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Teachers group mourns Misihairabwi-Mushonga departure

Raymond Majongwe

Zimstar News

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary general Raymond Majongwe says the teachers group is saddened by opposition legislator Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s departure from the house to become the country’s ambassador to Sweden.

During her truncated 2021-23 tenure as MP, Misihairabwi-Mushonga chaired Portfolio Committee on Primary and Secondary Education.

Majongwe, whose teachers group has been the most aggressive in terms of confronting government over educators’ many grievances, said the veteran legislator’s departure was a blow.

“Her appointment is actually a blow to us and we pray that somebody capable, somebody competent, somebody as open as her will take the reins at the portfolio committee.

“We are quite saddened in that in quite a few years, we actually observed that we could engage parliamentarians on issues of education and honourable Misihairabwi would always come handy.

“We could call her at any time and she would be ready to engage with us and we actually believe that her departure is a loss and we pray that whoever takes over will be honest, reliable and would be as professional as honourable Misihairabwi was,” Majongwe said.

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NGOs floor Harare provincial boss Tafadzwa Muguti in ban bid

Tafadzwa Muguti

By Nkosana Dlamini

The High Court has barred Harare Provincial Development Coordinator Tafadzwa Muguti from interfering with the affairs of Non-Governmental Organisations in the metropolitan province.

This follows a ban issued by the under-fire provincial boss on all NGOs that defied his directive to submit their workplans to his office as ordered earlier this year.

On behalf of the NGOs, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Trust took Muguti to court arguing there was no clause in the country’s laws empowering the meddlesome provincial chief to issue such orders, let alone a ban on their operations.

Listed as first respondent was Muguti, Harare Minister of State for Provincial Affairs (second), Local Government Minister (third), Home Affairs Minister (fourth) and Public Service Minister (fifth).

In the judgement, Justice Muremba barred Muguti from meddling in the affairs of NGOs.

“The Act has not yet been amended to incorporate the First Respondent’s position. Until such a time that is done, the first respondent cannot issue directives to NGOs and purport to police them.

“In view of the foregoing, I find merit in the applicants’ application for an interdict pending the return day.

“They have made out a prima facie case establishing the constitutional rights that are likely to be infringed which NGOs have an inherent interest in. there is a reasonable apprehension of harm in that the operations of NGos will be disrupted or stopped as per the press statement of the first respondent.”

Justice Chiremba added, “The balance of convenience favours the granting of the interdict.

“No prejudice will be suffered by the respondents if the interdict is granted pending the return day.

“On the other hand, the applicants or the NGOs stand to suffer irreparable harm if the interdict is not granted as operations may be stopped at anytime as threatened by the first respondent.

“It is hereby ordered that…pending confirmation or discharge of this provisional order, the applicants are granted the following interim; the respondents and all their agents or anyone acting on their behalf are interdicted from enforcing; interfering with, suspending or stopping operations of Non-Governmental Organizations, Trusts, Civil Society Organisations, or in anyway acting on the contents of the press statement dated 29 July by 1st respondent.”

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[email protected]: Zanu PF in fawning Mnangagwa birthday message

Zimstar News

Zanu PF has sent a fawning birthday message to its “forgiving” leader and State President Emmerson Mnangagwa who turns 79 this Wednesday.

In its message, Zanu PF described Mnangagwa as someone who exudes “the virtues of Endurance, Bravery, Servant Leadership, Patriotism, Loyalty, Focus and Forgiving”.

Since becoming President 2017, Mnangagwa has chosen to keep his birthday a rather low-key event.

This is different from his predecessor Robert Mugabe who would convene large and often expensive gatherings annually to celebrate his birthday.

FULL BIRTHDAY MESSAGE BY ZANU PF

The Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) and its entire Leadership and Membership joins the First Family, Government, Family Members and Friends in congratulating his Excellency, the President and First Secretary of the party Cde Dr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa on the Occasion of his 79th Birthday.

Indeed, 79 years ago, a Visionary, Gallant and Patriotic Leader was born to a peasant family whose resistance to the vagaries of colonial dispossession and oppression left indelible footprints in Zimbabwe and inspired a son who would later on endure his boyhood in the wilderness, toiling with fellow brave youthful compatriots in the Struggle for Our Independence. Freedom, Right to Self Determination and Emancipation. As we mark Your Birthday Your Excellency, we learn from your long story, the virtues of Endurance, Bravery, Servant Leadership, Patriotism, Loyalty, Focus and Forgiving.

We wish you a special one, as you lead us towards Vision-2030 through your transformative and people centered policies that continue to change our people’s lives through productivity and productivity.

Once again happy Birthday Shumba Chikara. May God Bless You and Your Family abundantly.

