News (249)

CENTRAL Intelligence Organisation (CIO) boss Gatsha Mazithulela tried with no success to force his way into the ownership structure of Kershelmar Farm in Nyamandlovu, Matabeleland North, jointly owned by OSISA director Siphosami Malunga and two partners.

When this failed, Mazithulela, a CIO deputy director-general, threatened the shareholders the government would forcibly seize the thriving farming enterprise as Malunga, a son of a late government minister Sydney Malunga, was a fierce anti-state critic.

This is part of the evidence contained in a High Court application in which Malunga and business partner Zephaniah Dhlamini want the seizure of the farm declared “null and void”.

Dhlamini is also a senior lecturer at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST).


Lands Minister Anxious Masuku, Mazithulela, Matabeleland North Minister Richard Moyo, Lands Ministry chief officer for Matabeleland North, Registrar of Deeds, and NUST lecturer Dumisani Madzivanyati have been hauled before the courts for illegally grabbing the farm early this year.

The farm grab saga has since made global news headlines.

The CIO boss, Mazithulela, a NUST pro-vice-chancellor, is singled out being behind the property’s seizure.

In court papers filed through Webb, Low and Barry, and another law firm Baron and Partners, Malunga and his business partners want the High Court to stop the property’s seizure by the respondents.

Madzivanyati, who is a known Zanu PF supporter and a NUST lecturer, was also allocated a piece of land at the disputed farm.

“It, therefore, did not surprise me that sometime in December 2019, 4th respondent (Mazithulela, who was then the pro-vice Chancellor at NUST and a work colleague) approached me and asked to be included in the Esikadeni farm project,” Dhlamini stated in his affidavit.

“The untenable request that he made still required that I run it with my fellow shareholders and directors. I did and they took the position that there was no room for additional shareholders.”

Dhlamini said immediately after Mazithulela’s request was declined, he joined the CIO as deputy director-general.

“In February 2020, I met Gatsha (Mazithulela) and the discussion came up again. The conversation, however, quickly became ominous. He raised the issue of the second applicant (Malunga) himself as a son of a decorated national hero.

“He suggested that he had become a critic of the government and claimed that association with him imperiled our interests. He advised me that when he joined the CIO, he had found the second applicant’s file containing what he termed anti-government activities,” stated Dhlamini in the application.

Mazithulela is said to have threatened Dhlamini that the farm risked being taken over by the government if Malunga continued criticising the government.

“He (Mazithulela) said our farm was at risk of acquisition if Malunga did not tone down his anti-government rhetoric. He claimed that he could save the farm if we managed to remove the second applicant from being a shareholder and a director. He was to replace him. I flatly told him that this would not happen.

“I relayed these disturbing developments to the second applicant (Malunga) who confronted Mazithulela. The result of that was the WhatsApp correspondence addressed to me by Gatsha which I attach hereto and marked G2 in both original and translated forms.”

Dhlamini added on Christmas Day last year, he received a telephone call from Mazithulela informing him that the farm had been acquired by the state.

“I was obviously concerned by the level of Gatsha’s interest in matters that pertain to the farm. I was particularly perplexed that Gatsha seemed to know more about the farm than us the owners.

“Not only did Gatsha advise on the acquisition of the farm, he further went on to tell me that I and Moyo (another director) were in peril of being arrested on that very day because according to him, we had fraudulently acquired shares for fourth applicant,” further stated Dhlamini.

The respondents are yet to file their opposing papers.

Source: NZ《》RT

A fire broke out on Monday night in a storehouse in the church of the late influential Nigerian preacher TB Joshua in Lagos.

The fire incident occurred during a candle-lit procession that was being held in tribute to the influential evangelist who died last month at 57.

Worshippers who had gathered in the Synagogue church for the service that was being led by TB Joshua’s widow Evelyn Joshua scampered for safety.

The church attributed the fire to a minor electrical fault. It said the fire had been put out and there were no casualties.

TB Joshua will be buried at the church premises on Friday.

Source: BBC《》RT

Etambuyu Katota-The PF in Chasefu District has expressed disappointment with UPND leader HAKAINDE HICHILEMA’s decision to stay away from from first Republican President KENNETH KAUNDA’s state funeral despite a government invitation.

