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Letter from Community Police PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 09 January 2021 20:23

Commander Catherine Roper
Crime Prevention, Inclusion & Engagement

New Scotland Yard, Victoria Embankment, SW1A 2JL

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Date: 8 January 2021

 

Dear Colleague

 

I hope you are staying safe and well.

 

I wrote to you in November of last year to thank you for your dedication in supporting our communities through some of the most challenging times many of us will have experienced and I’d like to offer my continued gratitude now.

 

This week the Prime Minister has explained the mounting concern regarding our health service becoming overwhelmed. The rapid spread of Covid across the country has led to the move to the National Lockdown Rules with the “stay at home” instruction in place until at least mid-February. We will now all have to abide by greater limitations, including only being able to exercise outside once a day, whilst keeping to our local area and we must continue not to mix indoors with other households unless in a legally defined support or childcare bubble.

 

When I last wrote the restrictions meant that faith venues could only open for ‘independent prayer’. This time however we are able to leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship. If you do decide to do this you should follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship and must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.

 

Once more please may I ask for your help and support in both observing the current lockdown requirements, and also sharing the above link with your communities.

 

Thank you for your time in reading this message and for circulating it more widely. Together we can continue to keep people safe.

 


Kindest regards,


Catherine
Commander - Crime Prevention, Inclusion & Engagement

 
Malawi pins hopes on gold standard of cannabis PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 05 December 2020 08:14

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/malawi-pins-hopes-on-gold-standard-of-cannabis-kbjlqf768#:~:text=In%20the%20lush%20hills%20of,the%20finest%E2%80%9D%20grows%20with%20abandon

 

Malawi pins hopes on gold standard of cannabis

 

Jane Flanagan 01/12/2020

 

In the lush hills of one of the poorest nations in the world, a strain of cannabis whose potency even ranks at the World Bank as “the finest” grows with abandon.

 

Revered among purists as a potent marijuana nirvana, a micro-tourism industry has sprung up around so-called Malawi Gold. Known locally as chamba, the strain has reached cult status with blogs and websites devoted it.

 

The government of the southern African state is now hoping that its fast-growing weed will help its population out of poverty. The former British colony has joined its regional neighbours in decriminalising cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes.

 

A company founded by Tanya Clarke, a British entrepreneur, established the first government trials on industrial hemp that formulated the government’s decision. She believes the law change will bring in much needed investment and create jobs, but leaders in the conservative, Christian country took some convincing.

 

Ms Clarke, who moved to Malawi after studying at Edinburgh University 14 years ago, said even the word “cannabis” provokes panic and associations with drug addiction and social mores.

 

“We found the term industrial hemp caused less alarm to describe the industrial applications of the plant,’’ she told The Times. In meetings with political and community leaders, she drew on the Bible’s references to plants and vegetation, in the book of Genesis, to argue that Malawi’s natural resources had a higher purpose. Cannabis thrives in Malawi’s climate, even during periods of drought.

 

New laws will enable Ms Clarke’s company, Invegrow, to legally investigate what it is about Malawi Gold that has made it one of the most psychoactive pure African sativas. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the only psychoactive element in the plant. Plants up to one per cent THC cannabis have been legalised for cultivation.

 

Malawi joins Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Lesotho in legalising industrial hemp, though South Africa went a step further in 2018 by decriminalising recreational use of cannabis. Lobbyists have long claimed cultivating cannabis would boost Malawi’s economy and plug the gap left by a drop in demand for tobacco. Eighty per cent of Malawi’s workforce are employed in agriculture. Tobacco accounts for 60 per cent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings and 13 per cent of its GDP.

 

Boniface Kadzamira, a politician who first campaigned for decriminalisation in 2015, said the cannabis industry would give Malawians the opportunity to process their own product and set their own standard.

 

“We don’t want to replicate what has happened in the tobacco industry. Malawians should participate, not as tenants, but as equal partners in this new sector,” he said.

 

A new Cannabis Regularity Authority is now considering 100 applications for licensing. With fees ranging from $100 to $100,000, the agriculture ministry said it wanted to draw a range of small and large-scale operators. Although Africans have been smoking marijuana for centuries — traces have been found on 14th-century pipes in Ethiopia — shifting attitudes towards legalising the plant have only come as the appetite for cannabis products in rich countries has mushroomed.

