The British government on Wednesday night deported 14 Zimbabwean nationals, who were described by the Home Office in London as convicted foreign criminals, following what it said was a historic landmark agreement between the two nations to send some Zimbabweans back home.
In a tweet, the Home Office said the deportees were sentenced to a combined total of over 75 years in prison for various crimes, including rape and murder.
The British government, which has deported 7,985 foreign criminals from the United Kingdom since January 2019, says it wants to keep its communities safe from criminals.
Indications are that the country is planning to deport at least 150 Zimbabweans per month, especially those that have committed serious offences and failed asylum seekers.
The 14 arrived at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport early Thursday morning and were whisked away in two buses to a quarantine center in Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare. According to attorneys representing some of the deportees, initially, 50 Zimbabweans were supposed to be deported Wednesday but a number of lawyers intervened, resulting in court injunctions stopping or deferring their deportations in fear that they could be victimized in Zimbabwe by state security agents as they are opposition activists.
In an interview with journalists in Harare, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Frederick Shava, dismissed victimization claims by political activists and attorneys representing some of the deportees, saying they won’t be harmed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
In a tweet, Zimbabwe’s Information Secretary, Nick Mangwana, also welcomed the returnees, saying those who commit crimes will be locked up at the dreaded Chikurubi Prison, a few kilometers away from Harare.
““… 14 Zimbabweans arrived today. They have been taken to ZIPAM (Zimbabwe Institute of Administration and Personnel Management). They will have COVID-19 tests and quarantined for 10 days. After being Covid-19 cleared they will join their families and communities. We welcome these fellow citizens home. They will be safe and the same opportunities availed to everyone else will be available to them.
“We have always accepted our criminals back. We hope those that did their time have been adequately rehabilitated. Should they offend then they will learn that Chikurubi is not Belmarsh prisons. Not everybody is a business talent. Should they be placed ahead of the Zimbabweans already here?”
One of the attorneys representing the deportees, Andrew Nyamayaro said they stopped the flight carrying the Zimbabweans last night for a couple of hours but some of their clients lost the fight to stay in Britain.
Nyamayaro said, “Yesterday there was a deportation of Zimbabweans from the United Kingdom. Originally, it was 50 people that were intended to be deported but after some legal fight some got injunctions, some had removal orders deferred and some had other reasons why they could not be returned to Zimbabwe. There was also a last minute case that went into court around 6:00pm U.K. time and around 8:30pm it was finished which said that the charter flight can proceed but people that had been interviewed for travel documents by the Home Office personal are at risk of persecution if they get to Zimbabwe.
“So, the charter flight was scheduled for 10:00pm but the judge said it can leave after 10:30pm to give a chance to anyone who was on board who was interviewed by the Zimbabwean authorities in the U.K. to leave the plane and then to return to the detention center. I think they did that process. Most lawyers, including ourselves, we then tried to get in touch with the people that had been intended to leave the country but because when they leave the deportation center their mobile phones are taken off them, we could not contact them. It was confirmed this morning that 14 people have now been deported to Zimbabwe and as we speak they are being taken to a quarantine center in Harare at a place called ZIPAM. That’s where they are going to do their isolation there.”
He said at one of the detention center there was an outbreak of COVID-19 and some of the people who had contact with those with the disease were left at the center.
“People should leave the country in their own volition but unfortunately it was not the case for these 14.”
He said Britain wants to deport about 100 people per month, who committed crimes and those that don’t have legal documents to remain in the country.
On the deportation of the 14 deemed to be criminals by the British, Nyamayaro said, “It’s a balancing exercise. Once someone has committed an offence, it’s the severity of the offences, first offender or when the crime was committed. Some of the people who were deported arrived in the U.K. when they were young and were convicted of drugs cases.”In Harare, video footage of their arrivals monitored on several digital and social media platforms from Washington, showed a couple of people boarding two buses with police monitoring their movements. – VOA
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.
Chinese firm unveils US$20m 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.
Marange teen mother’s parents face arrest
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.