Hospitals in the Midlands province have 68 unclaimed bodies in their mortuaries and government has since ordered the Department of Social Welfare to ensure they are buried as soon as possible.
Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs, Owen Ncube said he had directed the Department of Social Welfare to bury some of the bodies in the next two weeks. He said out of the 68 unclaimed bodies, police had since cleared 38 for burial.
"We have about 68 unclaimed bodies in mortuaries in public health facilities across the province. I have since directed the Department of Social Welfare to clear some of these bodies from the mortuary because they have stayed there for a long time and some might be decomposing. Out of 68 unclaimed bodies about 38 have so far been cleared by the police and are now awaiting burial."
"Some of them are still are under police investigations hence we cannot bury them. However, we implore the police to do their work diligently so that some of the bodies are buried," said Ncube. He said most unclaimed bodies were unidentified victims of road accidents and those from charity homes.
"The two Gokwe Districts, North and South, have a number of such cases if you compare to the other districts in the province. The majority of unclaimed bodies come from charity homes, or are the unidentified victims of accidents especially those who are not properly documented," he added. The state has an obligation to conduct pauper burials.-Online. LOCAL
HARARE– Zimbabwe's unemployment rate stood at 6,62 percent in 2017, a report released by Zimstats shows. According to the Intercensal Demographic Survey, 8.07 million people in the country are aged 15 and above and 60 percent of that population is economically active.
The economically active population is the aggregate number of persons available for the production of goods and services and it included paid employees, employers, unpaid family workers, own account workers and those unemployed. Those above the age of 15 but are not in the economically active bracket include students, homemakers, the retired, those who are sick as well as senior citizens.
According to the survey, the largest proportions of economically active persons are in the age range 20-44 years for both males and females
"The proportion of those in the labour force who are unemployed is about 7 (6, 62) percent, while 93 percent are unemployed. Out of those who are employed, the highest proportion (52 percent) is engaged in agriculture-related occupations, followed by the "paid employee" category (23 percent)", said Zimstats in the survey findings.
Unemployment statistics have always been controversial in the country with some circles pegging the unemployment rate to be as 90 percent, although some argue that the figure only looks at the formal sector. However, Zimstats' methodology apparently includes those in the informal sector and communal agriculture as employed, resulting in employment levels being high.
According to Zimstats' methodology, persons who stated 'paid employee', 'employer', 'own account worker agriculture', 'own account worker other' and 'unpaid family worker' as their main activity were regarded as employed
The survey says that more males than females are in all categories of employment with the exception of "own account worker agriculture" where there are more females than males.
Among the economically active, males are 52 percent with women constituting 48 percent. Interestingly, within the unemployed category there are more males (64 percent) than females (36 percent), according to the survey. There is almost equal proportions between males and females in the employed category, at 51 percent and 49 percent, respectively
"The highest proportion of employed persons have their occupations in agriculture (63 percent) followed by those employed in the 'services sector' at 11 percent. Males are dominating in all occupations except for only four categories namely; Life Sciences Professionals, Administration, Services and, Agriculture.
"There is almost a total male domination in the following sectors; Transport (98 percent males), Mechanics (96 percent), Mining and Construction (93 percent) and Engineers &Technicians (92 percent). Seventy-five percent of persons with a disability are employed in the agricultural occupations", says the survey.
Meanwhile, the survey also established that the country's literacy rate stood at 94 percent in 2017, making it one of the highest on the continent. It was also established that 48 percent of the population aged 30 years and above has completed secondary and above level of education; 43 percent of females said to have completed primary education than 41 percent males.
There were 3,255,463 private households in the country in 2017. The population is also said to have increased to 13,572,560 persons from 13,061,239 in 2012, meaning that some 511,321 persons have been added to the population over the past five years.-Online. BUSINESS
Government has reactivated all its rapid response machinery to respond to a cholera outbreak that has so far claimed four lives in Chegutu.
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday on the latest situation regarding the outbreak, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said although cases seemed to be going down, government was on high alert as there could be other cases still incubating in other parts of the country.
The first case was recorded on January 8, 2018 and since then, cases were being reported at Chegutu District Hospital until January 20.
"Although the cases are declining, it is very critical to note that all these suspected cases are all linked to funerals that occurred in the locality," said Dr Parirenyatwa.
"The index (first case) of the outbreak was an elderly woman who had died, and many people, including some from Mabvuku and Epworth, attended the funeral. Some of the deceased also handled the woman's body, hence we cannot dismiss possibility of other cases incubating from any part of the country."
Dr Parirenyatwa said although authorities could not trace where the elderly woman could have contracted cholera, all the 32 cases which had since been recorded, including the three subsequent deaths, were linked to the elderly woman's funeral. Government, he said, had since followed up on people who attended the funeral and put them under surveillance for any possible signs and symptoms of cholera.
"All provinces have been put on high alert for cholera," said Dr Parirenyatwa.
"The district civil protection committee has been activated; the provincial rapid response team is on the ground, while the national rapid response team is conducting a cholera assessment in the affected province with assistance from the World Health Organisation and UNICEF."
Zimbabwe, Dr Parirenyatwa said, was facing twin challenges of cholera and typhoid. Typhoid, which was first reported in Mbare, had since spread to many suburbs in the capital.
"Unlike typhoid, cholera is more deadly and kills faster," said Dr Parirenyatwa.