Chasefu district PF campaign manager CHANODA NGWIRA says  Mr. HICHILEMA did not even need to be invited for him to attend the funeral of the founding father of the nation.
He says all what Mr. HICHILEMA should have attended the funeral.
Speaking in an interview in Chasefu District, Mr. NGWIRA said people are not surprised with the UPND leader’s behaviour because he has always shunned national events.
He said Mr HICHILEMA wants to turn the funeral of Zambia’s icon into a political event.
Mr. NGWIRA wondered why Mr.  HICHILEMA had to pause for a photo Watching the funeral service on ZNBC when he should have been in attendance.
He said those that want to rule the country must have respect for national events, especially the official funeral for the country’s the founding father.
Source: ZNBC《》RT


By Malawi24 Reporter

UTM has threatened to leave the governing Tonse Alliance if its demands for better representation in terms of appointments to top jobs are not met.

According to a report by British fortnightly newsletter Africa Confidential, UTM which is led by Vice President Saulos Chilima and President Lazarus Chakwera’s Malawi Congress Party (MCP) have been fighting over top jobs which has led to the delay to name new diplomats and release a new cabinet.

The newsletter also reported that Chakwera wants Minister of Energy Newton, Kambala who is a UTM member and a prominent businessman, to be fired.

“The UTM has given the MCP until 19 June, we hear, to meet its demands for better representation or they will leave the governing alliance.

“To be arguing over appointments to top jobs this long after the election is not a good look for either coalition partner, each of which accuses the other of hogging the best jobs. Much sought-after diplomatic appointments are being held up, and leaked documents indicate that most of the plum jobs are going to MCP allies,” the newsletter reported.

A UTM member confirmed to the local media about UTM’s frustrations over its members being sidelined for senior cabinet posts, embassies, parastatals and other key government departments.

“We have brilliant vibrant men and women who want to develop this country, but MCP’s behaviour is a stumbling block. We want to splint but they want us to walk, so we feel enough is enough,” the UTM member said.

President Chakwera had promised to name a new cabinet in March but failed to do so amid reports of fights in the alliance. The president then blamed Chilima for the delay, saying he did not have enough time to look at a cabinet assessment report presented to him by the vice president.

In May, State House said Chakwera has a prerogative to hire and fire ministers and he is at liberty to promise one thing today and later change his mind.

Senior MCP official Moses Kunkuyu last month also initiated talk of Chakwera being on the ballot in the 2025 elections despite a reported agreement that Chakwera’s would only rule for five years and Chilima will represent the alliance in 2025.

In response, UTM spokesperson Frank Mwenifumbo said the UTM was focusing on development.

“We are occupied with creating a very conducive environment for Dr Chakwera to implement and deliver what was promised. Matters of elections are not a priority now for UTM Party,” he said.

Source: M24《》RT

By Leopold Munhende

CHIEF Jahana Khumalo of Insiza in Matabeleland South has written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa demanding an immediate end to lithium and tantalum explorations in Fort Rixon.

The traditional leader argues the explorers were given the green light to carry out geological explorations by the government without being consulted, and work should only commence after the local community has agreed to the controversial project.

The scathing letter was also copied to Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Philip Valerio Sibanda and all chiefs in Matabeleland North and South provinces.

Chief Jahana also cited past correspondence sent to Mnangagwa by now late defiant Chief Maduna who raised objections over almost similar issues and was met with state hostility.

“When the last Honourable Chief Maduna raised similar concerns and reservations about the issuance of mining EPOs (Exclusive Prospecting Orders) across Matabeleland to your office without following due processes and procedures, he was trailed by unregistered vehicles and intimidated by unknown individuals, thus the response he got from his letter to your office until he died.

“I pray that with contents of this letter, I will not face the same fate as Chief Maduna,” the traditional leader notes.

He added: “It is exactly 42 months after you promised not to mortgage the future of Zimbabwe, but the situation in my area proves to you otherwise. Mining EPOs are issued by your office after you have commented hence this letter to you.

“Mr. President take note the due process of issuing lithium exploration EPOs at Fort Rixon which is in our area of jurisdiction with Chief Sibasa was not followed.

“As chiefs who are custodians of the area, we only read about this mining venture in our area from state media.

“We want to make it very clear that we as Chiefs, including our subjects, were not consulted directly or indirectly because your Ministry of Mines did not bother to consult us which is a strong sign of failure to the foundation of the new dispensation – Servant Leadership.”

In March this year, the government granted EPO to UK-based Premier African Minerals over an area comprising the Zulu Lithium and Tantalum claims (Zulu) in the Fort Rixon district.

The EPO is valid for three years.

Premier African Minerals chief executive George Roach said the company planned to start the definitive feasibility study (DFS) on the Zulu deposit and complete it in 14 months.

