Mugabe Saves Jonathan Moyo

Now Daily

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  • Something fishy: Jonathan Moyo.

President Robert Mugabe has sprung to the defence of under-attack minister of higher education Jonathan Moyo who is facing investigations for defrauding the state of millions of dollars, it emerged.

Moyo was arrested after plundering Zimdef, a government fund meant for salaries and expenses of technical college students on industrial attachment. He was hauled before a parliamentary committee after government audits exposed him for theft of millions of dollars.

Mugabe exonerated Moyo and downplayed the case, saying the minister had taken the money on behalf of Zanu PF.

“The anti-corruption commission are at cross-purposes with professor Jonathan Moyo. He thinks they’ve been political and that the funds they say he’s used in a corrupt way were funds that were required by youth, women and the party in general,” Mugabe told local TV.

Mugabe claimed falsely that reports of corruption in the high echelons of his government were “just rumours”. Critics dispute this, noting that Mugabe is presented with detailed reports of corruption every year by the auditor-general and the intelligence services but does not act on them as they affect cronies in his government.

© Now Daily 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Accident Victims Suffer as Hospitals Reject Medical Aid

Now Daily

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The scenes at Parirenyatwa hospital in Harare were distressing. Seriously injured road accident victims lay bleeding on stretchers as hospital staff haggled with relatives over payment.

“We only accept cash. You must pay a deposit of sixty dollars,” said a cashier.

One distraught man negotiated in vain, explaining that nine people had died in the accident and his wife was one of the few survivors, who could die if not immediately attended to. The nurses walked away.

The hospital’s new policy of demanding cash upfront for treatment is replicated in medical facilities across Zimbabwe. As economic collapse looms due to poor government policies, service providers are demanding cash.

Zvishavane MP John Holder told parliament that it was ‘criminal’, especially for the  for

© Now Daily 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Zimbabweans Give up Sex to Survive

No Sex, We’re Zimbabweans!

Now Daily Special Report

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  • Zimbabweans arrive in Lusaka, Zambia.

Zimbabweans are spending unusually long periods without having sex with their spouses and this is causing a breakdown in marriages, fuelling AIDS and domestic violence, experts have said.

Some married men and women have gone for more than 20 years without sleeping with each other, straining relationships, says a new study published by research firm N4 on Wednesday to coincide with International Women’s Day.

“Due to the deepening economic and political crisis in the country, married people are spending longer periods away from home because of work commitments,” the report said. “Although this is voluntary absence, the strain of going without spousal sex for lengthy periods often manifests itself in extra-marital sex which can be short or long-term.”

The worst-affected couples are those in which partners went to countries with tough visa regimes that did not easily accommodate spouses or where distance made it both expensive and impractical to commute regularly.

The report commissioned by the Women’s Council said the issue was complicated by falling incomes locally and the need for married partners to travel abroad, go across borders and work in far off towns and cities. Many of the partners could not afford to travel and be with their families at crucial times, leading to mistrust and marital disputes.

“In the past, it was mostly men who left home to go and work in the cities and mines. Today, a lot of women have to go and work away from home for long periods, especially in neighbouring countries. The research found that trust often broke down, resulting in tensions and violence when the partners eventually met. Many couples do not trust each other to be faithful even when they are living together and the situation gets worse when they are forced apart for long periods with little or no money for regular communication,” Women’s Council director Kate Nhema told Now Daily.

The researchers found that educational and employment opportunities that had opened up for women often kept them away from home or kept them busy, resulting in their partners suspecting they were involved with other men.

“Regular, uninhibited communication is usually the solution for couples that are forced apart by business or distance. Spouses need reassurance. Some people we interviewed have gone for twenty years without meeting their spouses but they remained faithful because they were always in touch by phone or mail. More important, the breadwinner must always fulfil his or her part as expected because financial problems can sometimes drive people to infidelity,” Nhema said.

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  • Some Zim women are forced into prostitution.

She added that because of financial problems, many spouses had regular disputes over money and translated to less sex.

Nhema lambasted president Robert Mugabe’s government, Zanu PF and United Nations agencies for paying lip service to the cause of women by holding ‘festivals and galas’ which gave the false impression that the condition of women was improving.