Speaking at the same occasion, WHO acting representative Dr Juliet Nabyonga said they remained committed to supporting the Government of Zimbabwe to contain the outbreak from spreading to other parts of the country.
She said to date, four countries — Zambia, Malawi, Kenya and Uganda — had been affected by cholera. Dr Nabyonga said other countries managed to contain the outbreak, but Zambia, which is just next door to Zimbabwe, was still struggling to do so. At least 50 deaths and over 3 000 cases of cholera have so far been reported in the Zambian capital, Lusaka.-Online. TOP NEWS
When asked by a diplomat at a party what her hopes were for this year, the Queen replied, wishing not for world peace, nor even happiness for her own family but "that Zimbabwe will rejoin the Commonwealth".
This group of former British colonies has long been an entity close to the monarch's heart, and she was known to be upset when Zimbabwe was suspended from the organisation in 2003 after its leader, Robert Mugabe, had ignored repeated pleas over human rights abuse.
Mugabe's despotic reign saw the mineral-rich country spiral into chaos, with many of its people reduced to poverty.
His 37-year rule of persecution and bloodshed ended two months ago and his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has promised a return to democracy, with elections this summer.
And in welcome news for the Queen, Mnangagwa has made encouraging comments about the Commonwealth and also hailed Brexit as an opportunity to forge closer links with the UK. He said: "I'll be happy to deal with joining. I have nothing against the Commonwealth club."
And he added: "Britain will need us and we will make sure we become very close to them."
The Zimbabwe government is also said to be planning a tribunal that will determine compensation for the hundreds of white farmers who lost their land under Mugabe's rule.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that Britain could take steps to stabilise Zimbabwe's wildly fluctuating currency but this depended on "democratic progress".-Express. INTERNATIONAL
NAIROBI, Kenya – A Kenyan police report says a Roman Catholic priest is in custody for allegedly sodomizing a man.
Police said Tuesday that villagers in Muranga County in central Kenya had been monitoring the priest whom they suspected of being gay and alerted local authorities when an 18-year-old man went into the priest's quarters Monday.
Police said they found the two in the priest's bedroom and after interrogation they admitted to sexual relations.
Homosexual relations are illegal in most African countries. Gays in many parts of Africa face severe harassment, physical threats and judicial punishment. Kenya has a law banning sodomy. Neighboring Uganda passed legislation that calls for life in prison for some gay acts, but the country's constitutional court ruled that the law was invalid, on procedural grounds.-Online. INTERNATIONAL.
Chimurenga music legend, Thomas "Mukanya" Mapfumo on Sunday said his brand of revolutionary music has evolved over time to remain relevant to the core values of peace and justice, despite the threats he has been subjected to during his music career.
In a speech read on his behalf by his manager, Austin Sibanda at Globalfest awards ceremony in New York, United States, where Mukanya was the recipient of the World Music Award, in recognition of the impact that his music has made across the world, the musician said his win was "a humbling experience".
Mukanya — a fierce critic of former President Robert Mugabe's regime, who has been in self-imposed exile for many years — said music provided hope for change.
"It has not been an easy tour to fight for freedom and social justice in a situation where the music stage could find itself next to men in dark glasses awaiting the last song before sad action starts," the firebrand musician said.
"Every day, we, musicians, encounter so many challenges to make our music flow with community and global trends. So much keeps happening and our silence, failure or fear to sing the right words to resonate with ongoing challenges could mean implied support of bad stuff."
Mukanya said socio-economic problems such as poverty, injustice and corruption across the world continued to offer a fertile template for his music and urged musicians to remain the pulse of their nations.
"It takes more than one voice to make a choir. Let us all keep singing from our various corners for our music to be heard in faraway lands. My Chimurenga brand of music keeps going among various political challenges and threats," he said.
Chimurenga Music Company publicist, Blessing Vava, said the global recognition spoke to the impact that Mukanya has made over the years.
"Undoubtedly, Mukanya has endeared himself as one of the finest musicians to come out of Zimbabwe," he said.
"Mukanya dedicates the award to the people of Zimbabwe for their resilience over the years despite the difficulties they have been going through."
The annual awards are presented to artistes that have made significant contributions to the performing arts landscape in the US through risk taking, addressing cultural diversity and diplomacy and cultural activism. Those who meet the criteria are selected through an open nomination process, by performing arts professionals before a jury decides on the final recipients.-Online. ENTERTAINMENT
President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has given graphic narrations of his supposed escape from an elaborate plan to assassinate him following his expulsion from Zanu PF and government by then president Robert Mugabe. The narration is hereunder reproduced as issued by Mnangagwa;
"I was fired at 4pm and left the office and by 6.30 pm, one of the security guys came to inform me that he must be part of a group that had a mission to eliminate me," he said.
"I didn't think it was pleasurable to wait to be eliminated. I left within four hours of being fired for the Mozambican border. I arrived at the border and our side of the border stamped my passport, but before they could lift the boom for me to cross into Mozambique, it was closed. The message came that I was not allowed to leave Zimbabwe. I said in that case there was no need, I (will) go back. They said again I was not allowed to go back into Zimbabwe but I said 'you can't stop me'. What case have I committed? As I was walking away, they tried to fire (at me) but I have one young man, one of my twin sons, was there. He is an officer and was able to grab the weapon and I was not shot."
