Jeffrey Muvundusi 16 August 2017
BULAWAYO – A fearless Bulawayo-based independent candidate, Vimbainashe
Musvaburi, who is a nurse by profession, has challenged long ruling
President Robert Mugabe to step down, arguing he is too old to continue
running the country.
Musvaburi, who recently announced her candidature for the Bulawayo South
seat, becomes the second woman to take up the challenge ahead of next
year’s elections, after Harare-based Fadzai Mahere.
The 35-year-old mother of two strongly feels Mugabe, in power since
Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, has overstayed his welcome.
“Mugabe and his Zanu PF have to go,” said Musvaburi, who has been
domiciled in the United Kingdom for almost 10 years.
“It’s not an emotional game but the truth, Zanu PF has got to go. That’s
the only thing. Mugabe is 93. He needs to rest, we are not even talking
about his capabilities of ruling but it’s not ideal for any 93-year-old to
continue doing anything even standing up at home to go to the toilet, I
mean ideally, he should be comfortably seated in a chair, like the one he
got,” she said.
Musvaburi also took a swipe at Zanu PF hardliners whom she accused of
benefiting from Mugabe’s lengthy rule.
“It’s unfortunate that people around him are allowing Mugabe to
continue… It shows these people are benefiting from his presence but if
you say you love him so much as they always want us to believe, why you
don’t allow the man to rest?,” she questioned.
Asked how she gathered the courage to wade into the hotly contested
political arena, Musvaburi said: “I am not scared of anyone and I will not
be scared. I am doing this for the future of our children, being scared of
dying is not an option because they are killing us already.”
Meanwhile, Musvaburi gave a thumps up to the MDC alliance, an initiative
she said was a step ahead in bringing change in Zimbabwe.
“That was a great move because what we need as Zimbabweans is change
regardless of political affiliation, we are coming together and we want
one thing which is change.”
Mphoko’s externalisation case drags on
A CASE in which former operations manager at Bulk Cash and Carry
Wholesalers implicated Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko in the
externalisation of millions of dollars involving Pakistan businessman
Imran Shahzad seems to be taking too long to be heard.
In an affidavit in possession of the Southern News signed on February 17,
2017 at Bulawayo Central District Police headquarters, the former manager
Oga Chafausipo, 51, sought to expose the alleged shady deals that were
taking place at the wholesale company situated along Basch Street and
Khami Road in the city during his time at the company.
Chafausipo who worked for 16 years at the company claims that the company
is involved in externalisation of funds, smuggling of goods, evading of
tax and sale of substandard or expired goods. As a result he implicated
Mphoko for allegedly taking a “protection fee”.
“Recently one of the politicians namely George Mlala, (member of the)
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association council of elders is
also blindly assisting the company to perpetuate its illicit activities.
“I have it on good authority that Mlala was recently paid $35 000 for
onward transmission to… Mphoko for the sole purpose of no interference
or protection of the company,” Chafausipo claimed.
The former manager also added that he also witnessed first-hand on two
separate occasions how over $8 million was separately externalised by his
Police have confirmed handling the matter which they feel is high profile,
hence needs time to investigate.
However, it’s almost six months now and no action has been taken so far
regarding bringing the matter to the courts of law.
In his own words, Chafausipo told the Southern News that while he has been
to high offices that he thought were relevant in his case, nothing to date
“I have been engaging the police and I have spoken even to the Propol, I
engaged the CID, including Zimra and they are aware of my case but
surprisingly I am still to hear from them,” Chafausipo said.
Legal experts who spoke to this paper yesterday seemed to highlight some
intricacies surrounding the matter.
Veteran legal practitioner Brighton Ndove said the challenge was that the
law does not prescribe a reasonable duration within which police
investigations should be completed.
“This is the case especially in matters where no personal right to liberty
is under threat. So ideally it is difficult to accuse the police of
delaying investigations unless there are positive pointers that the police
are deliberately frustrating the process of investigations in which event
the complainant can, in my view, approach the Constitutional Court to
enforce his or her rights to protection of the law as is enshrined in the
Constitution of Zimbabwe,” Ndove said.
He added: “It must also be emphasised that the ZRP is an independent board
that must not be operating under anyone’s directions although they
normally respect lawful directives from the Prosecutor General and the
courts in matters that would have been taken to such institutions of the
Another legal expert Dumisani Dube said it was complex matter.
“I think since there is talk of externalisation of funds the investigation
will involve RBZ exchange control in Zimbabwe and regulatory bodies in
Botswana,” Dube said.
“However, police commercial crimes unit does not have expertise in these
sorts of issues. Consider also names implicated, there is a lot of
clearances needed from higher offices for junior officers,” he said.
Dube also noted the need for evidence gathering, need to obtain
documentary evidence from all parties implicated through search warrants
which he said might take a while.
“However, I don’t think evidence so far gathered warrants the matter to be
taken to court; it’s mostly hearsay from a disgruntled former employee who
is also an accomplice.
“In the absence of any independent credible third party evidence there is
no case to talk about for now.”
