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Churches call Mnangagwa to retract Bishops attack

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Zimbabwe Council of Churches has called on the President of Zimbabwe to retract Monica Mutsvangwa’s ‘righteous Ndebele minority’ slur and “falsifying” history in her Gukurahundi claims.

The Churches also expressing solidarity with Archbishop Ndlovu, who was singled out by Monica for being Ndebele.

In light of the statement issued on 15 August 2020 by the Minister of Information, Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, the Heads of Churches affiliated to the ZCC have issued a pastoral letter in solidarity with the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference. Together we are the body of Christ.

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC.) read with grave concern, the government response to the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) pastoral letter of the 146 of August 2020 entitled “The March is not Ended”. The government response presented by Mrs Monica Mutsvangwa, the minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, revealed the following worrying signs:

1. Responsibility: While the churches, including the ZCBC, have consistently identified the partial negative contribution of natural disasters and international isolation to government’s economic performance, it has however noted with grave concern that, the Government of Zimbabwe consistently takes no responsibility for its own failings characterized by corruption, policy inconsistencies and above all, failure to unite the nation towards a common vision. The denialism that characterizes the Government of Zimbabwe’s handling of criticism has now become a deeply worrying trend. The blame-shifting labelling of critical voices as ‘regime change agents, and recently “terrorists” smacks of the government’s unwillingness or inability to engage on the basis of ideas as well as robbing citizens of any hope that things can improve.

2. Personalization: Pastoral letters, including the “The March is not Ended”, are products of prayerful discernment by the college of bishops informed by compassionate listening to the experiences of the congregants. Singling out the Most Revd Archbishop Richard Ndlovu, can only be viewed as undermining the most asset and character of the church that is its Unity. Our humble interpretation is that this is meant to isolate individuals from a collective discernment proem with the sinister aim of diluting the collective voice of the church. The ZCC takes with exception any efforts to interfere with the unity of the Church for which Jesus prayed for in John 17:21.

3. Courtesy: The government response was overtly too emotional and disrespectful for formal communication. Using public media to utter disrespectful communication against the person of Archbishop Ndlovu does not only present the government as inappropriately deploying the resources of the state, but also increases the toxicity that is already characterizing our public space. if the government had strong objections to the Bishops’ communication, it could have addressed those issues without appearing to be discourteous to the viewers of the only national television station. The government will do well through its public officials to instil positive engagement on the basis of ideas than to use public media to buttress negativity.

4. Unity: The government response to the pastoral letter “The March is not Ended”, also missed its unifying and national orientation but instead appropriated distorted historical links and false comparisons with the Rwandan genocide. While the comparisons arc unfounded and outrageous, they also seem to be intentionally or unintentionally stoking ethnic and tribal divisions which actually resulted in loss of thousands of lives in Matabeleland and Midlands during the Gukurahundi. To frivolously associate the bishops’ statement with such a major deep scar in the history of the nation, is not only insensitive to the existing present pain of those affected by Gukurahundi, but also gives the impression that the government is paying lip-service to national healing and reconciliation. The government statement could have been worth ignoring if it was only falsifying history, but it cannot be ignored as it appears dismissive of the invaluable work done by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, under the ZCBC, to offer documentation of the atrocities committed by the army during that dark period. The legacy of Gukurahundi still stalks the nation as those past hurts remain unhealed. His Excellency, President ED Mnangagwa has on several occasions spoken of the need to find healing on these past hurts, yet the government position gives the false impression that the 1987 Unity Accord brought closure to that episode.

3. Courtesy: The government response was overtly too emotional and disrespectful for formal communication. Using public media to utter disrespectful communication against the person of Archbishop Ndlovu does not only present the government as inappropriately deploying the resources of the state, but also increases the toxicity that is already characterizing our public space. if the government had strong objections to the Bishops’ communication, it could have addressed those issues without appearing to be discourteous to the viewers of the only national television station. The government will do well through its public officials to instil positive engagement on the basis of ideas than to use public media to buttress negativity.

4. Unity: The government response to the pastoral letter “The March is not Ended”, also missed its unifying and national orientation but instead appropriated distorted historical links and false comparisons with the Rwandan genocide. While the comparisons arc unfounded and outrageous, they also seem to be intentionally or unintentionally stoking ethnic and tribal divisions which actually resulted in loss of thousands of lives in Matabeleland and Midlands during the Gukurahundi. To frivolously associate the bishops’ statement with such a major deep scar in the history of the nation, is not only insensitive to the existing present pain of those affected by Gukurahundi, but also gives the impression that the government is paying lip-service to national healing and reconciliation. The government statement could have been worth ignoring if it was only falsifying history, but it cannot be ignored as it appears dismissive of the invaluable work done by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, under the ZCBC, to offer documentation of the atrocities committed by the army during that dark period. The legacy of Gukurahundi still stalks the nation as those past hurts remain unhealed. His Excellency, President ED Mnangagwa has on several occasions spoken of the need to find healing on these past hurts, yet the government position gives the false impression that the 1987 Unity Accord brought closure to that episode.

