The Zimbabwe Republic Police have pledged they will ensure that journalists and other media practitioners are protected and allowed to carry out their duties without fear during the impending 2018 harmonised elections.
Chief Superintendent Grace Ndou issued the assurance during a stakeholder liaison meeting convened by Mashonaland West police in Chinhoyi recently, amid calls for scribes to be professional and report without fear or favour.
Ndou reiterated the need for journalists to report objectively and fairly in a bid to help promote tolerance among political opponents as the country goes for watershed elections slated for 30 July.
"As journalists, you play a pivotal and important role in our country in spreading information, therefore you should carry out your duties fairly. You should get the respect from all political parties so that you can carry out your duties without hindrances before, during and after elections and as police, we ensure your safety as you carry out your duties," she said.
The top ZRP officer called upon political parties to allow journalists to carry out their duties without hindrance and urged media personnel to shy away from corrupt activities such as taking bribes.
"As police, we would like to assure journalists that they will be no intimidation, harassment and threats as you carry out your duties like witnessed in the previous elections as we are now in this new dispensation and incidences of the past elections will not be repeated," Ndou said. LOCAL NEWS.

Emmerson Mnangagwa

The long wait for the proclamation of the harmonised election date in Zimbabwe is over following President Emmerson Mnangagwa's announcement today that polls will go ahead on 30 July.
Mnangagwa proclaimed the date through an extraordinary government gazette.
"Monday the 30th day of July, 2018 as the day of the election of the office of President, the election of members of the National Assembly and election of councillors that is the day on which a poll shall be taken if a poll becomes necessary…" reads part of the proclamation.
Recently, presidential spokesperson, George Charamba told journalists attending a media/ elections reporting workshop in Kariba that the 2018 polls sought to give the new administration legitimacy and authorities would ensure the holding of free, fair and credible elections.
"The elections are about restoring international engagement. They must free, fair, violence-free and universally-endorsed. It's an instrument of foreign policy," he said.
The proclamation comes days after the ruling Zanu PF conducted its internal polls to choose candidates to represent the revolutionary party in the defining plebiscites.
Mnangagwa faces main rival MDC-T leader Nelson Chamisa in a litmus test of his popularity among the electorate. Today Mnangagwa addressed a peace-building meeting of Zanu PF activists in Harare in a bid to unite the party following the shambolic primary elections that have seen some pockets of disgruntled members threatening a protest vote in favour of independent or opposition aspirants.
Chamisa's party, though, has been caught napping as it is still to resolve tussles within its ranks of candidates to represent the MDC Alliance, a coalition of opposition parties that have thrown their weight behind youthful Chamisa as its presidential horse.
Interestingly, the proclamation also comes a day after the close of the inspection of the provisional voters' roll compiled by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), the country's statutory election management body. TOP NEWS.

Returnee ex-minister and Zanu PF national political commissar and his wife on plane back home.

Fugitive former Zanu PF national political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, who returned home on Tuesday following his six-month self-imposed exile in South Africa, reportedly got material and humanitarian support from top African National Congress (ANC) officials as he fled persecution from the new administration led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Kasukuwere, whose nickname is Tyson gained from his militant and bold leadership style, landed at the Robert Mugabe International Airport at midday Tuesday alongside his wife Barbra.
The fugitive politician, who was the kingpin of a faction opposed to Mnangagwa's ascendancy to the presidency known as G40, thanked a former South African minister for helping him during his exile.
Kasukuwere thanked the ANC chief and former Police minister, Fikile Mbalula and former Member of Parliament Tony Yengeni for the 'support and counsel.'
Posting on the microblogging site, Twitter for the first time in close to a month, Kasukuwere showed signs of a bitter-sweet experience about his time in exile and revealed the journey won't be easy.
"Life takes you to unexpected places, love brings you home," he said.
Yengeni responded to the tweet by congratulating Kasukuwere saying they felt blessed during his stay in the neighbouring country.
"Well done Tyson . . . Wishing you and family all the blessings. You blessed us with your short stay in our motherland South Africa . . .! Hope to visit you soonest," he replied to the tweet.
Yengeni went on to pass his greetings to former president Robert Mugabe.
"Please convey our warm and heartfelt warm greetings to the oldman."
It is at this point that the former minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing thanked Yengeni and Mbalula.
"Cde Tony thank you very much. Truly indebted to you and Mbalula for the support and counsel. It's not an easy journey and many hurdles lie ahead. I look forward to receiving you in Harare."
Kasukuwere skipped the borders when the military seized power and confined Mugabe to house arrest.
The former commissar, together with his colleagues Professor Jonathan Moyo and Patrick Zhuwao came underfire for being leading lights in the G40 faction that angled to succeed the aged Mugabe (94).
While his G40 colleagues have taken to Twitter and other social media sites castigating the new government as a 'military junta' and casting aspersions at the leaders, Kasukuwere remained silent and his whereabouts remained a mystery, only to resurface this Tuesday at the airport where he was met by pockets of protests by opponents calling for his arrest over unspecified charges.-Online/ Staff Reporter. TOP NEWS.

