High Court Gives Go Ahead For Dzamara Commemorations In Africa Unity Square

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THE High Court has ordered police to allow the family of missing journalist-cum-human rights activist Itai Dzamara to go ahead with their planned commemorations scheduled for today at Africa Unity Square.

High Court judge Justice Clement Phiri made the ruling yesterday after Dzamara’s younger brother, Patson, filed an urgent chamber application seeking to interdict police from stopping the event.

The commemorations mark a year after Dzamara went missing following his alleged abduction by suspected State security agents on March 9, 2015.

Police had blocked the event, claiming it was a security threat.

Dzamaras’ family lawyer Kennedy Masiye of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights confirmed the court order, adding everything was now in order for the commemorations which would also include a march through the streets of Harare.

Patson dismissed as mischievous and inhuman claims from certain quarters that his missing elder brother had feigned his abduction as a publicity stunt to gain international sympathy and enrich himself.

Several local and international human rights organisations have accused government of doing little to search for him. Obey Manaiti-Newsday

Sir George Martin (90) A man Who Produced All Beatles 30 Hit Singles, Dies.

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The man who produced everyone of the Beatles records,  a man commonly referred to as the ‘Fifth Beatle’ over a career that stretched a total of  five decades, Sir George Martin has died at the age of 90.

He is credited with signing up the Beatles band, in a very successful career,  reinventing pop,  and producing more than 700 records, including all the Beatles 30 hit singles and producing dozens of artists such as Sting. By Sibusiso Ngwenya

Photo-Genius-Sir George Martin

Highest Paid Female Sports Star, ‘Maria Sharapova’ Fails Drug Test

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Maria Sharapova showed “a lot of courage” for accepting responsibility for her failed drugs test, says world number one Serena Williams.

Five-time Grand Slam winner Sharapova, 28, revealed on Monday that shetested positive for meldonium in January.

“Most people were surprised and shocked, but happy that she was upfront and very honest,” said Williams, 34.

Sharapova’s ex-coach Nick Bollettieri said the Russian’s test was a “game-changer for life, not just for tennis”.

The 84-year-old American told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he was shocked former world number one Sharapova tested positive because “she has always been above board in everything”.

He added: “Everybody must accept responsibilities for everything they do in life.”Meldonium, which Sharapova said she has taken since 2006 for health reasons, became a banned substance on 1 January 2016.

She tested positive after losing to Williams in the Australian Open quarter-finals on 26 January.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said Sharapova will be provisionally suspended from 12 March. She faces up to a four-year ban.

Williams said: “It’s just taking responsibility, which she admitted she was ready to do.”

Bollettieri said he believed former world number one Sharapova had made a “very honest mistake”.

“She said she took these for many, many years and then didn’t read the memorandum that came out,” he said.

“I don’t think that Maria Sharapova would continue doing something, especially being in the limelight, if there was something she knew about.”

Bollettieri said he hoped the tennis authorities would allow Sharapova, who won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004, to play again.

“It’s kind of tough to find a black mark against her,” he said. “She certainly does not want to go out of tennis in this way.”

Sharapova has been the highest-earning female athlete in the world in each of the past 11 years, according to the Forbes list. Her career earnings from tennis alone amount to almost £26m.

Sportswear company Nike said it was ending its association with her until investigations are complete, while Watch manufacturer Tag Heuer said it does not plan to extend her contract.

Porsche has postponed planned activities with the player, and mineral water company Evian says it will closely follow the investigation.

“I did fail the test and take full responsibility for it,” said Sharapova, who has also won the French Open twice and the Australian and US Open.

She said she has taken meldonium after being given it by her “family doctor”, but had known it as mildronate.

Meanwhile, Russian Tennis Federation president Shamil Tarpishchev says he expects Sharapova to play at the 2016 Olympics in Rio starting on 5 August.

“This is just a load of nonsense,” he told the TASS news agency.

“The sportsmen take what they are given by the physiotherapists and by the doctors. However, we will need to see how this will develop.”

Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) chief executive Steve Simon said of Sharapova’s ban: “The range that has been discussed so far is between six months and four years.”

He told BBC Radio 5 live: “It’ll be up to the independent tribunal to go through and review it to make that determination.”

Former head of UK Sport anti-doping Michele Verroken said a ban could be shorter if Sharapova can prove she needed to take meldonium for medical reasons.

Verroken told BBC Radio 5 live: “The challenge facing Maria Sharapova and her team is to bring forward the diagnostic evidence that she has a condition that required the prescription of this treatment.”

Former Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade expressed surprise at Sharapova’s error.

“She covers every track, she does every single thing that she can to make herself a better players so it seems so bizarre that she would allow herself to fall into a trap like this,” she told Radio 5 live.