5. History: The ecumenical church’ relationship with the stare has been consistent from colonial Rhodesia to independent Zimbabwe. The government response presented by Minister Mutsvangwa, seeks to create false discontinuity between the contemporary bishops and the suffering servants of the past. Such a view misses the importance of continuity of Tradition within Christian theology and practice. The consistency with which the ZCBC and the ecumenical church have pursued justice, peace and unity cannot be forgotten. Coincidentally, the issues raised by the ‘The March is not Ended” of the 14th of August 2020 are fundamentally similar to calls by Bishop Donal Raymond Lamont in his Open letter to the Rhodesian Government on the 1111i of August 1976. In both cases, the message was well-meaning and consistent with the prophetic traditions of Micah, Amos, Jeremiah, John the Baptist and even our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who have responded to this salvation history with repentance found life. Those who rejected it suffered destruction, not only in a spiritual sense but also materially.

Calls

6. In light of the issues raised above, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches:

6.1 Seeks to affirm its solidarity with the spirit and intent of the “The March is not Ended” as honest communication aimed at calling the government of Zimbabwe to meaningful and respectful engagement to find solutions to the current pressing issues,

6.2 Seeks to enter into a collective discernment process to understand this government’s preparedness to engage and hence calls for the urgent convening of the National Episcopal Conference of the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations to deliberate on the state of the nation and agree on the appropriate ecumenical action

6.3 Calls on all Christians and churches to pray for peace, well-being and courage for Archbishop Ndlovu, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the broad Christian Church in Zimbabwe as they will be demanded to exercise their prophetic and pastoral mandate for the nation.

6.4 Calls on all citizens to remain united across the denominational, ethnic, and political divide realizing that only through active, organized and peaceful citizens’ participation, the nation will be totally transformed.

6.5 Calls upon President ED Mnangagwa to provide leadership by retracting the personal attacks on Archbishop Ndhlovu and the church leaders, but invite the national to an inclusive national dialogue towards a homegrown solution to the challenges that are facing the nation.

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Legendary Footballer George Shaya Dies At Age 77

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Legendary Footballer George Shaya Dies At Age 77

George ‘Mastermind’ Shaya, a five time Soccer Star of the Year and one of the most celebrated soccer legends has died.

He was 77.

Shaya died early on Tuesday morning at his home in Glen Norah A, Harare.

Shaya is among some of the most celebrated yesteryear footballers to have played for Dynamos FC and the Zimbabwe national team.

Popularly known as Mastermind, Shaya turned out for Dynamos during his playing days.

In his illustrious career, Shaya won the Soccer Star of the Year five times; 1969, 1972, 1975, 1976, and 1977, a record which is still to be replicated by any player in history.

The Mastermind passed on barely two weeks after it was announced that a documentary of his legendary career, as one of the most celebrated yesteryear footballers, would be premiered.

At the time of his death, Shaya was walking with the aid of crutches after his left leg was amputated last year.

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Chinese firm unveils US$20m Mining, Agric Loan Facility in Zimbabwe

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Chinese firm unveils Us$2om Mining, Agric Loan Facility in Zimbabwe

Chinese firm, Lovol International Construction Machinery Group, has unveiled a US$20 million equipment loan facility to benefit youths and women in the mining and agricultural sectors.

Lovol, represented by its regional director for East and Southern Africa Mr Terry Song, signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) represented by its president Mr Mike Chimombe to provide mining and farming equipment, including tractors, electric tricycles, combine harvesters, planters, irrigation equipment, solar systems and electric cars.

The company showcased some of the machinery during the signing ceremony in Harare yesterday.

Mr Song said the company will be supporting the Government of Zimbabwe in growing the country’s economy in line with Vision 2030.

“We have the appetite to change the complexion of the economy and we realise that Zimbabweans have got a lot of potential and a missing link was the equipment. Hence we brought in the solution in terms of the equipment. The equipment that we have will certainly be able to give the solution. We have brought equipment that works for agriculture, mining and even road construction. These MoUs we have signed will go a long way in achieving vision 2030.

“Lovol is one of the biggest group in China. We have all kinds of equipment be it mining, agriculture, energy and green power as well. We intend to invest in Zimbabwe to complement Government’s efforts to achieve vision 2030 through capacitating the productive sectors of the country’s economy. Zimbabwe has abundant resources which are untapped, hence the need to bring the equipment to harness the vast mineral resources.”

Mr Terry said China was committed to make Zimbabwe an economic hub. “Together we can make Zimbabwe great.”

He also said that his company will also bring experts to Zimbabwe to service the machinery.

AAG sourced the equipment on behalf of the youths and women in mining and agriculture and will identify the particular individuals and groups who qualify for the equipment.