The President went on: "Then you know for many years I operated in Mozambique in the department of security. I know the area and it's infested with land mines. Those things are still there, you walk in-between strings to avoid landmines. I did (that) from about 9 pm until about 7.30 the next day. I arrived in Mozambique and we had a lift back to the border to have my passport stamped again on the Mozambican side. Then I phoned a colleague from South Africa that I was on my way to Beira. By the time we arrived in Beira, a small plane had arrived from South Africa to pick me up and I went to South Africa."
Truth or fiction? What do you think? Feedback to us on 0777 875 583 (sms) or email@example.com.-OPINION
A woman who was reportedly raped and murdered before her body was dumped in a maize field in Ascot high-density suburb on Saturday, was allegedly killed by a man who had paid lobola to her parents two days earlier.
Everjoy Ncube (22) of Coolmoreen Compound in Gweru, allegedly refused to go back to South Africa where she was based together with her new husband, John Mazani (33) and that infuriated him.
She was allegedly murdered following a misunderstanding which arose after she refused go back with him to Cape Town, South Africa, where they both stayed together, offering to stay with the man's parents for a while before following him.
Acting Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende confirmed the gruesome murder, adding that police had since launched a manhunt for Mazani whose whereabouts were unknown.
She said the couple was on separation after experiencing a series of domestic disputes which often degenerated into physical fights.
Asst Insp Mukwende said the couple, which had a child together, subsequently went on separation, with Ncube tracing her way back to her parents' home.
She said Mazani returned to Zimbabwe on Thursday last week with the intention of reconciling with Ncube, to which she consented.
Mazani went on to pay lobola for Ncube before asking her to return to South Africa with him, an offer she vehemently refused because of his abusive nature.
It could not be ascertained how much Mazani paid as bride price for his estranged wife.
"Police have launched a manhunt in connection with a murder case where a 22-year-old female adult was found dead in a maize field in Ascot, Gweru, with several stab wounds all over her body," said Asst Insp Mukwende.
"The incident occurred on the January 13 in old Ascot Suburb, Gweru. On January 14 at around 6:30am, a passer-by discovered a body in a maize field. She informed the police who attended the scene. The police carried out investigations which led to the positive identification of the body as that of Everjoy Ncube. The body was ferried to Gweru Provincial Hospital awaiting post-mortem.
"On January 11, Mazani came to Zimbabwe with the intention of reconciling with his wife," said Asst Insp Mukwende.
"The two were on separation as Ncube was alleging that Mazani was abusive while they were in South Africa.
"It is alleged that on January 13 at about 7pm, Mazani went to Ncube's residence where he asked her to accompany him to Ascot Shopping Centre to buy some groceries. On their way back, it is suspected that the two had a misunderstanding which resulted in the accused stabbing her with a sharp object several times all over the body."
Asst Insp Mukwende said after committing the crime, Mazani fled the scene and went to his parents' house in Coolmoreen Compound where he collected his belongings and disappeared.-LOCAL.
A love triangle turned horribly wrong when a 49-year-old Mozambican man severed a rival's fingers with a machete during a confrontation over a woman.
Matewu Sibanda, who resides in Mozambique in Chief Makuyana's area, appeared before a Chipinge magistrate Mr Vuso Gapara facing assault charges as defined in Section 89 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 and was sentenced to five years behind bars.
He was found guilty on his own plea.
Sibanda was sentenced to serve an effective four years after one year was suspended on condition of good behaviour in the next five years.
It was alleged that on December 18, 2017, at around 5am, Farai Maunze (35), arrived at Sylvia Muisa's homestead and found Sibanda inside the house.
Maunze was displeased that another man was in Muisa's house.
He confronted Sibanda and an altercation ensued.
After a heated exchange of words, Sibanda went outside and picked up a machete which was in the yard and went on to strike Maunze several times on his hands.
Despite efforts to evade Sibanda's attack, Maunze lost two fingers as a result of the assault.
Seeing that his life was in serious danger, Maunze decided to run away, while calling for help from neighbours.
He later reported the matter to the police and investigations led to the arrest of Sibanda.
Maunze was treated at Rusitu Hospital. Edith Phiri prosecuted.-Online- LOCAL.
BY NEWSANCHOR CORRESPONDENT
Youths must actively participate in agricultural activities by having access to land ownership, as the finite resource was the core reason why the indigenous Zimbabweans engaged in the liberation struggle against colonialists who had seized their birth-right.
Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators Association (Ziliwaco) provincial lands secretary, Charity Kaplin, made the clarion call at a two-day Mashonaland West Youth Seminar for the organisation's youth wing, Ziliwaco Trust.
Kaplin argued young people should be allocated land as some were sidelined at the inception of the land reform programme.
"Youths should take a leading role in developing this country especially in agriculture. I urge you to be really active in agriculture activities by owning your own piece of land," she said.
Young people were encouraged to apply for ownership of land as the current land audit had managed to expose multiple farm owners who would be forced to cede some of the farms for redistribution to deserving applicants.
"We won't allow someone to have vast tracts of multiple farms whilst others are landless, so we are going through a process of making sure no one has more than one farm," said Kaplin.
"You are the vanguards of this country sovereignty and you also need to be empowered by having land so that you can contribute economically to this country," she said
Speaking at the same meeting Allen Nemaunga, Ziliwaco Trust national chairperson, called upon the youths to be disciplined and follow the footsteps of their parents who successfully prosecuted the liberation struggle which brought the country's independence in 1980.
A participant, Obey Takaendesa Mashanda, urged the youths to be respectful of their parents and elders.