“Maria is so thorough in every single thing she does, that’s one of the incredible attributes that she has.

“I would say that she will get maybe less than a one-year ban but it would eliminate her from the Olympics.” source-bbc

photo-sports.ndtv-Maria Sharapova

‘Despot Mugabe’s 92nd Birthday & Grandchild By Bona Soon?’

President Robert Mugabe could be expecting his first grandchild at the age of 92 as his daughter only daughter, Bona, appears to be pregnant. – Bona married Simba Chikore at a lavish wedding on March 1, 2014.

The pregnancy has not been confirmed but pictures appear to support speculation that she is.
Since their wedding, the issue of the pair having a child has been the subject of interest.

It is rumoured that Grace Mugabe rushed the marriage because she wanted her husband to become a grandfather before he succumbs to old age.

Bona’s baby bump

Since their wedding, the issue of the pair having a child has been the subject of interest.

It is rumoured that Grace Mugabe rushed the marriage because she wanted her husband to become a grandfather before he succumbs to old age.Source-bulawayo24

‘Mugabe Threatens To Expel Grace Critics From Zanu PF’

President Mugabe has expressed anger at the rate at which some elements in Zanu-PF are criticising the First Lady, Grace Mugabe.
He was speaking at Great Zimbabwe Monument in Masvingo at his 92nd birthday party.

He threatened to discipline and/or expel people criticising his wife who has been going around the country laying into Mugabe’s perceived enemies.

“I want to start by thanking, a lot our children in the Youth League of the party led by Cde Pupurai Togarapi for this programme, which is a programme of respect, respect they are giving me and also the general leadership,” said the President.

“We have had your pleas, that is Togarepi and his fellow youth, and the dedication they have pledged to us to safeguard the identity of the youth league.

“The identity of the members of the youth league saying they do not support certain behaviours that we are seeing today that are not in tandem with respect, some acts that are wayward from our traditions.

“As we are here at the Great Zimbabwe, this is the foundation of the Munhumutapa Empire. So this is a place that gave us a new life, we fought thinking of the way of living that was being done by our elders here.

“They were united and made sure their leadership spread to other areas far beyond the Limpopo.

“Even at Khami, you find almost the same ruins that you see here. They could not have been built by people who were not united or strong or who did not have direction.

“No, that could not have happened with people fighting. So there ethos, which are the ethos that we inherited from our forefathers.”

Speaking in Shona, he went on to imply that the youth who critisise their elders were smoking marijuana or simply drunk.

He decried the criticism that Grace Mugabe has received from some quarters adding: “So we got to a level where we asked are the youth league seeing it or hearing it, but I was happy to hear Togarepi saying we will discipline such elements or expel them from the party because we do not want such people.

“We cannot lead such misguided youth, no. The youth have got to be well disciplined, well behaved and respectful.” source-sundaymail


‘Generations Actor Rapulana Seiphemo Likely To Be Charged With Murder & Attempted Murder’

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Generations Legacy actor Rapulana Seiphemo is likely to be charged with two counts of murder and attempted murder.

This was said by Jody van Zyl, a survivor of the accident that killed his brother Donovan van Zyl (24) and his brother-in-law Jerry Coertze (28) last Sunday night.

One of the two passengers in Seiphemo’s car also died. The other one was in hospital at the time of going to press.

“This man must be charged with two counts of murder for killing my brother and our brother-in-law. He must also be charged with attempted murder for trying to kill me,” said Jody. Source: Sowetan Sunday World

Photo-timeslive-Rapulana Seiphemo, Generations actor

After 36 Years, Cont Mhlanga Retires, Leaving Wife Thembi Ngwabi To Run Popular Arts Centre

Cont Mhlanga
REVERED arts guru Cont Mhlanga has called time on his illustrious 36-year career in the arts industry.

Regarded as the pioneer of arts in Zimbabwe, Mhlanga, who founded the cultural centre in 1982, has ventured into agribusiness in his rural home of Lupane. As a result, he will no longer be active in the centre’s administration but has left his capable wife, Thembi Ngwabi, in charge. Ngwabi will be responsible for all administration at the popular centre.

Veteran performing artiste Thulani Mbambo will manage the centre’s television content wing – Amakhosi Digital – while Godwin Phiri has been tasked to manage Skyz Metro FM – a radio station which is yet to be launched.

“It’s been a long time coming as I’ve been in the arts business for donkey years. It’s time to call it quits and relax at my farm,” Mhlanga said.

“Though I won’t be there physically, I’ll be guiding the team in terms of what the vision of Amakhosi is. In other words, I’m now a consultant to Amakhosi,” said Mhlanga.

