Zim stories that hit headlines in 2023

In January 2023, Muvevi allegedly went to an apostolic church shrine in Wedza with Shupikai Muvevi.

The year 2023 was a rollercoaster ride for Zimbabwe, a country grappling with political uncertainty, economic hardships and the cholera outbreak.

Yet, amidst the challenges, there were also glimmers of hope and resilience that offered a cautiously optimistic outlook for the future.

Here are some stories that shaped 2023.

Jaison Muvevi case

The year started on a sad note with former CID officer Jaison Muvevi going on a killing spree.

In January 2023, Muvevi allegedly went to an apostolic church shrine in Wedza with Shupikai Muvevi.

During the service, Muvevi retrieved a pistol from his parked vehicle and shot the preacher, Crispen Kanerusine in the head.

Muvevi also shot the officer-in-charge of Wedza Police Station, Inspector Maxwell Hove, who had assembled a response team to investigate the shooting.

He also shot Constable Tendai Mugova in the stomach and pelvis, seriously injuring him.

After the confrontation, Muvevi drove to Murambinda business centre where he shot and killed Munashe Munjani after a brief conversation.

The next day, he went to Mutare Boys High School and fired three shots at the caretaker who had refused to give him food, but missed.

Muvevi was arrested by unarmed civilians on January 16, 2023 while crossing into Mozambique to escape paying for his crimes.

He was charged with four counts of murder and two other counts of attempted murder after he also allegedly shot and injured a police officer in Hwedza before shooting at another man in Mutare whom he narrowly missed.

The Gold Mafia

Zimbabweans came face to face with how the country’s mineral riches are being looted by the elite when Qatar-based international television news channel Al Jazeera’s investigative unit premiered the Gold Mafia film.

The documentary was a four-part exposé on the illicit gold trade and money laundering operations flourishing in southern Africa, particularly in Zimbabwe.

It painted a grim picture of a complex web involving criminal gangs, corrupt officials, and powerful business figures, all profiting from the exploitation of this precious resource.

The investigation revealed the existence of well-organised smuggling gangs that exploit loopholes in mining regulations and bribe their way through border controls.

High-ranking government officials, including military personnel and police, were implicated in aiding smuggling activities and turning a blind eye to illegal operations.

The investigation extended beyond Zimbabwe, highlighting the role of South African banks and international refineries in facilitating the laundering of dirty money.

The Gold Mafia generated significant controversy and outrage in Zimbabwe.

 The exposè led to calls for investigations and calls for increased transparency and accountability.

They also sparked discussions on the wider issue of corruption and its detrimental impact on the country's development.

However, the Zimbabwean government has shown no willingness to act on the expose’.


The year 2023 etched itself onto Zimbabwe's memory with an unwelcome mark — a cholera outbreak that cast a long shadow over the nation.

The outbreak was first detected in February this year before it spread across the country.

Since then, more than 200 lives were been lost and over 13 000 people were infected.

Patriotic Bill

In July, President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Amendment Bill 2022 into law.

 It is also known as the "Patriotic Bill" because of clauses that seek to punish ‘unpatriotic’ citizens.

His signing of the bill was described by critics as the death of democracy.

The law criminalises any Zimbabwean citizen or national perceived to be "wilfully injuring the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe" and those who participate in meetings with the intention of promoting calls for economic sanctions against the country.

For months, civil society organisations lobbied the international community to urge the Zimbabwean government not to enact the bill into law which gives the state leverage to crack down on freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.

Elections and Faz

Headlines crackled with anticipation as several political parties, including the ruling Zanu PF and the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) geared up for battle.

The run-up to the elections saw the emergence of a Zanu PF affiliate Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (Faz) to coordinate Mnangagwa’s re-election bid.

Exiled minister Saviour Kasukuwere was blocked from contesting the elections despite mounting several court challenges.

Mnangagwa was announced the winner of the presidential election, but CCC refused to accept the results.