"Let us support the new government being led by President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa and let us be disciplined and avoid the behaviour of disrespecting our parents like what the likes of (former Zanu PF youth leader Kudzanai) Chipanga were now doing," said Mashanda.
Ziliwaco Trust is an body of children of war veterans who participated in the 1970s liberation war and seeks to instil revolutionary values in youths.-LOCAL.
A delegation from the city of Munich in Germany yesterday paid a courtesy call on Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni to share their experiences on planning, housing and infrastructure development.
Harare has twin relations with the German City.
Speaking during the meeting, Clr Manyenyeni said Harare has outgrown itself in terms of design and it needs solutions to overcome infrastructure deficit.
"We are as always delighted to have these exchanges between our two cities-Munich and Harare. The relationship between Harare and Munich continues to be one of the most copied examples of twinning. It works well and almost every six months, there is some engagement, some relationship between the two sides. So, we are happy to have you around," said Clr Manyenyeni.
"We are facing challenges in managing our mobility. The city has outgrown itself in terms of design and it needs solutions that fit its size and features. We are 10 times our designing capacity and it is beginning to show on our infrastructure and road mobility."
He said Harare's population was now two million people and greater Harare has four million people.
Clr Manyenyeni said the visit by the German delegation exposed the city to modern solutions like underground trains, which cannot, however, be supported by the country's economy.
"As we sit here and look at ourselves, there are things that we think we share over ideas and exchanges that we would be able to learn and copy," said Clr Manyenyeni.
He said there should be a mutual friendship between the two cities.
"I have always believed that twins are twins. I have a different understanding of twinning relationships. My view of twinning is that it must be mutual. It must not be about one carrying the other all the time."
Georg-Friedrich Koppen from the Munich Urban Development Planning Department said he was looking forward to working with his counterparts from the City of Harare.
"We thank you very much for the invitation. I have come with some reports of our actual projects in Munich. You can see for yourselves examples of planning, urban development, housing and infrastructure development among others," he said.-Online. LOCAL.
BY NEWSANCHOR DESK
The Zanu PF political leadership in deposed former President Robert Mugabe's home province, Mashonaland West, is reportedly on a whirlwind campaign to pacify discontent close family members and apologists protesting in hushed whispers over the humiliating removal of the strongman who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years.
The exercise, which is coinciding with a planned restructuring of grassroots structures, is being spearheaded in light of reports that in some areas, which lag behind in penetration and uptake of new Information Communications Technology (ICTs), villagers particularly the elderly are demanding explanations as to why Mugabe was "chased away" from the party. Some actually believe Mugabe is still Zimbabwe's president and the thought of him having vacated office is unimaginable.
During one such meeting held at Nyabira, central committee member, Joseph Chirongoma, was tasked to explain what transpired during Operation Restore Legacy which culminated in Mugabe's resignation and subsequent elevation of Emmerson Mnangagwa to lead the party and government.
"Our former president remains our founding liberator and will always remain our icon and role model and is still our father who immensely contributed to our country. We should never forget that and will never abandon him.
"Our people need to understand that our former president voluntarily resigned following Operation Restore Legacy which was intended to restore order in our party and government following the state capture of government, party and our president by the so-called G40 cabal led by a few individuals such as (Ignatius) Chombo, (Saviour) Kasukuwere and former first lady Grace Mugabe who were now personalising the party," said Chirongoma.
"Let's go out there and explain to our people the candidature of President Mnangagwa and explain to our mothers and fathers what has led to these changes in our party leadership," he said.
Other such meetings were held in Banket, Murombedzi and Zvimba, the former president's rural home, amid reports some villagers in the district were working in cahoots with expelled members such as Patrick Zhuwao and his wife, Betty through a movement code-named #2018 Resistance to ensure that Zanu PF loses in the upcoming harmonised elections.
Meanwhile, Mashonaland West Zanu PF provincial chairman, Ziyambi Ziyambi, told party members to campaign peacefully ahead of polls to ensure the conduct of a free, fair and credible plebiscite, a development that would help bolster confidence in the country and inturn attract the much-needed foreign direct investment.- LOCAL
Manchester United legend, Ryan Giggs has been appointed Wales manager on a four-year contract.
The 44-year-old former Manchester United winger succeeds Chris Coleman, who left for Sunderland in November.
Coleman's assistant Osian Roberts, former Wales striker Craig Bellamy and Mark Bowen were also interviewed.
Giggs had long been a target for the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and was the favourite for the role once Coleman departed after Wales failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
The FAW confirmed the appointment on social media and in a statement Giggs said: "I am so proud to have been given the honour of managing the national team.
"The challenges that we have ahead of us with the Nations League and qualification for Uefa Euro 2020 excite me a great deal.
"I can't wait to start working with the players as we prepare for those crucial games later in the year."
FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford said: "With his vast amount of experience having played, coached and managed the biggest club in the world, we are confident of a successful future for our national team."
Giggs won 64 caps between 1991 and 2007 and captained his country - but he was criticised for regularly pulling out of squads and especially for missing friendly matches.
Before Giggs' appointment former team-mate Clayton Blackmore told BBC Sport Wales their former boss Sir Alex Ferguson had been responsible for the no-shows.
The Manchester United great was in caretaker charge of the Red Devils for four games at the end of the 2013-14 season following the sacking of David Moyes.
He spent the next two seasons as Louis van Gaal's assistant, but left after Jose Mourinho was appointed manager at Old Trafford.
