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…Mirror chair offers tuition fees


MASVINGO – Lisa Sibanda (13), a Starbrite finalist who was struggling to meet costs for her trips for the semi finals in Harare got a shot in the arm when The Mirror sourced $100 for her from Davis Marapira who is the MP for Masvingo North and also Deputy Minister of Agriculture ( Mechanism and Irrigation).
One of The Mirror shareholders Virginia-Holmes Takaona chipped in with $30 for the trip to the event which ran from Wednesday to Friday last week.
Mirror Board chairman, Advocate Rodgers Matsikidze said he will consider paying Lisa's tuition under Matsikidze Foundation International.  Lisa was accompanied by her tutor Comfort Nyandoro Tichamupeyi.
Sibanda, a formidable poet is a student at Mazambara High School in Zimuto.
Sibanda once came out number one out of 14 secondary schools in Masvingo Province in poetry at the Traffic Safety Arts Gala competitions where she won $80 in February 2016..
entertainment news


CHIREDZI – The heavy rains received in Chiredzi have seen farmers failing to complete harvesting their crop by mid-December as expected.
Some will now complete their harvesting at the end of this month.
Zimbabwe Sugarcane Development Association (ZSDA) chairman Edmore Gochai Veterai said sugarcane harvesting season which started around May was expected to end in mid-December but the prevailing rains would delay the process by a week or so. 
He also said there is no anticipated sugar shortage in the country and the sugar output this season is expected to surpass the projected output due to the quality of sugarcane which farmers produced. 
"The sugarcane harvesting season for this year is coming to an end within the next few days. It was supposed to end in mid-December which is this week but due to continuos rains the final touch ups were delayed but we hope by Christmas everything will be complete.
It was a year of mixed fortunes for the sugar industry but we expect to surpass the projected sugar output due to several reasons which include quality of sugarcane which is improving yearly. We are working for the coming season in which we also hope to do better" said Veterai.
Sugarcane is grown commercially in the Lowveld which is Mwenezi, Hippo Valley, Triangle and Mkwasine and plans are on the cards to add tens of thousands of hectares using water from the completed Tokwe Mukosi Dam. 
agriculture news


ZVISHAVANE – Premiership 2016 runners-up FC Platinum will for the first time host South African Soweto based giants Kaizer Chiefs  on Christmas Day at their fortress Mandava stadium.
The Soweto giants are believed to be searching for players to beef up their squad ahead of that country's window period which opens in January. Amakhosi as they are popularly known have been going through a lean period since the beginning of their ABSA domestic 2016-2017 season.
 FC Platinum secretary general Benson Wirimai confirmed the development although he declined to divulge more information since the teams are still negotiating.
"Indeed we are organizing a friendly match against Kaizer Chiefs and it's going to be a thriller match as both clubs are hunting for new talent. 
The clubs are using the match to assess players from either sides and you never know we might sign one big player from Chiefs," said Wirimayi.
Meanwhile,sources say  FC Platinum is set to offload  seven players to neighboring  Shabani FC who won the 2016 Central Region League in a loan deal as a way to create room for new signings during the Premiership off-season.
Insiders revealed that FC Platinum has keen interest to have the signature of Shabani wonder boy Eria Phiri who was crowned Central Region Soccer star of the year news

...As Government takes over sponsorship of athletes


HARARE – Minister of Sports, Arts and Recreation, Makhosini Hlongwani has hailed the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) U20 team for their outstanding performance at the just ended seventh edition of the Region 5 games held in Angola at a welcome ceremony held at Prince Edward High School on Monday evening in Harare.
The team had a medal haul of 96, 19 Gold, 31 Silver and 46 Bronze and finished on second position behind South Africa who were the defending champions.
 "This is Zimbabwe's best performance ever in the seven editions we have participated in the games, I am happy and satisfied with the performance, they are our heroes and they deserve to be treated as such," said Hlongwani.
In 2014 in Bulawayo the team amassed 18 Gold medals, 2012 in Zambia 3 Gold, 2010 in Swaziland 17 Gold, 2008 South Africa 9 Gold , 2006 Namibia 12 Gold and 2004 Mozambique the team had 11 Gold medals.
Hlongwani also thanked the parents for their dedication by ensuring that their children took part in the prestigious games by forking out thousands of dollars.
 "I would like to thank all parents; they are making a lot of sacrifices to ensure that their children participate in the national team.
"Parents should not be asked to sponsor such events as it is the Government's role to fund all athletes that would be representing the country," he said.
Every participant that went to Angola was given $420 and those who got medals got winning bonuses of $130 for every Gold medal, $100 for every silver medal and $75 for every bronze medal.
Hlongwani added that all national sports associations and the Sports and Recreation Commission should start preparations for Botswana news


