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Can ED tell Zimbabweans where to find this elusive ‘independence’ we are supposed to be enjoying and ‘jealously guarding’! – Bulawayo24 News

I honestly feel like screaming and banging my head against the wall, each time I hear those in the country’s ruling elitist privileged clique make noise about some ‘independence’ that we, the people of Zimbabwe, are supposed to treasure, protect, and be enjoying.

Every time we are reminded of how this ‘freedom’ was sacrificed for – with our valiant sons and daughters of the soil placing their own lives on the line, as they faced off with the colonial Rhodesia regime, in a bruising, grueling and gruesome liberation armed struggle – I cannot help feeling like crying at why these intrepid men and women were prepared to die for a fallacy that was never to be.

Why did all those thousands of innocent Zimbabweans pay the ultimate sacrifice – most of whom losing their lives, either in the midst of fierce battles with ‘enemy forces’, or were brutally butchered in cold blood, at the hands of both sides of the conflict, for ostensibly ‘selling out’ or ‘harboring terrorists’ (accusations that were seldom proven, but largely based on false reports motivated by personal hatred, vindictiveness or pure jealous, and even power ambitions)?

Yet, in all this, the caboodle who were later to hijack the people’s struggle – through the systematic elimination, by means of the sheer murder of genuine revolutionaries, thereafter, taking over the country’s leadership at ‘independence’ – were primarily hiding and living relatively comfortably in neighboring countries.

Where is this ‘Uhuru’ that was supposedly birthed from this horrendous bloodshed, that was attained on 18 April 1980?

As I was reading this morning’s news headlines, the now usual storyline screamed out to me – political detainees continually being dragged before the courts in ‘independent’ Zimbabwe – some for nearly two years without ever a trial getting underway, yet the state adamantly refusing to strike them off remand, and dropping the obviously senseless charges, that are undeniably politically motivated.

Then there are those who are eventually granted bail, after weeks or months of languishing in remand prison (or, even thrown into maximum security prison) as both the prosecution and courts repeatedly denied them this constitutional right – in stark disregard of the principle of an accused person being considered innocent until proven guilty.

In the same news headlines, all this on the same day – the country’s law enforcement was at pains and struggling to explain why the opposition CCC was being repeatedly denied their right to hold rallies and other peaceful gatherings – yet, the ruling ZANU PF could freely conduct huge assemblies, and even loudly or rowdily march and demonstrate around the country.

As I was going through these news stories, I found myself asking, “So, what is the difference between what we are witnessing today in ‘independent’ Zimbabwe, and what our heroes and heroines fought against in colonial Rhodesia”?

Surely, where is that ‘freedom and liberty’, when those who dare to speak out, and stand up – openly raising their utter disdain and disgust at the wanton and pervasive looting of our national resources for the benefit of the ruling class (as well as their friends and families), whilst millions of ordinary Zimbabweans sink deeper into the dark abyss of economic hardships – are continually arrested on spurious charges, that hardly result in any convictions?

Is this not merely political persecution – whereby, opponents and voices of dissent are victimized and vilified, based on tramped up charges – whilst at the same time, being denied their right to bail or removal from remand, with trials either never getting off the ground, or dragging on for years without anything of substance ever being brought before the courts by the state?

Even the Rhodesians were better, because they actually charged nationalists on real violations of the country’s laws, leading to convictions and prison sentences – as much as these were maliciously oppressive and unjust towards the majority.

Nonetheless, in ‘independent’ Zimbabwe, the arrests are predominantly premised on no detectable and discernable breaking of any known legal statutes – but, based on pure malice and contempt of voices that expose and resist the undeniable systemic and institutionalized economic marginalization, alienation and disenfranchisement the people of Zimbabwe, by those in power.

Again, I ask – where is that ‘freedom’ that we are endlessly reminded about – that appears mischievously elusive, since the vast majority of Zimbabweans are never able to find it…more like the legendary Nyami-Nyami, sasquatch (Big Foot), Abominable Snowman, or Loch Ness monster?

What is it that we are expected to ‘jealously guard and protect’ – when we have never seen or experienced this ‘independence’ and its alleged ‘gains’?

Or, is the tragic reality that, this supposed ‘Uhuru’ is only being enjoyed by the few in the ruling elite – who have literally plundered and pillaged the country dry, enriching themselves to vulgar levels, at the expense of the suffering and impoverished millions?

