Top stories for June 16-20

We will be orphans without you baba Mugabe says top mujibha – The leader of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators- popularly known as mujibhas and chimbwidos during the liberation struggle-yesterday told First Lady Grace Mugabe to tell her husband not to leave office because “we will be orphans without him as president”. Pupurayi Togarepi told Grace Mugabe this at her children’s home in Mazowe where she said she had no right to influence President Robert Mugabe to stay or leave office. Mugabe is 90 but his current term of office ends in 1918. The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front holds in national congress this year and is expected to elect a new leadership but some top officials are already campaigning for Mugabe to hang-on declaring him president-for-life. “The President may decide to leave office, but please tell him that we will be orphans without him as president,” Togarepi was quoted by The Herald as saying. “The freedom we are enjoying today is as a result of his wise leadership and other countries pray to have a leader like him. We are told South Africa is rich, but the indigenous people have nothing, but President Mugabe changed the lives of ordinary people. We thought it would be wise for us to brief you first on our decision before we tell the nation. To those who want to lead, we say be patient your time will come as long as we remain united.”

Air Zim bosses trial set for 13 August
Former Air Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer Peter Chikumba and former company secretary Grace Pfumbidzayi are to go on trial on 13 August on charges of defrauding the national airline of €5.2 million in an alleged insurance scam involving Navistar Insurance Brokers. Navistar Insurance Brokers managing directors Givemore Nderere and Vukile Hlupo and finance director Orten Mawire will go on trial on 18 August. Pfumbidzayi will appear in another trial with former Air Zimbabwe acting group chief executive officer Innocent Mavhunga on 25 August.


Tobacco floors to close next week
Zimbabwe’s tobacco auction floors are to close on Friday next week, 27 June, according to the Tobacco Industry Marketing Board chief executive officer Andrew Matibiri. So far 194 million kgs of tobacco have been sold this year and the total is expected to reach 200 million kgs. Last year 166 million kgs were sold. “The flue cured tobacco marketing season will close on Friday June 27 with final deliveries accepted on Thursday 26 June. All growers who sell on auction floors are therefore advised to complete their grading and baling operations by Wednesday 25 June at the very latest,” Matibiri said. The clean up sale for the 2014 marketing season will be on 15 July. Some 90 000 farmers went into tobacco this year but some of the small growers were disappointed by the poor price on the floors. The shift to tobacco has seen maize production go down and matters have been worsened by the low producer price for maize and delays in payment by the Grain Marketing Board. The government, this year opened the market for maize making the GMB buyer of last resort.


Police swoop Sunday Mail editor’s office
One of the editors, whose appointment to Zimbabwe Newspapers was questioned by President Robert Mugabe barely two weeks ago when he accused Information Minister Jonathan Moyo of being a “devil incarnate”, had his office ransacked by police while his colleague, also appointed recently, had his house broken into. According to The Herald police swooped Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzai’s office today and confiscated a laptop Mac Book Pro, IMAQ laptop, Kia cellphone, white charger adapters, a power bank, a flash stick, and an “MDC-T debate disc” for April 29, 2014. The paper said they also took power cables, a computer CPU, a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. In Bulawayo, the home of Chronicle editor Mduduzi Mathuthu was broken into last night. The security guard said he did not hear anything. Mugabe accused Moyo of firing editors at the State papers and replacing them with Movement for Democratic Change sympathisers. Speaking at the home of the late Nathan Shamuyarira soon after his death, Mugabe said: “Intellectuals, don’t try to use your intellectual knowledge to deceive people. We are simple people. We want bread and butter. We are simple. We want honest leadership, the truth. Are you our leader, they will ask you the individual and you the all of you kana muchiita izvi? Ndiri kutaura izvi nekuti vese vakomana vakanga vakatungamirira mumapaper vakatandwa kuchinotorwa veMDC vachiiswa kuti imi makati tonho muchifunga kuti tine munhu arikutiitira zvakanaka, the devil incarnate.”


Sunday Mail editor to be charged with undermining Mugabe
Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi, who was arrested on Thursday after both his home and office were ransacked by police who confiscated his working equipment, is to appear in court today facing charges of allegedly undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe and subverting or attempting to subvert a constitutionally elected government. His lawyer Joseph Mandizha confirmed that Kudzayi will appear in court today but did not elaborate on the charges. He also said Kudzayi would be charged with keeping ammunition in an unsecure place. President Robert Mugabe accused Information Minister Jonathan Moyo two weeks ago of appointing editors who were sympathetic to the Movement for Democratic Change and were bent on destroying the party. He called Moyo a “devil incarnate” and a “weevil” .



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