Local news

Journalist Chin’ono bail hearing further pushed to Friday

By Court Reporter

JOURNALIST Hopewell Chin’ono’s bail hearing was further pushed to this Friday.

Chin’ono, arrested Monday this week, faces charges of inciting the public to commit violence through continued use of his Twitter handle urging citizens to protest against government.

He denies the claims.

The journalist’s lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa, Douglas Coltart and Gift Mtisi are Friday expected to give their submissions

Magistrate Ngoni Nduna is presiding over the highly publicised case.

In another case, Transform Zimbabwe leader and organiser of the July 31 protest against corruption, Jacob Ngarivhume was denied bail.

He was remanded in custody until 8 August.

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Mayor Gomba bail hearing pushed to Friday

By Court Reporter

HARARE mayor Hebert Gomba will spend another night in police custody after proceedings to his bail hearing were pushed to this Friday.

Gomba appeared before a Harare magistrate’s court Thursday facing charges parcelling out land illegally to a Harare housing cooperative.

The state claims he committed the offence in the full knowledge the land was a wetland and the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) was against it.

He was represented by his lawyers Lovemore Madhuku and Harrison Nkomo.

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Judge orders ZMC to suspend journalists’ accreditation process


High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou on 3 June 2020 ordered the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) to suspend its accreditation process following an urgent application instituted by the Zimbabwe Online Content Creators Trust (ZOCC).

Justice Zhou said the ZMC should also not proceed with implementation of its proposed new categories for accreditation.

In granting the interim relief sought by ZOCC, which was represented by lawyer Chris Mhike of Atherstone and Cook, the court said accreditation may only proceed after completion of ongoing consultations with the applicant (ZOCC) and other relevant stakeholders.

Background ZOCC filed the urgent chamber application on 25 May 2020, seeking an order for suspension of the ZMC’s accreditation process which was set to commence in Harare on 26 May 2020.

In its application, ZOCC said the matter was urgent because the accreditation process by the ZMC was set to proceed on the basis of categories that are not provided for at law.

ZOCC said the ZMC should suspend the accreditation process and also be interdicted from implementing the proposed new accreditation categories.

“Accreditation may proceed after the completion of the ongoing consultations with the applicant (ZOCC) and other relevant stakeholders,” reads ZOCC’s application.

ZOCC said the court’s timely intervention in protecting the media at large and the applicant in particular, would give practical effect to the provisions of the Constitution, namely Section 61’s freedom of the media and Section 62’s access to information.

“Considering the respondent’s determination to go ahead with a flawed accreditation process even after efforts by the industry at resolving the matter amicably, it seems clear now, that the only other remedy that is available to the applicant is the intervention of this honourable court on an urgent basis,” reads part of the application.

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MDC lawyer Thabani Mpofu out on $20 000 bail

By Staff Reporter

TOP Harare lawyer, Thabani Mpofu (pictured) has been granted $20 000 bail by Chief Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi after spending two nights in police custody.

The legal practitioner was arrested on Monday and initially charged defeating or obstructing the course of justice for allegedly falsifying information by submitting an affidavit of a non-existent person to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) in January 2019 challenging the appointment of Prosecutor-General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi.

He faces charges of defeating the course of justice and corruptly concealing a transaction from a principal.

Mpofu was finally brought to court on Wednesday where he was freed and further ordered to report to the police in Harare once a week.

He is a trusted lawyer within Nelson Chamisa’s MDC and almost hit celebrity status when he featured on national television 2018 to mount a fierce challenge against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s controversial victory on behalf of Chamisa.

The legal practitioner is represented in the case by Beatrice Mtetwa, another prominent lawyer.

Chamisa was in court on Wednesday in solidarity with his lawyer.

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Govt rules out early schools opening

By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWEAN schools are not opening just yet after Primary and Secondary Education Minister Cain Mathema (pictured) said Wednesday President Emmerson Mnangagwa would only proclaim their opening when it was safe to do so.

Schools were forced to close a week before their official calendar closure in March after the country started recording cases of Covid-19.

The country has since banned all public gatherings and has gone on to impose a 35-day national lockdown to try and control the spread of the pandemic.

The lockdown ends this coming Sunday amid the anticipated opening of the country for business.

However, Minister Mathema ruled out any chances of an earlier schools opening as per their calendar early May.

