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By Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Davis Cup will be looking to upset Tunisia and move closer to a return to World Group I when they clash in a Group II Knockouts tie in Tunis next weekend.
This is the first time the local team will be competing in the Davis Cup since beating Syria 3-1 at Harare Sports Club early last year.
The Zimbabwe team comprises Benjamin Lock who is the country’s number one player, Courtney Lock, Mehluli Sibanda, and newcomer Thabo Ncube.
Gwinyai Tongoona remains the non-playing captain while senior player Takanyi Garanganga will miss the trip to North Africa.
Zimbabwe was supposed to have hosted China in September last year, but the games were postponed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
China eventually withdrew from the competition and Zimbabwe received a bye to this stage of the competition.
“Tunisia has a stronger team than us on paper, but we are ready for the challenge. It will be an uphill battle for us. And to move up to Group 1 will be big for both teams,” Tongoona told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview.
“We are going there to fight for the win and take Zimbabwe up to Group One. We have done well over the last couple of years to be in this position so we need to keep on fighting,” he added.
Tunisia are the second-best ranked African nation in Davis in 56th place behind South Africa in position 52 while Zimbabwe are ranked 63rd.
Two other African countries, Egypt (59) and Morocco have a better Davis Cup ranking than Zimbabwe.
The winner will advance to the 2022 World Group I playoffs while losing nations will compete in the World Group II playoffs.
Douglas Munatsi's family suspects fowl-play, brings in SA experts – The Zimbabwe Mail
HARARE – A fire broke out in apartment C9 at the palatial Northfields Complex in Harare in the early hours of Monday.
The occupant of the luxurious flat was top investment banker and chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) Mr Douglas Munatsi.
It has since emerged that around 2.50am Mr Munatsi alerted neighbours of a fire in his penthouse and called out for help.
Charles Gardiner — one of his neighbours, who is also chairperson of the Northfields Owners Association — was among the first to hear the distress call and duly called the Harare Fire Brigade.
Within 11 minutes of the call, firefighters arrived at the scene.
They took two hours to fight the raging inferno, by which time Mr Munetsi had already died.
The ZIDA CEO will be buried today at Greendale Cemetery in Harare, marking the end of an illustrious life of a pioneering corporate mind and patriot.
Investigations are still underway to find the cause of the fire.
The reporters reached out to the City of Harare’s fire department, who referred all questions to the police.
“All communication on this matter has to come from the police,” council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said.
And Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations are ongoing.
“We are still conducting investigations and if any new information comes up, we will let you know,” he said.
A police source close to the investigation told The Sunday Mail that police are keen to interview a woman only identified as Colleta, who was the last person to see Mr Munatsi alive.
“We are still to account and interview the woman who is alleged to have visited the deceased the night before his death. We are also waiting to receive the report from the Fire Brigade to ascertain the cause of the fire. But so far there is nothing new,” said the source.
The Munatsi family has commissioned a separate autopsy with a South African pathologist as they seek closure.
This publication has gathered that the family intends to compare their autopsy report with one being undertaken by Government pathologists.
Speaking to the media, the Munatsi family spokesperson, Mr Teddy Gazi, said they have lost a family pillar who uplifted many lives.
“He was an employer, educator and benefactor of many close and extended family members.
“He employed many relatives at Kunatsa Estates, Jacob Bethel and while at FMB and BancABC to name a few.
“He was looking after many orphaned and underprivileged children,” said Gazi.
Asked on whether the family suspects foul play, Gazi said they will wait for the report from law enforcement agents before they reach any conclusions.
“The family is grateful and appreciates the State assistance,” he said.
A sombre mood engulfed the ZIDA headquarters this week as Doug’s former colleagues struggled to come to terms with his sudden demise.
ZIDA chief investment and corporate affairs officer Mr Tino Kambasha described his late boss as a person who could bring out the best in everyone.
He said he remembered how they burnt the midnight oil while setting up the inaugural ZIDA secretariat.
“It was very difficult. Remember, he was appointed during Covid-19 and we had to work under extreme pressure. I was the first executive to be appointed at ZIDA, so I saw all the work he was putting in to make sure that the organisation succeeds,” he said.
“I remember when we would work long hours, holding interviews via Zoom seeking the right candidates for the various roles we had. We used to work extremely long hours.”
Mr Munatsi, he said, was gifted with wit and humour.
