OPPOSITION OFFICIAL REVEALS STUNNING PLOT TO DESTABILISE NATION

ZIMBABWE: VIOLENCE/SABANEWS/28/11/18 SABANews 1

HARARE – New revelations have cast shadows on efforts by leaders of the opposition MDC ALLIANCE in ZIMBABWE to distance themselves from violent acts.

The Spokesperson of the MDC T claims the ALLIANCE, grouping SEVEN political parties, sent youths for training in SOUTH AFRICA and ZAMBIA ahead of elections on 30 JULY.

LINDA MASARIRA has appeared before the Commission of Inquiry into the violence that rocked the capital, HARARE, in which SIX people were killed on ONE AUGUST.

Linda Masarira (Pic. The Herald)

She alleges MDC ALLIANCE leaders held election campaigns during which they encouraged their supporters to engage in violence if their candidates did not win.

Ms MASARIRA says it would be naive for anyone to think the group does not have a radical and militant youth wing, trained under the civil society, which are stakeholders of the ALLIANCE.

She emphasises there are TWO groups trained to lead protests, although the leaders claim they learnt to up-rise non-violently; which is contrary to the vicious acts of ONE AUGUST.

Ms MASARIRA says the MDC ALLIANCE believes it can force the ruling party into a Government of National Unity through illegal demonstrations.

She says the ALLIANCE leaders believe in hate speech and insults; terrorising women; and in the suffering of the masses as way to win protest votes, and they have all lied under oath.

Her testimony seems to agree with comments by former Home Affairs Minister OBERT MPOFU, who has also told the Commission of Inquiry the ALLIANCE is violent.

Obert Mpofu (Pic. Agencies)

The official, who is also Secretary for Administration in the ruling ZANU PF Party, says it is clear the violent demonstrations of ONE AUGUST had been planned over some time.

Mr MPOFU says he feels, from a well-informed view, there were snipers that had been planted around the capital, HARARE, and some buildings in the city.

He says somebody then created a scene and directed that there be some firing to paint the Government in bad light.

Mr MPOFU says while the opposition leaders deny any involvement in the destructive protests of the fateful day, he saw their protestors from his office at ZANU PF Headquarters.

He says they chanted MDC ALLIANCE slogans, with some wearing the party regalia; and the protests had a source, because the way they gathered showed they had logistical support.

The former Interior Minister, a former guerrilla fighter trained during the liberation struggle in TANZANIA, says the people were not marching from nowhere. They came from the MDC ALLIANCE Headquarters.

Mr MPOFU has also told the Commission, as Home Affairs Minister at the time, he had called Mr CHAMISA urging him to contain his supporters – but he got no cooperation.

However, the opposition leaders have disowned the violent protestors and instead called on the international probe team to summon President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA to testify.

They say the inquiries should focus on the person who ordered soldiers to shoot at unarmed civilians during the protests, which they insist were peaceful and constitutionally correct.

President MNANGAGWA set up the Commission of Inquiry, headed by former SOUTH AFRICAN President KGALEMA MOTLANTHE, after the violence in HARARE.

The Commission of Inquiry into the deadly post-election violent protests in ZIMBABWE has interviewed a cross section of people from almost all walks of life as the team seeks to establish the facts before compiling its report./Sabanews/cam

OPPOSITION LEADERS ABANDON DEMONSTRATING SUPPORTERS

ZIMBABWE: VIOLENCE/THE HERALD/27/11/18 SABANews 1

HARARE – Leaders of the opposition MDC ALLIANCE in ZIMBABWE have rejected their supporters who staged violent protests in which SIX people were killed on ONE AUGUST in the capital, HARARE.

ALLIANCE President NELSON CHAMISA and Deputy National Chairperson TENDAI BITI have this week appeared before a Commission of Inquiry into the post-election disturbances.

Nelson Chamisa (Pic. Agencies)

Mr CHAMISA says his hands are clean because his party had not organised the violent demonstrations that almost shut down the city TWO days after the 30 JULY General Elections, whose results he still reject though.

He says the people who were demonstrating or protesting on the fateful day were not doing so on the instruction of the MDC, its organs, or its leaders; and all of them should have been behind bars by now because they destroyed property.

Mr CHAMISA also says a reportedly militant group under his party youth league comprises young people who are not violent and who do not own firearms; although he says they have the capacity.

However, witnesses accuse the group of unleashing violence on anyone who challenges him and it attempted to burn MDC-T President THOKOZANI KHUPE and other party officials.

