a 1-1 draw with Uganda‚ where they should have won but for a horror miss from striker Knowledge Musona.

But Chipezeze had a nightmare game against the Congolese‚ being directly at fault for three of the goals‚ though it must also be said that he was left woefully exposed at times by his defence.

There are a number of red flags to the report which would call into question its authenticity‚ and perhaps suggest it is an attempt by the Madagascan media to throw their DR Congo counterparts off their game ahead of Sunday’s fixture.

The report claims that Katumbi was seen at the Zimbabwe hotel ahead of the game. But this was the same hotel that the DR Congo team was staying at and therefore his presence is easily explained.

It is claimed that an Egyptian bank red flagged a supposed payment into the bank account of Chipezeze‚ but it is unclear why a bank in that country would be involved in a transaction between DR Congo/Europe and Zimbabwe/South Africa.

Prior to the match‚, Chipezeze was never going to be involved in the game‚ but was only in the team once Edmore Sibanda was injured in the warm-up.

It is unclear then when this fix could have been negotiated.

Zifa is no stranger to match-fixing allegations after the Asiagate scandals of a decade ago‚ where it was proven beyond doubt that the national team threw matches to favour betting syndicates.TimesLive

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NEWS

Kembo Mohadi resigns amid sex scandal

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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

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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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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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