“He was a happy character, who loved to joke around a lot. Each time he walked into the office, he would bring either a joke or play us a new song he would have discovered,” he added.
Mr Munatsi was a gym and golf fanatic, who dedicated most of his free time to fitness and treading the golf course.
He leaves behind his widow Bindzile and sons Mussa, Bongani and Douglas Jnr.
Investigations are still underway as the police also need to establish the cause of fire through reports from the Fire Brigade and forensics.
After the fire broke out in the penthouse that overlooks Harare Sports Club which hosts international cricket, and the Zimbabwe State House, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Homicide section, CID Studios, CID Scenes of Crime, CID Forensics and ZRP Harare Central attended to the scene.
The remains of the deceased were found in a sitting position just beside the bath tub in the main bedroom with some burns on the hands and legs, he was putting on a red T-shirt and a black pair of shorts which were not burnt.
Police sources say there were also some burns on the abdomen, which could have been caused by heat as his clothes were intact.
“According to what has been received, there is no specific cause of death given at this time. It is not common, but it happens. Samples were collected for a toxicology examination to asses whether there were no drugs, alcohol or poison involved,” the source told The NewsHawks.
The samples collected are eye fluid, stomach contents, urine and blood, as well as small pieces of other organs of the body. They were given to the police.
“The police are now expected to take the samples for a toxicology examination. The tests used to be done by the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory, which the police has not been using and where some results from as far as 15 years ago have not yet been received. The state also used to send samples to South Africa where results would take between two weeks to a month to be received,” the source said.
“The pathologist also didn’t give an indication on the issue of smoke inhalation, but it has not been ruled out.”
According to the postmortem examination done yesterday, no other sign of trauma was found on the body except for those related to heat. While there had been reports of nails missing from his fingers, further assessment of Munatsi’s body established that there was a nail which had appeared to have been damaged some time before the incident.
It is, however, not clear when the toxicology examination results will be out as the turnaround time and the capacity of the new equipment donated to the police has not yet been established.
Last month, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe revealed that the courts have been failing to finalise several criminal cases due to lack of forensic evidence.
However, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Forensic Science laboratory last month got DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) equipment which is used in investigating murder and other violent crimes.
Kazembe said: “The use of forensics to solve the malady of crime in societies has become commonplace. The world over, the use of DNA analysis to solve crimes such as murder and rape, among others, is one area that has registered immense success. Regrettably, the ZRP had been seriously lagging behind in this regard”.
“DNA analysis was being sub-contracted to private institutions, whose charges were prohibitive. The timeous analysis of samples will, indeed, ensure that justice is delivered without delay.
Origi's late goal gives Liverpool 1-0 win over Wolves in EPL – The Zimbabwe Mail
WOLVERHAMPTON, England (AP) — Divock Origi’s last-gasp goal gave Liverpool a 1-0 win at Wolverhampton on Saturday that lifted the team to second place in the English Premier League.
Origi collected a smart cutback from Mo Salah in injury time and swiveled before slotting in the ball, just as it looked as if Liverpool would fail to score for the first time in eight months.
The visitors missed good chances in the last 30 minutes, with Diogo Jota wasting one of the best when goalkeeper Jose Sa’s mistake left him with only two outfield players guarding the net. Jota’s shot from six yards out, though, was blocked by Conor Coady on the line.
The result put Liverpool atop the standings for a few hours after previous leader Chelsea lost at West Ham 3-2 earlier. But Manchester City claimed first place by beating Watford in the late game.
Liverpool has been Europe’s highest-scoring team this season and netted at least twice in its last 18 matches before arriving at Molineux.
Jurgen Klopp’s team struggled to make the most of their pressure against a resolute Wolves side, though, with Salah, Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara also missing chances as they pressed for a winner.
For Origi, it was another crucial late goal for the club. He also netted the 96th-minute winner in the 2018 Merseyside derby and the goal that settled the 2019 Champions League final against Tottenham.
“We missed a lot of chances and we had to defend the counterattack of Wolves. That was the challenge but I liked the game we played,” Klopp said. “When you don’t score you just have to keep going and that’s what we did. Divock Origi, the legend, came and finished it off for us.”
Man City goes top of EPL after Chelsea loses at West Ham – The Zimbabwe Mail
LONDON (AP) — Defending champion Manchester City is on top of the English Premier League for the first time this season.