Giggs lost out on the Swansea job to Bob Bradley after being interviewed for the manager's role at the Liberty Stadium in October 2016.
It is understood Bellamy and Roberts, who is the FAW's technical director, also had their supporters at Welsh football's governing body.
Bellamy, 38, won 78 caps and is the country's fourth most-capped player.
The former Newcastle, Liverpool and Blackburn forward is currently an academy coach at Cardiff City, where he ended his playing career in 2014. -SPORTS
BY NEWSANCHOR REPORTER
The Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs ministry, through the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is finalising modalities to set up an express criminal court specifically to prosecute grand corruption cases involving millions of dollars, which have been blamed for the country's economic collapse.
Justice minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi made the disclosure while addressing a Zanu PF inter-district meeting at Murombedzi business centre recently.
"Our judicial system should come up with innovative ways to speed up the handling of corruption cases and try those accused of corruption so that we nip this cancer in the bud and show that our government is serious in dealing with corruption issues.
"I want a special express court which will be dedicated to such matters to be established so that we deal with these matters as a matter of urgency, so those who will be found guilty will be dealt with accordingly," he said
Ziyambi, who is Mashonaland West Zanu PF provincial chairman, said President Emmerson Mnangagwa has spoken strongly against corruption and, therefore, perpetrators should be punished regardless of their status in society.
"Our President has said we need to deal with any corruption issues and they will be no sacred cows and no one will be protected as this behaviour had killed our economy. The public should not think these cases being brought before the courts involving people like Chombo and others are mere politicking, it is not and we are serious about it. I want to warn you all that get involved in corruption at your own peril as no one will protect you," said Ziyambi.
Ziyambi said corrupt elements in the party, working under the aegis of the G40 cabal, had usurped executive authority by taking advantage of former president Robert Mugabe (93)'s advanced age and embarked on looting sprees to self-enrich.
These acts of corruption, he said, led to squabbles in the party as former first lady Grace Mugabe wantonly and unashamedly protected these criminals.
Ziyambi, who is also Zvimba West MP, said the ruling party was a people-centred formation which pursues socialist ideologies that seek to uplift every Zimbabwean through equitable distribution of resources.
He said Zanu PF cadres holding influential positions in the party and government should not take advantage of their privileges and called upon law enforcement agencies to act professionally and arrest anyone involved in the vice.
Several senior former government ministers and officials have been arrested over various graft allegations. These include, Ignatius Chombo, former Home Affairs minister and Zvimba North MP, ex-Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya, ex-Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane, Walter Mzembi (ex-Foreign Affairs minister), former Mines Minister Walter Chidhakwa, ex-Energy minister Samuel Udenge among others. The net is reportedly closing in on several other high-profile figures accused of abuse of their positions, theft and corruption whilst still serving as public officials. TOP NEWS
A 19-year-old student with Alpha Institute in Mutare has appeared in court for bedding a 15-year-old girl, twice. Lovemore Nderere appeared before magistrate, Innocent Bepura who remanded him out of custody on free bail pending trial on January 22.
The State, led by prosecutor Christine Mwenga, alleged that Nderere knowingly had sex with the under-aged girl on December 29 and 30 last year, at his grandfather's home.
Nderere, however, claimed he was deceived by the girl, who told him that she was above the stipulated 16 years, when the relationship started in September last year. He did not deny having sex with the girl.-Online. LOCAL
The Office of the President and Cabinet will this week meet with heads of ministries, state enterprises, parastatals and local authorities as it forges ahead with operationalisation of new procurement procedures aimed at minimising over expenditure on acquisition of goods and services.
The government recently appointed a new, eight-member Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) board led by lawyer Vimbayi Nyemba which takes over functions of the disbanded State Procurement Board.
Deputy chief secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Ray Ndhlukula said the meetings set for January 15 to 17 with the different departments, were meant to bring the officials up to speed with the new developments.
Dr Ndhlukula said the meetings were to prepare the officials for "the new order."
"The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act was in terms of Statutory Instrument 152 of 2017 operationalised on 1st January, 2018," he said.
In terms of the new law, accounting officers in the various state entities will be responsible for awarding tenders with the PRAZ ensuring that the departments were complying with set rules and standards.
Government has over 20 ministries and about 93 parastatals and state enterprises.
Efficient procurement procedures are estimated to save the government millions which have in the past been lost through delays in acquiring goods on time, acquisition of sub-standard goods and in some cases inflating of prices.
The new law regulates the entire procurement cycle from planning, market approaches and awarding of tenders as well as disposal of assets.— New Ziana. LOCAL
BY NEWSANCHOR CORRESPONDENT
Stakeholders in the farming community of Trelawney in Mashonaland West province are demanding the immediate removal of a female teacher (name withheld) from Trelawney Primary School over allegations that she is initiating pupils into the dark world of Satanism.
It is alleged that the teacher has recruited several pupils to join the practice of Satanism, amid revelations affected learners were acting strange, with others mewing like cats or hooting like owls. Some reportedly go into hysterical trances. The teacher has mystic powers that she is seen in her classroom and at home, simultaneously, sources said.
As schools opened for the 2018 calendar last week, several pupils from the institution missed classes, with parents demanding the transfer of the female teacher to another school. Parents and guardians fear that their children could be initiated into 'blood-sucking' Satanism.
Acting Mashonaland West deputy provincial education director (Primary Schools), Peter Nizira confirmed the matter and said his ministry is seized with the matter.
