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Zanu PF apologist Wicknell Chivayo gifts Mnangagwa’s ally jaw-dropping US$1million

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By Staff Reporter 

CONTROVERSIAL businessman, Wicknell Chivayo has taken his extravagance side-show to another level, donating a whooping US$1million to the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) Mbungo led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s top ally.

The supposedly philanthropic gesture has left observers speculating that this could be rewarding the church’s leader, Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, for rallying his multitudes of followers to vote for Mnangagwa in the August 2023 elections, which he narrowly won against then Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC) candidate, Nelson Chamisa.

The bishop told delegates attending the ZCC Easter Passover held at the church’s iconic shrine in Bikita, Masvingo that Chivayo had gifted him US$1million.

“There is this young businessman, Chivayo, who is doing great works. He donated some money to our church. It is a six-zero figure, US$1 million. We are quite happy as a church and that is a show of love and kindness,” said the cleric.

Chivayo, whose source of wealth has remained a mystery, has in recent months blessed social media influencers and popular musicians who perform at Zanu PF events, with top-of-the-range vehicles and cellphones ahead of Mnangagwa’s third-term campaign bid, which is said to be brewing.

Viewed not as his own man, but as an emissary of the First Family in all the flamboyant donations, Chivayo on Easter Sunday gifted $US1million to ZCC ostensibly for its projects to help communities with clean water, schools, clinics and worship places.

Mutendi, who turn 85 this year, has become a prominent figure during State functions where he has  given devotions. He is a very close Mnangagwa ally, whom the octogenarian Zanu PF politician regards as his “spiritualist.”

Addressing an estimated 150 000-strong crowd, Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe provides for freedom of worship and churches are a strategic partner in nation building.

“We remain with great hope and confidence that we have a brighter and more prosperous future. There is light at the end of the tunnel

“My government appreciates these and other contributions made by the church to the various sectors of our economy. I assure you of our continued support, in this respect,” Mnangagwa said.

Th church has ventured into establishing multiple primary and secondary schools, including special needs education and adult literacy programmes. Additionally, a scholarship was set up to support orphans and vulnerable children’s education from primary to university levels.

Beyond Zimbabwe, the ZCC extended its reach, establishing regional and overseas parishes, particularly in the UK, USA, Canada, and other European countries.

Mnangagwa lamented over the current El Nino induced drought which will leave many households vulnerable and food insufficient.

“This year, many of our people will not harvest much because our crops were badly affected by the drought due to climate change. However, our trust remains in Almighty God. It is written in Psalms 36 verse 6 that Jehovah God preserves both people and animals’.

“On its part, our Zanu PF government has put in place measures to ensure that food and drought relief for affected communities, is availed in time. Noone will starve from hunger. Tinovimba (We trust in) Jehovah,” he added.

Pilgrims that attended the grand occasion were drawn from more than 18 countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia, Uganda and Ethiopia.

ZCC has grown to a membership of more than 250,000, and is believed to have grown four times larger today, and is one of the largest religious organisations in the country, the reason why Zanu PF wants to associate with it.

Mutendi’s relationship with the ruling elite is also seen as a smokescreen to shield himself from possible investigation over his involvement in the 2007 Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Farm Mechanisation Scheme in which the clergyman was a beneficiary.

As a member of “The Clergy” thematic group, Mutendi reportedly received substantial loans totalling US$586,600, raising questions regarding his financial dealings.

Having taken over leadership of ZCC at the age of 37 in 1977, following his father Samuel’s passing, Nehemiah transitioned from teaching to become bishop and now his cosying up with Zanu PF politicians accused of gross human rights violations is raising more questions than answers over his religious stance and what he serves.

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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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