Ms KHUPE and her colleagues had sought refuge in a village hut during the funeral of their Party Leader MORGAN TSVANGIRAI in the south-eastern district of BUHERA when the violent youths descended on them.

Mr CHAMISA has instead challenged the Commission of Inquiry to summon President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA to account for the deployment of the army on ONE AUGUST.

He says the Head of State, whom he does not recognise as such, despite a Constitutional Court ruling, should be held accountable for the SIX deaths that occurred during the riots.

Meanwhile, Mr CHAMISA says his party still believes it won the 2018 General Elections and he should be the President of ZIMBABWE – failing which he will be staging demonstrations this THURSDAY to force the government to negotiating table.

On the other hand, Mr BITI, who tried but failed to secure political asylum in neighbouring ZAMBIA after the demonstrations, has also denied inciting the tragic violence.

Both men, the only ones to appear with their lawyers before the Commission so far, have further dismissed even campaign video evidence showing them threatening violence if they lost the JULY polls.

They have appeared before the NINE-member international team after turning down invitations to do so in the past weeks during which they unsuccessfully made a number of demands for them to comply.

When ONE of the Commissioners asked if Mr CHAMISA respects the national legal structures, and that the Constitutional Court ruling is final, he agreed; but still says he does not accept the ruling it made in favour of President MNANGAGWA.

The opposition leaders have appeared before the Commission after military and police chiefs have testified in the ongoing inquiries, which are sometimes broadcast live on national television, dismissing reports claiming their soldiers killed civilians during violent protests.

The Tactical Commander of the National Reaction Force, who is also the Presidential Guard Commander, says he was in charge of the military operations to reinforce the police on the fateful day.

Brigadier-General ANSELEM SANYATWE has told the Commission of Inquiry into the disturbances his troops only fired warning shots into the air, not at the rioting crowds scattered around the city.

Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe (Pic. The Herald)

He says the videos circulating in the media, showing a soldier kneeling on the ground and appearing to be firing at the rioters, are not proof that the military killed anyone on the day.

He says the soldiers were under the command of high ranking and experienced officers who are aware of the rules of engagement, either during civil unrests or in real combat, and had they fired AK-47 rifles there would have been more than the SIX dead bodies.

Despite denials by the opposition leaders, the army says it cannot rule out the possibility that the SIX people who were killed in the ONE AUGUST post-election violence could be victims of a militant group in the ALLIANCE.

Brigadier-General SANYATWE says the group, known as the VANGUARD, is violent and obviously includes trained former members of the national army and police, who are able to use firearms.

He says what also further shows his soldiers killed no one during the demonstrations is that a number of journalists decided to report the events while taking cover behind the military lines, and no dead body was pictured lying in the streets.

Brigadier-General SANYATWE says the reporters should have been able to capture people falling from AK-47 bullets and bodies lying in pools of blood if the troopers really opened fire into the crowds.

He says he does not give much consideration to the video clip that has gone viral on social media, because no civilian has the guts to film such military operations.

Defence Forces Commander General PHILLIP VALERIO SIBANDA agrees with his officer, accusing the MDC ALLIANCE of preaching violence before, during, and after the 30 JULY General Elections each time they addressed their rallies.

Defence Forces Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda (Pic. The Herald)

General SIBANDA says they have reason to suspect the opposition leaders had planned to plunge the country into bloody clashes if they lost the polls; and when they realised they were losing, they sent riotous youths into the streets of HARARE on the day.

He says the police had to call for help from the military after the violent crowds, who were now burning and looting in a bid to shut down the city, had overpowered the law-enforcement agents.

General SIBANDA says anyone, members of the public, observers who witnessed the ballots, as well as journalists who covered them, who have evidence of his soldiers killing people, should come forward with it.

The 2018 Post-Election Violence Commission of Inquiry in ZIMBABWE is interviewing a cross-section of people from mid-OCTOBER, but it is not likely to conclude its work soon – given the bulk of evidence the team has to consider before reporting./Sabanews/cam

MILITARY BLAMES MAIN OPPOSITION FOR POST ELECTION VIOLENCE

ZIMBABWE: POLITICS/SABANEWS/15/11/18 SABANews 1

Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe (Pic. The Herald)

HARARE – Military officials in ZIMBABWE have dismissed reports claiming their soldiers killed civilians during violent protests that nearly shut down the capital, HARARE, on ONE AUGUST.