“The safety of our learners always comes prior to any action regarding Covid-19 disease. The President will only proclaim the dates when schools open and he will only do so after evidence that shows it is prudent to do so has been availed,” Mathema said.

He was speaking at the launch of the Schools Covid-19 Response Programme at Chikangwe High School in Karoi Wednesday.

Zimbabwe’s confirmed cases of Covid-19 Wednesday rose to 40 after eight more cases were recorded in Harare and Bulawayo.

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Man drowns while trying to retrive dead duck from dam

By Staff Reporter

AN 18-year-old Mberengwa man drowned Sunday while trying to retrieve a floating duck he had struck earlier using a catapult before it fell inside a dam.

The duck had been part of a flock.

Police have confirmed the death of Timothy Moyo from the fateful hunting expedition.

“During the hunting expedition, Timothy is said have shot and killed a duck from a flock and it floated in the middle of the dam.

“He then started swimming into the dam to get his catch and on his way back he could not reach to the shores and drowned,” said Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Joel Goko.

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White Zimbabweans refuse school quarantine over poor conditions

By Staff Reporter

TWO returning white Zimbabweans resident in Victoria Falls have refused to be quarantined at a high school in the resort town citing poor conditions.

They are among 37 returning locals who are being taken for compulsory quarantine for Covid-19 at Mosi-oa-Tunya High School.

Some of the returnees were those deported from neighbouring countries.

However, the white citizens were forced by Matabeleland North provincial authorities to undergo quarantine together with the rest.

This is in line with government policy for returning citizens to be quarantined for periods of between 14 and 21 days.

Labour and Social Welfare deputy minister Lovemore Matuke is set to visit the centre to assess the state of the facility as more Zimbabweans are expected back into the country in the coming days.

Authorities say the school is set to take in 100 people.

The school is a quarantine facility for citizens returning home through Victoria Falls, Kazungula and Pandamatenga border posts.

The refusal by the white Zimbabweans to be accommodated at the facility also follows last week’s demands for hotel accommodation by 65 locals who flew into the country from the UK and were taken to Belvedere Teachers College.

Addressing the 65 returnees, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima said all Zimbabweans shall be treated equally during government’s attempts to minimise Covid-19 transmission among citizens.

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MDC councillor, SA woman in trouble over ED, Ramaphosa jokes

By Staff Reporter

AN MDC Alliance councillor and a white South African woman have been charged in separate incidents in their respective countries over jokes involving Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Cyril Ramaphosa.

Chrispen Rambu, a Chipinge MDC Alliance councillor, was charged with “insulting and undermining” Mnangagwa’s authority while the unidentified South African woman got into trouble for posting on Facebook, Ramaphosa was an ape.

Rambu, set to appear in court this Saturday, was charged for forwarding a WhatsApp message reading: “Ramaphosa just announced R500bn SA stimulus package. Seeing him addressing and comparing him with ED [Mnangagwa] you won’t doubt that we are having a fool for a head of state”.

He faces one-year jail term in convicted.

In South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal woman got into trouble when she referred to Ramaphosa as an “ape trying to act like a first-world president”.

She later apologised, telling South African media the incident was “blown out of proportion”.

“It was blown out of proportion and I apologise profusely…” she said.

The woman faces a charge of crimen injuria, which is defined as an act of “unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another”.

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Mnangagwa to announce new lockdown measures this Sunday

By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa will Sunday announce a new set of lockdown measures amid growing unease by business and hard-pressed locals the country could not afford another taxing business break.

Information permanent secretary Nick Mangwana revealed on Twitter Saturday Mnangagwa would make the announcement Sunday.

Former finance minister and MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti says the Zanu PF led administration was under pressure to end the lockdown which has brought more strain to an already ailing economy.

“The regime unwisely imposed a lockdown from March 30 without giving workers and business time to organise. Most businesses did not pay statutory obligations like PAYE, VAT, QPD and NSSA on March 31. Regime is now broke. Treasury is empty. They can’t wait to reopen,” Biti said on Twitter.

Perhaps in an attempt not to divert attention from the country’s Independence Day celebrations Saturday, Mnangagwa omitted any mention of plans to either extend or let the 21-day lockdown lapse as initially announced mid-night Sunday.

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