Speaking at his church’s prayer meeting dubbed “Judgment Night 3” at the National Sports Stadium on Friday, Prophet Makandiwa said he had seen the reserves in a vision.

The prophet drew wild cheers from the packed 60 000-seater stadium as he added that people will realise that he is a true man of God when this vision comes to pass.
In attendance were senior Government officials, parliamentarians, church leaders, businesspeople and international delegates.

An electric atmosphere engulfed the venue as vuvuzela and whistle-blowing congregates filled it up as early as 5pm. The delirium heightened when Prophet Makandiwa and his wife, Prophetess Ruth Makandiwa walked in an hour before midnight.

Prophet Makandiwa said: “I saw something happening here and I’m trying to see how it is going to be understood. By this you will know that if you have heard a joke before in the same area, this is not a joke.

‘‘But I’m seeing something. I’m seeing oil coming out of our grounds. Just in case you think I’m guessing, I will tell you the place no one knows about so you know that in this nation, there is a prophet from God.

“I was taken by the Spirit of the Lord and we did a survey. You see, when you are taken up in the Spirit and you look down, you begin to see places that were once far away from each other getting closer and closer to each other.”

He added: “And the more altitude you take, you see everything become one. And I saw in the Spirit our forefathers spending a lot of money looking for this precious oil that I have mentioned. But I saw them in the Spirit, I saw like a diversion.

‘‘I saw our fathers following a very big river, and from the skies I looked down, and I saw them looking for something here, looking for something there. But they were following a very big river.

“And the Lord said to me, ‘Are they going to find it? If they find it, is it enough for the problems that you have?’ ‘‘And then I kept on looking and the Lord said to me, ‘They can continue, but let me take you to the place. I will take you to the place.’

‘‘When I was taken to the place, I saw the sons of the fathers mining in a different place.” Prophet Makandiwa went on, “I saw a generation, maybe that’s not your generation, maybe it is the next generation, maybe it is our sons.

‘‘I saw them in a place and I saw oil coming out of that place. I was made to touch the ground and when I was lifted finally from the place, oil was all over my body. And the Lord said, ‘There is much of it in this place. But did I see you there or your sons there?’ But I saw the place.

“As you are blowing those horns, I saw machines in that place, and these machines were very huge and they had pipes like an elephant going into the ground. ‘‘And machines were all over the place and the machines were very big with structures like elephants and they were sucking oil from the ground.” Pazimbo.com

