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Families of UK based Zim nurse victims of Covid-19 set to receive US$74 000 compensation

By Health Reporter

FAMILIES of United Kingdom based Zimbabwean nurses and other health staff who have died of Covid-19 in the line of duty could receive £60,000 (74,568) in terms of compensation.

This is according to UK Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

“I feel a deep personal sense of duty that we must care for their loved ones,” Hancock said Monday.

“Today, I am able to announce that the Government is setting up a life assurance scheme for NHS and social care frontline colleagues. Families of staff who die from coronavirus in the course of their essential frontline work will receive a £60,000 payment.”

A big number of Zimbabwean health professionals left the country in the past two decades to join the NHS and the broader health sector in the UK.

UK is among world countries worst affected by the pandemic.

Nurses and other frontline staff in the fight against Covid-19 form the majority of UK based Zimbabweans who have succumbed to the dreaded disease.

The country’s embassy to Britain said last week 29 Zimbabweans had succumbed to the disease.

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Covid-19: Images of Africans thrown out of Chinese homes

ZimStar News

BELOW are some sad social media images of Africans in southern China’s largest city who are being thrown out of their homes for allegedly being the new carriers of imported Covid-19 cases.

The Africans are being subjected to forced evictions, arbitrary quarantines and mass coronavirus testing as the Asian country steps up its fight against imported infections.

China, the epicentre of the deadly virus that has affected over a million worldwide, says it has triumphed in taming the disease but a recent cluster of cases linked to the Nigerian community in Guangzhou sparked the alleged discrimination by locals and virus prevention officials.

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Police boss threatens journalists

By Staff Reporter

A TOP ranking police officer in Masvingo has summoned and threatened with unspecified action, journalists working for TellZim, a newspaper circulating in the province.

According to media rights lobby, Misa Zimbabwe, Officer Commanding Masvingo Province, Assistant Commissioner (AC) Tawoneyi Nyazema was not amused by some contents published in the weekly’s opinion column.

The journalists are publication director Golden Maunganidze and Passmore Kuzipa, the editor.

The two were invited to Masvingo Central Police by the police spokesperson Charity Mazula for what seemed to be a routine engagement meeting between police and scribes.

Upon arrival at the meeting, an angry Nyazema reportedly demanded to know the author of the newspaper’s satirical column – Mapombi Adonha (Things Fall Apart).

The journalists insisted on ethics that forbid journalists from disclosing sources.

After failing to get what he wanted, the police boss chased the two from his office and further refused to entertain them when they later returned with their lawyer.

In a statement, MISA Zimbabwe condemned the intimidation of the scribes.

READ FULL STATEMENT BY MISA

MISA Zimbabwe condemns the intimidation of journalists in the course of their professional duties. Aggrieved parties are urged to file their complaints with the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe instead of taking the law into their own hands. The Zimbabwe Media Commission is also available as a constitutional body if there are sections of the society that feels aggrieved.

It is of high concern in this case that the police refused to meet with an officer of the court who was representing the two journalists. We can only hope that the journalists or their media house are not going to be harassed given the behaviour exhibited by the Masvingo Police Assistant Commissioner.

As noted in our various statements, the media is not the enemy here, we must all put hands on the deck in fighting the deadly coronavirus. We condemn the actions by the police in this instance and call upon the law enforcement agency to safeguard the constitution of Zimbabwe which guarantees media freedom under section 61.

Maunganidze, who is also the MISA Zimbabwe chairperson tried in vain to express the point that media stakeholders and the police have been engaging on the need to improve relations under the banner of the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe.

MISA Zimbabwe staff is also on standby to assist media practitioners injured or arrested in the line of duty.

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Canada avails $3 million to feed 55 000 hungry villagers in Matobo

By Staff Reporter

THE Canadian government has availed $3 million CAD funding meant for emergency food assistance for almost 55,000 people in Matobo district.

This was announced in a statement Friday by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) which has put up steps to provide 4.1 million hungry locals with emergency food assistance.

“Canada is standing with the people of Zimbabwe in addressing food insecurity by providing CAD$3 million to the WFP to help 55,000 people in Matobo district, in addition the CAD$1 million provided early in 2019,” Canadian Ambassador René Cremonese was quoted as having told WFP.

Ambassador Cremonese travelled to Chipinge this week, together with WFP Representative and Country Director Eddie Rowe, to visit a food distribution site and meet some of the families receiving this vital food assistance, from WFP thanks to Canada’s support.

“WFP would like to thank the Government of Canada for its continued commitment to the people of Zimbabwe. WFP is seriously concerned about the hunger that millions of Zimbabweans are enduring – and the very real prospect that their plight will get worse before it gets better,” said Rowe.

“This support from Canada will go a long way towards improving the well-being of food insecure people, particularly children and women.”

More than 7.7 million people – or half of Zimbabwe’s population – is food insecure.

Atleast US$104 million is still required for WFP to provide people with life-saving food assistance during the peak of this year’s lean season and in the wake of poor harvests through until June 2020.

READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

WFP News Release

CANADA PROVIDES CA$3 MILLION TO LIFT 55,000 ZIMBABWEANS OUT OF HUNGER

06 March, 2020

HARARE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomes a contribution of $3 million CAD from the Canadian Government to life-saving humanitarian operations in Zimbabwe. The funding supports WFP’s rapid scale-up of emergency food assistance to reach almost 55,000 people in Matobo district.

Canada’s contribution comes at a crucial time when WFP is working to provide 4.1 million people in Zimbabwe with emergency food assistance amid the country’s ongoing hunger crisis. At present, more than 7.7 million people – or half of Zimbabwe’s population – is food insecure, and US$104 million is still required for WFP to provide people with life-saving food assistance during the peak of this year’s lean season and in the wake of poor harvests through until June 2020.

“Canada is standing with the people of Zimbabwe in addressing food insecurity by providing CAD$3 million to the WFP to help 55,000 people in Matobo district, in addition the CAD$1 million provided early in 2019,” said Canadian Ambassador René Cremonese.

Ambassador Cremonese travelled to Chipinge this week, together with WFP Representative and Country Director Eddie Rowe, to visit a food distribution site and meet some of the families receiving this vital food assistance, from WFP thanks to Canada’s support.

“WFP would like to thank the Government of Canada for its continued commitment to the people of Zimbabwe. WFP is seriously concerned about the hunger that millions of Zimbabweans are enduring – and the very real prospect that their plight will get worse before it gets better,” said Rowe. “This support from Canada will go a long way towards improving the well-being of food insecure people, particularly children and women.”

The visit takes place just ahead of International Women’s Day and will be an opportunity to champion the progress made to promote the rights of women and girls in food assistance. Women are the main recipients and decision-makers on the use of food and cash assistance in Zimbabwe. Following gender awareness campaigns led by WFP and partners over the past year – 61 percent of food distribution committee members are now also women.

Besides providing Zimbabweans with food to put on the table and meet their daily nutritional needs, WFP’s Canadian funded food assistance also provides a cushion for Zimbabweans during the lean season. It protects them from resorting to detrimental ways of coping, like selling assets or livestock which will undermine their food security in the longer term.

WFP is helping to improve the self-sufficiency of vulnerable communities by supporting local initiatives to boost agricultural production, improve access to markets, increase earnings and savings, and minimise the impact of adverse weather. Simple investments can transform people’s lives: increasing small grains production by supporting smallholder farmers, a vegetable garden, a fishpond, a small dam to retain precious water, a borehole.

As part of this week’s visit to Chipinge, the Canadian Ambassador also witnessed the results of some of WFP’s resilience building activities, such as a community owned dip tank for cleaning cattle, to hear how this builds resilience to the effects of drought and climate change.

 

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The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

 

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Government set to free 5 000 prisoners

By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE is set to free up to 5 000 prisoners from the country’s congested jails which are holding 22 000 inmates against a carrying capacity of 17 000.

This was announced at a post-cabinet media briefing in Harare Tuesday by Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa.

“Cabinet noted that the country’s prison population currently is standing at 22 000 against an official holding capacity of 17 000,” Mutsvangwa said.

“The general amnesty, which will be for specified prisoners, will decongest the country’s prisons and alleviate challenges being experienced by the Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS).”

Those set to benefit from the parole are in nine categories designated by government.

The country last had an amnesty in March 2018 when up to 3,000 prisoners were freed.

During the amnesty, all women, except those with life sentences, and all juvenile prisoners under the age of 18 were granted freed.

The parole also covered inmates who were jailed for periods below 36 months who have served a quarter of their terms.

Terminally ill inmates who looked unlikely to survive their terms were also be freed.

At the time, the country’s prisons held about 20,000 inmates.

Inmates on death row for more than 10 years also had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

In May 2016, 2,000 prisoners were released to make space in Zimbabwean prisons.

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MISA-Zimbabwe slams overzealous MDC security for harassing journalist

By Staff Reporter

THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa-Zimbabwe) has condemned Tuesday’s harassment of journalist Robert Tapfumaneyi by MDC security during party President Nelson Chamisa’s State of The Nation Address in Mbare, Harare.

Tapfumaneyi, a cameraman and videographer with Sly Media TV, was covering the event.

He was however manhandled by overzealous MDC security, losing his car keys in the process.

In a statement Wednesday, MISA slammed what it described as barbarism by MDC security.

“MISA-Zimbabwe condemns in the strongest terms possible the barbarism exhibited by the MDC A security details more  so as it comes on the backdrop of similar incidences against journalists by the party’s supporters in the run-up to last year’s general elections.

“The party should keep their security details on a short leash  and above all educate them in particular and      supporters generally on the lawfulness of journalism as a profession which is enshrined and protected under section 61 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which provides for freedom of the press.

“The party should conduct its own internal investigations into these unlawful and shameful acts that pose a great risk to the safety of journalists undertaking their legal and professional duties.”

