Tuesday 12 December 2017
(Agence Ecofin 12/12/17)
The government of Zimbabwe has turned its words into actions, and quite rapidly at that. Indeed, less than a month after President Emmerson Mnangagwa (photo) has declared in his investiture speech that white farmers expropriated in the framework of the land reform initiated by his predecessor, Robert Mugabe, will be compensated, a first farmer, Robert Smart, just got back his lands which were taken from him and given to a religious close to the former president. “M. Smart, like many others, was a victim of racial discrimination, avidity and power abuse. Their lands were confiscated illegally,” an advisor to the President told AFP. Symbolic or precursor, this restitution concretizes a political promise which many did...
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency. "The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and...
(AFP 12/08/17)
A Zimbabwean court on Thursday freed a Mugabe-era finance minister on bail ahead of his trial on corruption charges, laid following his arrest at the height of last month's military takeover. Ignatius Chombo, a close ally of former president Robert Mugabe who resigned on November 21, was the first Mugabe loyalist to be charged with a crime. The Zimbabwe High Court freed him on $5,000-bail (4,200 euros) but ordered he report to police three times a day, surrender his passport...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, called for public unity to revive the country's sickly economy as his new cabinet took office on Monday. "I have sworn in a new cabinet just to finish the term of the former president, which is a period of six to seven months," Mnangagwa said after the new ministers took the oath of office at state house. "I believe with my team we will stand up to the challenge." "I want them (Zimbabweans) to be...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
At least 21 people were killed at the weekend when a truck overturned in western Zimbabwe, state media reported on Sunday. The truck was carrying 69 passengers when it "failed to negotiate a curve and overturned" at a business centre in the district of Tsholotsho on Saturday evening, according to Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). Among the 21 known deaths, 15 people died at the scene and six in hospital, reported ZBC. A further 21 people were wounded in the accident...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, came under fire on Friday for unveiling a debut cabinet that named two military allies to top positions, reappointed figures from the discredited Mugabe era and sidelined the opposition. Mnangagwa gave key jobs to two top military officers, including Sibusiso Moyo, a major general who on November 15 went on state TV to announce the military's takeover -- a power grab which climaxed a week later when Robert Mugabe quit the presidency. According to a statement released late Thursday, Moyo was appointed foreign minister while the long-serving...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund will send a staff mission to Zimbabwe in coming days to meet with officials of the new government and assess the country’s fiscal and economic situation, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday. Rice told a news briefing that the regular staff visit in early December “will update our assessment of Zimbabwe’s fiscal position, foreign exchange developments and inquire about the new administration’s economic plans.” Rice said that the IMF stands ready to assist Zimbabwe’s new government in designing policies that can restore stability and growth. He added that while an international effort to ”revive and reintegrate Zimbabwe’s economy will be needed...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
Zimbabwean activist pastor Evan Mawarire was acquitted Wednesday of trying to overthrow former president Robert Mugabe in protests last year that shut down major cities and paralysed public transport. The court ruling came a week after Mugabe, who ruled for nearly 40 years, was ousted by a military intervention. "There is no evidence that he (Mawarire) urged a violent removal of government," high court judge Priscilla Chigumba said in her ruling. The judge said Mawarire had called for non-violent protests...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - A Zimbabwean court found a pastor not guilty on Wednesday of attempting to subvert the government in a case seen as a barometer of judicial independence under new President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Evan Mawarire was a strident critic of former President Robert Mugabe who resigned last week after 37 years in power week under pressure from the army and ruling ZANU-PF party. Mawarire’s #ThisFlag movement last year organized the biggest protests in a decade against Mugabe over a...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
ZIMUNYA, Zimbabwe (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Henry Fusirayi Nzarayebani, an elder in Zimunya, a village in eastern Zimbabwe, walks slowly toward plants growing at the edge of a narrow dirt foot path. He plucks a few leaves from a shrub nearly hidden amid a thicket of invasive Lantana camara plants, then rubs the leaves between his hands and sniffs the scent. “These leaves are used to treat stomach aches,” Nzarayebani says with a smile. “You either boil the leaves, then...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Zimbabwe's new president on Tuesday gave a three-month ultimatum for the return of funds siphoned out of the country by individuals and corporations, as he moves to stem graft and revive the moribund economy. "The government of Zimbabwe is gazetting a three-month moratorium within which those involved in the malpractice can bring back the funds and assets, with no questions being asked or charges preferred against them," Emmerson Mnangagwa said in a statement. The amnesty period will run from December 1. "Upon expiry of the three-month window, the government will proceed to effect arrest...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has opened a three-month amnesty window for the return of public funds illegally stashed abroad by individuals and companies, he said on Tuesday. Upon the expiry of the amnesty at end of February next year, the government will arrest and prosecute those who would have failed to comply, Mnangagwa said in a statement. Mnangagwa was sworn-in as president on Friday and promised to tackle corruption, which had become endemic under former president...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Fidelis Mukonori, the Jesuit priest who mediated Robert Mugabe's exit in what was a seismic moment in Zimbabwe's history, said the 93-year-old appeared relieved after signing his resignation letter. It was the culmination of a chaotic fortnight which began when Mugabe fired his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, prompting a military takeover and mass street protests which eventually forced him out, ending a 37-year reign that will best be remembered for its economic ruin. The resignation letter, which was read out in parliament on November 21, was the result of days of mounting pressure and back-and-forth negotiations with the military generals which were chaired by Mukonori.
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Zimbabwe's former finance minister, Ignatius Chombo, who is facing graft charges dating back more than 10 years, was denied bail Monday by a magistrate's court. "The court is of the view that indeed there are compelling reasons to deny the accused person his right to bail,"magistrate Elisha Singano said. "I concur with the state that if the accused is released at this time there will be a public outcry." He also said the risk of Chombo fleeing was high. Chombo...

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