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Hot on the heels

Nkulumani Mlambo

MASVINGO – The Zanu PF provincial chairman for Masvingo, Ezra Chadzamira says three quarters of the resources needed for President Mugabe's 92nd birthday party to be held in Masvingo are now secured following a meeting in the city where individuals, party leaders, different organisations and business made huge pledges.
There was a galore of pledges at Masvingo Polytechnic last Saturday as hundreds of guests tried to ensure that the birthday bash to be hosted by the province on February 21, at Mucheke stadium is a success.
To start the ball rolling was Retired Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai who donated $1000 on behalf of Bikita district, $500 for his family and $1000 on behalf of Zimbabwe Sugar Development Association where he is the chairman.
Masvingo Rural Districts chairman Killer Zivhu who is also secretary for finance for Zanu PF for the province poured in $10 000, secretary for commissariat in the province Jeppy Jaboon pledged $1000, Commercial Sugarcane Farmers Association led by Tawanda Mafurutu chipped in with $2500 and also pledged sugar for the jamboree, Mkwasine Farmers donated $5000 and Bikita Minerals gave $5000.
All the seven administrative districts donated $300 each, Bulawayo based transport company Drummond will provide all the chickens for the whole function, Edmund Mhere promised to provide buses that will ferry party goers on the day while Zuva Peroleum represented by Gutu born business mogul John Mushayavanhu will provide all the fuel to be used during the celebrations.
Zanu PF Politiburo member Josaya Dunira Hungwe who chaired the fundraising meeting urged companies and individuals not to donate cash as it may be abused but to give donations in kind so that members are not tempted to steal.
Rusike brothers from Gweru pledged to provide anything that may be required at the function which is in short supply, Masvingo land developers led by Godhati Dunira pledged 10 tonnes of mealie meal and transport, Gweru based livestock transport operator Kittos pledged four tonnes of meat, Gweru based business community four tonnes of meat, provincial chairman Ezra Chadzamira pledged four beasts for meat, Mukumba who owns Intercape buses promised to provide five buses to ferry people and Lillian Muungani who was representing Greenfield Ethanol promised any quantity of game meat for the ceremony.
Not to be outdone Mwenezi aspiring member of parliament Joosby Omar pledged five buses for Mwenezi district, Masvingo city council represented by the town Clerk Adolf Gusha promised to donate something after consultations, Mutendi did not commit themselves although they promised and sugar processing giant Tongaat Hulets promised to donate anything thai s in short supply at the function.
When contacted for comment the provincial chairman Chadzamira said they have three quarters of what is required for the party.
"We have secured transport, enough meat and food for the celebrations, I can safely say we are three quarters through with everything," said Chadzamira. news

Beatific Gumbwanda
Chiredzi Bureau

Chiredzi - Six candidates have successfully filed their papers at a Nomination Court which sat at the Chiredzi Council offices on Monday to receive names of candidates who will contest in the Chiredzi Ward 5 by-election.
They are to replace Munyaradzi Hatinahama the former councillor who has been imprisoned for fraud.
The six are Blessings Mazinyani (Zanu PF), Masikati Mashatini (NCA), independents Gabriel Chebundo, Patrick Madzura, Mutema Mapfumo and Machingambi Gasel.
The papers were filed before Zimbabwe Elections Commission`s nomination officer, Hendrina Mukuvare.
The elections will be held on April 2, and campaigning is now underway. news