The company said the EPO area held further known lithium-bearing pegmatites, which offered upside to Zulu, as well as historic small gold mines and potential molybdenite.

“Since the maiden Mineral Resource Estimate, the geological model has been optimised as at least six new zones of lithium mineralisation have been discovered, supporting an exploration target of up to 80 million tonnes,” Roach said.

“Test work conducted by Anzaplan in Germany on behalf of Premier confirmed that low iron spodumene concentrates of up to 6.5% contained lithium equivalent was attainable and an independent scoping study prepared by Bara Consulting for Zulu was most encouraging.

“The granting of the EPO reaffirms the Zimbabwean Government policy that Zimbabwe is open for business and further supports the Ministry of Mines policy of creating a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023.”

The most important use of lithium is in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras, and electric vehicles. Lithium is also used in some non-rechargeable batteries for things like heart pacemakers, toys, and clocks.

Tantalum is used in the electronics industry for capacitors and high-power resistors. It is also used to make alloys to increase strength, ductility, and corrosion resistance. The metal is also used in dental and surgical instruments and implants, as it causes no immune response.

Source: ZNBC《》RT

Vice President and health minister Constantino Chiwenga was furious after discovering that the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) had renamed its COVID-19 isolation centre to Arundel Hospital, ZimLive reports.

The isolation centre at the Bartley Memorial Block and the Bulawayo Orthopaedic Hospital were officially opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday.

Reports indicate that the official opening was delayed after Chiwenga ordered the removal of “Arundel Hospital” banners.

Chiwenga had arrived at the hospital ahead of Mnangagwa only to discover that Bartley Memorial Block signage had been splashed with the banners. A source told ZimLive:

He was quite furious and told them to remove Arundel Hospital signage. He said it was a public hospital and wondered why it was carrying the name of a private institution in Harare.

Bulawayo residents were reportedly alarmed to see the Arundel Hospital signs going up, fearing that part of the UBH was being privatised.

With reporters watching, hospital officials scrambled to remove a sign which read ‘UBH ARUNDEL HOSPITAL EXTENSION’ which had been imposed on top of the building’s original name of Bartley Memorial Block.

Arundel Hospital is owned by Mnangagwa’s ally and millionaire financier Kudakwashe Tagwirei, who is on United States sanctions for “materially assisting senior Zimbabwean government officials involved in public corruption.”

Tagwirei, through his company Sakunda, took over the Arundel Clinic in Harare last year and converted it to an isolation centre for COVID-19 after allegedly spending over US$3 million revamping the facility and acquiring equipment.

Source: ZimLive 《》RT


By Paidashe Mandivengerei

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has defied public sentiment by extending Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s term by another five years.

Malaba was due to retire from the helm of the Zimbabwean bench through retirement.

He turns 70 this Friday.

But a rushed signing into law of the controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 2 gave the President the legal tools to give the top jurist another lease of life at the helm of the country’s judiciary.

Mnangagwa’s decision to extend Malaba’s term was arrived at after medical reports proved the judge was fit to continue with his job.

According to state media, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Misheck Sibanda has written to Malaba approving his term’s extension beyond his current age.

This comes after Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum Director, Musa Kika, Young Lawyers Association and MDC Alliance Vice President, Tendai Biti have filed a court challenge against what was due to be the extension of Malaba’s term.

Zimbabwe’s opposition is keen to see Malaba’s back after the top judge has been accused of interfering with judgements deemed unfavourable to the interests of the Zanu PF establishment.

His juniors within the bench have also accused their boss of overbearing influence on the outcome of court judgements.

Malaba has a special place in the hearts of Zanu PF after he presided over the famous 2018 electoral challenge against Mnangagwa by the latter’s main opponent Nelson Chamisa of MDC Alliance who lost the case.

The judge presided over Mnangagwa’s inauguration following 2017 after the Zimbabwean strongman muscled his way to the top job following a military assisted coup in November same year.

Mnangagwa, then Vice President and leader of a Zanu PF faction that was tussling for party control ahead of then President Robert Mugabe’s exit, put up a strong boardroom fight to have Malaba appointed Chief Justice.

Source: NZ《》RT

The South Sudan Ministry of Higher Education has paid US$400 000 to the Zimbabwean government as part of school fees arrears for over 100 South Sudanese students who studied here.

Zimbabwean universities where the students have finished their studies and graduated have been withholding their certificates until the arrears are cleared by the South Sudan government.

A South Sudan higher education ministry delegation was in Harare recently and agreed on a payment plan with their Zimbabwean counterparts to clear off about US$1.6 million in arrears.