Which explains why they are the ones ‘protecting’ this ‘independence’, through brazen barbarity, and the brutal repression of any who may dare speak out, and stand up!

The ruling elitist privileged clique can ‘jealously guard’ their ill-gotten wealth – by savagely stifling any dissent – but, quite frankly, the rest of us find nothing to protect, as we have absolutely nothing to call our own.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936, or email:

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law an courts

Outrage as Henrietta Rushwaya bizarrely acquitted – The Zimbabwe Mail

Henrietta Rushwaya

ZIMBABWE Miners Federation (ZMF) boss Henrietta Rushwaya has been cleared of wrongdoing in a case where she was accused of offering a US$5,000 bribe to an airport official in a bid to smuggle gold worth US$330,000.

Harare magistrate Learnmore Mapiye ruled that the State’s case was too weak for a reasonable court to convict.

Rushwaya had denied the allegations arguing that she never attempted to bribe anyone since she had no money on her on the day in question.

Rushwaya also said she never avoided the normal airport routines to prove that she had nothing to hide.

Mapiye upheld her arguments.

“The State witness did not support that the accused avoided the ordinary route,” said the magistrate.

“It is also common cause that Owen Sibanda, the key witness, said that he was not offered any money but was going to be offered US$5,000.

“Sibanda said that he took the issue of the bribe as a joke which the court was shocked about because the issue of the bribery is not a joke.”

She added, “The State witness told the court that the accused was arrested for travelling with gold without proper documents but the evidence of the State witness, especially the first one, was not convincing.

“The accused might have committed the offence but the State failed to prove beyond belief that she could have committed the offence.”

Rushwaya was cleared of the charge after a full trial.

Allegations were that she attempted to bribe a Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) official Owen Sibanda to let her illegally pass through the Robert Gabriel Mugabe international airport with gold.

She denied allegations insisting that she had carried the wrong bag from home on that day.

During trial, Rushwaya testified that when she realised that she had carried the wrong bag, she asked the police to accompany her to her house to collect the correct bag which the police allegedly later collected upon her arrest.

“As we speak both of the similar bags are at the police station,” she added.

Rushwaya also told court that witnesses might be lying against her as a result of external forces who might want to tarnish her reputation and to ruin her chances of remaining ZMF president in the upcoming elections.

“My position is a highly contested one and, when the incident happened, we were heading towards an election so maybe Sibanda was and still is under the influence of external forces,” she said.

“Maybe he is being made to give statements to appease those who are controlling him in an effort to jeopardise my chances of remaining president or he is being malicious.”

Source – NewZimbabwe

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law an courts

Mphokos, Choppies legal wrangle rages on – Bulawayo24 News

THE legal battle pitting Choppies Enterprises Limited against former Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and his son Siqokoqela over the 51 percent shareholding that they claim at the retail giant will now proceed to trial.

This follows the decision by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese to dismiss the exception plea raised by the Choppies Enterprises Ltd.

In legal terms, an exception is pleading in which a party raises an objection to the summons or plea on the basis that the pleading is vague and embarrassing or lacks the necessary averments to disclose a cause of action or defense.

Choppies Enterprises, through its lawyers Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga Legal Practitioners, sought an exception to the Mphokos’ summons and declaration on the grounds that the cause of action is vague and embarrassing.

Choppies Enterprises, Choppies Distribution Centre (Proprietary) and Nanavac Investments who are cited as defendants, argued that the declaration does not disclose a cause of action.

Choppies Enterprises operates a chain of retail shops in Zimbabwe and is a duly incorporated company in terms of the laws of the country while the Choppies Distribution Centre (Proprietary) and Nanavac Investments are public companies incorporated in terms of the laws of Botswana.

From the submissions filed by the defendants, they are disputing the plaintiffs’ (Mphokos’) claim that the true value of their 51 percent shareholding in Nanavac Investments was US$22 585 714.

“The deed of settlement to the extent to which it purports to set out the value of the 51 percent shareholding of the plaintiffs in Nanavac Investments is null and void,” argued the defendants’ lawyers.

Choppies Enterprises, Choppies Distribution Centre (Proprietary) and Nanavac Investments argued that the Mphokos’ claim is contradictory and inconsistent in that it seeks a declaration of invalidity without a tender of the amount they alleged to have received under duress.