The Tactical Commander of the National Reaction Force, who is also the Presidential Guard Commander, says he was in charge of the military operations to reinforce the police on the fateful day.

Brigadier-General ANSELEM SANYATWE has told the Commission of Inquiry into the disturbances his troops only fired warning shots into the air, not at the rioting crowds scattered around the city.

He says the videos circulating in the media, showing a soldier kneeling on the ground and appearing to be firing at the rioters, are not proof that the military killed anyone on the day.

Brigadier-General SANYATWE emphasises the military details he deployed in THREE sectors in HARARE did not open fire to kill but to disperse the crowd.

He says the soldiers were under the command of high ranking and experienced officers who are aware of the rules of engagement, either during civil unrests or in real combat.

Moreover, given the fact that the soldiers were carrying AK-47 assault rifles, people would have witnessed serious carnage if anyone of them had fired into the crowds – because the gun has serious impact.

Violent demonstrators set Harare on fire (Pic. Agencies)

The army also says it cannot rule out the possibility that the SIX people who were killed in the ONE AUGUST post-election violence could be victims of a militant group in the MDC ALLIANCE.

Brigadier-General SANYATWE says the group, known as the VANGUARD, is violent and obviously includes trained former members of the national army and police, who are able to use firearms.

He says what also further shows his soldiers killed no one during the demonstrations is that a number of journalists decided to report the events while taking cover behind the military lines.

Therefore, the reporters should have been able to capture people falling from AK-47 bullets and bodies lying in pools of blood if the troopers really opened fire into the crowds.

Brigadier-General SANYATWE says he does not give much consideration to the video clip that has gone viral on social media, because no civilian has the guts to film such military operations.

The Commission, set up to probe the cause of the violence and whether or not the reaction by the military was proper, has also head the testimony of Defence Forces Commander General PHILLIP VALERIO SIBANDA.

Defence Forces Commander General Phillip Valerio Sibanda (Pic. The Herald)

He has accused the MDC ALLIANCE of preaching violence before, during, and after the 30 JULY General Elections each time they addressed their rallies, which led to the ONE AUGUST tragedies.

General SIBANDA says the opposition leader, NELSON CHAMISA, and his colleagues had planned to plunge the country into bloody clashes if they lost the polls; and when they realised they were losing, they sent riotous youths into the streets of HARARE on the day.

He says the police had to call for help from the military after the violent crowds, who were now burning and looting in a bid to shut down the city, had overpowered the law-enforcement agents.

General SIBANDA says members of the National Reaction Force had strict orders never to shoot at the demonstrators, and they never killed anyone.

He has also emphasised if the circulating video was authentic, the soldier shown kneeling and seemingly shooting into the crowd would have killed quite a huge number of people with such rapid fire.

General SIBANDA says anyone, members of the public, observers who witnessed the ballots, as well as journalists who covered them, who have evidence of his soldiers’ killing people, should come forward with it.

Despite having issued a joint media statement with the police to appeal to people with such evidence either vehicle number plates, names of soldiers, or anything, to furnish them with such information, no one has brought anything.

General SIBANDA also says he is disappointed that none of the many foreign observers, foreign journalists, and embassies, who witnessed the elections, ever denounced the pre-election opposition threats of violence.

Only THREE groups visited him, surprisingly to find out if the military would accept MDC ALLIANCE Leader CHAMISA if he won the presidential poll; to which he answered soldiers would abide by the Constitution.

General SIBANDA says the authorities are determined to find out the real architects of the violence as well as the killers of the SIX people, and the culprits will definitely be in police custody eventually.

The 2018 Post-Election Violence Commission of Inquiry in ZIMBABWE has interviewed a cross-section of people from mid-OCTOBER, but it is not likely to conclude its work soon – given the bulk of evidence the team has to consider before reporting./Sabanews/cam

SCORES OF PEOPLE KILLED IN HORRIBLE ROAD ACCIDENT IN THE EAST

ZIMBABWE: ACCIDENT/SABANEWS/8/11/18 SABANews 1

Horror crash in Eastern Zimbabwe (Pic. The Herald)

RUSAPE – At least 47 people have been killed and 70 others injured after TWO buses collided head-on just outside the Eastern ZIMBABWE town of RUSAPE.

Media reports say TWO of the passengers killed in the crash, which occurred towards sunset, were small children.