He said the imminent launch of Skyz Metro FM and Amakhosi Digital had led him to retire as he wants those remaining to be able to run with the projects without him.

“My fear was that if these new projects take off when I’m there, people would excessively rely on me and this would cause a collapse when I would eventually decide to leave. So I found it better for those I felt were capable, to launch without me and run with the concepts for the next 10 years.

“I believe I’ve trained them well and that they’ll succeed because they’ve caught the vision of Amakhosi.”

Mhlanga said he would chip in and act as a mentor and consultant only when necessary, otherwise all his attention is on his five goats for now.

“I’ve five goats that I’m rearing as I’m primarily an expert in agribusiness after my parents spent monies to get me educated in that field. I took up the arts much later in life.”

The arts guru may however be tempted to bounce back as people in his homestead are constantly asking him why he left the arts business.

Mhlanga who wrote more than 20 plays among them The Good President, The End, Sinjalo, Children on Fire, and Vikela has three books to his name. He also adapted the popular playStitsha to a TV series. It featured late Beater Mangethe.

Popularly referred to by many as ‘khulu’, Mhlanga made ZBCtv worth watching back in the days with his ‘Umkhlu lomsebenzi’ productions. He also made Friday’s worth looking forward to in Bulawayo as the cultural centre hosted a ‘Friday Live at Amakhosi’ where live music bands would perform. Alick Macheso and late Tongai Moyo are some of the artistes who performed there.

Competitions such as Dreams to Fame discovered young talent as this was a platform for up-and-coming artistes.

Among those who were nurtured by Mhlanga are Ba Shupi, Sandra Ndebele, Sarah Mpofu, Raisedon Baya and William Nyandoro. Bongani Ndlovu, Source-chronicle

‘Bhonzo’s Fall From Riches, Fame, Partying, Drinking To Begging’

Bhonzo walking on the streets recently


Featuring on local and international films earned Lawrence Banda (who later changed his name to Lawrence Simbarashe) popularity that opened floodgates to fame and fortune.

He became a darling of many companies as they engaged him for adverts and that time he bought a fleet of nice cars and used to live lavishly, according to close relatives.

Simbarashe became known as “Mudhara Bhonzo” after his lead role in the famous “Timmy naBhonzo” television series and more hats of fame heaped on his head. Today, the popular story about Mudhara Bhonzo is a sad tale of a frail beggar roaming the streets of Harare and Chitungwiza.

And the question many have been asking after hearing the sad story is: What happened to his fortune and where is his family?

A close relative said when Bhonzo became famous, he was wild and spent most of his time in bars drinking beer.

“It all started around 1992 when mudhara failed to handle his fame and would spend most of his time drinking beer.

“He had a number of nice cars and was well-known for his lavish lifestyle in Chitungwiza. At one time he had more than three cars that he would change according to days and events.

“With the many deals he got from top companies, he earned a lot of money and he would not be a beggar today if he had managed his income well. It was unfortunate that fame got into his head. Things were still well when he left his job at ZBC because the commercial deals kept coming his way. He was a real celebrity.”

However, when things began to slow down, Bhonzo is said to have started selling his cars and other expensive belongings he had bought to sustain the celebrity lifestyle that he was used to.

Company deals began to fall away and he was out of employment. Things got harder when an ailment affected his voice, his tool of trade. Now, he hardly utters audible words and he cannot get advertising or acting roles.

As misfortunes piled on his life, his house was gutted by fire in 2011 and he lost the few valuables that he still had. Then, stress and ill-health affected him and his situation became pathetic. He began knocking on office doors of people he knew, asking for assistance until they got fed up and he went to beg in the streets.

So, where are his children or other family members?

Bhonzo broke up with his first wife, who is reportedly staying in Belvedere, in the late 80s and later remarried Pain Mugura, who is the current wife, in 1991.(Mugura has been accused of abandoning her husband and rarely assists him).

From his first marriage the veteran actor has two children Lawrence (Junior), a medical doctor in UK and Liona who is now married and stays in New Zealand.

It was not clear what really transpired between him and the children but close sources say their relationship is not good and the children have turned their backs on him.

Those who spoke on the matter said it seems the relationship went sour some time back, but Liona and her husband would often visit Bhonzo in Chitungwiza until they also stopped in unclear circumstances.

Contacted for comment New Zealand-based Liona refused to shed light on her relationship with her father.

“I can’t help you,” was all she said. Efforts to get a comment from Lawrence (Junior) were unsuccessful but their mother is said to be living well in Harare. She has moved on.

From his second marriage, Bhonzo has two children Tatenda, a student in South Africa, and John.

Bhonzo’s friend and neighbour Edson Gunda said though he could not shed more light on the matter he last saw the children long back.

