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146 000 megalitres of raw sewage gush into Chivero – The … – NewsDay

Ema, the City of Harare and other local authorities have clashed over water pollution for many years.

ALMOST 146 000 mega litres of partially treated raw sewerage are flowing back to Lake Chivero annually, exposing Harare’s estimated 3,5 million consumers to grave danger, official data showed this week, as the Environmental Management Authority (Ema) raised more red flags.

This translates to about 400 mega litres of toxic sewerage flowing back to Lake Chivero daily.

Ema, the City of Harare and other local authorities have clashed over water pollution for many years.

Several local authorities have been fined by the agency for leaving partially treated sewerage to flow into water sources.

The data demonstrates why Harare residents have abandoned drinking or cooking with Lake Chivero’s water, preferring to buy purified water.

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent, Amkela Sidange, environmental education and publicity manager at Ema, said apart from the raw sewerage, the decimation of wetlands has also compounded the situation.

Across cities, wetlands have been invaded by people setting up homes, following a rapid rise in urban population.

In cities, Zimbabweans hope for a better life as the country’s economy relapses.

Illegal settlers in Zimbabwe’s wetlands have been receiving support from politically connected land barons, who collect money and parcel out swaths of land to home-seekers, promising them protection from government and local  authorities.

On several occasions, local and state  authorities have threatened to demolish illegal structures.

But even after such drastic actions, settlements have continued to grow.

Environmental campaigners have been piling pressure on government and local authorities to protect wetlands, which form an integral part of the ecosystem, acting as sponges that filter and purify groundwater.

Sidange said there was hope that under the National Wetland Masterplan, some of the factors driving the construction of houses on wetlands would be addressed.

Still, some experts argued this week that while it was important for authorities to take action, extensive damage had already been inflicted on Zimbabwe’s wetlands.Countrywide, there are at least 1,2 million hectares of wetlands and Harare has about 29 wetlands covering a total area of 23 000 hectares, most of which have been invaded by land barons.

“Surveys by Ema indicate that an estimated 399 mega litres of raw and partially treated sewer are discharged into Lake Chivero (daily), which is one of the most pronounced drivers in pollution of the lake thus contaminating and polluting both terrestrial ecosystems and water bodies,” Sidange told the Independent.“Wetland utilisation should only be done under a licence from Ema, failure of which can result in prosecution. Commendable government efforts have been recorded recently, including the gazetting of the National Wetland Master Plan.“Increasing wetland area under sustainable management is one of the key objectives of the National Development Strategy. To date, an estimated 252 000 hectares against a target of 500 000 hectares have been put under sustainable management,” she said.The latest spate of wetlands invasion has forced local authorities to use more chemicals than normally required when purifying water, which is an expensive undertaking.Apart from raw sewerage, Lake Chivero has also been taking enormous amounts of pollution from industries.Hope Chizuzu, acting head of communications at Harare City Council, said the local authority’s growing population was also piling pressure on the city’s capacity to provide water.“The obvious growth in population in and around Harare informs that the water demand is higher than can be availed,” Chizuzu said.“The infrastructural capacity of the waterworks was designed to serve a population of under a million.“But Harare has a day population of over 3,5 million where people require services during business hours, meaning demand is at an optimum always. “The structural capacity to supply more water to consumers also informs that the source should be increased, which is impossible at the moment, hence the need to defer to other sources like the Kunzvi Dam Project,” he said.Zimbabwe became a signatory of the Ramsar Treaty in 2011. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands and is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.Zimbabwe has seven wetlands that are designated as Ramsar sites under the convention notably: Monavale Vlei, Cleveland Dam, Mana Pools, Lake Chivero and Manyame, Chinhoyi Caves, Victoria Falls National Park and Driefontein Grasslands.Environmental Impact Assessment and Ecosystems Protection Regulations of 2007, which falls under Ema, provides for the protection of wetlands.Ema is a statutory body established under the Environmental Management Act, and is responsible for ensuring the sustainable utilisation of natural resources and the protection of the environment.    



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Who is Harpal Randhawa, Indian billionaire who died in Zimbabwe plane crash? Here’s all you need to know – India TV News

Indian business tycoon Harpal Randhawa, who was killed in a
Image Source : X Indian business tycoon Harpal Randhawa, who was killed in a plane crash in Zimbabwe.

Indian mining tycoon Harpal Randhawa and his son were among the six individuals killed on September 29 when their private plane, Cessna-206, crashed near a diamond mine in southwestern Zimbabwe following a technical glitch.

Randhawa was the owner of RioZim, a diversified mining company producing gold and coal as well as refining nickel and copper. The plane that crashed was also owned by RioZim and was bound towards the Murowa diamond from Harare.

The plane experienced a technical fault, possibly resulting in a mid-air explosion, before plummeting into Peter Farm in the Zvamahande region. Confirming the crash, a statement from RioZim read, “The Murowa Diamond Company (RioZim)-owned white and red Zcam aircraft had left Harare for the mine at 6 am and crashed about 6km from Mashava.”

Who is Harpal Randhawa?

The 60-year-old Randhawa was the founder of private equity firm GEM Holdings worth $4 billion. He had vast gold, diamond and coal mining interests in Zimbabwe and was a prominent figure in the country.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Randhawa has served as the chairman of the GEM group for 30 years after its formation in July 1993. Aside from that, he was a partner at Sabre Capital Worldwide for 12 years and a senior adviser at the real estate firm Safanad for three years.

