Wednesday 13 December 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule may be over, but a culture of political fawning by the Zimbabwean state media and fear of those in authority still flourishes. The Herald newspaper and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation - state and ruling ZANU-PF party mouthpieces - routinely heaped lavish praise on the 93-year-old Mugabe and his wife Grace in sycophantic articles and commentaries. With the sudden change of guard, Zimbabwe’s official media is having a hard time shaking off old habits and is now tailoring its eulogies to fit Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s successor. State radio intersperses programs with martial music from the war of independence in honor of Mnangagwa’s war veteran allies and the army. One morning talk show host spoke...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa three days after his inauguration has dissolved the cabinet of his predecessor Robert Mugabe, who resigned after the military took control of the country, a senior government official said Monday. Mnangagwa "is in the process of putting together a new team of cabinet ministers,” Misheck Sibanda, the chief secretary to the president and cabinet said in a statement. Sibanda added that Mnangagwa has appointed Patrick Chinamasa as acting finance minister and Simbarashe Mumbengegwi as acting top diplomat “to allow uninterrupted services...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Hard cash but also the intangible ties of history have kept Europe in pole position as Africa's main partner, even if an influx of Chinese investment is prompting many African countries to look eastward. Successive years of hefty spending, particularly in infrastructure, have propelled China into the continent's top slot when calculated in terms of individual investor nations. But a quite different picture emerges when this is seen through a broader prism -- the ties between Africa and Europe as a 28-nation bloc. "Europe is in front, given the shared history," said Pierre Dagbo Gode, professor of political science at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University of Abidjan. "Europe is the premier trade partner, the top investor, the top donor," a...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A furore over migrant slave markets in Libya casts a shadow over an AU-EU summit this week that aims to promote Africa's long-term economic growth and stability, spurred by European fears of terrorism and mass migration. The two-day African Union and European Union summit opening Wednesday in the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan is focused mainly on the need to create jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population. The summit marks what Europe sees as a potential turning point for broader and deeper ties with a continent it once colonised widely -- while China, Japan, India and Gulf Arab states also compete for influence. However, outrage over the slave trade in Libya looms over the talks in Abidjan, with the scandal...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
China on Monday congratulated Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa but denied it played any part in his takeover or in the ousting of strongman Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe's army chief General Constantine Chiwenga visited Beijing shortly before the political crisis erupted in Harare, leading to questions about whether Beijing had any role in the power transition. China had long been one of Mugabe's most powerful allies and a major trade partner, as the West shunned him over his government's human rights violations. Calling the army chief's visit a pre-arranged and "normal interaction", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang denied any involvement in Zimbabwean politics. "It was planned long before and it was also approved by the former President Mugabe," Geng said. "China...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Zimbabwe has made former president Robert Mugabe’s birthday a public holiday, a state daily reported Monday, nearly a week after the long-time ruler stepped down. "It is hereby declared that February 21 of every year henceforth shall be a public holiday to be known as the Robert Mugabe National Youth Day," The Herald newspaper reported, citing a government gazette. The move follows intense lobbying by the ruling ZANU-PF party's youth league and came weeks after the country's biggest airport was renamed after the veteran politician who ruled Zimbabwe for nearly 40 years. His tenure withstood repeated claims of hanging on...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Like many other Zimbabweans who found freedom and work in neighbouring South Africa during Robert Mugabe's oppressive rule, dissident Muchaneta Chijakara was overjoyed to see the veteran leader ousted. Now, the dream of returning home to her husband and five children seems almost within reach. "I was... dancing in my house yesterday, it's like Christmas, it's like New Year," the 43-year-old said. Chijakara, a supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), left Zimbabwe in 2003. At the time, a government crackdown on her party was in full swing. "Next year, I'm going back home, if the industries are open... I'm not afraid of my country any more," she said. After nearly four decades in power, Mugabe resigned Tuesday...