Key Questions answered about corruption in Africa (Zimbabwe), factional politics and the powerful cartel (Oligarchy) controlling Diamond, Gold, Fuel, Grain (Command Agriculture), Basic Commodities and Foreign Currency trading. 1. Who is Queen Bee?-Queen Bee is colloquial name for the most powerful oligarchy/cartel in Zimbabwe. The group is heavily connected to senior politicians, the army, intelligence, the judiciary, permanent secretaries and directors in government, commercial parastatals including RBZ, MMCZ, NOCZIM, ZIMRA & ZESA. It has links at AFREXIMBANK too. The cartel controls imports of foreign currency and its allocation by RBZ. It controls imports of key commodities such as Fuel, Wheat & Maize and their subsequent distribution in Zimbabwe. It also controls Gold and Diamond marketing. 2. Who is in this cartel or oligarchy?-The most powerful bosses in the cartel are Chiwenga, John Bredenkamp and Billy Reutenbach. Their front man is Kuda Tagwirei. Silent partners include Simon Rudland, Obert Mpofu, Nic Van Hoogstraten, Happyton Bonyongwe,Ozias Bvute, Supa Mandiwanzira, Joram Gumbo, SB Moyo, Perrence Shiri, Elson Moyo and Anselem Sanyatwe. Other prominent members include Frank Buyanga,John Mangudya, Mirirai Chiremba, Norman Mataruka, Gresham Muradzikwa, Azvinandava Saburi, Genius Kadungure, Wicknel Chivhayo, Aaron Chinhara (Glow Petroleum), Farai Munyawarara (Kreamorn Investments),Phillip Chiyangwa, Derrick Chikore, Francis Gudyanga, Willard Manungo & Tafadzwa Musarara (Grain Millers). Lebanese, Indian, Chinese & Israeli Business moguls in Zimbabwe are also involved through mineral exports. 3. When did this cartel start?-The origins of this powerful cartel dates as far back as 1998 when Zimbabwe intervened in the DRC War. The rationale behind the intervention was to shield Diamond & Cobalt Mines controlled by the cartel front man John Bredenkamp & Billy Reutenbach. The rich white moguls roped in Vitalis Zvinavashe, Emerson Mnangagwa, Solomon Mujuru, Constantine Chiwenga, Perrence Shiri and SB Moyo among others giving them contracts to supply goods and services to the Zimbabwean Army during the war. Mugabe too was in the grouping for personal reasons. From that time, the army has played a key role in the Zimbabwean economy in transport, mining, arms deals, foreign currency, loans and connections to foreign investors. Their hand was strengthened when they saved Mugabe after losing to Tsvangirai in the 2008 elections. The cartel pushed behind the scenes to get their men in key positions in government, parastatals, cabinet and intelligence gradually becoming influential. The army became a ZANU PF extension and coined the phrase, “Chinhu Chedu” meaning a self-enrichment system of power and business deals. 4. Who was behind the November 2017 Coup?-The power behind the coup was not ED but this cartel including prominent business tycoons (white & black) fronted by Chiwenga, SB Moyo, P. Shiri & Elson Moyo. They could not have one of their own to take over as it would show the world that it was a real coup de tat so they chose Emerson Mnangagwa (civilian face) to lead the country. The coup was planned as far back as 2004 through ZANU PF structures, then 2007 through the Presidential Guard and after Mugabe unilaterally merged diamonds in Chiadzwa through Minister Chidhakwa (His cousin) in 2015. The cartel tried to get Mugabe to hand over power to ED in return for business deals. Their plans were thrown off the rail when Mugabe went after Bredenkamp in 2007 on flimsy passport charges. The nail was hit when Mugabe sent intelligence to kill Chiwenga in September 2017. When it failed, Mugabe fired ED from government and planned to fire Chiwenga as Army General after his China trip. The coup was initiated as the last resort to save the oligarchy. Furthermore Mugabe had shown no signs over time of giving power to their man (ED). Intelligence showed Mugabe wanted to hand over power to Sydney Sekeramayi who was to be deputized by Grace and Mphoko. The balance of power was shifting towards Grace and a few loyalists close to Mugabe and his family who were deemed hostile to the cartel’s business ideology in Diamond Mining, Gold and Fuel. The group composed of young Turks in ZANU PF who were starting to get favourable treatment from Mugabe at the expense of the cartel. The cartel tried to recruit Grace but realized Mugabe had spies around her because of her infidelity past. They sponsored various trips to China and other intelligence meetings behind the doors among other donations to ZANU PF. The cartel was shocked after Mugabe fired ED in a show of force and it pushed Chiwenga to voice their displeasure to Mugabe. The ZANU PF central committee was captured to push for impeachment in case Mugabe did not resign. The cartel used public anger for Mugabe to push people in the streets of Harare in support of their cause. They had found a common goal with opposition leaders too. That is why the coup was quickly sanitized. 5. Why did they not kill Mugabe?-They could not kill Mugabe as it would show the world it was a power grab. Moreover the information could leak on their identity as Mugabe had a lot of loyalists within the ZANU PF party, in government, intelligence and internationally. ED however, promised to reach out to Mugabe for them and ensure peace. 6. Is ED in control of the country?-Like Mugabe who lost elections in 2008 but was kept in power by the military in 2008. ED is under the influence of this cartel because they funded over $300 million to sponsor his campaign in the July 2018 elections. He is their product promoted to lead the country and he was involved in their deals through command agriculture as VP in 2016-17. He was further weakened after losing the July elections where again the cartel reversed the popular vote in his favour for their business interests. 7. Why is ED failing to control price increases, fight corruption or push for reforms?