“I have not seen them for some time but I don’t know what could be the reason for that,” he said.

Mugura said children from the first marriage have neglected their father.

“They are there in the diaspora but they are neglecting their father. I don’t know why they are doing that to him,” she said.

Mugura said the actor had since accepted the actions of his children.

Bhonzo’s long-time buddy Timothy Tapfumaneyi said he was not aware of the relationship between the actor and his children.

“I wouldn’t know about his relationship with his children because by then I was young and he would not tell me about his problems,” said Tapfumaneyi.

But Tapfumaneyi was present recently when well-wishers led by MP Psychology Maziwisa donated clothes, groceries and cash to Bhonzo.

That was part of the little aid that Bhonzo, the once famous spender, gets these days. He is still roaming the streets in search of assistance. By Tawanda Marwizi-herald

MDC-T , Maridadi Arrested At Beitbridge Border For Filming Situation

TOP MDC-T official and Mabvuku legislator James Maridadi was arrested in the early hours of the morning at Beitbridge border post around 4am today.

His crime was for shooting videos of customs officials and other travellers visiting the country through the border.

Maridadi was also accused of entering through the border post without a passport or a valid travel document.

According to the Chronicle, Maridadi went to the border post in the company of a relative, Natasha Jonga (24) who wanted to import a Toyota Fortuner, 2005 model which was bought from Singapore.

“They arrived at the border around 1am and went through all the processes to facilitate the clearance of the vehicle under the returning residents’ facility. The woman, Natasha Jonga was a student at the Free State University in South Africa” said the official.

During the processing of the documents, Natasha was requested to provide an affidavit from her parents to confirm here residence in the country as per the requirements of the Customs and Excise Act since she doesn’t own any property in the country.

The official said Maridadi then became emotional threatening the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) officials who were attending to them with unspecified action saying he had got assurance from his associates at the parastatal’s head office in Harare.

“He then started shooting videos of customs officers and other travellers within the border post and was arrested by alert security personnel who took him to the main police station” said the official.Source: Chronicle

Traveller Rebate & Daily Import Duty Remission reduced To Raise Gvt Revenue

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Government has revised travellers’ rebate to US$200 from US$300, among a cocktail of measures as it seeks to maximise revenue collection from imports and address the continued abuse of the facility by local businesses.

The daily import duty remission was also reduced from US$50 to US$30 per individual traveller per day.

Under the new regulations, all travellers using small cross border transport (mostly open trucks) or buses with huge trailers and carrying goods of a commercial nature no longer qualify for rebate.

The goods are now treated as commercial.

According to Statutory Instrument (SI) Number 148 of 2015 (Customs and Excise (General) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (No 80) issued recently by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, travellers’ rebate will only be granted to pedestrians and travellers using private vehicles.

Prior to the new development, individual travellers would enjoy the rebate whether they used commercial transport, buses or small cross border transport operators.

Provisions of the Customs and Excise Act allow a traveller to import goods of a prescribed amount on their first entry into the country which is known as a travellers’ rebate.

In the event that the goods exceed the set amount, the individual pays import duty on the excess.

The Statutory Instrument also states that third party transporters carrying goods of a commercial nature will have to be cleared into the country by Zimra under the commercial category.

“It is hereby notified that the Minister of Finance and Economic Development has in terms of section 235 of the customs and excise act (Chapter 23:03) made the following regulations:

“1. The regulations may be cited as customs and excise (General) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (no 80)

“2. (1) the customs (General) Regulations, 2001, published in Statutory Instrument 154 of 2001 (hereinafter is called “the principal regulations”), are amended by insertion after part IV,” read part of the SI.

The new law also states that a traveller importing goods in a transport service vehicle , which vehicle is drawing a trailer and is used for conveyance of goods through a port of entry shall pay full duty.

However, the SI has adversely affected those travellers (inclusive of returning residents) importing goods from South Africa through Beitbridge border post as those stranded are accusing Zimra, which is the implementing agent, of failing to notify the public (travellers) on the latest development.

For the last three days, travellers have been sceptical of importing goods using buses or small cross border transport operators for fear of being stranded at the border in the event they fail to raise money for duty.

Cross border transport operators have criticised the new regulations saying this was meant to elbow them out of business.

“You can see that there are very few vehicles in the border. As small cross border operators, we feel these regulations are meant to push us out of business because few travellers would want our services or manage to raise the money for duty especially that rebate has been scrapped,” said one operator who preferred anonymity.

However, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officials at Beitbridge border post recently told the parliamentary thematic committee on Peace and Security on a visit to the area that there was rampant smuggling of controlled goods and the abuse of travellers’ rebate.  By Thupeyo Muleya-source-herald

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