“Zanu PF is the chief abuser of women through sexual violence perpetrated by their militias which the courts never prosecute and which the UN never investigates or condemns. The police force, which is largely staffed by members of Zanu PF’s Border Gezi militia or Green Bombers is out on the streets everyday harassing, beating, robbing and demanding sex from vendors who are mostly women. Another Zanu PF militia, Chipangano extorts money and demands sex from vendors at Mbare market every day but nothing is being done. Female students are being abused by lecturers but we never see any practical action being taken to address the problem. Young children are being forced into sex slavery under the guise of marriage but we see Mugabe hobnobbing with the abusers, dressed in those white Vapositori gowns during his election campaigns. Discrimination and sexual violence is rampant in the workplace but nothing is being done, especially by the labour and gender ministers who are women,” said Nhema.

© Now Daily 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Prostitution, STIs Flourish in Central Harare as ‘Loitering’ Law is Struck Down

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  • Young prostitutes revel.

Now Daily

Prostitutes and their pimps are taking advantage of a recent court ruling to invade Harare city centre and set up open air brothels where they conduct their trade in broad daylight, right in front of the police.

The railway area close to Harare central police station has become a hotbed of the vice, with women selling their bodies for as little as $1 and having sex in flats, offices, cars, plastic shacks, disused railway wagons, in the open in alleyways or under trees. The Avenues, a traditional haunt of prostitutes has been taken over by pimps who run brothels recruiting under-age school girls and even married women from impoverished townships and rural areas to work the gloomy sex trade under the bright city lights.

The so-called ‘vuzu parties’ where intoxicated revellers are allowed to strip and dance or swim naked have increased in areas around the bustling city centre.

The ruling by the Constitutional Court effectively barring the police from arresting unaccompanied women suspected of soliciting for money in exchange for sex in Harare has led to a sharp rise in crime and disease, police and experts say. Police had used the statute, which makes it an offence to be found “loitering for the purposes of prostitution” to arrest prostitutes. Prostitution itself is very hard to prosecute for the authorities as it requires hard evidence that transactional sex took place, was purposed or planned.

The police have apparently withdrawn tough day and night patrols from seedy areas of the city where they used to make brisk business for the state and a little money on the side arresting the so-called ladies of the night and their handlers.

“We used to arrest prostitutes and charge them with loitering for the purposes of prostitution but that law has been struck down by the court. We can’t arrest prostitutes because unless they volunteer to admit the charges, we’ll just have to let them go because you need hard evidence, which takes time and resources which we don’t have to prove the charges in court,” said a source.

Legal experts say prostitution is hard to define and to prove in court.

“Under the law, you would need evidence of the transaction between a prostitute and her client. They might have to tighten the laws on soliciting for money in exchange for sex but before that happens, most of the alleged prostitutes are just released before going to court,” said a human rights lawyer.

Women’s groups who campaigned for the removal of the draconian loitering law said it was being abused by the police to extort money from innocent women going about their business at night. The police were known to single out professionals: bank workers, teachers and others who could withdraw cash from ATMs and pay bribes on the spot to avoid the hassle of going to the police station. The police in Zimbabwe have wide-ranging powers to arrest and lock up suspects over petty offences, a result of colonial rule which has been perpetuated by the regime of dictator Robert Mugabe.

Some of the policemen were known to demand addresses of victims and follow them up at their homes or places of work demanding sex.

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On the streets in the so-called Avenues area, prostitutes now parade themselves in miniskirts in broad daylight offering sex. “Iwe, hausi kuda kukwira here? (Hey, don’t you want sex?),” said a prostitute dressed in a tiny tank top and ‘skin-tights’ to an undercover reporter.

Some of the skin trade is happening at city centre joints like Tipperary’s night club owned by deputy public service, labour and social services minister Tapiwa Matangaidze, where groups of prostitutes meet, a few metres from the United States, Russian and Canadian embassies in central Harare.

Health workers say the increase in freedom of movement has attracted prostitutes from around Zimbabwe and regional countries like Zambia, Mozambique and Nigeria, fuelling disease.

“Naturally, when there is uncontrolled sexual activity, STIs and HIV increase,” said a source at Community Health, a project that conducts research on public health issues and assists vulnerable groups with information. “STIs have always been rampant in the Avenues area but there has been an increase in the number of players, multiplying the risk. We carried out that survey in an attempt to see what could happen if they actually legalised prostitution as some lobbyists. There are pros and cons. These women are trapped in a situation where they can operate freely and get more clients and more money. People have turned the railways area into an open air brothel. Some are using disused railway carriages. The problem then comes in safeguarding oneself and more specifically getting treated for STIs.”