Legal challenges, street protests, and international observers' reports became the new headlines, fueling further debate and uncertainty.

Election observer missions flagged Faz for intimidating opposition supporters and other electoral malpractices in favour of Zanu PF.

Kembo Mohadi bouncing back

In August, Zimbabwean politics was shaken by the unexpected reappointment of Mohadi as Vice President.

Following his 2021 resignation amidst a sex scandal and legal challenges, his return sparked a wave of public reactions.

Supporters welcomed the move, citing his experience and political clout.

Critics, however, expressed concerns about the potential impact on public trust and the message it sent regarding accountability.

 The reappointment also ignited discussions about the ruling party's internal dynamics and potential shifts in political alliances

 While the long-term ramifications of Mohadi's return remain to be seen, it undoubtedly shaped the political landscape of 2023, sparking crucial conversations about sex, transparency, accountability, and the future of Zimbabwean politics.

Moreblessing Ali case

A High Court judge sentenced Pius Mukandi, also known as Pius Jamba, to 30 years in jail for the murder of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) activist, Moreblessing Ali.

Ali’s body was cut into pieces and her remains were discovered in a disused well.

High Court judge Justice Esther Muremba delivered the 30-year sentence that was confirmed by the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe (NPAZ).

This marked the closure of a case that dominated news headlines since April 2022.

However, Ali’s family believes that Moreblessing’s real killers are still outside.

Job Sikhala and Jacob Ngarivhume

Early this month, the High Court acquitted Transform Zimbabwe party leader, Jacob Ngarivhume on charges of inciting public violence after he spent eight months in prison.

Ngarivhume had been convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment by the magistrate court in April and has been in jail since then.

However, opposition legislator Job Sikhala remains behind bars since his arrest in June last year for urging CCC supporters to protest the killing of opposition activist, Moreblessing Ali.

Sikhala’s freedom bid has come unstuck with several court applications for bail turned down.

Recalls/CCC power struggles

Matabeleland-based activist Sengezo Tshabangu grabbed the headlines in October when he emerged claiming to be the CCC interim secretary-general as he recalled the party’s legislators and councillors.

Tshabangu recalled a further 18 more legislators last month before being stopped by the High Court pending the finalisation of court cases on the CCC ownership dispute.

By-elections to fill vacant posts triggered by Tshabangu’s recalls were held on December 9.

On February 3, 2024, the country will hold the second round of by-elections.

The recalls lifted the lid on the CCC power struggles.

News outlets documented the fallout within the party with reports of resignations, accusations of betrayal, and calls for Tshabangu’s removal.

 The internal struggle for power became a constant feature of the news, offering glimpses into the party's future direction and raising questions about its stability.

Zimbabwe discovers gas

On December 7, Energy minister Soda Zhemu announced that energy companies had discovered natural gas near the country’s border with Mozambique.

Zhemu described the discovery made in the Cabora Bassa  Basin, about 300km north of Harare, as “one of the most significant developments in the onshore oil and gas sector in the southern African region.”

Scott McMillan, managing director of Invictus Energy, one of the companies exploring for gas and oil in the area was quoted saying: “It’s obviously a significant development of the company’s history, we have successfully recovered a total of 400 carbon samples from two zones.”

“This is the first triassic discovery in sub–Saharan Africa and one of the significant developments in the onshore oil and gas industry in onshore for many decades.”

Chiwenga wedding

As 2023 drew to a close, another event captured public attention and sparked debate; Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga’s wedded his longtime sweetheart Colonel Miniyothabo Baloyi on December 23.

The lavish ceremony, held at a Catholic church in Harare, stood in stark contrast to the economic hardships facing many Zimbabweans.


The wedding became a focal point in the news cycle, with media outlets analyzing every detail, from the designer attire to the elaborate decorations and high-profile guest list.

Critics highlighted the apparent disconnect between the government's calls for austerity and the opulence of the wedding, raising concerns about financial transparency and accountability.

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