-The cartel that installed him as president survives on tenders and underhand deals with Parastatals in a closed economy. Any transparency or audit into government deals cuts off their revenue supply. Price increases are a show of power that the cartel controls the economy and can sabotage ED’s plan for economic growth. Reforms being pushed by Mthuli Ncube such as 2% tax, civil service and government expenditure cuts including command agriculture will be shot down because the cartel is still to cash in on its 2018 elections donations. Mthuli is supposed to be alienated in his policy thrust or be captured slowly, if he resists capture the cartel will push for his resignation from cabinet on corruption charges. 8. Why is Mutsvangwa exposing Kuda Tagwirei and the cartel?-Mutsvangwa felt that ED was pushed not to support him publicly in the Norton elections. He realized the cartel had a hand in his loss to Mliswa. However Mutsvangwa is fronting for a company from South Africa called MOGS which intends to build a Fuel pipeline linking Botswana and Mozambique through Harare which has the capacity to carry 5 times more fuel than the Trafigura/NOCZIM pipeline. It’s a personal fight. He is the brains behind Lumumba leaks 9. Why was Mutsvangwa not appointed Minister?-The cartel knew of his MOU with MOGS, his dislike for Chiwenga and abrasive behavior through the War Vets. Hence they pushed ED not to appoint him in cabinet. The push came through Mupamhanga and Charamba (Cartel inside men in ED’s office). ED reasoned with Mutsvangwa and appointed his wife instead to appease his former advisor. 10. Who is controlling government right now?-Chiwenga is the man running the show in government for the cartel since his appointment. They want him to take over as president in 2023, then hand over to SB Moyo in 2028. They have a succession plan for any eventuality even impeachment for ED or death. 11. Why did ED invite observers despite Army warnings that he would lose the elections?-ED wanted to create a centre of power around himself and a few of his loyalists who were chased from ZANU PF by Mugabe. He too wanted to get rich but without outside influence as he had seen on Mugabe. He wanted credibility and control as his own man to break away from the past. His plan was to invite technocrats and skilled Zimbabweans in Diaspora to run government so as to open lines of credit and investment. His plan fell after he lost to Nelson Chamisa in the July 30 elections. 12. How did the cartel capture ZEC & the judiciary?-At 3am on July 31, army intelligence had gathered through Provincial Presiding Officers that Chamisa of MDC had crossed the 2 million mark and was set to win by at least 56% of the presidential vote according to ZEC voter turnout figures. The cartel met and discussed plans with Chiwenga. It was agreed that it was easier to get ED in and eliminate him midway through his term than to get opposition in power. Chiwenga ordered ZEC to stop displaying V11 forms outside polling stations for all strategic constituencies deemed ZANU PF strongholds and those remaining polling stations which were over 25% of the total polling stations of the election. The army took over ZEC by threatening Chigumba and falsifying V11 forms. The cartel then offered huge perks to at least 5 judges of the Constitutional court who sat on the case bench to get ED sworn in. 13. Did ED want a GNU?-After losing the elections, ED was briefed by PV Sibanda that it was ideal to get in a GNU as the public favoured it. He warned ED of the power behind Chiwenga and his motives. The plan would involve negotiations with opposition figures which PV Sibanda was willing to do. ED advisers in the OPC also warmed up to the idea as it guaranteed them safety. The cartel rejected this idea outright and threatened PV Sibanda. 14. Who was behind the White City bombing?-The cartel felt that ED was sabotaging them by inviting international observers to an election he was likely to loose. He was also crushing Chiwenga on various pronouncements which included the firing of CIOs loyal to Mugabe, Police chiefs and allowing opposition a free reign in campaigning. They felt ED was becoming too soft to a dangerous opposition and poverty stricken public which would create room for an uprising similar to the Arab events. The decoy was to apportion blame to Grace Mugabe or G40 remnants. It was an inside job to injure or eliminate ED and Mohadi. 15. How did ED sideline some cartel members or dump them in the new cabinet?-The cartel had long suspected that some of its beneficiaries and members were spying to Mugabe against Chiwenga and ED. They quietly pushed ED to wield the axe on a few figures including Mandiwanzira and Mpofu but these would get ministerial packages, contracts and business through the cartel as they would in government even if deployed to ZANU offices. However the cartel crossed swords with ED after the failed to give posts to its members who were on Chiwenga’s list of cabinet candidates. The list included the likes of Bvute (Local government), Chiwenga (on Defense), Rugeje (Transport) and Tagwirei (On energy) among other retired generals. ED flexed his muscle and appointed his friends from Lacoste era who helped him fight in ZANU PF during tough times such as July Moyo, Biggie Matiza, Mohadi, Muchinguri & Matemadanda. This was to the displeasure of the cartel and it warned him of serious consequences economically and socially. ED had to improve his security detail and is living on the knife edge fearing from his life while trying to save the economy from collapsing under his watch. The rift was widened by the revelations that ED wanted Chiwenga dead despite the fact that he saved ED during elections. The Lumumba leaks were the tip of the iceberg to the power and business politics in Zimbabwe. So it’s game on while the Povo suffers!!!!

