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Zambian pair poses threat to FC Platinum

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Augustine Mulenga

Former Zimbabwe youth international Butler Masango believes the Zambian duo of Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga could pose the greatest danger to FC Platinum when they kick-off their group phase campaign against Orlando Pirates at Barbourfields this Saturday.

Masango is now based in South Africa where he is heavily involved in developing young footballers.

“It’s going to be a tough game because Orlando Pirates play counter-attacking football using their wing-backs and they have good strikers — the two Zambians Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga.

“I haven’t seen FC Platinum playing but I believe if they can maintain their team shape and don’t give Pirates time and space on the ball they can get a favourable result.

“They (FC Platinum) have a very good coach in Norman Mapeza, so it gonna be an exciting game but I will support my home country team and hope they win all their home matches,” said Masango.

The platinum miners were handed a major lift ahead of the battle with the recovery of Zimbabwe international Kevin Moyo from injury.

The Warriors defender picked up the knock in the last game of the 2018 season against Triangle United.

“He (Moyo) is now training alongside the rest of the squad,” said Mapeza.

FC Platinum are set to descend on Bulawayo today for the final leg of their preparations against Pirates.

The cheapest ticket for the rest of the ground will be going for $5 while those who will sit on the wings will part with $10 with VIP seats costing $20.

The platinum miners were also drawn against defending champions Esperance of Tunisia and Horoya Athletic Club of Guinea.

Club spokesperson Chido Chizondo yesterday said FC Platinum will camp in Bulawayo from today.

“We will advise of the training itinerary once we arrive there,” said Chizondo.

FC Platinum were dealt a blow when CAF ruled that their Mandava home ground was not fit to host the group stages of the tournament.

Their fans have vowed to follow their team to Bulawayo this weekend and back their cause against the Soweto giants. Bulawayo giants Highlanders have called on the fans in the city to fill up Barbourfields on Saturday to enjoy the game.

“Let’s come in numbers and enjoy the game of football as Champions FC Platinum lock horns with Orlando Pirates in a CAF Champions League group stage match set for Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.

“Be there when it happens! Don’t miss out! #FillUpBF,” the club posted on their macro blogging site Twitter.

Warriors and Dynamos cheerleader Chris “Romario,” Musekiwa said it was their obligation to mobilise fans to come and rally behind the Zimbabwean representatives.

“The big match is upon us on Saturday as FC Platinum takes Orlando Pirates head-on at Barbourfields Stadium in a CAF Champions League first group match.

“As national cheerleaders, it’s our obligation to mobilise fans to come and rally behind our Zimbabwean representatives as they clash against the South African giants.

“It’s beyond club affiliation, our national pride is at stake when it comes to this stage of the game.

“We are calling on football supporters from all corners of the country to come in their droves and fill up Barbourfields to create a carnival atmosphere to ensure FC Platinum prevail,’’ said Musekiwa.

Meanwhile, FC Platinum are adjusting to the disappointment of failing to approval for their home matches to be played at Mandava and have moved on from that heartbreak.

“Everyone has moved on and we are ready to play in Bulawayo, BF (Barbourfields) is now our home and everyone is now feeling very comfortable going there,” said Chizondo.

“That is why we are going to Bulawayo tomorrow (today) which is far much earlier because we feel Bulawayo will be our home.

“We are very confident all football stakeholders in the country will be supporting us as we are representing the country in this competition, it is not about FC Platinum but Zimbabwe and that is why we do not have a problem in playing anywhere in Zimbabwe.’’

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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