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Zimbabwe president’s relative arrest at airport after gold bars found in handbag PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 01 November 2020 15:03

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/zimbabwe-president-s-relative-arrested-at-airport-after-gold-bars-found-in-handbag-6gblw2zq8

 

Zimbabwe president’s relative arrest at airport after gold bars found in handbag

 

Jane Flanagan, Cape Town – 27/10/2020

 

A prominent figure in Zimbabwe’s ruling party allegedly tried to smuggle 14 bars of gold on a flight to Dubai.

 

Airport scanners at Harare on Monday picked up 6kg of gold valued at £280,000 in the handbag of Henrietta Rushwaya, who is head of the Zimbabwe Miners Federation and a relative of President Mnangagwa.

 

Steven Tserayi, one of the president’s long-term aides, was detained with her, according to local reports, and has been sacked by the president, but not arrested.

 

The scandal has highlighted Zimbabwe’s murky gold sector which, analysts claim, has drawn “untouchable” members of its political elite into smuggling cartels, costing the bankrupt state millions of pounds.

 

Ms Rushwaya, 53, who appeared in court today charged with smuggling, allegedly told officers she was acting as a mule for a licensed dealer in Harare called Ali Japan and was due to hand the gold to “an unidentified person” in Dubai. The gold did not have the paperwork required for its export.

 

Political analysts said the arrest of Ms Rushwaya was possibly the latest salvo in a power struggle within the ruling party.

 

A detective who is stationed at Robert Mugabe International Airport said that well-connected travellers often turned up with treasures to smuggle abroad. “You can receive a phone call from these big people ordering you not to search their bags when they come through,” he told the Mail & Guardian.

 

Grace Mugabe, the widow of the late president, and Joyce Mujuru, his vice-president, have both been linked to smuggling gold and diamonds worth millions of pounds. No charges have been brought and both have denied any wrongdoing.

 

Mthuli Ncube, the finance minister, has estimated that $100,000 of gold illegally leaves the country each month, often to Dubai, robbing the state of much-needed foreign currency.

 

Ms Rushwaya’s association of small-scale miners produces more gold than large-scale operations. The collapse of commercial agriculture, once the country’s largest employer, has pushed thousands of people into illegal mining with their finds being sold to black-market middlemen and often trafficked to states where prices are higher.

 

Police documents revealed that detectives had been tracking Ms Rushwaya after they received a tip-off. A spokesman for the government hailed the operation and said it followed warnings by Mr Mnangagwa, 78, to “those close to power to desist from wayward ways”.

 

The allegations are not Ms Rushwaya’s first brush with scandal. She was sacked from her role as head of Zimbabwe’s football association after it emerged that the national side was competing in obscure tournaments in Asia, north Africa and the Middle East where players and coaches were bribed to throw games.

 

She has not yet made a statement on the gold smuggling charges she is facing.

 
President Mnangagwa’s Address to the Nation - 4th August 2020 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 08 August 2020 10:11

My Fellow Zimbabweans,

 

The world is in crisis. Borders have been closed, trade has ceased and businesses negatively impacted by the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

The virus breaches borders, and knows no boundaries. This is the time when many in our country are looking for answers. Your cries are not unique to our country, region or our continent.  As elected leaders, we have to take the responsibility of providing solutions, ensuring stability and setting direction in the midst of it all. 

 

The New Dispensation came with the clear goal to improve the plight of the majority of our people, through an elaborate agenda to reform, restructure and rebuild, towards the achievement of Vision 2030.Undoubtedly, my Administration has faced many hurdles and attacks since its inauguration.  These included the divisive politics of some opposition elements, the illegal economic sanctions, cyclones, droughts and more recently, the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.  Added to this, is economic aggression, local currency manipulation and detractors who fear the inevitable imminent success of our reforms.  All this was meant to undermine our projected economic growth and stability. As a result, we have had to constantly recalibrate our compass to ensure that we remain on course, and that the standard of life of the majority in our society gets better and better. 

 

The direction we desire remains unchanged. Our goal remains clear and stable. Forward ever! This is the goal of peace, unity, stability, development, progress and prosperity. 