Philip Chiyangwa

Douglas Mombeshora

Douglas Mombeshora

Controversial businessman-cum-politician, Philip Chiyangwa's premature celebrations were halted after his 'victory' to represent Zanu PF in Zvimba South constituency in the forthcoming 2018 harmonised general elections was nullified by the party's commissariat department. A re-run of voting has been ordered in the constituency after his rival contestants raised allegations of vote buying and rigging.
Chiyangwa, who had reportedly won in the internal polls despite earlier being booed during a campaign presentation, faces a stern challenge from Chrispen 'Kadoza' Saidi who was tipped to win the ballot.
The first round was characterised by flaws that saw most eligible voters failing to cast their ballots as their names did not appear on the party's cell registers.
Reports also suggest Chiyangwa had orchestrated a grand plan to disenfranchise Saidi's supporters from voting in supposed strongholds. There were rampant allegations the business tycoon and Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president bought bicycles for branch chairpersons and had paid police details who acted as returning officers in the sham elections.
According to a petition that was presented to Zanu PF national political commissar, retired Lieutenant-General Englebert Rugeje, Chiyangwa bribed returning officers and directed branch chairpersons to remove names of people who were unlikely to cast votes in his favour.
At Maquadzi Primary School, violence broke out as voters bayed for the area chairperson's blood for allegedly hiding the cell register. He escaped by sneaking out through the window before Chiyangwa later reported the matter at Banket Police Station where he implicated his main rival Saidi for causing the mayhem.
At Kuwadzana Hall, an unnamed Officer-In-Charge who was presiding officer took the ballot box to the police station following a lengthy argument with some of the polling agents who were against the idea.
It is reported some of Chiyangwa's rival polling agents were later chased away from the police station as they were wanted to keep vigil throughout the night guarding the ballot box to avoid tempering with the votes.
Ironically, a victory party was reportedly held in Banket's Ward 23 branch at chairperson Peter Nizira's home whilst elections were still underway although Chiyangwa had reportedly lost by a huge margin in Banket before brewing a shocker at Strathdon Farm where it was reported he had garnered more than 500 votes. However, investigations by this paper showed that less than 350 people voted at the said polling station when it closed for business.
Saidi and other contestants, Sign Chabvonga, Zandile Maseko and Jessica Tapfumaneyi successfully lodged an appeal that resulted in the nullification of Chiyangwa's momentary triumph.
Meanwhile, former Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, a key Mnangagwa ally, reportedly swept following his shocking defeat to local Mhangura entrepreneur, Precious Chinhamo Masango.
A visibly angry Mombeshora disputed the result before breaking down after a recount of the ballots confirmed he had lost. The former Cabinet minister claimed the police officers had made a mistake in counting before he ordered a re-count.
In Zvimba North voting is yet to take place.  The elections pit Marian Chombo, Idah Kamushinda and 14 other contestants who include top government bureaucrat Christopher Shumba, who was found in possession of an estimated 5 000 pre-voted ballots that led to violence breaking out in Raffingora leaving an unnamed Officer-In-Charge with injuries inflicted on him by angry youths.
In the Mafuta area, voting failed to take place after voters went on the rampage and destroyed ballot papers that were being transported to polling stations by Shumba, principal director in the Local Government ministry, whom they demanded be disqualified from the race.
The Zanu PF Politburo at the weekend ordered a re-run of the primaries in at least 10 constituencies across the country.-TOP NEWS.