Kombi driver impregnates form two pupil commits suicide


Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent

A 28-year-old kombi driver from Gweru committed suicide by downing poison in an attempt to evade arrest after impregnating a 14-year-old form two pupil.

Acting Midlands police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende confirmed the incident which occurred on 14 September in Mkoba 9 when Godknows Zambezi of Mkoba 10 took a pesticide in a bushy area near Mkoba 9.

“I can confirm that we are investigating a case of sudden death where a male adult committed suicide by drinking a pesticide. It is suspected that the now deceased Godknows Zambezi committed suicide by drinking a pesticide in a bushy area near Mkoba 9 high density suburb. He was rescued by his brother who called an ambulance and was taken to Gweru Provincial Hospital. He later died on 14 September around 5 PM.

We suspect that he must have had personal problems,” she said.‎

Asst Insp Mukwende could neither deny nor confirm that Zambezi had impregnated a form two pupil.

She said it is suspected that Zambezi had personal issues.

Asst Insp Mukwende appeared to the public to seek counselling whenever they have challenges and avoid committing suicide.

A source however alleged that Zambezi had allegedly impregnated a form two pupil.‎

“What happened is that Zambezi had impregnated a form two school pupil who he used to offer lift going to school. When the girl informed him that she was pregnant he panicked and decided to commit suicide. He took a pesticide and went to a bushy area near Mkoba 9 and committed suicide. He was spotted by his brother who immediately followed him and managed to rescue him. This incident occurred on September 13 but he later died on September 14,” said the source. ‎

Shady Side Academy – Co-Ed Boarding School in PA

A St John’s College teacher in Harare stunned the whole school when he stood up during assembly and told students:

“I’m ga_y.”

Neal Novelmeier said he had made the decision to publicly declare his se_xuality in the hope that it would “curb homophobic behaviour” at the school located in the plush neighbourhood of Borrowdale.

“I simply feel and believe that as an educator I will be able to better address and advance this issue if I am prepared to be fully open and transparent about it myself,” he said in a letter, addressed to parents, .

The school’s headmaster, Cavaliere Corrado Trinci, deputy headmaster Andrew Sakala and Charles N. Msipa, the chairman of the school’s board of governors have been very supportive towards Novelmeier.

Homose_xuality is banned in Zimbabwe. Former President Robert Mugabe once said gays were “worse than pigs and dogs”, and new President Emmerson Mnangagwa told CNN in an interview in January that “in our constitution, it is banned and it is my duty to obey my constitution” as he refused to state what his personal opinion was on the matter.

IN the aftermath of the recent general elections which gave him some semblance of political legitimacy, albeit a hotly-disputed presidential poll, President Emmerson Mnangagwa is now making bold yet risky manoeuvres to contain his ambitious deputy Constantino Chiwenga, demilitarise politics and ensure the end of military tutelage in Zimbabwe.

A new confidential government document spelling out the key performance indicators for newly-appointed cabinet ministers, exclusively obtained by the Zimbabwe Independent this week, reveals Mnangagwa is pushing hard to drive the military back to the barracks, depoliticise security forces and consolidate civilian control of the state and government, while coup-proofing himself.

New Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, a Mnangagwa ally, has been tasked to stop the army from meddling in politics, while ensuring it acts in accordance with the constitution and the law, among other issues.

As part of that, police are back full-throttle on the roads.

Under former president Robert Mugabe, military handling moved from civilian control at the height of his power of tutelage as his rule waned and then brinkmanship which culminated in a military coup that in the end dramatically swept away his 37-year old regime last November.

Mnangagwa came to power riding on the crest of the wave of the coup, but before the elections he was widely seen as a lame duck. After the polls, he moved to cage Chiwenga and is taking further measures to send the military back to the barracks.

Informed government officials and diplomatic sources say Mnangagwa is under heavy pressure from Western countries, donors and funders to rein in Chiwenga, herd the military back to cantonments and demilitarise politics to secure a veneer of legitimacy and funding for the economy asphyxiated by a chronic liquidity crunch and severe cash shortages.

“Mnangagwa is now taking measures to keep Chiwenga under tight control and drive back the military to the barracks,” a senior security official said. “He is under pressure from his inner circle and diplomats to do that. They want him to take charge and show leadership. This will signal stability, reduce uncertainty and improve opportunities for further re-engagement, investment and funding.”

This comes as Mnangagwa this week tightened his grip on the security sector by appointing his close ally, Owen Ncube, as State Security minister. This means Ncube will oversee the Central Intelligence Organsation (CIO), which Mnangagwa has already put under the control of his other Midlands ally, Isaac Moyo.

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) is run by General Philip Valerio Sibanda and the Air Force of Zimbabwe by Elson Moyo, both of them Midlanders although with a Zipra background. The Zimbabwe National Army is headed by Lieutenant-General Edzai Chimonyo, also a Mnangagwa ally from Masvingo.

All those in charge of the security sector have a Midlands-Masvingo regional background. Nearly all of them are ethnic Karangas, Mnangagwa’s own sub-tribe — a reversal of Mugabe’s Zezuru-centred deployment framework and pattern.
Details show Muchinguri-Kashiri is going to be Mnangagwa’s enforcer in the military as a pawn in the battle for the throne with Chiwenga.

The first key performance indicator for her is to ensure peace and security. To achieve that, she is expected to “rein in on the security sector to foster peace in the country, not create unrest and terrorise civilians”.

This comes as Mnangagwa on Wednesday swore in a commission of inquiry into the fatal shooting of at least seven civilians during pro-democracy protests on August 1. There is controversy over the deployment of the soldiers on that day as insiders say it was Chiwenga, and not Mnangagwa, who called in the troops. Insiders say Mnangagwa could be targeting Chiwenga in the probe.

Muchinguri-Kashiri is also expected to institute training programmes to ensure soldiers are reminded of their constitutional and legal roles and prevent them from interfering in politics.

In one telling key performance indicator, the minister is instructed to ensure security sector reform by separating “security sector operations from political activities as per constitution”.

Mnangagwa also wants her to improve the working conditions of the security forces, including juniors, a move seen as a way of pacifying them. She has also been instructed to improve the welfare of war veterans.

Government officials say by containing Chiwenga and making crucial security sector reforms, Mnangagwa is insulating himself from a possible coup, while also emasculating his deputy.

The military however remains the power broker. Unless contained and neutralised, the army could still determine Mnangagwa’s successor as it did with Mugabe.

Chiwenga, who, together with Sibanda and Foreign Affairs minister Sibusiso Moyo, masterminded the coup which toppled Mugabe, is widely seen as harbouring presidential ambitions. It is said he wants Mnangagwa to serve one term only and then allow him to take over.

This is said to be one of the issues which have created a rift and fuelled tensions between them. After the coup, there were also problems around transitional arrangements and appointments.

During the elections, infighting broke out, especially during Zanu PF primary contests, and the general polls over factionalism. A mysterious grenade attack which killed two security aides rocked a Zanu PF rally in Bulawayo during campaigns.

Chiwenga and his military allies who ran elections succeeded in weeding out some Mnangagwa’s loyalties, before the President hit back by purging or leaving out his deputy’s supporters from his cabinet.