"The ministry has forwarded a request to the Public Service Commission (PSC) to have the teacher moved," said Nizira.
"We, as the Ministry of Primary Education, do not employ teachers, so we don't have the mandate to transfer or move a teacher over such issues unless it has to do with misconduct over our statutes. However, we are very worried that children are being affected by missing lessons. We appeal to parents to allow children to continue with lessons whilst a solution to their concern is being sought," Nizira said.
Ward 34 councillor, Zandile Maseko said a solution to the problem should be found as soon as possible so that children continue with lessons.
"We need to find a solution so lessons could continue. I can't really comment on the spiritual side of the story but what is happening to the children is evident that the school needs help and parents should join hands and help in finding solutions to this problem," Maseko said.
Some parents vowed not to send their children to the school until the teacher is transferred.
Traditional leaders in the area, led by Chief Katizagombo, recently conducted a cleansing ceremony in a bid to rid the school of the evil spirits.
During the cleansing ceremony a dead snake which was reportedly used by the female teacher in her Satanism activities was found in her classroom cupboard. Some sceptics, however, alleged the so-called prophets had planted the reptile in a bid to hoodwink the public inorder to get a quick buck.
Observers accused the two 'prophets' who conducted the cleansing ceremony, which was also witnessed by this news crew, of stage-managing the stunt.-LOCAL
BY JAMES MUONWA
Tourism minister, Prisca Mupfumira has said local hotels are too expensive and called on the relevant stakeholders to review cost structures.
The prevailing trend, the minister said during a conference address in Harare, resulted in Zimbabwe losing tourists to other Southern African countries, particularly South Africa and Zambia.
"Why should people come to Zimbabwe for the best view of the Victoria Falls and prefer to cross into Zambia to get accommodation? Why are our hotels so expensive?" she said rhetorically.
Accommodation in Zimbabwean hotels, depending on the star rating of the facility, averages $120 for a standard room per individual per night.
The minister also urged hospitality and tourism players to be innovative in packaging and marketing their products.
Mupfumira hailed the police for heeding calls to reduce roadblocks which had become a 'menace' to local and foreign visiting motorists.-BUSINESS
BY NEWSANCHOR DESK
A 14-year-old Mberengwa boy was fatally assaulted by his juvenile girlfriend's siblings after he was spotted caressing her breasts.
Precious Madzipa (24) and her 14-year-old brother from Mapodhiya village, allegedly fatally beat up Portwell Gotami, from the same village, whom they allegedly caught fondling their little sister's bosom.
Precious, who was not asked to plead, appeared before Mberengwa magistrate Evia Matura this week facing murder charges and was remanded in custody to January 18. The other accused boy was ordered to first consult a probation officer before he can appear in court.
Precious was advised to apply for bail at the High Court.
It is alleged that on New Year's Day, Gotami was with his lover, a juvenile whose age was not given, and was spotted by the girl's 14-year old brother who then reported them to his elder sister, Precious.
The court averred Precious and her brother, then confronted Gotami and a heated argument ensued. During the altercation, the court heard, the pair started assaulting the now deceased with a switch and fists on the head until he collapsed. The assailants then fled the scene after noticing Gotami was injured.
Well-wishers rushed Gotami to Mberengwa District Hospital where he died the following day after succumbing to cerebral haemorrhage as a result of the assault.
The matter was reported to the police leading to the siblings' arrest.-LOCAL
BY NEWSANCHOR DESK
Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander, General Phillip Valerio Sibanda has said the success of military operations, including Operation Restore Legacy which forced former president Robert Mugabe to resign last November, was premised on discipline among the army's rank-and-file which the nation must emulate.
"As a country, we need discipline and it should not be viewed or confined to the military. It is something that we need in our homes, communities and everywhere.
"We have seen it work very well in the war, in Mozambique, Congo (DRC), United Nations operations in Angola and you saw it work recently in Operation Restore Legacy.
"Had it been in some countries, there would have been mayhem big time. So, we believe discipline helps."
Gen Sibanda, however, admitted the army's fallibility.
The ZDF boss made the remarks while addressing a gathering in Chinhoyi recently.
During Operation Restore Legacy, Gen Sibanda was head of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) adorning the rank of Lieutenant-General and was rewarded by elevation to a full General, replacing General Constatino Guveya Chiwenga who has now entered mainstream politics as one of the country's Vice Presidents.
The ZDF comprises the army and airforce, while Operation Restore Legacy was executed ostensibly to "remove criminals" belonging to a faction known as G40 which had captured the ageing then President Robert Mugabe. The faction was led by Mugabe's wife, Grace and was angling to nominate his successor.-LOCAL.
BY NEWSANCHOR DESK
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly in Angola to meet President Joao Lourenco in Luanda today. Both presidents are relatively new in office, having started their tenures late 2017. They also share similar circumstances of having served as Defence ministers under presidents who wanted to thwart their ambitions to move to the helm of party and government.
This becomes Mnangagwa's second official State visit since taking over the reigns of power from long-time ex-president Robert Mugabe last November. Mnangagwa, largely seen as a reformist, is paying courtesy calls on Sadc leaders who have since endorsed his administration which assumed power through the help of the military which orchestrated a 'soft coup' that forced Mugabe to resign.
Mnangagwa was in South Africa last month and met President Jacob Zuma.