They say the horrific accident took place at the 166th-kilometre peg along the HARARE-MUTARE Road, THREE kilometres after RUSAPE towards the capital city.

THE HERALD has named the involved buses as BOLT CUTTER and SMART EXPRESS, whose driver was overtaking a haulage truck when he smashed into the oncoming BOLT CUTTER vehicle.

It quotes National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner PAUL NYATHI as saying the number of the dead is likely to rise, as the authorities have still been attending the accident.

MAKONI District Administrator DARLINGTON MUSEKA, who also chairs the District Civil Protection Unit, says RUSAPE General Hospital mortuary has been overwhelmed.

The State-owned daily also quotes him as saying they have had to engage NYARADZO Funeral Services for assistance.

RUSAPE District Medical Officer DR TENDAI NYAFESU says their mortuary is meant for 16 bodies, although they can stretch it to take up to as many as 36.

THE HERALD further quotes ONE official coordinating transport for the injured and the dead to hospital as saying the district is in shock over the horror accident.

The man, who the paper only names as Mr MUSEKA, says the incident is not something easy to accept.

THE HERALD crew of TENDAI MUGABE, SAMUEL KADUNGURE, and LOVEMORE KADZURA say they found the highway impassable when they arrived, with dead bodies, the injured, and their luggage scattered all over.

While other road users and passers-by helped carry the injured to hospital, the driver and conductor from the SMART EXPRESS Bus reportedly fled the scene.

The horror accident in Eastern ZIMBABWE comes as the SADC country approaches the festive and rainy seasons, with almost all its roads in both urban and rural areas are damaged dangerously./Sabanews/cam

POLICE ARREST FORMER MINISTER FOR ALLEGED CORRUPTION

ZIMBABWE: CORRUPTION/THE HERALD/6/11/18 SABANews 1

HARARE – Police in ZIMBABWE have arrested a Member of Parliament for alleged corrupt activities during his tenure as Cabinet Member under former dictator ROBERT MUGABE.

NYANGA SOUTH Legislator SUPA MANDIWANZIRA, who is former Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Minister faces allegations of criminal abuse of office.

Supa Mandiwanzira (Pic. Zimbabwe Mail)

THE HERALD says Mr MANDIWANZIRA has handed himself over to authorities soon after his return from an overseas trip.

It says the National Police Spokesperson has confirmed the arrest of the politician, saying he will spend tonight at MATAPI Police Station before appearing in court tomorrow (WEDNESDAY).

Assistant Commissioner PAUL NYATHI says Mr MANDIWANZIRA faces TWO counts of criminal abuse of office under the Criminal Law, Codification and Reform, Act.

The suspect allegedly engaged MEGAWATT Company to do consultancy work for NET-ONE, a parastatal, without going to tender and directed NET-ONE to pay FIVE-MILLION US dollars to the said company.

His arrest comes amid what looks like a serious drive by the EMMERSON MNANGAGWA Administration against widespread white-collar crimes in both the public and private sectors of the battered economy.

In a related development, the High Court has issued a warrant of arrest against former Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister GODFREY GANDAWA.

Godfreey Gandawa (Pic. Sunday News)

The accused, who is facing 14 counts of fraud and criminal abuse of office, has been due to appear before Justice TAWANDA CHITAPI for trial but failed to turn up for his trial.

Prosecutor CLEMENT CHIMBARI applied for Mr GANDAWA’s arrest, before the Court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant.

Defence Lawyer BERNARD CHIDZIVA has told the High Court Judge he last saw his client before the general elections held on 30 JULY this year.

The Anti-Corruption Commission arrested Mr GANDAWA last year together with ZIMBABWE Manpower Development Fund, ZIMDEF Principal Finance Director NICHOLAS MAPUTE.

The authorities accuse the TWO men of stealing more than 400-THOUSAND US dollars from the parastatal, in a case that also involves former Higher Education Minister JONATHAN MOYO.

Jonathan Moyo (Pic. Agencies)

Scores of former as well as current ministers and officials have reportedly milked the ZIMBABWEAN economy dry under the watch of the past government, which was toppled by military-backed mass protests last NOVEMBER./Sabanews/cam

VICE PRESIDENT PRESIDES OVER LAUNCH OF VITAL GLOBAL PEACE TOOL

ZIMBABWE: UNITED NATIONS/SABANEWS/4/10/18 SABANews 1

HARARE – Vice President KEMBO MOHADI of ZIMBABWE has presided over the launch in the capital, HARARE, of the report on the prevention of potentially violent clashes in the world.