There is no government clinic in central Harare and large ‘referral’ hospitals like Parirenyatwa charge consultation fees of up to $60, which many prostitutes who work nearby streets say they cannot afford. Some of those interviewed said they relied on traditional herbs known as ‘maguchu’ from places like Mbare market or ‘Indian’ doctors who charged between $5 and $35 for a course of treatment. Others were found to be buying antibiotics smuggled by nurses from local hospitals and sold on the street for about $3 for a course of treatment.

“Many of these women on the streets are infected with STIs but they can’t afford to be tested or to get treatment because they don’t get much money at all,” said an official at Community Health. “The situation is worse for students under 18 because they cannot get tested for HIV unless they are accompanied by parents or adult relatives, which is an impossible requirement for most of the young sex workers. Married women also have problems in adhering to treatment because of the fear of being found out by their spouses if they go to the nearest medical facility or keep medication at home. But then, many clients of prostitutes prefer young children and married women believing they will not cause problems for them after the act.”

© Now Daily 2016. All Rights Reserved.


Mugabe Succession Divides Zanu PF

Now Daily

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  • Heir apparent?: Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Several Zanu PF youth wing members in Bulawayo have resigned in protest after the league’s politburo secretary Kudzai Chipanga announced plans to declare party leader Robert Mugabe ‘life president’, Now Daily has learnt.

The youths accused Chipanga of rushing to make the announcement at the party’s annual conference in Masvingo in December and to the media without consulting them.

Chipanga moved Friday to stop the removal of Harare province chairman Takataka, who was said to be a member of Grace Mugabe’s so-called G40 faction, which supports the imposition of 93 year-old Mugabe as the party’s and national president for life.

Grace Mugabe imposed Chipanga as youth league head after booting out an executive led by Godwin Gomwe, who was loyal to vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is said to be angling to succeed Mugabe. Party insiders say Grace Mugabe wants her husband to stay on at the helm while she consolidates her own power within the party with the eventual aim of succeeding him as president.

Chipanga said the rebellious youths in Bulawayo would be replaced. Sources said the departed youths were aligned to Mnangagwa’s so-called Lacoste faction made up of war veterans, army generals and intelligence officers who want Mugabe to step down at the end of his current term in 2018 and for the vice president to stand for the party in the presidential elections.

© Now Daily 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Mugabe Behind Eviction of War Veterans

Now Daily

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*Grace Mugabe.

Minister of state for the welfare of war veterans Tshinga Dube has clashed with lands minister Douglas Mombeshora over the ongoing eviction of war veterans, Now Daily can reveal.

High level sources told this website that Dube had confronted Mombeshora over the issue and raised it with president Robert Mugabe. War veterans accuse Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe of sponsoring marauding bands of youths to evict them. The sources said Grace Mugabe also influenced officials in Mombeshora’s office not to give war veterans ‘offer letters’, 99 year lease documents and farming inputs under the command farming programme as revenge after they rejected her presidential bid .

Dube set a March 15 deadline for the evicted war veterans and other ex-combatants who were not allocated farms during the ‘fast-track’ land reform programme to provide details for their cases to be investigated.

An unknown number of war veterans have been evicted from the formerly white-owned farms they occupied forcibly at the height of the land reform programme. Thousands of land occupiers in Mashonaland Central province have been ejected to make way for Grace Mugabe’s game park.

Sources within Zanu PF said the veterans had become targets of Grace Mugabe’s venom after they rejected her bid to succeed her ailing husband as president at a party conference in Victoria Falls in 2015. The war veterans, military generals and intelligence officers have openly supported vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa to take over from Mugabe.

© Now Daily 2017. All Rights Reserved.


Grand Coalition Gathers Pace

By John Chimunhu

Now Daily

Zimbabwe’s opposition political parties say they are close to finalizing a grand electoral coalition that could upset dictator Robert Mugabe at the next elections scheduled for 2018. Only Mugabe knows the exact date of the poll. The government is working to discredit plans to introduce electronic voting. National Peoples Party leader Joice Mujuru told the BBC that she was close to a deal with MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai. Above, Mujuru poses with Tendai Biti, leader of the Peoples Democratic Party.Zanu PF administrator Ignatius Chombo dismissed it as a “coalition of rejects”.

(c) Now Daily 2017. All Rights Reserved.