Miriam Mangwaya
Chivhu Bureau

Chivhu – The District Administrator for Chikomba, Clemence Masawi has shocked traditional leaders from this Mashonald East Province when he dissuaded them from making comments or talking to the media before consulting him.
Masawi is alleged to have told traditional leaders who attended a meeting held at the Council Hall in Chivhu on Thursday last week that they should consult him before making any comments to journalists.
Masawi's instruction is however, in stark contrast to the dictates of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which guarantees Press freedom. It is also a violation of the chiefs' right to access the media and people's right to get information from their chiefs.
The hallmark of the constitution is accountability and accountability can only come through the free-flow of information.
Sources said that Masawi was increasingly worried with The Mirror's penetration of Chikomba, a district which barely received media coverage before the opening of a bureau by the newspaper in Chivhu at the beginning of 2015.
It is understood that Masawi's superiors in Marondera and Harare are learning a lot of things through Mirror reports and they have in turn been asking questions to the DA.
Masawi allegedly told the chiefs that said if information is imparted to the media, it would create problems when his superiors approach him inquiring about those issues covered in the Press.
However, several traditional leaders who contacted The Mirror expressed shock at the DA's position and said that they were actually benefitting from The Mirror's coverage as they were exposing ills and getting information to their subjects at zero cost.
One of the chiefs who declined to be named said that corrupt activities were being exposed as a result of the coverage.
"Chiefs who were in the meeting generally agreed that it is not the DA's business to interfere with their business and the media. After all, it is through the media that development projects are highlighted and people in other areas are able to emulate. The same applies if corrupt activities are covered; unscrupulous leaders will act righteously because they will know that they are being watched," said the chief who declined to be named. news

Josphat Musisinyani/Tinashe Tirivavi

MWENEZI - Chief Chitanga, Felani Chauke's aide Tsemani Hakamela from Helani village in Mwenezi has been found dead after a snakebite near a stream after having gone missing for two days while coming from a deep tank last Thursday.
Masvingo provincial Police spokesperson Inspector Charity Mazula confirmed the death to The Mirror.
Hakamela is believed to have died on the spot after the snake bite, he was 69.
He was found dead at a nearby stream by his wife Ellen Chisevenze (55) who was accompanied by a search party after he had gone missing for two days while coming from a deep tank where he had gone for dehorning and cattle branding. Hakamela had a black patch on the back and his neck had turned greenish signs consistant with snake bites showing that he was bitten by a snake, he had tried to administer self-first aid by tying himself by a tree bark. (gavi)
It is believed that Chief Chitanga, Hakamela and three other employees namely Peace Ngwenya (21), Obert Ranganai (51) and Courage Chauke (20) went to Chikali deep tank to brand and de-horn the cows, after they had finished Hakamela drove the herd to the paddocks but could not come back home.
The other workers realized that Hakamela had not returned and informed the chief who tried to call his cell but no one answered that's when they decided to form a search party, at first they only managed to locate the cows, the search continued until he was discovered dead at the stream. news

Mirror Reporter

Victoria Falls – Workers in Zimbabwe including those in management positions have lost any form of job security and can be fired anytime using the labour law amendments enacted late last year where dismissals can be made by an employer through a three months' notice.
The only group of workers that has job security in Zimbabwe are the Judges.This was said by Caleb Mucheche a senior partner at Matsikidze and Mucheche Legal Practitioners Commercial and Labour Law Chambers when he addressed delegates at the Zimbabwe Energy Workers' Union Congress held in Victoria Falls two weeks ago.
He described all workers in Zimbabwe as "legally naked" as their contracts of employment can be terminated any time on three months' notice and warned that  gnashing of teeth is still to come for workers unless the Labour Law is urgently amended.
Mucheche said the recent amendments to the labour law have far reaching effects including the possibility of completely wiping away labour rights and burying trade unions in the country.
He said the new law favours no one against dismissal as both general workers, managers and directors are affected.
He however, said the only group of workers who are immune to the new law are the judges of the Labour Court, High Court, Supreme Court, Constitutional Court and the Prosecutor General as these are a special category of employees who enjoy security of tenure in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment No. 20 of 2013.
Mucheche however, criticised the disparity where judges are protected against dismissal while the rest of the workers have lost job security as a clear violation of equality before the law. He said this was unjustified discrimination and an affront to section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
He called for the urgent amendment of the labour law if workers are to enjoy standard rights including job security.
"The Labour Amendment Act No. 5 of 2015 is half hearted approach to the protection of employees against arbitrary dismissal by employers. Effectively, employees are still at the whims and caprice of some unscrupulous employers who can abuse the statutory right to terminate a contract on notice.
"The concept of job security in Zimbabwe has been destroyed and employees should brace up for tough times ahead and gnashing of teeth unless the labour legislation is urgently amended to address the shortcomings of the law," said Mucheche.
He said the new law may also lead to the extinction of trade unionism as termination of contracts on three months' notice maybe used to target any employees who maybe perceived to cause problems, no matter how bona fide the employee maybe.
Mucheche argued that the amendment of the labour law should be made on the grounds that an employer's right to terminate a contract of employment on notice potentially violates section 65 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Internationally Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 158.
Section 65 among other things underscores the right to fair labour practices and the right to just and equitable conditions of employment. The employer's right to terminate a contract of employment on notice runs foul to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 158 which provides that an employee's contract of employment should not be terminated without a valid cause related to the employee's conduct, capacity or operational requirements of the employer.
Mucheche said that the latest amendment to Labour Law where either part can terminate an employment contract on three months' notice makes a wrong assumption that an employer and an employee are equal.
"The argument that both employers and employees should equally enjoy the right to terminate a contract of employment is misconceived and premised on a fallacy that employers and employees are equal. Theoretically employers and employees are equal but practically they are unequal because an employee is invariably economically dependent on the employer.
"The employer owns the treasury purse and if any employee fails to toe the employer's line, such an employee can be condemned to hunger and abject poverty," said Mucheche. news