And if Pep Guardiola’s team keeps playing like this, it could be difficult to knock City off its perch — even in a tight title race that saw three different teams lead the standings during Saturday.
On a day when previous leader Chelsea faltered, City displayed total dominance in a 3-1 win at Watford that showed off the kind of fluid passing game that helped Guardiola’s team win three of the last four league titles.
Bernardo Silva scored twice after Raheem Sterling’s early opener as City proved once again that it can do perfectly fine without a recognized striker in the lineup. It was a fifth straight league win for City, which is one point ahead of Liverpool and two in front of Chelsea after 15 rounds.
“It’s always better to be top of the league than second, third or fourth, but it’s still early,” Silva said.
West Ham shook up the title race by beating Chelsea 3-2 at home in the early game, and Liverpool then needed an injury-time goal from Divock Origi to earn a 1-0 victory at Wolverhampton that put Jurgen Klopp’s team on top for a few hours.
City, though, was in front from the start in the late kickoff.
Sterling scored the opener in the fourth minute as City capitalized on a loose pass and Phil Foden crossed into the center for Sterling to head home unmarked. Silva then doubled the lead in the 31st by weaving past two defenders before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann.
City completely dominated the first half, with 81% possession, and could have added more goals before Silva got the third with a clever curled effort into the top corner in the 63rd.
Watford pulled one back through Cucho Hernandez, who followed up his own shot after it rebounded off a post, to deny Pep Guardiola’s side a ninth clean sheet of the season.
West Ham is proving quite the stumbling block for England’s top teams.
David Moyes’ team had already handed Liverpool its only loss of the league, beaten Tottenham, and knocked both Manchester clubs out of the League Cup. This win underlined the Hammers’ own top-four credentials, even though it required a fluke late goal to complete the comeback.
Arthur Masuaku swung a speculative 87th-minute cross in from the left wing which veered toward goal and caught Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy by surprise. Mendy dove to keep the ball out but managed to push it only inside his near post.
“It was a bit of a lucky goal,” Moyes conceded. “But you have to get the ball in the box, you have to try it.”
Chelsea led twice through Thiago Silva’s header and a sublime volley from Mason Mount, but West Ham came back both times with a penalty from Manuel Lanzini and Jarrod Bowen’s low shot from the edge of the area.
Mendy was at fault for the penalty conceded as well, and manager Thomas Tuchel knows his team can’t afford many more slip-ups after dropping five points in their last three games, following a 1-1 draw with Manchester United last weekend.
“It is tough to play here but we made too many individual mistakes. We did against Man United and against Watford and got punished,” Tuchel said. “If you want to have results at this level you have to minimise the mistakes.”
LIVERPOOL LEAVES IT LATE
Liverpool’s high-flying attack looked like it would finally be kept in check by a stubborn Wolves side. Then Origi delivered yet another crucial late goal.
Mo Salah cut the ball back for the substitute in the fourth minute of injury time, and Origi swiveled before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Jose Sa.
Liverpool hasn’t failed to score in the league since March and had netted four goals in each of its last three games. But the Reds struggled to make the most of their pressure against a resolute Wolves, with Salah, Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara also missing chances as they pressed for a winner.
Origi keeps coming up big at crucial moments, though. The forward rarely gets a start under Klopp but added to a list of late scores that also includes the 96th-minute winner in the 2018 Merseyside derby and the goal that settled the 2019 Champions League final against Tottenham.
NEWCASTLE WINS AT LAST
Newcastle finally has a win in the Premier League, 15 games into the season.
Callum Wilson scored late in the first half and Newcastle held on to beat Burnley 1-0 in a game between relegation strugglers.
Wilson scored in the 40th minute after Burnley goalkeeper Nike Pope couldn’t control Joe Willock’s cross.
The win was also the first by Newcastle under new manager Eddie Howe, who was hired last month to replace the fired Steve Bruce.
Burnley had been unbeaten in five games but could muster only one shot on target at St. James’ Park.
Neal Maupay’s goal in the eighth minute of injury time rescued a 1-1 draw for Brighton at Southampton.
Maupay reacted quickest to tap in from close range after Jakub Moder’s free kick, to deny Ralph Hasenhuttl a win on his three-year anniversary as Southampton manager. Armando Broja’s smart finish put Southampton ahead in the 29th.
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