 

Although our progress has been slowed down, rest assured that we shall achieve our objectives. We will overcome. We will defeat the attack and stop the bleeding of our economy.  We will overcome attempts at destabilisation of our society by a few rogue Zimbabweans acting in league with foreign detractors.  The reforms, opening up, liberalisation and modernisation we began shall continue with accelerated pace. Those who promote hate and disharmony will never win. The bad apples that have attempted to divide our people and to weaken our systems will be flushed out. Good shall triumph over evil. 

 

Fellow Zimbabweans, to achieve the prosperity we deserve, let us all unite, working together towards a common goal and dealing with each other in honesty and love. 

 

We make no apologies for fixing our systems across the socio, economic and political spectrum.

 

Accountability and transparency will keep on being enforced in every facet of our society. These values are, after all, the DNA of the Second Republic and must permeate all our institutions.  Our political reforms have equally been guided by these twin concepts.  We repealed and replaced POSA and AIPPA in the spirit of these ideals. The new legislation, the Maintenance of Order and Peace Act (MOPA), was created after much deliberation and consultation. 

 

My Administration remains committed to enhancing cooperation with friends and partners in the international community, as we entrench democracy and the rule of law within our jurisdiction.  In this regard, we will continue to strive to achieve the delicate balance between the maintenance of peace and security on the one hand and protecting civil liberties and individual rights, on the other.  

 

In all circumstances, public officials and the security services will carry out their duties with appropriate astuteness and resolve.  The protection of the right to life is paramount, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and machinations by destructive terrorist opposition groupings. 

 

Our Monetary and Fiscal authorities will continue to work tirelessly to tame the economic turbulence we face. We commend international financial partners who continue to provide invaluable expertise in this regard.  Opportunities are being created across all economic sectors. The development agenda we began is taking shape in line with Vision 2030, and incorporates the youth and marginalised of our country, leaving no one behind. Levelling of the economic development playing field is ongoing through our devolution policy. Reforms related to opening up the economy, and to empowering entrepreneurs, as well as unleashing the creative potential of the private sector and SMEs, are bearing fruit.

 

Corruption at all levels must stop. 

 

Meanwhile, let us be consistent in all that we do. Through persistence and hard work, we will achieve a sustainable and prosperous future for all.  Zimbabwe has to get back to working efficiently again. Vision 2030 will become a reality. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to succeed. 

 

Fellow Zimbabweans, the dark forces, both inside and outside our borders, have tampered with our growth and prosperity for too long. They have thrived on dividing us. Let us as a people embrace the call for patriotism, hard work, transparency, accountability, love, unity and peace. 

 

Now is the time to embrace the opportunities before us with optimism and determination to transform and modernise our society. 

 

The door to the old manner of doing things is shut. The corrupt way is closed. 

 

Let us, therefore, pledge, individually and collectively, to defend our country, to be productive, to grow our economy and never to tear our motherland apart by dividing its people. 

 

In unison we must proclaim that “Enough is enough. This is Zimbabwe, our Motherland and we will defend her from any form of attack”.

 

As your President, I vow to continue working harder and walking the talk towards the Vision we have set out. Let us together cultivate a society of hope, and not despair; of inspiration instead of desperation. Unity in place of disunity, love in place of hate, and peace instead of disharmony and instability. 

 

Drawing inspiration from our departed brave heroes and heroines, let us pursue with renewed fortitude and zeal, the journey we began of reforming and rebuilding our motherland. 

 

Emboldened by the tenacity that inspired our heroes to wage a war for our Independence, sovereignty, and the freedoms we enjoy today; let Zimbabwe strive towards a prosperous future. 

 

Now is the time to look forward, as one people — a united people. Let us press on, with vigour and hope; hand-in-hand, being each other’s keepers.

 

In unity and love nothing is impossible. Forward ever, backward never.

 

God bless you all. God bless Zimbabwe. I thank you.

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ROHR Zimbabwe’s virtual fundraising party. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 30 June 2020 15:37

ROHR Zimbabwe’s virtual fundraising party. Saturday 4th July from 7 to 9 pm. RSVP: Rangirirai Chivaviro 07378429599, Esther Munyira 07492058107, Enniah Dube 07367504747 and Benjamin Molife 07490919900 for how to connect. Please join to catch up with other activists and to take part in a fantastic raffle. Prizes include: £5 for a microwave, £2 for a bottle of wine.

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