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Police arrest political activists providing monthly food handouts to needy residents

arrested

Five members of the National Democratic Working Group (NDWG), led by Job Sikhala, were arrested in Harare amidst what appears to be a broader crackdown on the opposition in Zimbabwe. The government alleges they were attempting to foment instability, a claim vehemently denied by the opposition. In response, the NDWG accused the government of diverting attention from rampant corruption within the ruling elite, including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his inner circle.

They expressed concern over the government’s actions, describing them as paranoid following recent revelations of high-level corruption involving senior civil servants and politicians. According to a statement from the NDWG, the arrested members were engaged in distributing monthly food aid to disadvantaged residents of Kuwadzana. Those detained include Edmore Svinurai, Emily Mwali, Isaya Ndawana, Patience Ndoro, and Regina Aniwute, who are currently in police custody facing charges related to gathering without police clearance.

The NDWG clarified that the gathering was not political but rather a social justice initiative held at a private residence. The group comprises members from various sectors including churches, students, and businesses. Police spokesperson Commissioner Paul Nyathi was unavailable for comment at the time of reporting.

Meanwhile, the crackdown extends beyond the NDWG, with seventy-nine activists from the CCC arrested earlier for attending an event commemorating the International Day of the African Child. They remain in remand prison facing charges related to attending an unauthorized meeting at a Harare residence. President Mnangagwa and Information Minister Jenfan Muswere have issued strong warnings against political activists and non-governmental organizations allegedly planning anti-corruption protests, vowing tough action.

Recent corruption scandals involving ruling party elites include cases against businessmen Moses Mpofu and Mike Chimombe, accused of defrauding the government of $7.3 million in a poverty-alleviation program under the Presidential Goat Pass-on scheme. They allegedly misappropriated funds intended for purchasing 600,000 goats for rural households, buying only 4,200 inferior-quality goats instead.

Additionally, a $40 million tender involving the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has implicated Wicknell Chivayo, known for securing numerous government contracts and providing luxury vehicles to Zanu PF-affiliated individuals. Chivayo, however, denies involvement in the election materials supply deal reportedly made with a South African company for the last year’s polls.

The situation underscores escalating tensions in Zimbabwe amid allegations of political repression and widespread corruption within the government’s ranks.

In other news – Michael Jackson was over $500 million in debt at the time of his death

Michael Jackson passed away leaving behind a staggering debt exceeding $500 million, as detailed in a recent court submission from his estate. Jackson’s financial troubles were no secret, stemming from lavish spending that led to substantial loans, missed property payments, and imminent bankruptcy.

His financial strain was exacerbated by preparations for his This Is It tour in London, slated for July 2009, marking his return to the stage after his 1997 HIStory World Tour. Read More

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