 

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FAKE! PSC dismisses civil servants’ shopping trips ‘memo’

fake news

Zimstar News

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has moved to dismiss a memo purportedly authored by the commission calling on civil servants wishing to be part of planned shopping trips to South Africa to submit names confirming their interest.

According to the “memo”, the commission said it was introducing organised month-end shopping trips to the merchandise rich neighbouring country for government workers.

The purported memo, which was circulated on social media, invited scorn from teachers union leaders who accused government of attempts to promote South African goods.

Some accused government of paying civil servants in local currency and yet expect them to afford goods obtainable in South African rands.

But the Public Service Commission later dismissed the communication as false.

“False and misinformation!!” twitted the Commission Sunday.

“The Public Service wishes to inform the Public and stakeholders that there is a fake memo circulating on social media purporting that there will be organized shopping trips to South Africa. This is a scam and should be condemned.”

Zimbabwe is in the process of creating a Cyber Security and Data Protection Bill which intends to penalise cyber offenders.

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Six month jail for greedy private school authorities

private-school-zimbabwe

Zimstar News

Zimbabwe’s private school authorities who have hiked fees without government approval face up to six months imprisonment.

This was said by Primary and Education Ministry permanent secretary Tumisang Thabela after it emerged that some schools have increased the fees by up to 100 percent.

Private schools operating along commercial terms are keen to recover losses incurred during the prolonged schools closure due to Covid-19.

It has emerged that some school authorities demanding cash upfront and are reportedly refusing to accept payment terms from hard-pressed parents and guardians.

In a statement Thursday, Thabela ordered private schools to reimburse parents who have already paid the exorbitant amounts.

The ministry boss said according to then Education Act, fees or levies being charged by non-governmental schools should be approved by the secretary with offenders liable to fines or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both.

Because of the increase, some pupils have failed to attend school.

Zimbabwean school authorities are prohibited from sending learners away due to non-payment of fees.

 

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Rights lawyers corner authorities of over Uzumba land grab bid

Zimstar News

Rights lawyers have stepped in to challenge the looming seizure of land from several villagers in Kaseke Village, Uzumba in Mashonaland East province by Heijin Mining Company.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)’s Tinashe Chinopfukutwa early this month confronted Mashonaland East Mining Commissioner and the Environmental Management Agency seeking information on the status of the controversial deal with the miner.

The human rights lawyer argued in his correspondence to authorities that, according to the law, no prospecting licence holder can proceed to peg land in a communal area without the consent of the occupier.

According to a statement by ZLHR, Chinopfukutwa further argued that “in terms of Section 31(1)(h) of the Mines and Minerals Act, no holder of a prospecting licence can proceed to peg communal land occupied as a village without the written consent of the Rural District Council of the area concerned”.

The lawyer has asked if any Environmental Impact Assessment was conducted in relation to the mining project and if so to be furnished with a copy of the certificate approving the prospecting and pegging of Kaseke Village by Heijin Mining Company.

If the land is seized, villagers stand to lose their homesteads, farming fields and grazing land.

The looming tug-of-war for land is not the first in the country as government has been extending farming or prospecting rights to several foreign firms or politically connected individuals often without both the knowledge and consent of villagers who inherited the land from their ancestors.

Government came under fire earlier this year over plans to evict 12 000 members of the Shangani indigenous minority from their ancestral land to make way for animal feed production by a firm linked to the ruling elite.

Similarly, then First Lady Grace Mugabe caused uproar in 2017 when she instigated the eviction of several villagers at a farm in Mazowe to expand her business empire.

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Zim parliament bars unvaccinated MPs

Parliament-Zimbabwe

Zimstar

Parliament has issued a ban on unvaccinated legislators with security personnel at the entrance instructed to block any MP who shows up without proof they have been inoculated against Covid-19.

Deputy Speaker Tsitsi Gezi announced Wednesday that MPs who have not yet been vaccinated can be allowed access to the building upon production of negative Covid-19 tests results.

“I have to inform the House that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders met and resolved that physical meetings can now resume for fully vaccinated Members and support staff.

“The production of Covid-19 PCR test certificate is mandatory for unvaccinated Members and staff.

“From 13th September 202, security personnel at the entrance have been instructed to demand vaccination certificates or valid Covid-19 PCR test certificates issued 48 hours earlier and will be valid for each week.”

The Deputy Speaker said a “maximum of 10 persons inclusive of Hon. Members, staff and invitees will be permitted to attend meetings physically in compliance with social distancing guidelines”.

She added, “In the National Assembly and Senate Chambers, the maximum number of persons allowed will be 100 and 80 respectively including support staff.  Committees are encouraged to use a hybrid of physical and virtual meetings.

“Chief Whips have to ensure compliance with the requirements of allowable Hon. Members.  Committees will determine those to attend either physically or virtually.”

Those who will not be accommodated in Committee Rooms or Chambers will participate from their hotel rooms.