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Robert Mugabe's nephew said Sunday the ousted Zimbabwean president was in good health and "quite jovial" after being forced to resign when a military takeover ended his 37 years in power. Leo Mugabe however declined to discuss the $10-million retirement bonus reportedly granted to the 93-year-old former president as part of a deal that finally persuaded him to resign on Tuesday. "He is fine. I have been to see him, he is quite jovial," the son of Mugabe's late sister Sabina told AFP. "He is actually looking forward to his new life -- farming and staying at the rural home. He has taken it well." But he added that Mugabe's wife Grace was now concentrating on plans to build a...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, put on his white cleric's collar on Sunday for the first time since cutting it up ten years ago in a highly symbolic protest at Robert Mugabe's rule. The Uganda-born cleric, the second most senior clergyman in the Church of England, made the dramatic gesture on live television in 2007, and stated that he would not wear it again until the Zimbabwe president was gone. After Mugabe left office this week, Sentamu appeared on the same BBC programme where he was handed the pieces of his collar, only to pull a new one out of his pocket and put it on. "I think the lesson for Zimbabwe is the same. They just can't try...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Zimbabwe’s police and army will stage joint patrols as the country returns to normal after an army takeover that led to Robert Mugabe's resignation, the authorities announced Monday. “You will soon notice the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and Zimbabwe Republic Police members conducting joint patrols, especially in the Harare central business district,” police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said. “We urge you all progressive Zimbabweans to respect the country’s laws and cooperate with our officers as they perform their duties," Charamba said, reading from a joint statement of the police and defence forces. Zimbabwe Defence Forces spokesman Overson Mugwisi sternly warned those who had committed crimes during the crisis, when police numbers were under strain. "Law enforcement agents are already receiving reports of...
(Reuters 11/27/17)
New Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to form a new cabinet this week, with all eyes on whether he breaks with the past and names a broad-based government or selects old guard figures from Robert Mugabe’s era. Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks after being sworn in as Zimbabwe's president in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo Of particular interest is his choice of finance minister to replace Ignatius Chombo, who was among members of a group allied to Mugabe and his wife, Grace, who were detained and expelled from the ruling party. Chombo is facing corruption charges and is due to appear in court for a bail hearing on Monday. In a tentative sign that he might do things differently,...
(Xinhuanet 11/27/17)
China Monday voiced confidence in Zimbabwe's national development as the country's new president pledged to protect international investment in the country. Sworn in as president last Friday, Emmerson Mnangagwa promised in his inaugural speech that foreign investment would be safe in the country and Zimbabwe would play its part in regional and international organizations. "We have noticed that Mnangagwa's speech was welcomed by the Zimbabwean people and the international community," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular news briefing. "China supports Zimbabwe to follow a development pattern that suits its own conditions and believes Zimbabwe will achieve greater development under the leadership of President Mnangagwa," Geng said. China hopes to advance relations and cooperation with Zimbabwe under the...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/27/17)
Father Fidelis Mukonori, a Jesuit priest who is a close Mugabe friend, laughed off a report by the privately owned Standard newspaper that Mugabe cried and lamented the betrayal by close lieutenants when he agreed to resign. “When he finished his signature his face just glowed, no weeping unless there were angels weeping somewhere,” Mukonori told Reuters after mass at the Chishawasha Catholic mission just outside the capital Harare. “For me it was a sign that he was accepting that ‘ah this is done’, he is relieved, not that he is aggrieved but relieved.” He said Mugabe realised it was the end of the road two days before he resigned, when he saw 60,000 Zimbabweans protesting and demanding he quit...