“Defendants contend that the plaintiffs ought to have sought a set-off against the true value of the shares,” said the lawyers.
In their ground of exception, the defendants, further argued that the summons and declaration do not disclose a cause of action for the payment of US$22 585 714.

The Mphokos, through their lawyers Ncube and Partners, argued that the sum of US$2,9 million, which was paid by the defendants is not the true value of their 51 percent shareholding.

The plaintiffs’ argued that they are entitled to an order declaring that they are supposed to get payment of the true value of the 51 percent shareholding, which they held before they were divested of their shareholding in Nanavac Investments.

Faced with the claim, the defendant gave written notice to the Mphokos on August 18, 2020 complaining that the summons and declaration was vague and embarrassing.

They called upon the Mphokos to remove the cause of complaint within 12 days of service of their letter.

The Mphokos contended that there is no merit in the complaint by Choppies Enterprises, Choppies Distribution Centre (Proprietary) and Nanavac Investments.

They argued that it was a ploy to delay the finalisation of the matter.

In his ruling Justice Makonese said there is no legal requirement in terms of the law that compels plaintiff to plead more than the cause of action.

“I conclude, therefore that on the first ground of exception, the plaintiffs have pleaded a complete cause of action,” he said.

The judge said the Mphokos said the exception by the defendants on the grounds that the cause of action in relation to duress is vague and embarrassing has no merit and that the matters would be resolved by evidence.

“The plaintiffs have, in my view, pleaded facts upon which if they are able to prove with evidence, they may establish duress or undue influence,” said Justice Makonese.

He said for the exception to succeed the plaintiffs’ claim must go beyond salvage.

“I am satisfied that the excipients have failed to discharge the onus to show that the pleadings are vague and embarrassing and that they would be prejudiced in any way. In the result, and accordingly, the application be and hereby dismissed with costs,” ruled Justice Makonese.

The Mphokos were the majority shareholders in Choppies Enterprises holding an aggregate of 51 percent shareholding in the company. The former Vice-President held 25,5 percent, his son had 25,5 percent and Choppies Enterprises held 49 percent shareholding through Nanavac Investments.

The dispute arose in 2018 between the Mphokos and Choppies Enterprises, and it spilled to the courts. According to court papers, it was stated that in January 2019 the Mphokos and defendants agreed that plaintiffs would divest themselves of their shareholding in Nanavac Investments.

The parties entered into an agreement, which resulted in a deed of settlement being recorded. The deed of settlement is now the subject of the court proceedings.

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law an courts

‘Virtual courts may infringe rights’ – Bulawayo24 News

MEMBERS of the public yesterday said the introduction of virtual courts could infringe on the rights of accused persons.

This came out during a public hearing on the Judicial Laws Amendment Bill in Harare by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice.

The Bill seeks to provide for virtual court sittings in both civil and criminal proceedings at a time when many nationals are not conversant with modern technology.

It also seeks to align various provisions of judicial laws to the Constitution.

The Judicial Service Commission launched the virtual court system in February this year to speed up the completion of cases clogging the Judiciary.

Zimbabwe Lawyers of Human Rights (ZLHR) representative MacDonald Moyo said virtual courts might result in adverse human rights implications.

“In criminal cases, the conduct of the proceedings should, as far as possible, reflect in-person trials ensuring the right to a fair hearing under section 69 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Accused persons must be able to adduce all evidence without obstacles and virtual proceedings must ensure that due process is followed,” Moyo said.

“Given the digital divide that exists in Zimbabwe — with most of the population experiencing internet access challenges for many reasons including high data costs, high costs of smart devices, social and economic inequalities, and inadequate infrastructure — virtual courts may further infringe on the right to non-discrimination, equality and equal protection and benefit of the law protected under section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.”

Proposing that there should be provision in the Bill to allow detained persons to challenge their detention through physical appearance in court, Moyo added: “There should be a limit imposed on the number of sessions that can be heard virtually, ordinarily, remands are for 14 days, at least a maximum of 28 days to ensure that the accused person appears before a magistrate who can also verify their welfare, including any issues or violations that may be perpetrated by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services officials.”

Veritas representative Kuziva Ngodza said: “Most people in the country do not have access to computers and WiFi, so how are we also going to ensure that they have access to these in light of the amendments being proposed by the Bill? We need effective cross examination on the virtual platforms.”

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