However, Affirmative Action Group regional president Reginald Shoko
challenged Chafausipo to appeal to the ministry of Home Affairs if he felt
he was getting a raw deal from the law enforcers.
“I think the former manager has an option of taking the matter up with the
minister if he feels there are unnecessary delays.”
ZANU PF supporters who turned out in their numbers as part of the on-going
Zanu PF youth interface rallies had a nightmarish afternoon at Pelandaba
Stadium, as venue of the rally, was turned into a “mini jail” by the
In comical events witnessed by the Southern News crew, firstly it was the
delay to start that seemed to have agitated those who were in attendance
and secondly it was the denial to leave the stadium during President
Robert Mugabe’s speech.
As early as 9am, people mostly those who were bussed from different
provinces as well as those from Gwanda town and its hinterland had
thronged the venue.
But Mugabe took long to arrive at the venue for unclear reasons forcing
the impatient ones who tried to find their way out – something which
appeared a taboo as police ordered them to go back.
While that was not largely contested, it was when Mugabe finally came when
he started making historical narrations in a typical story telling manner
that some felt was boring and pointless.
Half way into his speech, the supporters who at one point were seated rose
to their feet with many preferring to chat among themselves than to listen
to the rumbling leader.
As result, some started heading towards the gate before the police were
given orders that no one should be allowed to leave the stadium.
Realising that the matter was likely to get out of hand, a truck carrying
riot police had to be called and parked right at the gate.
As Mugabe took long, the agitated supporters never gave up as they kept on
pushing the police.
“I am on ART and I am diabetic so I should go and take my medication,”
said one woman but the police would have none of it.
Some youths immediately warned the police that had it not been that they
respected the president all hell was going to break loose since it was
illogical to them, to be “jailed”.
A certain group of youths could be overhead saying, “there is nothing to
listen, and it’s all history and history.”
For more than 45 minutes over hundreds of disillusioned supporters
remained jerked by the gate in the stadium only to be allowed out after
Mugabe had finished speaking.
Former deputy mayor in land wrangle
FORMER Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda has been sued for allegedly
attempting to repossess land that he had sold to one Nkululeko Ndlovu.
This came after Ndlovu reportedly failed to pay the agreed money on time.
According to the summons filed this week at the High Court by Ndlovu’s
legal representatives, Phulu and Ncube Legal practitioners, Banda’s move
is not only described as illegal but null and void.
“The plaintiff claim is for a declaratur that the agreement of sale of an
immovable property known as Landshare 23 stand no 14300 Selborne Brook,
Bulawayo entered between the plaintiff and defendant was illegal and
therefore void ab initio it being contrary to the agreement of plaintiff
and the Bulawayo City Council which barred the disposal of the property in
issue as it was done without the council’s consent,” reads part of the
Alternatively, the claim also sought a declaratur that the agreement of
sale of the property was also contrary to council by laws which bar the
disposal of property in issue without council consent.
Banda was expelled in March this year from his post as deputy mayor after
he was found guilty on charges of corruption and maladministration, part
of which included using his position to grab land at Ascot in the city.
This was after the government through the ministry of Local government had
appointed a Tribunal to investigate the affairs of the city following a
public outcry over corruption and other allegations.
Banda has since appealed against his dismissal at the High Court.
New drug hits Bulawayo streets
A DANGEROUS and addictive drug called diazepam – popularly known as
“dypapa” or “amangemba” in street lingo – has hit the streets of
Bulawayo, with anti-drugs campaigners raising the red flag.
Diazepam is used to treat anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal symptoms
and muscle spasms.
A survey by the Daily News this week indicated that the drug is now common
among the desperate unemployed youths.
The Daily News also unearthed that the drugs were being peddled by mental
outpatients, mostly from Ingutsheni Hospital.
The drug can only be bought from pharmacies using a prescription. But
surprisingly, the drug abusers have to part ways with a $1 for 10 tablets
from the traffickers.
The investigation led the Daily News team to Makokoba high density suburb
where a woman in her mid-40s, who refused to speak to the paper, is
reportedly selling the drugs.
The youths who spoke to this paper confirmed buying from the woman, only
identified as MaNyoni.
According to Active Youth Zimbabwe (AYZ) study, which was recently
conducted during their awareness campaigns at schools here in partnership
with CID Drugs and Narcotics, young people between the ages of 11 to 18
were the most affected.
AYZ director Romeo Matshazi said their study as an institution has also
revealed a sharp increase in drug abuse by the youths.
“There is a new drug called `dypapa’ and it’s really a cause for concern
considering the rate at which youths are taking it up. It’s quite
shocking. We have been on the ground trying to access the damage and I
think there is an urgent need for all stakeholders to come together and
address this. Its school holidays and the levels of peer pressure are very
high,” he said.
“They consume drugs for fun and at the end, they become drug addicts. As
an organisation, we are therefore striving to ensure that we have a
United Families Trust (Unifam), an organisation meant to help mental
patients, recently founded by eight nurses employed at Ingutsheni, led by
Nhlanhla Ntini, confirmed the increase on the demand of diazepam.