That, together with the civilian killings just after elections and the Bulawayo explosion, seems to have been the breaking point between the two gladiators who have been playing cat and mouse political games with each other since the coup.

However, insiders say Chiwenga remains highly influential in the military after serving in high command structures for many years.

He was commander of the Defence Forces from December 2003 to December 2017, and oversaw the promotion of most of senior military officers who are still serving; including colonels, brigadier-generals and major-generals.

The military’s involvement in politics in post-colonial Zimbabwe dates back to the early years of Independence in 1980 when Mugabe used it to crackdown on Zapu officials and Zipra, leading to Gukurahundi massacres in which Mnangagwa was the key enforcer.

Under threat from the main opposition MDC since 1999, Mugabe used the army from 2000 onwards in a brutal campaign of violence, intimidation and killings to hang onto power until it overthrew him last year. Mnangagwa seems to be anxious to avoid Mugabe’s fate.


The incident happened Wednesday morning at the Simon Mazorodze flyover on the outskirts of the capital as Nyambabvu and other journalists were driving to Glen View to cover President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s tour of the cholera-hit area.

The riot police appeared to be clearing vendors and their wares from the route Mnangagwa would use on his way to Glen View and the Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital.

Nyambabvu, who was accompanied by four NewZimbabwe reporters as well as freelance journalist Violet Gonda, was ordered onto a police truck where he was briefly questioned.

“I was accosted and told to get onto a police truck full of baying riot cops despite telling them I am a journalist and showing them my press card,” Nyambabvu explained.

“There is no need for the police to harass journalists going about their legitimate duties, and such duties include filming them as they throw stones at vendors.

“This sort of conduct makes a mockery of the so-called New Dispensation. A village scarecrow suddenly adorned with a new wig is still a scarecrow.”

Police were apparently infuriated by the journalists’ use of smartphones to film them as they threw back stones at some defiant vendors.

Added Nyambabvu; “You want to be outraged about the needless harassment but when police say – you can’t be a journalist because you’re filming with a smartphone – you just laugh.

“You realise that these are, actually, colleague citizens in need of help because the world has advanced in ways they can’t understand.”

NewZimbabwe senior journalist Anna Chibamu said police also demanded some cameras which the crew had been using to film the skirmishes.

“One police officer came to me and demanded to see my press card which I showed him,” Chibamu said.

“He then demanded cameras but we refused insisting this was unlawful as we were doing our lawful duties.”

Photo-journalist Idah Mhetu said police also demanded that she deletes images she had taken of the fracas but she stood her ground and refused.

During the skirmishes, police were seen confiscating some of the items which were being sold.

Other vendors tried to fight back using stones and, in scenes never seen before, police returned fire using the same stones.

As the police realised that the journalists were live-streaming the skirmishes , they got into their trucks and drove away.

The harassment of NewZimbabwe journalists comes amid continued reports of local media personnel being harassed for doing their lawful duties.

Watch videos below


According to zimeye |At least ten people all of them Zimbabweans travelling from Harare to Johannesburg in South Africa have been confirmed dead after an Intercape Bus they were travelling in overturned thirty kilometres outside Polokwane early this morning.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation reports that the driver lost control of the bus at a curve and the bus went off the road rolling several times before landing on its side.

According to the news report several more people may die as rescue operations are still underway with more people trapped inside the wreckage.

Details on how many people were actually on the bus and how many are injured are still not available as ambulances are still ferrying the injured to Polokwane Hospital.

ZimEye.com is monitoring the situation and more details will be made available as they come through. The bus left Harare for Joburg early Thursday evening.

A Zimbabwe man has shot dead his worker’s wife and two young daughters in a row over stolen groundnuts, a report says.

The unnamed suspect from Buhera, eastern Zimbabwe, fired his worker last week for allegedly stealing groundnuts and maize from his house, reports the state-run Herald.

The worker, Farai Mandigo, his wife and two daughters, aged four and one, couldn’t immediately find transport and stayed on at the house. On Sunday, after an argument, the owner fired several shots at Mandigo, who ran to a police station to report the incident.