UN-World Bank report on conflict prevention (Pic. World Bank Group)

The study, under the theme – Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict is a joint venture by the UNITED NATIONS and the World Bank Group, focusing on poverty eradication.

Having observed the shortcomings of original methods during conflicts over the years, the TWO authorities say they were convinced the world must urgently refocus attention on prevention.

They say a scaled-up system for deterrent action will save between FIVE-BILLION and 70-BILLION US dollars each year, monies that nations can reinvest to reduce poverty and improve the wellbeing of their populations.

The Pathways for Peace survey aims to improve the manner in which domestic development interacts with security, diplomacy, mediation, and other efforts to prevent quarrels from becoming violent.

It emphasises the value of grievances related to exclusion from areas such as access to power, natural resources, security, and justice, which are at the root of many violent conflicts today.

Vice President MOHADI, who oversees National Peace and Reconciliation Initiatives, has launched the study with UN Resident Coordinator BISHOW PARAJULI, World Bank Country Manager MUKAMI KARIUKI, and SWEDISH Ambassador SOFIA CALLTORP.

About 80 delegates from the State, the UN, development partners, civil society groups, and the media attended Organisations and the Media have gathered to the launch of the report, published this year in WASHINGTON DC, the UNITED STATES.

UN Resident Coordinator BISHOW PARAJULI has commended ZIMBABWE for including peace, reconciliation, and social unity as constitutional values and development needs.

He says the launch of the Pathways for Peace report comes at a key moment when the Cabinet has approved a TWO-year Transitional Stabilization Program for the country.

The UN official says the ZIMBABWEAN scheme recognizes and gives priority to reforms related to the rule of law, access to justice, constitutional alignment, social protection, reconciliation, peace, and national unity./Sabanews/cam

OPPOSITION PUTS NATION ON THE BRINK OF CIVIL UNREST

ZIMBABWE: POLITICS/SABANEWS/3/10/18 SABANews 1

HARARE – A clandestine project to bulldoze the government of ZIMBABWE into forming a coalition with the opposition MDC ALLIANCE is slowly but certainly putting the country on a warpath.

Nelson Chamisa addresses party rally (Pic. The Zimbabwean)

A powerful campaign is going on in the privately owned media, where virtually anyone who comments in favour of Alliance Leader NELSON CHAMISA earns the title of analyst in ONE field or another. Most of them become impromptu political or economic experts.

Despite the dangers of civil unrests, where children, women, the elderly, and the disabled are raped and killed, journalists have thrown both caution and ethics of the profession to the wind in support of the wicked crusade.

On the other hand, emboldened by the media support, Mr CHAMISA, who tried but failed to inaugurate himself as Head of State last month, is threatening mass action to unseat President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA.

The NEWS DAY says he has spoken at his party headquarters in the capital, HARARE, saying he is gathering his supporters countrywide to remove the government peacefully.

However, the so-called peaceful demonstrations by the opposition have always turned violent and bloody in the past, with a recent example being the killing of SIX people by soldiers in the HARARE CBD.

Leaders of the MDC ALLIANCE had mobilised their supporters onto what they had described as a peaceful demonstration against delayed polling results, which, ironically, the Electoral Commission was still announcing as they came in.

Given the inflammatory statements by the politicians in public gatherings, and mostly in the so-willing private media, the protestors did the obvious. They started-off timidly but suddenly began to burn and loot – with a clear intention of shutting down HARARE.

Earlier, Mr CHAMISA had declared himself winner of the presidential race against President MNANGAGWA, saying he would not accept any results showing the opposite.

The police intervened to control the violent crowds but had to call in the military after some of the groups besieged and started burning down the ZANU-PF HARARE Provincial offices, leaving a number of vehicles ablaze.

Nonetheless, the Electoral Commission declared President MNANGAGWA winner after he polled 50-POINT-SIX percent of the ballot against Mr CHAMISA’s 44-POINT-39 percent.

The Alliance leader challenged the result in the Constitutional Court but lost the case, with costs, and he rejected the ruling saying he would now approach the AFRICAN UNION and other international forums.

Now, he plans to take advantage of poor ghetto youths and street dwellers by mobilising them to go on a march his predecessor, the late MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, failed to execute against MUGABE.

It does not take a rocket scientist to realise such actions may lead to situations experienced in countries like SOMALIA, RWANDA, IRAQ, LIBYA and many others, where the scars are still fresh.

