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Disgraced ex-judge, Mnangagwa lawyer, rogue former cop shortlisted for Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission posts  

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By James Muonwa

THE Parliament of Zimbabwe has published a shortlist of 35 prospective candidates to fill six positions in the soon-to-be-established Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission (ZICC).

The curious list, which has raised eyebrows, contains some ‘compromised’ individuals, who will put the integrity of the supposedly independent body in dispute if they land the posts.

This follows the nomination of a disgraced former judge, Justice Webster Nicholas Chinamhora, who resigned from the bench late last year ahead of an inquiry into his suitability to hold office following the compilation of a damning dossier by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) alleging a slew of malpractices in the course of his duties.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa set up a tribunal on the recommendation of the JSC which found that Justice Chinamhora could have engaged in gross misconduct, interfered in the course of justice and presided over matters in which he had conflict of interest. His huff resignation aborted the tribunal as he was s no longer a judge.

Now, the disgraced jurist wants another bite of the cherry as a ZICC commissioner.

Advocate Lewis Uriri

Another curious candidate is Advocate Lewis Uriri, who has acted as Mnangagwa’s legal representative. He recently courted controversy after allegedly providing free legal services to Sengezo Tshabangu, the self-proclaimed interim secretary general of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

Tshabangu made the shock revelation during an interview on the Asakhe Online programme, The Breakfast Club, which is produced by the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE).

Another surprise inclusion on the long list of ZICC candidates is former first lady Grace Mugabe’s aide, Olga Bungu, who served in the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) as deputy commissioner. In 2015, she rose to infamy after leading the eviction of prominent dairy farmer and liberation war sponsor, Gillian Munn from her Mashonganyika farm in Goromonzi.

According to media reports, Bungu commandeered over 20 armed police officers to kick off Munn from her property.

Among those eyeing the ZICC plum jobs are several former and serving military men. These include Brigadier-General (Brig-Gen) Lucky Bessie Bangiza, Brig-Gen (Rtd) Kallisto Gwanetsa, Air Commodore (Rtd) Marcelino Java, Ambassador Major-Gen Mike Sango, Colonel (Rtd) Waitson Twoboy Tsipa.

It’s not doom-and-gloom as the shortlist also has eminent figures such as Justice Maphios Cheda (Rtd) and medical doctor Johannes Marisa.

Cheda is the chairman of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) Board of Trustees having been appointed in 2022, and has a long-spanning career as a lawyer and judge, having sat on the High Court bench in Zimbabwe and Namibia, respectively. He has served as chair on numerous tribunals.

Marisa played a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 in its infancy when it was unknown in the country. He was one of the few doctors who bravely served the first victims of the pandemic in Zimbabwe.

The new commission is set to be established through the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Act (Chapter 10:34) (No. 5 of 2022) and its role will be to investigate complaints by members of the public against misconduct by members of the security services, which include army, police, intelligence service and prisons.

Commissioners will also have the power to make disciplinary recommendations in respect of members of the security services resulting from investigations conducted in terms of this Act; to ensure the grant of appropriate remedies in respect of any harm caused by any misconduct by members of the security services.

In addition, their mandate will be to enhance accountability and transparency by the security services and their members in accordance with the principles of the Constitution.

On January 12 this year, Parliament’s Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO) published a notice inviting members of the public to nominate suitable persons to be considered for appointment as the inaugural chairperson and members of the ZICC.

The composition of the commission includes a chairperson – who must be a person eligible for appointment as a High Court judge or a sitting judge or former judge; and four other members – one legal practitioner, one medical practitioner, one psychologist and one person with experience in any security service. All must possess not less than seven years of practical experience.

After public interviews to be held on April 4, 2024, at the New Parliament Building in Mt Hampden, the CSRO will submit two lists to Mnangagwa. Both lists – nominees for the position of chairperson and nominees for the four other positions –must contain the names of not fewer than seven nominees.

The President must then appoint the chairperson from the CSRO list, but only after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

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Mnangagwa commissions Kamativi Spodumene Mine

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Below are some images from Hwange, Kamativi Spodumene mine where President Emmerson Mnangagwa Friday commissioned the company’s 2.3 MT spodumene mining and processing project phase one.

Pictures by the Presidential Communications

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Mozambican national jailed 16 years for rape

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By Tinei Tuhwe

A 23-year old Mozambican will spend the next 16 years in a Zimbabwean prison following his conviction and sentencing for raping a minor.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the convict, whose name was not given, was convicted by a Chipinge magistrate after a full trial.

Prosecutors proved that the rape took place on March 12 this year.

The complainant, aged 13, was on her way from their homestead to a nearby business center in Chipinge.

“He grabbed her by the shoulders and dragged her to a nearby bush where he threatened her with a knife before raping her,” said the NPA in a statement.

The court heard the victim screamed for help and was heard by a passerby who rushed to the scene and rescued her while the suspect grabbed his clothes and took to his heels.

The matter was reported to the police leading to the arrest of the perpetrator.

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Nigeria recalls ‘toxic’ children’s cough syrup

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NIGERIA’S drug regulator has recalled a batch of Johnson & Johnson children’s cough syrup after tests showed it contained “an unacceptable high level” of a toxic and potentially fatal substance.

The substance, Diethylene glycol, “was found to cause acute oral toxicity in laboratory animals”, Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said on Wednesday

It added that human consumption of the Diethylene glycol results in toxic effects, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, inability to pass urine, headache, altered mental state, and acute kidney injury which may lead to death.

The substance has been linked to the recent deaths of dozens of children in Cameroon and The Gambia.

Laboratory tests on the recalled Benylin Paediatric syrup also showed that it caused “acute oral toxicity in laboratory animals”, the regulator added.

Neither Johnson & Johnson nor Kenvue – which owns the Benylin brand after becoming independent from Johnson & Johnson last year- have commented on the NAFDAC’s statement.

The syrup was manufactured in South Africa in May 2021 and had an expiry date of April 2024.

The syrup’s packaging says it can be used for relieving cough and congestive symptoms and for treating fever and other allergic conditions among children aged between two and 12 years.

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