CHIREDZI – The Lowveld Wanderer, the first ever safari operator in Gonarezhou National Park Chiredzi has opened shop and the development is bound to bring with it an increase in tourism with 400 arrivals having been recorded this year alone compared to only 50 in 2015.
One of the two directors of Lowveld Wanderer Ray Sandwith confirmed the development in an interview with The Mirror and said there would be more tourist interest in Gonarezhou than any other national park in Africa because there is a realization that Gonarezhou is truly wild and there is no other game reserve in that form.
"There are no structures and camps inside Gonarezhou. It's a true African bush, it's truly wild. There is no other place like it. It is what it was a100 years ago and even the animals there behave and react differently from other national parks when they come across tourists.
 "The vegetation is unique, it is a mixture of the low, middle and Highveld vegetation. You all find it in Gonarezhou," said Sandwith who is in partnership in the project with Sam Magwai, a Zimbabwean.
He said any structures for human habitation are found outside Gonarezhou as the law does not allow people to build inside it. In other national parks there are lots of human activities inside them including campings.
Sandwith said the information about the wild state of Gonarezhou is being particularly spread by tourists who visit the national park from Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Lowveld Wanderer also has its marketing strategy that includes use of facebook, twitter, instragam, travel agents and word of mouth.
The company has established chalets in Gonarezhou. The bulk of the visitors who have come in are from Turkey, United Kingdom, United State, China and Japan.
Lowveld Wanderer specialises in game drives but will be involved in other activities like airport transfers, fully equipped camps and beach sunset drives all at affordable prices.
"We are happy to announce that our company The Lowveld Wanderer which offers safari services live game drives is now fully operational after our registration with responsible authorities. We offer different types of game drives packages for people who stay at our camps, and another for those who are not staying there," said Sandwith.
Sam Magwai who is the operations director said the company has a plan that is set to benefit communities around Gonarezhou as they will start cultural tourism by inviting dance groups from the community to come and entertain guests at the company`s camps. business news


– A Chinese expatriate working at one of the biggest cement companies in Gweru is battling for his life at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare after he was allegedly attacked by robbers while making love to a commercial sex worker inside his Toyota Hilux double cab
The Chinese national drove off the scene naked, according to sources.
The Mirror is reliably informed that the incident happened at Gweru Sports Club last Saturday night when Cheng Thai was having a nice time with Agnes Chaparira (34).
Midlands Police Spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko referred all questions to Police General Headquarters describing the case as a national matter. However, The Mirror has gathered that the case was reported under number 98/12/16.
When robbers discovered that the two were having sex, they allegedly started throwing stones at the car but the sex worker managed to escape leaving the expatriate at the mess of the attackers.
Several items were allegedly robbed from him. It is alleged that Thai who is a constructor at the cement company hooked up with the sex worker at around
1am and drove to rugby grounds at the Sports Club near Mugoni Lodge.
At some stage stones started hitting their car and Chaparira escaped and went and made a report at the Police station.
Tang is said to have fallen unconscious but woke-up late and allegedly drove naked to the Government Complex in Gweru where he was assisted by guards who called for an ambulance.
Tang was ferried to Gweru General Hospital where a scan was conducted and later transferred to Parirenyatwa Hospital. It is said that Tang's head was
badly injured and he could not talk by the time he went to the

Kasukuwere to approve 14


– The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Saviours Kasukuwere has approved 18 urban council budgets for the 2017 financial year while 14 others have either been rejected or are still waiting approval, The Mirror has established.
This becomes the first time in many years that Government has approved local authorities' budgets before the particular financial year begins.
Most of the councils have complied with a Government directive to cut down on managers' salaries.
The urban councils are categorised into cities (7 of them), municipalities (9 of them), towns (9 of them), and local boards (7) bringing the total number of urban councils in Zimbabwe to 32.
In the Southern region, budgets for Masvingo, Zvishavane, Gwanda, Beitbridge and Gweru have all been approved.
Chiredzi is the only urban council in the Southern region whose budget is not approved and the reason given is that the budget is unsustainable.
Mutare's budget is pending.
Harare is one major urban council whose $346m budget has been rejected. Kasukuwere declined to give reasons for the the rejection.
"We have approved budgets for most of the local urban authorities and some have been sent back for resubmission while some were rejected because of
unsustainable proposals submitted," said Kasukuwere speaking on the phone from Harare.
The Minister could not provide the exact figures for the approved urban authorities budgets because they have to go through certain stages before they are
forwarded to the respective councils.
"We have approved the budgets so that the local authorities can operate smoothly but the exact figures will be released in due course as they have to go
through the financial advisory section, the director and the permanent secretary," added the Minister. Of the seven cities in the country Gweru, Kwekwe, Masvingo
and Bulawayo were approved while Kadoma and Mutare are up in line for approval and Harare has been rejected and referred back to the local authority for
Out of the eight towns in the country only Chiredzi had its budget rejected while Mvurwi, Rusape, Chipinge, Shurugwi, Gokwe, Beitbridge and Plumtree were all approved. Kariba, Victoria Falls, Gwanda and Chinhoyi municipalities were approved while Redcliff, Bindura and Chegutu are in line for approval. Chitungwiza and Marondera had their budgets rejected and asked to resubmit.
Of the eight local boards in the country only Hwange had its budget rejected while Norton, Karoi, Ruwa and Chirundu are in line for approval with only two
approved; Epworth and Lupane.
In the southern region Gweru submitted the biggest budget of $46million which was approved followed by Masvingo with $17.7million and Beitbridge $6.6million. The mining town of Gwanda submitted a $6.4million budget and Zvishavane had a budget of $6.125million approved while Chiredzi with $4.8million was story news