Kezekia Deng Woul, the Director-General for Administration and Finance in the ministry said that of the arrears, they were only able to pay US$400 000. He said:

We managed to reach an agreement that is a payment plan. The amount that is required from us is USD 1.6 million. They had said it was USD 1.8 but we sat down and calculated it down to USD 1.6 million.

Deng added that according to the payment plan, South Sudan will pay Zimbabwe the remaining balance of US$1.2 million until 2023.

The official in the ministry further said they collected 105 certificates and those students still pursuing their studies to continue without any interference.

Source: Radio Tamajuz 《》RT


Chief Justice, Irene Mambilima has commended the United Nations Environmental Protection (UNEP) for the continued fostering of programmes aimed at enhancing environmental justice in Zambia.

Justice Mambilima notes that such programmes are inevitable and an important aspect to the environment, as they are designed to ensure that persons responsible for polluting the environment are taken to task.

The Chief Justice also stated that it is for this reason that UNEP working in collaboration with the Zambia Environmental Protection Authority (ZEMA) and the Justice System in Zambia, are working together in coming up with laws that best address pressing environmental concerns, in order to protect Zambia’s natural resources.

The Chief Justice said this in a speech read on her behalf by Justice Anne Sitali during the official opening of the Training of Trainers workshop for Judges, on the proposed guidelines on sentencing in Environmental, Crimes and award of Environmental damages and compensation.

And Justice Mambilima further said there is need to ensure that the environment is restored to its pristine state, in as much as offenders were taken to task for going against laws that bind environmental protection.

She reminded the judges to ensure that they remain proactive and use the guidelines to be formulated to aid them during their course of duty, when determining environmental disputes and crimes.

“Your invaluable contributions will go a long way in promoting environmental justice and sustainable development,” Justice Mambilima said.

The two day training workshop sponsored by UNEP is being done virtually with officials from the United Nations in collaboration with High Court Judges from across the country.

And UNEP Regional Coordinator, Robert Wabunoha has expressed optimism that the partnership between the environmental management authorities and the Zambian Justice system will enhance the execution of environmental justice in Zambia.

Wabunoha appreciated the efforts from all the players, adding that there was need to strengthen capacities in Zambia, which he believed would be achieved once the proposed guidelines in environmental protection were officially formulated.

Meanwhile, ZEMA representative, Karen Banda also echoed the need for all stakeholders to ensure that laws binding the environment are tightened and persons responsible for going against the laws are taken to task.

Source: LT《》RT


By Nyasa Times Reporter

Scores of directors of finance in selected councils across the country have faulted the National Audit Office (NAO) for “flouting procedures” in the manner it handled an audit into the K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds.

President Lazarus Chakwera had instituted an audit on Covid-19 funds across councils in the country, and a report by the Auditor General shows that only 14 councils are without a query and are not appearing in the report.

Among others, a senior government official, well-versed with standard public audit processes say an audit begins with an engagement letter from NAO to concerned ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and then an entry meeting is conducted before the audit starts.

According to them, after the audit an exit meeting is done and from an exit briefing they expect the client (MDAs) to provide comments on the observations made.

But some directors of finance in councils say that was not the case despite acting Auditor General Thomas Makiwa, who appeared before the Public Accounts Committee on Monday, saying all clusters were properly audited.

Ellen Kayira, chairperson of Local Government Finance Managers Network, noted that most of the faulted councils were not accorded a chance to respond to observations.

She alleged that councils that “do not appear in the report” were given an opportunity to respond to observations.

“These councils were given a management letter and had exit meetings after which they were cleared. Some of the procedures were not followed, especially what happens after an audit has been instituted. In most councils after the audit was executed, there were no exit meetings and those who were custodians of documents were not even given the right to be heard,” Kayira told Nation.

According to her, they have submitted their concern to the Malawi Local Government Association (MALGA) whose president, Wild Ndipo, insisted the councils “managed the Covid-19 funds better.”

Said Ndipo: “The suspected abused funds may be five percent which can be cleared if they [councils] are given a chance to explain.”

Meanwhile, all concerned councils and officials have been summoned to appear before PAC from next week and to explain to the Ministry of Finance within 14 days from Monday.

The committee’s letter reads in part: “You are hereby also asked to ensure that all officers mentioned in the report under your institution should accompany you to the hearing.

“In readiness for your appearance before the committee, you are requested to submit bound copies of your written responses to the audit query by Friday April 30, 2021”.

Source: NT《》RT

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