Presidential spokesman, George Charamba was quoted saying, "The President is paying courtesy calls on regional Heads of State and Government. We started with South Africa and we are going to Angola tomorrow (today) to do the same. We will go to Namibia on Monday then Zambia and Botswana, among other countries. That is the format. If you have been appointed a President, you must pay courtesy calls on elders in the region."
President Lourenco, a former Defence Minister, took over as Angolan President in September last year from Jose Eduardo do Santos who led the oil-rich country for 38 years. Zimbabwe and Angola share bilateral relations in various areas. There has also been constant exchange of notes between the countries' revolutionary parties, Zanu PF and Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).
While in SA, Mnangagwa called for dialogue and regular engagements between government, the diaspora and private sector, saying efforts were needed to turnaround the economy.
Meanwhile, South Africa and Kenya are expected to conclude several bilateral agreements that will expand and deepen the partnership between the two countries during the first quarter of this year.
This was revealed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta after his meeting with his South African counterpart‚ President Jacob Zuma‚ in Durban on Thursday. Kenyatta‚ who is on his first working visit to South Africa after being re-elected in August last year‚ will also attend the ANC's 106th year celebrations in East London on Saturday 13 January.
Kenyatta and Zuma held a three-hour-long bilateral meeting at the Edwardian-style presidential residence Dr John Dube House while throngs of journalists and photographers waited patiently for them outside. The two presidents told the media that they had discussed a number of issues which included deepening and strengthening relations between the two countries.-LOCAL
BY NEWSANCHOR REPORTER
Following widespread fake news on social media claiming opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai had died, his family has come out to speak on his health and decision of his political future.
The MDC-T leader has been battling colon cancer and has hinted at retiring on health grounds, stirring discord in the party as his deputies angle to succeed him. So pronounced is the fight between Vice Presidents Thokozane Khupe and youthful and front-runner Nelson Chamisa.
Another Tsvangirai deputy, Elias Mudzuri is acting party president.
Hereunder is the official statement released to the media by the opposition leader's family, represented by sons Collins and Manasa;
"The last two years have not been easy for our family following the public revelation that Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, the former Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe and President of MDC-T, had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Not only is he a public figure, holding deep convictions on the governance and development of our country, he is also dear to the family, more particularly his children and grandchildren.
"Several years ago, he made the conscious move into public life and we shall always respect it, lending as much support to him as we can. Most of his time is naturally spent with his wider chosen family in politics, civics and society in general. We are indebted to the friendship, love and caring he continues to receive from all quarters, despite political differences including the recent visit by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. We are conscious that politics can be full of controversy, some of it stalked by the media.
"We urge our wider family to see beyond the current difficulties and put love before anything else. We are confident that our God will heed all your prayers for which we continue to thank, and that Dr Tsvangirai will be back to full health again. We appreciate the arrangement that the party has made to ensure that he gets as much time as possible for rest and recuperation. During this period, we shall provide the party and the public with updates on the progress he is making but only through the MDC T Acting President to avoid misunderstandings, until he is back to full health and re-joins his colleagues in completing what he has worked so hard to achieve.
"Lastly and to correct any misinformation that has circulated in the social media, the family wishes to advise that at no time has it, nor will it try to influence Dr Tsvangirai's political decisions, during his current illness or thereafter.
May the Lord breathe His many mercies on and bless our land." TOP NEWS
HARARE- Zimbabwe's anti-corruption agency is investigating whether former first lady Grace Mugabe was wrongly awarded a university doctorate more than three years ago, an official said on Tuesday.
Grace, whose efforts to take over the leadership of the ruling ZANU-PF party prompted a de facto military coup against her husband, then-president Robert Mugabe, in November, graduated in 2014, just months after she had registered to study at the University of Zimbabwe.
Up to now, her dissertation for the doctorate has not been published and is not available in the university library, as such academic qualifications usually are.
"We indeed received a report from the sociology department at the university on how Grace Mugabe received her doctorate and that is what we are investigating," said Goodson Nguni, the head of investigations at the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.
Local media reports say the sociology department told the commission that Grace's doctorate was "suspicious" and needed to be investigated.
Grace, who was called "Dr Amai" – or "learned mother of the nation" – by adulating followers, has previously defended her academic record and last September told a ZANU-PF rally that she had earned her doctorate even though her detractors thought otherwise.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was on the receiving end of vicious attacks by Grace last year, succeeded 93-year-old Mugabe as president in November.
Grace has not appeared in public since Nov. 15, when army tanks rolled into the capital and confined Mugabe and his family at his luxurious mansion in Harare.-Online. EDUCATION
Ex- War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube , says he is not bitter at being left out in the Vice-President's post or a ministerial post in President Emmerson Mnangagwa's administration.
Dube told Bulawayo journalists on Saturday that although he was eligible to land the vice-presidency on grounds of being one of the most senior Zanu PF officials from Matabeleland region, he was content at remaining a legislator.
"I have never done anything for a price. If you are given powers to choose whom to work with, you choose those that you believe will deliver. Otherwise, I don't feel rejected at all that I am not a VP, let alone a minister," he said.
"I am happy I am still the MP for Makokoba and if the constituency rejects me, that is when I will feel rejected and disappointed."
Before Mnangagwa appointed his deputies late last month, Dube was widely seen as one of the contenders in the race for the VP post, together with Kembo Mohadi, Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda and Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo.
