SOUTHERN NEWS | Mzila-Ndlovu arrested for robbery

BULAWAYO - Former National Healing minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu and his two sons Tjakalisa and Umile are in trouble after they were on Monday arrested on charges of robbing a poacher at his farm.

The trio are being charged of robbing a firewood poacher identified as Mike Makichini who they reportedly caught red handed at their Khami Farm.

They allegedly robbed him of his cellphone, axe and wheelbarrow.

The farm is located on the 19-kilometre peg along the Bulawayo-Plumtree road.

Mzila-Ndlovu and his sons were supposed to appear at the Plumtree Magistrates Court yesterday but could not take off after Mzila-Ndlovu’s lawyer Nqobani Sithole challenged the placement on remand pending convincing investigations into the matter.

Sithole said he had to appeal for the proper legal procedures to be followed.

“The poacher made robbery allegations against my client,” Sithole said.

“However, we have since challenged that, as we felt that investigations should be carried out first before any arrests are made,” he said.

Sithole further noted it was finally agreed that the matter proceed by way of summons resulting in the release of the trio from custody.

Mzila-Ndlovu confirmed the development:

“This poacher that we caught at the farm on Thursday went on to the police to accuse us of robbing him of his axe, cellphone and wheelbarrow.

“The police called us to report to the station the following day but we could not make it, and we made a gentleman’s agreement to avail ourselves on Monday,” he said.

Mzila-Ndlovu said it, however, came as a shock after they were immediately arrested upon availing themselves at the police station.

“However, to our shock we were arrested and detained on charges of robbery only to be released following the intervention of our lawyer.”

Ndlovu said that he suspected that this was the continuation of his persecution.

“This is not the first time it has happened where I get arrested over trumped up charges at my farm. I doubt very much that these are poachers but people sent to cause trouble and my arrest because honestly how can we be accused of stealing from a thief?”

AAG wades into Hwange salaries saga

BULAWAYO - The Affirmative Action Group (AAG) has written to the new Hwange Colliery Company(HCCL) administrator Bekithemba Moyo seeking audience with him over the unpaid employees.

Employees are reportedly owed up to $70 million and HCCL is considering selling Hwange town so as to pay off the obligations.

This comes after government recently placed the ailing coal mining firm under the Moyo-led administration to allow it to recover and potentially return to profitability.

Possibly seeing hope after Moyo’s coming in, AAG felt it was time to act.

“As you have been briefed, about 2 500 of Colliery employees had litigated for the company to be placed under judicial management to avert the company from sinking into bankruptcy as a result of corruption, mismanagement and asset-stripping,” AAG principal officer Denzel Sita wrote to Moyo in a letter that is in our possession.

“This endeavour was strongly resisted by the executives, management and politicians, who were benefitting from the violation of the company’s resources. They nicodemously obtained a court order for a scheme of arrangement from the Harare High Court, disregarding pending matters at the Bulawayo High Court.”

The letter added: “We therefore, urgently request an audience with you to discuss the outstanding salaries of employees and other issues, including the court order for judicial management.”

Sita noted that it would be mutually beneficial to have a fruitful round table engagement as part of restoring the legacy of the company.

The letter by  AAG comes a few days after members of the Mines parliamentary portfolio committee were left seething with anger after Moyo and his team snubbed the Themba Mliswa-led committee.

Mayor defends Vic Falls trip

BULAWAYO - Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni has sprang to the defence of his fellow councillors after the city fathers came under a barrage of criticism for choosing to hold their induction retreat in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

An outcry among residents, activists and civic society this week emerged following news that  the city fathers had slated their retreat, which started on Monday and is ending on Friday, in the border town. Some took to social media to express their views.

“For us it’s problematic, it shows poor prioritisation of funds at a time the city fathers are complaining about inadequate revenue collection, so we believe that BCC could have saved a lot by choosing their retreat at a cheaper place like Matobo Hills,” Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (Bpra) spokesperson Zibusiso Dube told Southern News.

The mayor, who is also part of the week-long sojourn, said the onslaught against the councillors was uncalled for.

“This induction is a ministry of Local Government programme, In fact it’s one the local government programmes,” Mguni told Southern News.

Matibenga-led PDP official quits

BULAWAYO - The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by Lucia Matibenga has continued to disintergrate after one of its top officials this week tendered his resignation due to frustrations.

The party’s treasurer-general Clayton Jones was elected as the substantive treasurer-general in April during the extra-ordinary congress which was held in the city soon after its split with the Tendai Biti-led PDP.

“This email serves to notify the party I have resigned as the treasurer-general and member of the PDP with immediate effect,” read in part a resignation letter by Jones, one of the Bulawayo South losing parliamentary candidates.

“I am not joining any political party but will want to focus on my personal business. It has not been an easy decision given the journey I have travelled with fellow party members.”

The Matibenga-led formation was one of the parties that contested the July 30 harmonised elections under the People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) fronted by Joice Mujuru.

Robbery accused duo freed

BULAWAYO - Two Bulawayo men who were last month arrested for allegedly robbing a Great Flavours Enterprises driver of more than $8 000 have been freed.

The two, Silence Kangwa, 21, of Tshabalala suburbs and Butshilani Ndlovu, 37, of Entumbane, appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Urgent Mvundla facing robbery and unlawful entry charges.

The duo which was being represented by Dixon Abraham of Tanaka Law Chambers was acquitted at the close of the State case after the State witnesses failed to positively identify them.

It is the court’s case that on September 1, the two accused persons in the company of six accomplices who are still at large hatched a plan to rob the complainant at his work place.

On the same day at around 11pm, the two accused persons in the company of their accomplices pounced on the complainant and other employees at the premises wielding machetes and iron bars.

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