While the dangers loom, our so-called media practitioners are contented to pocket brown envelopes containing a few US dollars for supporting the destructive propaganda machine, which the rich north and relief groups are oiling.

Some of their newspapers are putting out unmasked lies about the State, to the extent of accusing the military of unleashing soldiers allegedly disguised as police officers against civilians.

ONE of the publications, the DAILY NEWS, also suggests the call for unity by outgoing BRITISH Ambassador CATRIONA LAING means President MNANGAGWA should take Mr CHAMISA aboard.

British Ambassador Catriona Laing bids farewell to Acting President Kembo Mohadi (Pic. The Herald)

It claims her sentiments come amid pressure, whose source it does not mention, on President MNANGAGWA to accommodate Mr CHAMISA in his administration.

Yet the Envoy has in fact bemoaned the rejection by Mr CHAMISA of the 30 JULY poll result.

In her words of departure, she claims the political playing field is not completely even but agrees the opposition refusal to accept the recent ballot results creates challenges for national unity and progress.

Nowhere does Ambassador LAING call for a GNU, but she urges the Head of State to ensure everybody’s voice is heard, since he guides the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

The BRITISH Envoy says her country is encouraged by the swearing in of the Commission of Inquiry into the AUGUST violence that occurred during the opposition post-election demonstrations in the ZIMBABWEAN capital./Sabanews/cam

MILITARY EXPRESSES OUTRAGE AT MEDIA ALLEGATIONS

ZIMBABWE: ARMY/THE HERALD/3/10/18 SABANews 1

HARARE – The ZIMBABWE Defence Force has described as malicious and outrageous recent media reports alleging its soldiers are harassing civilians in the capital, HARARE.

Zimbabwe Defence Forces before changes (Pic. Agencies)

The Director of Public Relations has issued a statement saying the stories aim to tarnish the image of the military and influence ongoing investigations into post-election political violence in the city.

THE HERALD says comments by Colonel OVERSON MUGWISI come after the privately owned DAILY NEWS and NEWS DAY publications put out alarming reports about alleged terror by uniformed forces.

A late SEPTEMBER report in the DAILY NEWS claims what it calls some rogue elements within the security sector are engaging in human rights violations similar to abuses allegedly witnessed during the rule of former dictator ROBERT MUGABE.

The paper says the purported abuses have prompted a group known as VERITAS, which claims to monitor the work of Parliament, to complain against perceived State delays to set up a committee to probe such matters.

A similar report by the NEWS DAY also alleges rogue soldiers have been terrorising civilians in the dormitory city of CHITUNGWIZA, although both papers give no names of sources of their information.

The government has a Commission of Inquiry probing the violent protests that broke out after opposition supporters besieged HARARE Central Business District and started burning and looting both private and public property.

President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA set up the team after SIX people were killed by a member of the military group helping the police to end the violence opened fire on the then retreating demonstrators.

The Commission comprises prominent persons from ZIMBABWE, the SADC Region, the COMMONWEALTH, as well as the BRITISH legal fraternity, who are yet to hand over their report to the Head of State.

Meanwhile, the SADC country is under attack by a deadly cholera outbreak that has seen the government declaring a State of Emergency after the death of FIVE people in a short time in TWO suburbs of HARARE. The figure has since risen to at least 49 deaths.

Cholera has brought immediate misery to thousands of homes (Pic. News24)

The MEDICAL XPRESS online science publication says the State has launched a massive vaccination drive as it battles the cholera outbreak.

It quotes Health Minister OBADIAH MOYO as saying the campaign, with help from the WHO, is targeting more than 500-THOUSAND people between this WEDNESDAY and SUNDAY.

He says another ONE-MILLION will receive vaccines from next week, with reports saying the disease has infected more than NINE-THOUSAND people, mostly in the capital, also amid fears of a repeat of 2008 when cholera killed more than FOUR-THOUSAND persons.

Media commentators say the privately owned media, instead of demonising the government in support of the opposition, should help to fight the serious humanitarian crisis facing the country as well as to revive the economy and assure foreign investors.

They say the current bad relations between the authorities and the opposition-associated papers and broadcasters show ZIMBABWE still experiences serious media polarisation./Sabanews/cam

CROSS BORDER TRAVELLERS GO UNDER THOROUGH CHOLERA SCREENING

SADC: CHOLERA/THE HERALD/SABANEWS/19/9/18 SABANews 1

CHIRUNDU – People travelling from ZIMBABWE to ZAMBIA are reportedly undergoing thorough, and sometimes humiliating screening for the deadly cholera disease.