Scores of parents with learners attending boarding school were this week left in a fix whether to send their children to school or withhold them following threats of a nationwide teachers' strike as the second term starts Tuesday, 8 May.

Labour unions representing teachers have vowed to disregard the counter-threats by President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government on their intended strike, claiming no amount of bullying will force them to back-down unless their employer agrees to engage and discuss their grievances.

Last month, teachers resolved to down tools when schools open for second term next week saying the government must meet their demands first. The teachers' position seems to have been emboldened by the recent strike by medical doctors and nurses whose demands were later addressed by government.

Teachers have for decades suffered abuse at the hands of former president Robert Mugabe, amid low pay and poor working conditions.

Progressive Teacher's Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) leader Raymond Majongwe reportedly said intimidation will not work and they will go ahead with their planned strike.

Teachers affiliated to other unions, the Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Teachers' Union have also threatened to down tools to force government to accede to their demands.

However, the minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation and Government Programmes Simbarashe Mumbengegwi disclosed the government was willing to engage the workers and has met the APEX council for the National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) to talk about the welfare of civil servants.

"Government is therefore calling upon all teachers not to participate in this unlawful and highly premature strike action called for by some of the union leaders who may not have the same agenda of improving conditions of service for teachers," Mumbengegwi said.

But, the unions said they wanted to negotiate issues specifically from their sector and not through the APEX council. LOCAL NEWS.


Chris Mutsvangwa
The gloves are off in the ruling Zanu PF party after President Emmerson Mnangagwa issued a salvo purportedly targeting his top lieutenant Christopher Mutsvangwa, who this week was in the news for predicting his boss' defeat in the impending 2018 presidential.
Mutsvangwa, who was revving and ranting like a bull in a China shop, attacked all and sundry, including national political commissar Engelbert Rugeje for presiding over shambolic internal party polls that saw the veteran politician losing the right to represent Zanu PF in Norton constituency to unheralded Langton Mutendereki. He went on to say Mnangagwa risked losing the polls.
During the party's official manifesto and campaign launch held at the Harare International Conference Centre today, Mnangagwa fired warning shots to all senior Zanu PF politicians who feel entitled to positions for their role in the liberation struggle, and more recently, the infamous November soft coup that ended former president Robert Mugabe's 37-year rule.    
Said the President in vernacular Shona, "Ukada kutora Zanu PF uchiisa muhomwe mako inokupisa, ugotsva, uchingotsva kusvika waibudisa muhomwe mako (If you want to take the party and shove it into your pocket, it will burn you until you cast it asunder)."
Mnangagwa, who is also the Zanu PF First Secretary, said the days of imposition of candidates and gamesmanship were over following a change of guard at the top.
"The days of imposition and chicanery are dead and buried. Never again to be resurrected no matter a person's standing. We do everything for the people. We must fully respect the rights of the people. The voice of the people is the voice of God. The task ahead of us after the primary elections is huge but we must unite. As we reflect, I encourage us to be guided by party constitution. It obliges us to abide by it. Each member must popularise the party because it is bigger than an individual."
He added, "You cannot force people to vote for you but persuade them.
"We as members of party must recognise the party's rich ideology. I call on all of us to be honest and honourable to ourselves and the public. Let us put differences aside and campaign for a thunderous victory for our party. A divided house cannot stand. Where there is unity God commands his blessings towards unity. No other party can put Zimbabwe in good hands.
"This manifesto is there to guide the next Government. The focus of our party is no longer politics alone, but politics and economics. Days of politics are over. We cannot stop other parties to go for politics but we need to put food on the tables of our people,"
The Zanu PF leader said the conduct of the just-ended party's primary elections elicited a flurry of complaints which the party's Politburo and national elections directorate would deal with.
"We will attend to every issue raised that is why we are not announcing names of candidates today. We will go through the challenges faced in the Politburo tomorrow (5 May). We need to guard against those with ulterior motives to undermine the party's democratic systems. New systems will be fine-tuned with time. We have an immense contribution to the national body politic. Zanu-PF has a special status and standing as a liberator. It's a courier of our national legacy and definer of our nation. Leaders must always come from the people," Mnangagwa said. 
Controversial Mutsvangwa was fired by Mugabe as a government minister for his "contemptuous" conduct and his political career was hanging by the thread, only to have a new lease during the ouster of Mugabe that was preceded by street marches by ordinary citizens led by war veterans under his leadership.  
Mutsvangwa is president of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA), an appendage of the Zanu PF establishment. TOP NEWS.