“While making the report, he received information that the accused person had shot dead his wife aged 33 and his two children, respectively,” police spokesperson Charity Charamba told the paper.

Upsurge in murder

The suspect is being investigated for three cases of murder and one attempted murder.

“We have recently recorded an upsurge in murder cases emanating from domestic violence,” Charamba added .

In February, a soldier shot dead his wife and two sisters and seriously wounded his 18-month-old daughter before trying to shoot himself.

The soldier, 23-year-old Carlos Chapeyema is in police custody after the Bulawayo High Court denied him bail, the state-run Chronicle reported in June.


Zimbabwe has been under the world’s microscope as the country held its first election following the ousting of autocratic Robert Mugabe.

The divisive victory of his former ally, Emmerson Mnangagwa, was met with great civil unrest and bitter dispute from opposing political party the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Six people were shot dead and many more injured in protests that immediately followed the results. With an uncertain future ahead of it, more violence is expected in Zimbabwe.

This unrest points to a wider, deep-rooted vein in the nation. Violence is not confined to the public sphere and is directly mirrored in the personal space, with women and girls a constant target.

“In the recent wave of violence post-election this year you found both men and women succumbing to violence and it resulted in the loss of life – and that’s a big concern,” said Abigail Matsvayi, director of the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA), an organisation helping women stand up to abuse. “Because of that acceptance that you find within private spaces, it permeates within public space.”

Data from Zimbabwe National Statistics Office indicates sexual assault is on the rise. From 2010 to 2016 there was a 42 per cent increase in rape cases, with at least 21 people raped every day. Taking into account the fact that many don’t report sexual violence, this figure is likely higher.

The terrifying crisis of North American’s murdered and missing women

Domestic violence continues to be a major issue, with 78 per cent of women who had experienced violence claiming it was at the hand of their husband or partner.
Top articles

“I was abused by my husband for eight years of our marriage,” said Matilda Dube, a 52-year-old mother from Gwanda. “He beat me, insulted me, and he did all of this in front of my children. He drove me out of the home we had built together.

“My husband would use logs to beat me; he would also use his fists and kick me. One time he split my lower lip and I was covered in blood.

“I tried going through the traditional channels for these cases and I spoke to the village chief, but my husband wouldn’t listen to those traditional leaders, and nothing changed.”

The violence is not limited to adults. One in every three girls in Zimbabwe experiences sexual violence before they turn 18, according to the UN children’s organisation, UNICEF.

The “village chief” spoken about by Matilda is part of a dual legal system whereby traditional customs run parallel to formal and statutory laws of the state, which further complicates matters.

This particularly applies to child marriage, with a continuing problem of young girls eloping with older men.

Agnes was 15 when she met the man she would later run away with. With an abusive father, her promising school career began to slip away as she struggled to deal with her difficult life.
Forgotten Women: Violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association

“I felt my life wasn’t going anywhere. I had a friend in the village who was 15 like me. She started dating an older man. She kept asking me to date his friends and brothers. I refused; I felt I was too young.

“My friend was not happy – she kept asking me why. Eventually I gave in as she was putting a lot of pressure on me.”

Agnes began to date the 21-year-old man, who convinced her to run away with him to get married. “My friend said if she was going I should too – they encouraged me. So I left school and my village and I eloped. I didn’t tell anyone as I was scared to; I took the bus and I didn’t pack anything.”

Agnes’ grandmother, Esebia, is her sole carer, as well looking after other grandchildren, some of whom have been orphaned.
Read more

Zimbabwe declares cholera outbreak after 20 confirmed deaths
What I learnt as I watched the violence unfold in Zimbabwe

“It broke my heart when she didn’t come home one day,” Esebia said, looking back on the events of last year. “I consulted the village police as she was under the legal age to marry and I didn’t believe she really wanted to go – she was just pushed by her friend and this man. The police didn’t even give me their time at all, so I felt lost about what to do.”