AAG vice president in charge of operations Mr Munyaradzi Kashambe said: “The signing of the MoU is in line with Vision 2030 .

“As the AAG we are of the strong conviction that the dream of an upper middle income economy by 2030 is indeed achievable earlier than that if we as Zimbabwe remain united and put all hands on deck and support our President. The AAG also believes in the potential of mining and agriculture as the backbone of our economy,” said Mr Kashambe.

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The coming in of Lovol is one of the fruits of President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement thrust and the policy of ensuring Zimbabwe is open for business.

“Let us all support the President’s Vision 2030 and make Zimbabwe great as per his dream. We urge all entrepreneurs to take advantage of the unending opportunities which the Second Republic has unveiled across all sectors.

“Through this partnership the US$12 billion mining economy by 2023 is indeed achievable. This deal benefits all women, youths and every Zimbabwe who are serious about the country’s economic development and Vision 2030 in general.

“As the AAG we are thankful to the visionary leadership of President Mnangagwa and will not leave any stone unturned in supporting the great vision he has for our country,” he said.

Speaking at the same occasion, AAG vice president for women and minorities Ms Anastancia Ndhlovu said the MOU was a game-changer so far as the empowerment of women, and girls and students was concerned.

“They can now access equipment and be active participants in the lucrative male dominated mining and agriculture sectors and so contribute to the country’s economic revival agenda in line with Vision 2030 and the NDS1. I urge all women and students to take advantage of this facility to set up or grow their businesses,” said Ms Ndhlovu.

Read the original article on The Herald.

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Marange teen mother’s parents face arrest

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POLICE yesterday said they had arrested Hatirarami Momberume, also known as Evans Momberume (26), following the alleged death of a 14-year-old minor on July 15 while giving birth at the Johane Marange Apostolic sect shrine in Mafararikwa, Manicaland.

Momberume is facing charges of rape or alternatively contravening section 70 of the code.

The police also said the minor’s parents were facing arrest for faking identity documents of their deceased daughter in a bid to conceal the crime.

The minor died after developing complications while giving birth at the shrine and the matter was concealed until early this month. According to police investigations, the deceased’s first name was Anna Machaya (15) although, she had been previously identified as Memory Machaya.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said that the deceased’s first name was Anna and not Memory as indicated in documents submitted by her parents.

Nyathi said girl’s parents sought to defeat the course of justice by submitting the birth certificate of deceased’s 22-year-old cousin, Memory in a vain attempt to protect the minor’s “rapist” husband Momberume.

Momberume was supposed to appear at Mutare Magistrates Court yesterday, but the matter was postponed to today.

Nyathi said police were pressing criminal charges against the deceased’s mother, Shy Mabika (36) and father Edmore Machaya (45) for obstructing the course of justice.

“Memory Machaya (22) is alive and is actually married to a man called Lameck Makonye alias Sigodhla (54) in Mhondoro. We want to tell Zimbabweans that the person who died is not Memory Machaya. The person who died is Anna Machaya. Memory is alive,” Nyathi said.

“It is clear they were hiding information and it is clear that they also produced fake documents in a bid to hide the death of Anna Machaya. Information that was being presented was now indicating as if Anna was born in 1999, meaning to say that the person by now is an adult, yet in actual fact, she was born in 2006 meaning to say by now she is 15 years old and was married off when she was a minor.

“The parents lied to the police that Anna Machaya was born on January 2, 1999. The mother went on to give police investigators a national identity card in a bid to prove that she was born on January 2, 1999. This was false. Investigations have revealed that the identity card produced to the police belonged to a namesake of the late minor, who is a daughter to Ernest Machaya. This is an uncle to the late Anna Machaya. It is through school records in Mhondoro that the police proved that the late Anna Machaya was born on July 5, 2006 to Edmore Machaya and Shy Mabika. The police have obtained the correct birth certificate copies in respect of Memory Machaya (22) and the late Anna Machaya (15). These are two different people.”

Nyathi appealed for more information on Johane Marange sect members marrying off minor children.

Machaya’s death triggered a global outcry from child rights defenders with the United Nations and several other non-governmental organisations calling on government to end child marriages. Yesterday, different girls from Johane Marange and Johane Masowe Apostolic sects pleaded with stakeholders during a virtual discussion by the Female Students Network to intervene and end early child marriages.

Apostolic sect member Moline Mukomawasha, a University of Zimbabwe student, opened up, saying she had witnessed several girls in the sect being married off.

“Sexual exploitation and the practice of cultural processes happen at apostolic sects, especially the Johane Marange sect,” Mukomawasha said.

“There is also the issue of the virginity tests which is done using unhygienic methods where fingers are inserted into a girl’s reproductive parts. Those that have lost their virginity are forced into marriage with the people that would have impregnated them.”

She said some young girls fell prey to older men during prayer sessions held at the shrines.

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