Zanu-PF will roll out its election manifesto and campaign tomorrow, 4 May, with First Secretary and President Emmerson Mnangagwa expected to unveil the revolutionary party's roadmap ahead of harmonised elections this year.
The polls are expected by the end of July.
Zanu PF begins massive campaigns after the party held its primary elections this week to choose candidates for the National Assembly, Senatorial, council, women's quota and provincial council elections.
President Mnangagwa is the revolutionary party's Presidential candidate.
Tomorrow's launch will be held at the Harare International Conference Centre.
Zanu PF Administration secretary, Obert Mpofu confirmed the development.
"It's (the launch) on and there is no instruction other than that," he said.
"We have sent invitations to provinces."
Those invited to the event include Politburo, Central Committee, National Consultative Assembly members and all those who sit in the national executives of the Youth and Women's Leagues.
Also invited are national affiliate organisations (top 10), members of the Chiefs Council, district party coordinators and provincial party administrators.
Senatorial, National Assembly, proportional representative and council election candidates will be among the delegates and they will be introduced to the party leadership.
Mpofu last week said Zanu PF was taking the electioneering period seriously with the party having already started rolling out a billboard advertising campaign for President Mnangagwa.
Billboards have been erected in major cities with campaign messages, including branded vehicles being shown off on social media platforms.
"We are expecting all the provinces to converge in Harare where we will introduce our candidates," Mpofu said.
"The President and First Secretary of Zanu PF is going to give us a roadmap on how we are going to conduct our elections. It's going to be a big day and there will be a big message from His Excellency, supported by the leadership of the party. What we have done at the moment is to mount billboards and other advertising material.
"This is electioneering time. This is just an appetiser of what we are going to be doing. We want to show those that thought we were not serious about elections that we are the most serious party in the race."
Recently, the party's national political commissar, Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje (Retired), said once the party rolls out its campaign material, it would distribute more than 15 million T-shirts, 15 million caps and 2 million wrappers. LOCAL NEWS.

Phillip Chiyangwa
Real estate tycoon Philip Chiyangwa, who was running for the Zvimba South parliamentary seat, was left with egg on the face after he was jeered at by Zanu PF supporters while presenting his manifesto during a joint campaign meeting in Banket last week
Following the embarrassing episode the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president left the venue in a huff.
In his five-minute presentation, Chiyangwa appealed to the electorate to vote for him in the chaotic Zanu PF primary polls and promised to develop sports infrastructure in the area. However, the crowd would not have none of it and started denouncing the flamboyant businessman, heckled and booed him off stage.
Chanted the crowd, "Down with thieves" while others shouted "this is not soccer but politics, stupid."
As soon he was done, the second candidate and firm favourite Chrispen 'Kadhoza' Saidi was called to the podium and the packed hall burst into jubilant song and dance.
 After sensing that the prospective voters had snubbed him, Chiyangwa immediately left the venue before driving off.
Chiyangwa, a former Chinhoyi legislator, is eyeing the Zvimba South seat which is currently held by former Mines minister Walter Chidakwa, whose career in the revolutionary party is good as over after he was barred from contesting in the primaries for being loyal to deposed former president Robert Mugabe, who is his close relative.
Other candidates are Saidi, who has served as a councillor for the past 27 years, councillor Zandile Maseko and liberation war veteran Jessica Tapfumaneyi.
Results of the primary election had not been announced by the time of writing.
Meanwhile, at least one person was injured in violent clashes that broke out at Chinengundu Centre in Chegutu West constituency.
Incumbent MP Dexter Nduna fired five shots allegedly to fend-off marauding youths who were baying for his polling agent's blood.
Norton district police boss, Chief Superintendent Misheck Chingozha confirmed the incident and warned that police would deal sternly with perpetrators of violence.
He said the skirmishes started when a group of rival supporters of candidates contesting in the primary elections tried to bar people intending to vote from exercising their right.
Nduna said his life and that of his agent were threatened resulting in him firing warning shots.
The injured person is currently receiving treatment at Chegutu District Hospital where her condition is reportedly stable. TOP NEWS.

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