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NESBOW MUYANGENI
MIDLANDS BUREAU

GWERU – The Environmental Management Agency (EMA) has launched the anti-veld fire campaign for 2017 in Somabhula, Midlands Province ahead of the fire season which is approaching.
The launch was done last week on Wednesday at Somabhula Hall in Ward 15. Zimbabwe has over the years lost property, human life and the environment to uncontrolled fires that consumed large tracts of land.
The launch led by Gweru EMA Provincial Educator Timothy Nyoka saw guests visiting farms in Somabhula that have already made fireguards.
The theme of the launch was 'veld fires destroy the environment, life and property- prevent them'.
The launch was graced by Vungu RDC chief executive officer Alex Magura who urged the Somabhula community to protect themselves from fire as it is a dangerous factor that can destroy them.
"As we approach yet another dry season, farmers and all other property owners, this is the time to ensure that your farms and properties are protected by standard nine meter fire guards on either side of a boundary fence making a total of 18m", said Magura.
He also urged the Midlands Province to protect itself from these fires as  it has a large number of places affected by fire throughout history resulting in loss of life, property, crops and livestock.
The launch was also attended by representatives from Parks and Wildlife Authourity and Forestry Commission who also educated the Somabhula community on the importance of protecting their land.
Pupils from Tapiwa Primary School, Somabhula Primary and Secondary also attended the event as they were also being taught how to protect themselves from veld fires.
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ARTWELL WIKIREFU

MWENEZI - A clerk with the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) Rutenga was slapped with 22 months imprisonment after he defrauded his employer of $208.
Bob Machiva (42) appeared before Mwenezi magistrate Honest Musiiwa and pleaded guilty to fraud charges. His sentence was wholly suspended on various conditions.
It is the state case that in the past two months Machiva defrauded the parastatal of a total sum of $208, 00 on different occasion.
As a clerk Machiva received cash as fees for transportation of goods by rail. Instead of receipting the money, he pocketed the cash and wrote invoices known as wage bills.
After writing the invoices Machiva then endorsed fake receipt numbers on the invoices to appear as if he had properly receipted the cash.
When the accused heard that the offences were discovered he resigned from work whilst audits were still in progress.
crime news


NESBOW MUYANGENI

GWERU - Piason Mbalekwa who won primary elections to represent Zanu PF in the Chiundura Constituency by-elections stepped down because of his links to Morgan Tsvangirai, sources have told The Mirror.
Mbalekwa however, stepped down claiming that his child was not feeling well. Jeffrey Chitando who used to be a senior party member at the MDC T confirmed that Mbalekwa was a close security aide to Tsvangirai.
Kasukuwere said in a statement from Mexico that Mbalekwa was disqualified.
"The decision to step down is totally mine which I made after the realization that the hectic program of a fully fledged campaign would interfere with some personal commitments during the time of the campaign", said Mbalekwa.
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MORRIS BISHI

MASVINGO – Police have remained tight lipped about the body of a man believed to be a Zimbabwe National Army captain whose body was found dumped in the back of his truck with stab wounds at Craft Centre, a stone's throw away from Masvingo CBD.
However, sources told The Mirror that the murdered man is Captain Phio Jeketera, an army captain who was based at Military Ordinance Section in Harare and was travelling to his rural home in Zaka.
The Mirror was also told of the names of the suspects in the case but there is fear that release of the names would jeopardise Police investigations.
Masvingo Police spokesperson, Inspector Charity Mazula kept on promising to give details to The Mirror until the time of going to Press.
The City woke up on Saturday morning to the shocking news of a body found at the back of a truck close to Mucheke River Bridge where Police officers were manning a road block. A passer-by alerted the cops of the body in the car.
Investigations later revealed that Jeketera who was driving a Nissan Vannete on Friday night came through Chivhu and Mpandawana en-route to Zaka via Roy. He must have met the robbers about six kilometres before Roy turn-off and there was a brawl with his attackers and one of his shoes dropped there.
He had one shoe on his leg when his body was discovered in the truck.
Sources said Jeketera was in communication with his daughter a few kilometres before Roy and he promised to call her upon arrival at Roy but he never did.
After murdering him, his attackers must have driven the truck with the body and dumped it in Masvingo in a bid to disguise the place of murder. Relatives of the deceased were at Masvingo Central this week where they made statements.
crime news


TAWANDA HOMBA

BIKITA - A Bikita woman was shocked to come back from a well where she had gone to fetch some water only to find her two-year-old daughter she left sleeping in the same bed with her husband crying uncontrollably with blood oozing from her private parts.
The husband was using a piece of cloth to wipe away the blood and the baffled mother forcibly inspected her husband who had no pant at that moment only to find out that his organ had blood stains.
Magistrate Dambudzo Malunga found Maurice Tarisai (21) of Ruzive Village under Chief Mukanganwi in Bikita guilty of rape and sentenced him to 18 years after he pleaded guilty to the charge on Monday.
It is the State case that on March 17, 2017 at around 6am, the complainant's mother went to fetch water at a nearby well, leaving the complainant sleeping in the same bed with the accused.
During the absence of the mother, the father raped his daughter once.
The mother came back and found the accused wiping blood from the juvenile`s vagina while she was crying. The mother also observed that the complainant had no pant. She then forcibly inspected the accused's penis and found out that it had some blood.
The mother told other family members about the incident and she was discouraged from reporting the matter to the Police. The complainant was referred to Silveira Hospital where a medical doctor who examined her compiled a medical report which was used in court as exhibit.
Tarisai was sentenced to 18 years in jail of which three years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years..
Mukai Mutumhe prosecuted.crime news


MORRIS BISHI

MASVINGO – The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport will in the next four weeks summon Austrian construction firm which won the contract to dualise Masvingo – Beitbridge Road to answer various questions pertaining to the project.
Chairperson of the Committee, Dexter Nduna said his committee will summon Geiger International for the purpose of getting an explaination on how the company will guarantee high standard work.
Speaking to The Mirror on the side-lines of the commissioning of the dualisation project by President Mugabe last Thursday, Nduna said Geiger will also speak on the lifespan of the road.
He said the Committee wants to get assurance on how the quality of the road will be guaranteed and also know how the company will implement a clause set by Government in the contract to have 40 percent of the work contracted to locals.
"This is quite a significant project considering that the amount of money involved is big. We want to ensure that the lifespan of the road is guaranteed and this is why we are summoning Geiger International to Parliament.
"We want to know how 40 percent of the works will go to locals as stipulated in the signed contract," said Nduna.
Nduna said he is expecting local engineers to put their eyes on the ball. He said they should not sleep on duty as happened during the construction of Plumtree –Mutare road.
business news


MORRIS BISHI

MASVINGO – The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport which has noted that roads in the country are in a bad state and that most of them are beyond their lifespans plans to engage mining companies for the resuscitation of the road network.
This could be an important way of making the mining companies plough back into the communities.
Speaking to The Mirror in an interview, the Committee chairperson, Dexter Nduna said Government does not have resources to repair roads and an alternative is to approach mining companies.
"I am quite aware of the fact that the committee is interrogating mine houses on the reconstruction and maintenance of road network in their areas. The road network is dilapidated and life spans have expired and this calls for nothing less than $5 billion to resuscitate. We need to interrogate the issue of companies that are exporting resources like platinum and gold without ploughing back to the country"
"These companies should contribute to the improvement of the country`s road infrastructure because our resources which they are taking outside are precious. We are in the process of putting modalities in place to ensure that these companies contribute to projects which benefit the nation," said Nduna.
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