Top stories for June 1-5

Tsvangirai back at work- Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai is back at work according to his facebook page, and he says “it feels good to be back at work”. Tsvangirai has been ill for the past two weeks and there was a lot of media hype about this. Some media outlets claimed that he had a terminal illness and that he had sneaked out of a medical centre without paying his bill. When it transpired that he had paid the bill, which was more than US$4 000, they questioned why he did not have medical insurance. Tsvangirai was still confined to his home until Saturday according to another posting. He said he could not attend the funeral of liberation hero Dzino because of doctor’s orders: “Today they buried Dzino, a true hero of this country. I ought to have been there with the family and colleagues in the struggle but I had to follow the doctor’s advice to take a rest. Go well son of Zimbabwe. Rest in Peace, undisputed hero of the people’s struggle,” he wrote on his facebook page. Wilfred Mhanda, popularly known during the liberation struggle as Dzinashe Machingura, died on Wednesday last week and was buried on Saturday. Though he was at one time one of the senior commanders in the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, Machingura fell out with the ZANU-PF leadership just before independence because of his support for the Zimbabwe People’s Army which was supposed to have united the fighters of the ZANU and ZAPU.

MPs owed US$5.4 million in allowances

Zimbabwe’s legislators, who have complained about low salaries, have not been paid their sitting allowances for the past 15 weeks and are now owed a total of US$5.4 million, according to The Herald. The Legislators, 270 from the lower House and 80 from the Senate are owed US$1.4 million for this year’s sittings while US$4 million is for the previous parliament. The Herald said some of the legislators are now borrowing from friends to travel to Harare. Buhera South Member of Parliament Joseph Chinotimba said although parliament was bloated, some of the hard-working MPs were being disadvantaged. “We have MPs with their own resources, but we have other MPs like Chinotimba with no resources, but whose work in their constituencies is recognised pasi nekudenga,” he said. Parliament adjourned last week until next month. The MPs have complained about wastage through high salaries that government employees and chief executives of State enterprises and local authorities have been awarding themselves and wanted Parliament to act as the watch-dog instead of leaving this to cabinet some of whose members it said were beneficiaries of the corruption in the State enterprises and local authorities.



Shamuyarira dies

Former Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front politburo member and one of the leading Zimbabwean journalists Nathan Shamuyarira died at West End Clinic in Harare last night. He was 85. Shamuyarira was one of the highest ranking black journalists in the 1960s as editor-in-chief of African Newspapers whose flagship was the Daily News, the paper that focussed on news about black people and the nationalist movements. He left journalism to pursue studies in the United States after which he went to lecture at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He was one of the founding members of ZANU-PF but fell-out when he formed the Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe (FROLIZI) with James Chikerema. FROLIZI was aimed at uniting ZANU and the Zimbabwe African People’s Union but it flopped. Shamuyarira later returned to the fold and became Zimbabwe’s first Information Minister. He was one of the rare ZANU-PF senior members to voluntarily step down from government.



Air Zimbabwe trying to recover US$10m stolen by managers

Air Zimbabwe is trying to recover about US$10 million that it was defrauded of through an insurance scam by some of its top managers. A forensic audit recommended that acting general manager Norbert Machingura, finance and administration manager Patience Tichagwa, general manger human resources Oswald Madziwa and former general manager finance and corporate services Oswell Matore should be charged but so far only company secretary Grace Pfumbidzayi, acting general manager Innocent Mavhunga and his predecessor Peter Chikumba have been arrested and charged with defrauding the national airline. Navistar Insurance Brokers managing director Givemore Nderere, director Vukile Hlupo and finance and company secretary Orton Mawire have also been arrested and charged with defrauding the national airline of two million euro.



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