Ms Matsvayi told us why she feels these numerous examples of abuse are so common: ”Men are viewed as supreme in comparison to women, they are setting standards and expectations that are given to cultural beliefs or practice, that allow men to be violent. So in some communities violence is a show of love … You will hear people saying that you need to discipline this woman to exert your power and be head of the home.”

Ms Matsvayi also points to years of economic crisis under Mugabe as a catalyst for violence. Gender roles ascribed to women mean they are often limited in the work they can do and bear the brunt of responsibility for childrearing. This leaves an inevitable dependency on men to provide, creating a one-sided power relationship.

“But at the core of it is this acceptance that violence is allowed and is a show of power, love, a show of so many misconceptions,” Ms Matsvayi said. “This is where the problem is.”

These ingrained cultural norms also help perpetuate a lack of understanding of the rights women have, and access to them. This is the barrier organisations like ZWLA is trying to break down.

“Much of the time women don’t know those rights, and what they actually need to do, so we do legal awareness and education. [Then comes] the advocacy work – how do we start influencing laws and policies so that they protect women’s rights in line with a lot of the international standards … and translate that into laws in our country,” Ms Matsvayi explains.

How Rwanda rose to top of the world for women’s representation

In the case of Matilda Dube, this new-found awareness not only educated her, but also her husband.

“I felt like for once in my life I had power and choices. The protection order helped me a lot. My husband stopped abusing me as the legal intervention made him realise what he had been doing was wrong. ZWLA also gave me the courage to sit down and talk to him and explain how his violence towards me made me feel. We’ve been living peacefully for years now.”

Esebia too turned to the organisation to help her reunite with Agnes.

“They helped the man’s parents realise she was too young to elope.

“The Community Legal Educators helped Agnes to come home and enter school again. She is still going to school now and getting the education she needs to break the cycle of poverty. I hope she has a bright future.”

ZWLA was a driving force in the constitutional change of 2013, which saw gender equality as a founding principle and outlaws discrimination against women. Since this there has been constructive change in traditional leaders, particularly in aims to ensure their informal court sessions are gender sensitive.

Despite constitutional changes recognising violence, its causes run deep and it continues to be a harsh expectation for women and girls.

“Much of the law is saying we should not be violent. We’ve got to start changing behaviours and attitudes, and rework the value system to say ‘violence is actually not acceptable’.


One Syrian mother’s truly remarkable journey to find her son

Zimbabwe does not necessarily rank top in global standings of violence against women, and the constitutional reform has meant progress, but the issue remains deeply rooted.

Although organisations like ZWLA are helping, the ability to report cases remains difficult . Costly journeys from rural areas to appear at court cases, fear of speaking out against spouses, lack of financial independence, the prospect of shame surrounding divorce; a myriad of deeply rooted issues continue to block women from accessing justice.

“There’s still a lot of underreporting going on, and this continues to perpetuate the acceptance of violence. We need women to take it even further and start challenging these spaces where the violence is,” Ms Matsvayi said.

Zimbabwe is not unique in its constant battle to reduce domestic violence, but it is a country at a turning point. In a highly volatile political environment, tireless campaigning has seen gender equality enshrined in law. It now faces the overwhelming challenge of making those rights an actuality in the lives of women and girls like Matilda, Agnes and countless others.

Gweru City Council’s blitz against illegal vending has extended to unregistered money changers, with the local authority threatening to confiscate their cash if they resist.

Municipal police, in conjunction with the Joint Operations Command last month launched an operation to remove illegal vendors off the streets following the outbreak of typhoid in the city that has so far claimed eight lives and infected more than 1 500 people.

The city is also on high cholera alert after the disease broke out in Harare and spread to other parts of the country.

The outbreak, which has so far killed 30 people and infected over 5 000 people, was declared a national emergency by government last week.

The Midlands capital, like most cities in the country has witnessed the proliferation of money changers who are making a brisk business trading the inflation-prone bond note against the US dollar and other stable currencies.

Town Clerk, Elizabeth Gwatipedza said the council wanted vendors to move to designated sites.

“We are saying vendors should go to designated sites while those who want market stalls should come and register with council,” said Gwatipedza.

In addition to money changers, the council confiscated cooking utensils and food from illegal fast-food vendors.