“We have it on good authority that mental outpatients are the ones who are
selling this drug mostly to the youths in the high density suburbs,” Ntini
“We understand that, they mix `dypapa’ with other drugs like mbanje,
bronclear and sometimes they mix it with alcohol. But our research has
just shown that these youths are doing this mostly on experimental basis
and they need something that can take them to new levels of drunkenness,”
He said normally, such abuses have led to some being hospitalised as
“This is why as an organisation we have been trying to engage the youths
through various educational programmes and sporting activities to make
them understand the dangers of drug abuse,” Ntini said.
AYZ, however, said there was need to increase awareness campaigns on the
dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
“The solution is to reach out to the children and educate them on the
impact of drug abuse on their education, health and future,” he said.
According to research, factors that contribute to children abusing drugs
include a family history of substance use, depression, low self-esteem,
influence by peers and the need to blend with others.
These factors eventually push the child to become an addict.
The 2012-2013 National Institute of Mental Health Report indicate that 75
percent of youth who were admitted at Ingutsheni Hospital was due to
substance abuse or economic related.
Mandiwanzira imposes infrastructure sharing
INFORMATION Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira has banned
mobile network operators from individually constructing new base station
towers, arguing the move has not only been outlawed, but primitive.
Since last year, government has been urging wireless network operators to
eliminate “unnecessary duplication of telecommunication infrastructure”,
and share instead.
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country’s largest telecoms company, has
since agreed to share its infrastructure, as long as other players are
prepared to foot maintenance costs on an equal basis.
Mandiwanzira told journalists in Bulawayo recently that infrastructure
sharing is the way to go in modern society.
“You can no longer build your individual tower in this country…by law
you are supposed to build one which takes up multiple operators,” he said.
Mandiwanzira said a consultative process involving all the operators,
together with Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of
Zimbabwe (Potraz), agreed on the position regarding infrastructure
“Ultimately, they had a position and they submitted to me and we
promulgated regulations in terms of infrastructure sharing, so by law, it
is expected that there should be infrastructure sharing. Anyone building
new towers in this country has to build a tower that can accommodate not
less than three players,” he said.
Mandiwanzira said infrastructure sharing was not only limited to the three
existing major mobile network operators – Econet, Telecel and
government-run NetOne – but others telecoms players as well.
“When we talk about infrastructure sharing, we are not only talking about
the three, because we don’t believe that they are the only ones who have
the right to be doing business in telecoms.
“We feel that there are youngsters who have greater ideas who can use that
infrastructure for a fee and set up their own networks that are known as
mobile virtual operators and this is happening in South Africa,” he said.
Mandiwanzira added: “So, the thinking around that argument is a little
bit old in the sense that we have to move forward with new operators using
the same infrastructure.”
The minister said infrastructure sharing was in line with global best
practice and is cost effective.
“When I was appointed minister, I realised the way infrastructure in the
telecoms sector was being employed was inefficient. There was a lot of
duplication of infrastructure, which can actually be shared.
“In fact, the biggest networks have sold their infrastructure to
infrastructure companies and then they sign what are called service level
agreements that you will have to make sure that this infrastructure is
working at this percentage availability,” Mandiwanzira said.
Society challenges govt on pro bono lawyers
THE Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) has challenged government to review its
policy on pro bono lawyers funding, as part of the efforts to ensure
effective justice delivery system.
Government pulled away its funding about two decades ago.
A pro deo or pro bono lawyer is an attorney who undertakes voluntarily
work without payment to those who are unable to afford.
Speaking in Bulawayo, LSZ executive secretary, Edward Mapara told the
Daily News that some of their members who take pro bono cases were going
through a hard time.
“While the system is there and is working, you will have to understand
that initially the pro deo was funded by government, that is no longer
happening because the minimum fee that was supposed to be paid to the
lawyer is no longer coming,” he said.
“The lawyers are giving their services for free,” he bemoaned, adding that
“over and above, the lawyers also incur expenses which are no longer being
Pro bono lawyers are allocated cases by the High Court Registrar.
Mapara gave an example of the Hwange circuit, which he said the lawyers
travel from Victoria Falls, about 100km away, to provide a service.
This, he said, did not also give adequate briefing time between the lawyer
and the client, which eventually results in the lawyer failing to
effectively represent his or her client.
Mapara said this did not only affect the effective delivery of justice,
but also had a negative impact on the image of the legal practitioner.
“….because of this distance, which no one is going to finance, we end up
having to meet in limited time and certainly we cannot have adequate
preparations. You then have a lawyer who is inadequately prepared and you
think the fault is his or her yet it’s not.”
Due to that, Mapara challenged government to at least come up with a
funding mechanism to save the situation.
“Therefore, my recommendation is, apart from coming up with a funding
mechanism which at least will address the reimbursement for expenses, we
also need a mechanism that allows lawyers to adequately have more time
with their clients such that the lawyer can be able to build his defence
and be able to contact on site inspection at the scenes of the crime and
be able to build a credible defence outline.
“If you don’t have that, you certainly won’t give the best and this is a
life and death issue, we still have the capital punishment. So if you are
going to defend a person who will face capital punishment and should
he/she be convicted, I think it’s only fair to give it your all,” he said.