The MDC has since apologised to Tapfumaneyi for the behaviour by its security.

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Chamisa vows to hold his Agenda 2020 event despite continued police ban

By Staff Reporter

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has vowed to proceed with his State of the Nation Address to followers should the state ban the event again.

This, he said on Twitter following a police ban on the event which the opposition chief had set for this Wednesday.

“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We’ve exhausted all channels. We can’t continue to be victims of unjust application of the law. Rights are for all. On Tuesday 21st Jan we will deliver the people’s Agenda 2020 to the nation come what may.#peoplesgovernment,” Chamisa said.

 

Police on Tuesday issued a ban on Chamisa’s event which the MDC leader had planned for Mai Musodzi Hall in Harare’s Mbare suburb.

Police said they were called to issue the ban as they were short of manpower to cover the potentially chaotic event.

The law enforcement agents said they had deployed a lot of their officers for the current schools opening period.

The controversial police move, which comes after several MDC events were banned last year for one reason or another.

The Tuesday ban by police elicited a strong reaction from MDC deputy national spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka who accused police of treating the main opposition as a terrorist organisation.

“We are noting a disturbing trend where the police are routinely proscribing MDC events and treating the party as a banned organisation in the country.

“We continue to be treated like a banned or a terrorist organisation when we are a legitimate political party that is in Parliament and that controls 28 out of 32 urban local authorities,” Tamborinyoka told journalists in Harare Tuesday.

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VP Chiwenga claims wife is a witch, drug addict and mentally unstable

By Staff Reporter

VICE PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga has made sensational claims his estranged wife, Marry practised sorcery, was a drug addict and had hallucinations which rendered her mentally unstable.

For those reasons, the VP claimed, the ex-model was wrong candidate to stay with the couple’s children.

Chiwenga was responding to a court suit filed by Marry who claimed her husband abducted the couple’s minor children and also barred her from accessing the Borrowdale, Harare family home upon her release from remand prison recently.

Marry Mubaiwa, is on remand for attempted murder, fraud and money laundering.

The VP claimed his wife performed rituals at his Borrowdale Brooke home and brought in “witch doctors”.

“My clothes in some cases were heaped together and sprayed by applicant with some unknown substances.

“I had to take the children away to cleanse them of memories of the horrors they experienced,” he said.

It was argued that there was medical evidence suggesting Mubaiwa was unfit to take custody of the children.

“The medical affidavit on Page 12 is very clear.

“The doctor concluded that she (Marry) should be under the care of a physician, a surgeon and a psychiatrist.

“It is indicated that she has flashbacks, suffers from lack of sleep and has difficulties in breathing, symptoms of illicit drug abuse.

“Applicant cannot be trusted with children in the circumstances. While she cannot be precluded from being with and seeing the children, the court must balance the scales as there is need for both parents to continuously be with the children in order to ensure an unabused welfare,” he said.

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Mnangagwa strengthens bid to ditch Chiwenga

By Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is pressing ahead with the enactment of a new law set to remove the obligation by future Zimbabwean presidential candidates to select their running mates.

The so-called Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2019 was gazetted Friday after it was recently approved by Cabinet.

Mnangagwa is keen to asset firm control over Zanu PF as a party and that of State presidency.

Critics find Chiwenga an ever-present obstacle to the ambition.

Chiwenga, as then Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander, led the November 2017 coup that removed long-serving President Robert Mugabe, replacing him with Mnangagwa.

The now VP is seen as having ambitions to become the country’s leader at some stage.

Mnangagwa has already declared his interest to remain President beyond the 2023 elections.

The obligation to choose a running mate would see him ordinarily forced to pick Chiwenga, who, if Mnangagwa wins the presidential election again, could remain firmly in the fold to become successor.

The removal of the running mates clause will allow the President-elect to appoint the two Vice Presidents, something that will allow such future leader to hire and fire his deputies without violating any laws.

The 2013 Constitution, through Section 92, had a 10-year transitional clause that provided for the joint election of the President and two running mates selected by the Presidential candidate.

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Zim-Zambia search party dispatched to look for missing rangers

By Staff Reporter

A SEARCH party comprising both Zimbabwean and Zambian authorities has been dispatched to comb Lake Kariba with hopes to find two Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers believed to have been attacked and thrown into the water by poachers on New Year’s eve.

ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo confirmed the search operation Friday but said no headway has been made so far.

“Nothing has come up yet but the whole security apparatus and other stakeholders is on the ground.

“We are working closely with our Zambian counterparts on the matter.”

There were plans also to dispatch helicopters from both neighbours to look for the rangers who went missing with fears they could have died.

Their disappearance followed a battle they had with suspected poachers in the middle Lake Kariba.

The rangers were on patrol in the lake when they caught up with suspected Zambian poachers they immediately apprehended.

There are fears they may have been overpowered by the poachers who could have thrown them into the water in a bid to free themselves (poachers) from the arrests.

The search party comprises Zimparks, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and similar forces from Zambia.

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