(AFP (eng) 11/25/17)
A Zimbabwe High Court has ruled that the military takeover that led to Robert Mugabe's ousting was legal, raising immediate concerns about judicial independence under the country's new administration. Army chiefs put military vehicles on the streets of Harare and placed veteran leader Mugabe, 93, under house arrest, before he resigned on Tuesday. Many Zimbabweans celebrated the end of Mugabe's 37-year rule, but fear the new government under President Emmerson Mnangagwa could also be an authoritarian regime. "Actions by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to stop the usurping of power by those close to former president Robert Mugabe are constitutional,"
(AFP (eng) 11/25/17)
Once Robert Mugabe's fiercest supporters, independence war veterans played a key role in ousting him,proving they still wield influence in Zimbabwe which only threw off colonial rule in 1980. Mugabe's reign was built on support from three pillars -- ZANU-PF party, the military and the war veterans -- and their hardening stance against him in recent years was a bellwether of his downfall on Tuesday. Last weekend, after the army took control, the war veterans rallied tens of thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans to join street protests against Mugabe in a sudden outpouring of public will. "Our relationship with Mugabe had irretrievably broken down," Victor Matemadanda, secretary general of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Veterans Association, told AFP. "We entered into a...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
Dancing grandmothers, artillery salutes and extravagant military uniforms were the order of the day Friday as Zimbabwe sought to stage a grand presidential inauguration to impress the watching world. After ten days of intrigue, chaos and surprises, the ceremony at a giant sports stadium in Harare forcefully underlined that Emmerson Mnangagwa -- and no longer Robert Mugabe -- was in charge. The new president, adorned with heavy ceremonial chains and a sash, was cheered by a capacity crowd of 60,000 spectators, while thousands more watched on giant screens outside. Many Zimbabweans have expressed concern over Mnangagwa's record as a ZANU-PF party hardliner who was until recently Mugabe's closest ally. But his inauguration attracted an audience elated that the 37-year reign...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as Zimbabwe's president on Friday, marking the final chapter of a political drama that toppled his predecessor Robert Mugabe after a military takeover. Mnangagwa, until recently one of Mugabe's closest allies, took the oath of office at the national sports stadium on the outskirts of Harare before thousands of supporters, dignitaries and foreign diplomats. Snipers took up positions around the stadium amid tight security as jubilant Mnangagwa supporters streamed in, many dancing as music played.
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
Nicknamed "the Crocodile" for his ruthlessness, Emmerson Mnangagwa who took over Friday as Zimbabwe's president, is a hardliner with ties to the military who could prove as authoritarian as his mentor Robert Mugabe. It was his driving ambition to take over as leader which set off a bitter succession battle with Mugabe's 52-year-old wife Grace, triggering the crisis that toppled the long-serving president, who resigned on Tuesday. When Mnangagwa was dismissed as vice president by Mugabe on November 6, it initially looked like he'd been outfoxed by the first lady, forcing him to flee the country. But the situation quickly turned on its head, with his dismissal triggering a military takeover and mass street protests, which ended with Mugabe's ouster...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
Zimbabwe's Emmerson Mnangagwa was set to be sworn in as president on Friday, marking the final chapter of a political drama that toppled his predecessor Robert Mugabe after a military takeover. Mnangagwa, until recently one of Mugabe's closest allies, will take the oath of office at the national sports stadium on the outskirts of Harare before thousands of supporters, dignitaries and foreign diplomats. Snipers took up positions around the stadium amid tight security as jubilant Mnangagwa supporters streamed in, with many dancing as music played. "We are excited and expecting a lot from Mnangagwa.
(The Associated Press 11/24/17)
Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed Friday he will work to reduce crushing unemployment and return the country to prosperity after years of decline, as the nation cheered a new beginning after the extraordinary exit of Robert Mugabe. “Our economic policy will be directed for job, job, job creation,” Mnangagwa told the crowd of 60,000 witnessing his inauguration at a stadium in the capital, Harare. Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate is estimated to be 80 percent. “We must work together. You, me, all of us who make up this nation,” Mnangagwa said, urging the millions of frustrated Zimbabweans who have left the country to return. Mnangagwa, fired earlier this month as vice president, takes power after the whirlwind events that ousted the...

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