Randhawa completed his education at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and the University of London. As per reports, he was planning his next business venture. His wife’s name has not been revealed yet.

The billionaire’s son, 22-year-old Amer Kabir Singh Randhawa, is a trained pilot, who also died in the tragic accident on Friday. The names of the other deceased passengers are yet to be released by police.

Reactions to Randhawa’s death

Although the names of the deceased passengers are yet unknown, journalist and filmmaker Hopewell Chinono, who was a friend of Randhawa, confirmed the deaths of Randhawa and his son.

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Harpal Randhawa, the owner of RioZim who died today in a plane crash in Zvishavane. Five other people including his son, who was also a pilot but a passenger on this flight, also died in the crash,” wrote Chinono on X.

“My thoughts are with his wife, family, friends and the RioZim community.” The RioZim company secretary said a full statement will be issued. “I am not in a position to address the media right now. We will however be issuing a statement as soon as possible,” he said.

Many people expressed grief and condolences over Randhawa’s death on social media. Meanwhile, the local community and law enforcement agencies are working together to manage the aftermath of the plane crash.

(with agency inputs)

ALSO READ | Indian mining tycoon, Harpal Randhawa, his son among six killed in plane crash in Zimbabwe

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Fraud-accused Zimstat boss granted US$200 bail

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By Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) Director General, Taguma Mahonde has been granted US$200 bail by Harare magistrate, Marewanazvo Gofa following his arrest last week.

Mahonde is facing fraud allegations with prosecution alleging that he abused his powers to get away with crimes he committed at his workplace.

He is facing another charge of contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act and an alternative charge of obstruction of justice.

The magistrate said it was his right to be granted bail.

During the bail hearing Investigating Officer, Eric Chacha said Mahonde would threaten ZACC’s witnesses into silence or hiding if granted bail.

“The degree of interference is so severe to the extent that the accused found some tactics and used his position as the Director General of ZimStats to fire the witness (Matiza) from work. Realizing that Matiza was working with ZACC, he found some dubious charges and caused the witness to be suspended.”

Chacha said after firing Matiza, Mahonde allegedly called him threatening to “deal” with him.

It is alleged that he said, “I will get bail like what the NSSA boss and the clerk of Parliament did and once I’m back at work I will deal with you accordingly.”

Chacha said if Mahonde is released, he might go back to his workplace and continue to intimidate his subordinates and they will not assist ZACC.

“You could even tell during the interviews of the subordinates that they were being interviewed under threat and fear as they were always saying that they would be facing the challenges Matiza is going through. They are afraid of the accused.” Chacha said.

Mahonde is accused of squandering Zimstat US$4 000 by claiming school fees allowance for a non-existent child.

It is further alleged that when ZACC’s investigations into his alleged corruption started in March this year, he tried to cover up his offense by refunding ZW$756 047.33 but it amounted to US$826 as he had used the interbank rate of $915.

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ZB Bank heist: Four acquitted to be reimbursed forfeited funds

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By Staff Reporter

FOUR suspects who were acquitted in the ZB Bank money heist case which made headlines two years ago will have their forfeited money reimbursed.

The four are Trymore Chapfikwa, Tozivepi Chirara, Dennis Madondo and Tatenda Gadzikwa.

They filed an application for disposal before Harare magistrate, Clever Tsikwa ruled there was “no justification for the State to keep the money when there is no longer a case against the four.”

The amount to be reimbursed was not mentioned.

The prosecution had protested the release of the funds arguing that there was no evidence to prove that seized money did not belong to the bank.

“The cash before this court as an exhibit cannot be lawfully possessed by the applicants.

“They did not provide proof of the source of their ownership. In this inquiry of whether an exhibit can be claimed by an accused, the accused has an onus to show that they are entitled to the money.” said prosecutor Loveit Muringwa.

The four were jointly charged with Shadreck Njowa, Tendai Zuze and Neverson Mwamuka who were convicted on Friday.

Njowa, Zuze and Mwamuka await their sentencing on Wednesday.

Prosecutors proved Njowa the kingpin of the heist and had been hiding in South Africa before coming back into the country in November 2022 assuming the dust had settled.

Njowa and his accomplices robbed US$2,7m and ZW$43 090 that was in the commercial bank’s transit truck headed for seven branches across the country in January 2021.

The security crew and the gang then staged the robbery along the Harare-Chinhoyi highway just after Nyabira Business Centre.

They had reportedly armed themselves with pistols, knives, and three vehicles which they used to carry the cash in transit.

One of the guards, Fanuel Musakwa, transporting the money was in contact with the heist crew.

Court heard the guard requested the driver to pick up some of the accomplices as passengers before they stole the money.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Muringwa has submitted the State’s aggravation urging the court to impose a harsher sentence for the convicted trio.

“The crime had a negative economic impact on the complainant and resulted in reasonable material or economic loss.

“The complainant is in the banking business, the loss of such vast amounts of money certainly had a negative impact on their business as income was lost because of the lack of cash that could have been circulated to its clients earning it the much-needed interest. Wherefore the State prays that the accused be heavily sentenced of the charged offense of robbery as aggravation factors outweigh the mitigatory factors,” he said.

The three will submit their mitigation Tuesday.

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