Mohadi and retired Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantino Chiwenga eventually landed the posts.-Online. POLITICS
Ibuprofen has a negative impact on the testicles of young men, a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. When taking ibuprofen in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins, if at all, during middle age. This condition is linked to reduced fertility.
Advil and Motrin are two brand names for ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain reliever. CNN has contacted Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the makers of both brands, for comment.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a trade group that represents manufacturers of over-the-counter medications and supplements, "supports and encourages continued research and promotes ongoing consumer education to help ensure safe use of OTC medicines," said Mike Tringale, a spokesman for the association. "The safety and efficacy of active ingredients in these products has been well documented and supported by decades of scientific study and real-world use."
The new study is a continuation of research that began with pregnant women, explained Bernard Jégou, co-author and director of the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France.
Jégou and a team of French and Danish researchers had been exploring the health effects when a mother-to-be took any one of three mild pain relievers found in medicine chests around the globe: aspirin, acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol and sold under the brand name Tylenol) and ibuprofen.
Their early experiments, published in several papers, showed that when taken during pregnancy, all three of these mild medicines affected the testicles of male babies.
Testicles and testosterone
Testicles not only produce sperm, they secrete testosterone, the primary male sex hormone.
All three drugs then are "anti-androgenic," meaning they disrupt male hormones, explained David M. Kristensen, study co-author and a senior scientist in the Department of Neurology at Copenhagen University Hospital.
The three drugs even increased the likelihood that male babies would be born with congenital malformations, Kristensen noted.
Tringale noted that pregnant and nursing women should always ask a health professional before using medicines.
Knowing this, "we wondered what would happen in the adult," he said. They focused their investigation on ibuprofen, which had the strongest effects.
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen is often taken by athletes, including Olympians and professional soccer players for example, before an event to prevent pain, Jégou said. Are there health consequences for the athletes who routinely use this NSAID?
The research team recruited 31 male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. Of these, 14 were given a daily dosage of ibuprofen that many professional and amateur athletes take: 600 milligrams twice a day, explained Jégou. (This 1200-mg-per-day dose is the maximum limit as directed by the labels of generic ibuprofen products.) The remaining 17 volunteers were given a placebo.
For the men taking ibuprofen, within 14 days, their luteinizing hormones -- which are secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone -- became coordinated with the level of ibuprofen circulating in their blood. At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormones decreased, a sign of dysfunctional testicles.
This hormonal imbalance produced compensated hypogonadism, a condition associated with impaired fertility, depression and increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke.
For the small group of young study participants who used ibuprofen for only a short time, "it is sure that these effects are reversible," Jégou said. However, it's unknown whether the health effects of long-term ibuprofen use are reversible, he said.
After this randomized, controlled clinical trial, the research team experimented with "little bits of human testes" provided by organ donors and then conducted test tube experiments on the endocrine cells, called Leydig and Sertoli cells, which produce testosterone, explained Jégou.
The point was to articulate "in vivo, ex vivo and in vitro" -- in the living body, outside the living body and in the test tube -- that ibuprofen has a direct effect on the testicles and so testosterone.
"We wanted to understand what happened after exposure (to ibuprofen) going from the global human physiology over to the specific organ (the testis) down to the endocrine cells producing testosterone," Kristensen said.
More than idle curiosity prompted such an extensive investigation.
Questions around male fertility
The World Health Organization estimates that one in every four couples of reproductive age in developing countries experiences childlessness despite five years of attempting pregnancy.
A separate study estimated that more than 45 million couples, or about 15% of all couples worldwide, were infertile in 2010, while another unrelated study suggested that men were solely responsible for up to 30% and contribute up to 50% of cases overall.
Meanwhile, a recent analysis published in the journal Human Reproduction Update found that sperm counts of men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand are plunging. Researchers recorded a 52% decline in sperm concentration and a 59% decline in total sperm count over a nearly 40-year period ending in 2011.
Erma Z. Drobnis, an associate professional practice professor of reproductive medicine and fertility at the University of Missouri, Columbia, noted that most drugs are not evaluated for their effects on human male fertility before marketing. Drobnis, who was not involved in the new study, has done extensive research into sperm biology and fertility.
"There is evidence that some medications are particularly harmful to the male reproductive system, including testosterone, opioids, antidepressants, antipsychotics, immune modulators and even the over-the-counter antacid cimetidine (Tagamet)," she said. "However, prescribing providers rarely mention these adverse effects with patients when prescribing these medications.
She believes the new study, though small, is "important" because ibuprofen is among the most commonly used medications.
Though the new research indicates that ibuprofen disrupts the reproductive hormones in healthy young men, she thinks it's possible there's an even greater negative effect in men with low fertility. The other OTC drugs concerning for potential fathers are cimetidine and acetaminophen. She recommends that men who are planning to father a child avoid drugs for several months.
"Larger clinical trials are warranted," she said. "This is timely work that should raise awareness of medication effects on men and potentially their offspring."
Jégou agrees that more study is needed to answer many questions, including whether ibuprofen's effects on male hormones are seen at low doses and whether long-term effects are reversible.
"But the alarm has been raised now," he said. "if this serves to remind people that we are really dealing with medical drugs -- not with things which are not dangerous -- this would be a good thing."
"We need to remember that it is a pharmaceutical compound that helps a lot of people worldwide," Kristensen said. He noted, though, that of the three mild analgesics examined, ibuprofen had "the broadest endocrine-disturbing properties identified so far in men."-Online. TOP NEWS
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