Zimbabwe is keep to notch a vaccination herd immunity of 10 million citizens by end of year.

However, due to continued reluctance by citizens to show up for the free inoculation programme, government and some local firms have used the production of vaccination certificates as a condition for one to access allowances, sit for examinations or sit for a meal in a restaurant, among some of the conditions.

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ZTA steps up marketing efforts – virtually Hosts 400 international agents

Givemore Chidzidzi

Zimstar News

The Zimbabwe Tourism has intensified it’s marketing efforts by hosting a series of virtual tours targeting key source markets.

On Monday, the ZTA and RIDA International Travel Solutions jointly hosted a live virtual tour of Victoria Falls and Harare.

The tour was attended by over 400 Travel Agents from the South East Asian region, one of the fastest growing travel markets for destination Zimbabwe prior to the  devastating Covid 19 pandemic.

ZTA Acting Chief Executive, Mr. Givemore Chidzidzi, started with a presentation on what Destination Zimbabwe has to offer.

The virtual audience was then given a front row seat to experience a live tour of the majestic Victoria Falls as well as Harare’s Chiremba Balancing Rocks, the Mbuya Nehanda Statue and the City Centre. ‘Due to the COVID 19  pandemic, interaction with the outside world has been limited hence the need for us to employ innovative and disruptive ways of communication.

We decided to engage RIDA International Travel Solutions to assist us to host virtual tours to market Zimbabwe to various markets across the globe. We needed a team that had an understanding of the market as well as the needs of Agents and potential tourists,” he said.

“Our National Tourism Recovery and Growth Strategy underscores the need to maximise the use of digital marketing platforms such as webinars, social media, digital televisions, microblogs, vlogs etc. It is against this backdrop that we decided to take the Visit Zimbabwe Campaign to the world using these platforms,” said Chidzidzi.

He added that “An aggressive digital marketing campaign is in motion with the aim of improving destination visibility locally, regionally and internationally.”

 

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Sikhala vows ‘fight’ after daughter nabbed over facemask

Job Sikhala

Zimstar News

Firebrand MDC legislator for Zengeza West Job Sikhala has vowed to “fight” after his 18-year-old daughter was Monday arrested and detained by police at St Mary Police Station in Chitungwiza for not wearing a face mask.

The opposition top politician posted on Twitter Monday claiming his daughter, Deborah was merely having a photoshoot when police pounced on her.

“My 18 yr old daughter Deborah, in black top & mask hs bn arrested by @PoliceZimbabwe at 1400hrs & is detained at St. Mary’s police station.They arrested her when she ws having her birthday photoshoot at Huruyadzo.

“They allege she ws not properly putting on her mask. I will fight,” he said.

The aggressive politician and lawyer however did not state how he intended to challenge the incident.

Face masks were made compulsory by government as one of the measures aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

As a politician, Sikhala has been arrested many times for different offences associated with opposition politics.

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Anti-poverty group vows resistance against Zupco cartel

Allan Moyo

Zimstar News

The Poverty Liberation Movement (PLM) has urged public resistance against state attempts to drive poor citizens onto Zupco buses coupled with $2000 fines imposed on those found boarding unregistered passenger transport.

In a statement Sunday, the firebrand group said it will lead the way through street demonstrations when local schools seal their reopening phase with the rest of the learners returning to class this Monday.

Police last week began penalising passengers caught travelling on illegal transport operators commonly referred to as mushikashika.

The fear of arrest has seen some members of the commuting public stick to Zupco amid chaotic scenes of travellers seen stranded in Harare’s CBD Friday.

Government critics feel the Zanu PF led administration was putting the cart before the horse through its unpopular ban on kombis operating outside the Zupco franchise.

In a statement Sunday, PLM insisted the rot was a government creation adding that it will stage demonstrations to force authorities to reverse the decision.

“We cannot allow central government and the police to force the ordinary folks to bankroll Kudakwashe Tagwirei and cabal at the expense of national development.

“We shall not allow citizens who in their day-to-day struggle for survival have to maximize their work hours to be delayed at ranks in the hot sun.

“Tomorrow 6 September 2021, the movement and its member organisations shall be demonstrating in Harare to express outrage over the concocted law by government to fine passengers.

“Also, we will be demonstrating against the fast-deteriorating standards of living in Zimbabwe and to demand transparency in handling national resources with emphasis on the recently received US $1 Billion.

“Until there is a transparent, efficient and robust public transport system, local man says, ‘Ndokwira Yandinoda!’”

Formed May last year at Zimbabwe Grounds, PLM is a coalition of civic groups with the common goal of ending Poverty in line with SDG 1. Members include ARTUZ, CHITREST, ZCTU, Advocates for Earth, ZINASU and others.

Its interim chairperson is youth activist Alan Moyo.

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