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Battle lines drawn as Indlovu Iyanyathela and Lupinyo Bullets meet in Championship finals

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BY BHEKIMPILO WEZA

When Champions League games began, every team wanted to be in the finals and none was willing to give  Lupinyo Bullets a chance at that stage, but the team from a small village has found itself in the finals against a most assembled Indlovu Iyanyathela from the Monde League.

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The two teams will square up in what has been dubbed a David and Golliath affair at Sinyore Stadium in Chidobe on Sunday.

Indlovu are the champions of Monde League and have a bulk of former Division One players who are well known to cause problems in any game provided their presence. 

Ricardo Ncube, who is a goalkeeper and one of the players in the running for the keeper of the tournament and player of the tournament, once featured for Hwange Football Club as a reserve keeper to the teams first choice.

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By the time, Hwange was in the First Division and they have since clinched the championship and have been promoted to the elite Premier League.

His skills as a goal minder were evidenced last weekend when they knocked Chidobe Kachecheti Champions, Dragons out of the cup through a penalty shoot out.

Ricardo saved the first three penalties and converted the winner to send Indlovu to the finals.

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They also have Thabani Moyo who has been brilliant throughout the competition, often backed by Adrian Nyoni and their top challenger Bongani Ndlovu who was the league top scorer in the just ended Mosi League with twenty eight goals.

For them to lift the trophy ,they will have to guard against Lupinyo Bullets marauding strikers Tyrol Ncube and Brightman Dube who were top joint scorers in the championship build-up games. 

Lupinyo also have Mthokozisi Sibanda to pin their hopes on as they march towards their first ever trophy since their formation ten years ago.

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Meanwhile Dragons and Masters will meet in a third place play off before the finals.

The Championship cup is sponsored to the tune of US$500 and only top four teams from the two leagues Chika and Mosi qualified. 

lt is expected to expand to other leagues like Mvuthu Football League and Jambezi Football League next season.

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There will be medals for the top three teams and a trophy for the winners.

Awards for the player of the tournament, goalkeeper of the game, most disciplined player, top scorer and the coach of the season will also be presented.

The cup is sponsored by Victoria Falls Veterinary Service, Agricultural Zone and Chidobe Business Complex.

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Politics

Zimbabwe court grants bail to 26 opposition party members

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BY STAFF REPORTER

A Zimbabwean court granted bail on Friday to 26 opposition party members who were arrested for holding what authorities said was an unlawful gathering.

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The arrest of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) members, including two Members of Parliament, stoked fears of a crackdown on opposition politicians ahead of a crucial election this year at a yet to be announced date.

“This confirms that the arrest was an abuse of process in the first place,” CCC spokeswoman Fadzayi Mahere told journalists outside court. “All this shows that the regime’s paranoia has reached fever pitch and they notice that they are staring defeat in the faceZimbabwean police on Jan. 14 fired teargas at the CCC party gathering in Harare and arrested its members. The defendants’ lawyers argued that the arrests were unlawful as the gathering was at a private space.

Arguing against bail, prosecutors said the party had not sought clearance to hold the meeting. Zimbabwe laws require that political parties apply for approval from police two weeks in advance before holding a gatheringThe arrests came after a wave of politically motivated violence against opposition supporters in rural Zimbabwe, raising fears of repression ahead of this year’s presidential election.

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CCC, led by the youthful Nelson Chamisa, will battle President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF for the second time at the poll.

The opposition party, born out of the old Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), enjoys massive urban support and is seen as a threat to ZANU-PF’s 43-year-old stranglehold on power-Reuters 

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Air Zimbabwe to expand domestic routes

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BY STAFF REPORTER

Air Zimbabwe is promoting more domestic routes, as the airline seeks to expand its operations.

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This is according to the airline’s spokesperson, Firstme Vitori.

The airline is expected to take delivery of a second Embraer (ERJ145) soon, in line with its six-year strategic turnaround plan (STP).

Votori noted that key to this strategy is the procurement and deployment of appropriate equipment for the current and planned route network, as well as a fleet commonality for the containment of maintenance and operational costs.

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The airline currently uses a Boeing 737-200 and ERJ145 on its domestic and regional routes. Vitori said when travel restrictions eased last year, the Zimbabwe government – as a result of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout – saw a significant increase in load factors to an average of around 55%, combining the B737 with ERJ145 aircraft. ‘The deluge of corporate, and social conferences and events in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls saw us operating a lot of commercial charter flights with both aircraft. During the peak season, we also added frequencies to our domestic routes up to two flights a day,’ Vitori said.

Regionally, she said, the airline services Johannesburg, South Africa, with flights every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday – and to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, flights are available every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

‘Passengers in this sector are mostly business traders, and they enjoy a free baggage allowance of up to 60kg,’ she said.

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The airline is also working on route expansion in a two-pronged approach, which includes increasing frequencies on the current route network for both domestic and regional destinations, she added.-New Era Newspaper

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Hwange villagers receive training on methods to mitigate HWC

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BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI 

Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust (VFWT) in collaboration with Connected Conservation recently conducted a human- wildlife conflict  workshop in Hwange West rural communities on how to make chilli cakes and strings to chase away elephants. 

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According to VFWT, the workshop targeted farmers, women included as the cases of human-wildlife conflicts keep escalating. 

“The Workshop was held with local communal farmers on passive methods that can be used to deter human-elephant conflict,”VFWT said in a statement. 

“Farmers were taught how to make a briquette mix of elephant dung and ground hot chilies to produce a chili brick which is then burnt in fires along the field boundaries to create a noxious smoke that deters elephants from raiding their crops.” 

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Among many other things, the organisation said” the communal farmers were also taught how to make chili string fences using chili grease to create buffer zones as well as how to erect effective watchtowers to increase alertness.”

Problem animals such as the elephants have been a headache to communities under Chief Mvuthu’s jurisdiction. 

Year on year, villagers lose crops, which has plunged many into starvation and having to rely on donor handouts. 

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Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority says it does not have the resources to fence its parks so that they don’t encroach into the communities. 

Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is home to one of the largest elephant populations in Africa. 

There are an estimated 44 000 pachyderms inhabiting the 14,651 km² Park, which is almost half of Zimbabwe’s whole elephant population 

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