Morris Bishi
Chiredzi Bureau

Chiredzi – Six people were killed and several injured in Chiredzi when a hailstorm struck last week, leaving a trail of destruction.
Chiredzi district administrator and Chairperson of the district`s Civil Protection Unit (CPU) Ms Clara Muzenda said assessment of the damage on the whole district was still on-going. She said so far 6 people had died and 52 houses which accommodated 320 people were destroyed. Ms Muzenda urged parents to look after their children during the raining period as most of those who died were children.
"I am still receiving reports from various areas and assessment is still underway. We do  not have enough resources so we requested for assistance from Red Cross who cane and visited the most affected areas on Sunday. A hailstorm hit a 30km in Matedzi which is in Ward 24 a stretch with 52 houses and most of the houses which were roofed with asbestos and iron sheets had their roofs blown away by the wind and walls dissolved by the heavy rains. 2 people died in the area, one was struck by a lightning and the other killed by the wall which fell on him while he was asleep" Muzenda said.
Comfort Mateta (5) and Abigail Mateta (3) of village 4 Bamba Triangle drowned in Mtirikwi river on their way to school. Sosana Mabharani (54) of village 6 Mkazi is the one who was struck by the lightning while Christopher Gambiza (8) died at Nyangambe when walls of their house collapsed as a result of the hailstorm. Andrew Muyangwa of Ranganai village in Chief Sengwe area drowned while swimming at Compani dam and Lucia Chiboho (5) of village 1 Crown Range was swept by a stream on her way to school.
DA Muzenda said some of the victims of the hailstorm needs more assistance. She urged parents not to leave their children going to school alone and urged traditional leaders to look for suitable accommodation in their communities for those affected by the disaster. news 

Miriam Mangwaya
Chivhu Bureau

CHIVHU -  A new primary school named Northwood has been established in Chivhu.
The school, which started this year with an enrolment of 160 pupils from ECD to Grade 3 is temporarily conducting lessons at Liebenberg High School.
Chikomba District Education Officer Ngoni Mujuru confirmed the development.
He said, "We have approved the fourth school in town to decongest other schools particularly Runyararo and Chivhu that had big enrolments."
The school is currently operating as a satellite of Runyararo Primary, with three teachers.
The official site of Northwood Primary School is along the road to Marondamashanu, to the East of Northwood residential suburb.
Mujuru said the site is ideal as it will reduce the walking distance for some pupils who were going to Makumimavi Primary, about 7km from Chivhu town. He also said there are a lot of dangers when pupils cross the highway going to the schools that are in town hence the need to construct another school at that strategic site.
Chengeto Mavhondo is the acting headmistress of the school.
Chikomba District now has 122 primary   schools, after claiming Charter Estate that was formerly administered by Seke District although it was in Chikomba.