Temporary base at Chirundu Border Post eight months ago (Pic Star FM)

THE HERALD newspaper in ZIMBABWE says the authorities on the ZAMBIAN side of CHIRUNDU Border Post across the ZAMBEZI are giving laxatives to incoming travellers.

Medical experts say laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and bowel examinations, and sufficiently high doses of the drugs may cause diarrhoea.

THE HERALD says ZIMBABWEANS going to ZAMBIA, especially passengers travelling on buses, are given laxatives to force them to defecate and facilitate stool testing.

It says the exercise is causing congestion at the border post, as travellers have been seeking to use the toilet before the authorities let them through after the humiliating tests.

Officials in the Ministry of Health and Child Care have taken up the issue with their Permanent Secretary.

MASHONALAND WEST Provincial Medical Director WENCESLAUS NYAMAYARO says he has received a report about the screening by ZAMBIAN authorities at CHIRUNDU.

The latest development comes as the authorities in the ZAMBIAN capital, LUSAKA, are appealing to religious groups to help fight cholera.

The national broadcaster quotes LUSAKA City Council Public Health Acting Director EDGAR MULWANDA as saying groups such as churches should promote the spirit of hygiene among their members.

ZAMBIA has been on high cholera alert since last year, with a report from the International Federation of the RED CROSS in JUNE saying the disease is endemic to the country.

It says outbreaks occur almost every year in the LUSAKA, SOUTHERN, NORTHERN and LUAPULA provinces.

The study also says this year, the outbreak happened just before the rainy season – which is unusual, but it followed a period of inadequate water supply during summer period , which forced more people to use unsafe sources.

In ZIMBABWE, the disease broke out this month in the GLENVIEW and BUDIRIRO high-density suburbs; killing up to 30 people countrywide so far.

ZIMBABWEANS have been crossing the ZAMBEZI almost daily into ZAMBIA over the years to sell different goods and to buy mostly clothing materials for resale back home due to difficulties in their country./Sabanews/cam

CITY FATHERS INVITE RELIGIOUS GROUPS TO HELP FIGHT CHOLERA

ZAMBIA: CHOLERA/ZNBC/19/9/18 SABANews 1

LUSAKA – The authorities in the ZAMBIAN capital, LUSAKA, have appealed to religious groups to help fight cholera, a deadly diarrhoeal disease wreaking havoc in neighbouring ZIMBABWE.

Cholera treatment centre in Zambia (Pic. Zambia Business Times)

LUSAKA City Council Public Health Acting Director EDGAR MULWANDA says organisations such as churches should promote the spirit of hygiene among their members.

He has told ZNBC News in the city the trend of shaking hands is back in the country, but people should continue to wash their hands frequently.

The national broadcaster says Mr MULWANDA has further appealed to schools to sensitise their pupils on the importance of observing the highest standards of cleanliness.

Grave digger at Granville Cemetery in Harare, Zimbabwe (Pic. The New York Times)

Meanwhile, LUSAKA Water and Sewerage Company Marketing and Public Relations Manager PATSON PHIRI has also spoken with ZNBC News in LUSAKA.

He says the UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND, UNICEF has released 10-MILLION kwacha (about 896-THOUSAND-500 US dollars) for the expansion of water supply systems in areas around the municipality.

Mr PHIRI says the authorities plan to extend the water supply system to KALIKILIKI, KALINGALINGA and MTENDERE areas, and experts have completed the diagrams for laying out pipes and other installations.

Health Minister CHITALU CHILUFYA has in turn urged members of the public to drink chlorinated or boiled water, and wash their hands with soap before touching food.

The health campaign in ZAMBIA comes amid reports of a serious cholera outbreak that has killed at least 30 people across the ZAMBEZI in ZIMBABWE, which 10 years ago recorded 98-THOUSAND-592 cholera infections and FOUR-THOUSAND-288 deaths.

Cholera, an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhoea caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called VIBRIO cholerae, can lead to serious dehydration and even death if untreated.

In urban areas like the capitals of both ZAMBIA and ZIMBABWE, cholera mainly breaks out due to very poor sanitary conditions under which residents go for weeks without piped water – with streams of raw sewerage flowing in front of houses./Sabanews/cam