Tuesday 24 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/08/18)
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday met with Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa and discussed possible military co-operation as well as plans to boost economic ties. Lavrov, who is on a tour of Africa, is the first high-profile Russian official to visit Zimbabwe since veteran ruler Robert Mugabe's resignation in November last year. "We talked about the tasks that we have to pursue in order to develop these trade and economic ties between our countries," Lavrov told journalists after meeting Mnangagwa at his office in the capital Harare. "We emphasised the implementation of the joint project of exploring the Darwendale platinum deposits," he said.
(AFP (eng) 03/08/18)
The deputy mayor of Zimbabwe's second city Bulawayo was among 12 people who faced disorder charges in court Wednesday over weekend clashes between rival factions of the country's main opposition party. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has been paralysed by disagreements over who should have succeeded its long-serving former leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who died of cancer on February 14. Deputy mayor Gift Banda, councillor Mlandu Ncube and 10 other MDC supporters appeared in court following the violence on Sunday which left several people injured. Banda was freed on bail of $200 (160 euros) while the rest were released after posting sureties of $50 and will all appear in court to answer charges of public disorder at a later date...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
Zimbabwe's main opposition on Thursday named a former youth activist, Nelson Chamisa, as its candidate for upcoming presidential polls, the party's first major test since the death of its charismatic leader and the ouster of Robert Mugabe. Chamisa, 40, becomes the Movement for Democratic Change's electoral champion after veteran leader Morgan Tsvangirai died of cancer on February 14 at the age of 65. Tsvangirai embodied opposition to former president Mugabe whom the MDC accused of vote-rigging, voter intimidation and authoritarian behaviour. But Tsvangirai's final months were marked by increasingly public quarrelling between his deputies over who would succeed him as leader.
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
When the riot police arrived, Zimbabwean farmworker Mary Mhuriyengwe saw her life fall apart as her job and home disappeared in the ruthless land seizures that defined Robert Mugabe's rule. Mhuriyengwe, 35, watched as police carrying AK-47 rifles released teargas to force white farmer Robert Smart off his land in June 2017 -- perhaps the last of 18 years of evictions that helped to trigger the country's economic collapse. A widow and mother of two, Mhuriyengwe relied on her work as a general labourer at Smart's Lesbury Estates farm in Headlands, 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of the capital Harare. "It's the only job I had and I had no husband to turn to," she said, her voice breaking with...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/18)
Zimbabwean police said Friday they had shot two people dead and injured four others during a confrontation in the capital Harare over a ban on commuter minibuses in the city centre. City authorities on Thursday banned minibuses from using pick-up points in central Harare in a move to tackle traffic congestion, angering both drivers and passengers. The ban was reversed within hours by the government, but police had already been deployed to implement it. "I wish to announce the death of two people in a very unfortunate and regrettable incident on 22 February," police commissioner general Godwin Matanga told journalists.
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Thousands of Zimbabweans gathered Tuesday to bid a final farewell to opposition veteran Morgan Tsvangirai who was one of Africa's most admired politicians and lived to see the fall of his political nemesis Robert Mugabe. "We are celebrating a hero," said the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party's acting president Nelson Chamisa. Tsvangirai, the country's fiercest opponent of former president Mugabe's tyrannical 37-year rule, died on Wednesday aged 65 at a hospital in South Africa where he had been undergoing treatment for colon cancer. His body was flown to the burial ceremony aboard a military helicopter, accompanied by his mother Mbuya Tsvangirai.
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Zimbabweans marked Robert Mugabe's 94th birthday on Wednesday with an official day off, but without the extravagant cakes and fawning tributes that defined February 21 for much of his 37-year rule. As president, Mugabe typically celebrated with a rambling speech while wearing a suit decorated with images of his own face at a party that included a lavish feast. But following his ousting in November after a brief military takeover, this year's festivities were restrained. Other than a solitary editorial proclaiming the former head of state's big day in the government-run Herald newspaper, there was little in the way of official fanfare. None of the ministries and agencies that previously clamoured to mark the day even acknowledged it this year,...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Thousands of Zimbabweans and foreign mourners took to the streets of Harare Monday to pay tribute to Zimbabwe's iconic opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who died after a battle with cancer. Supporters wore the trademark red of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party which Tsvangirai led for 19 years in which time it became the main outlet for opposition to former president Robert Mugabe. Other well-wishers wore portraits of Tsvangirai, flocking to a central square to sing and dance in honour of their fallen leader. A casket bearing Tsvangirai's remains was adorned with flowers and driven to the square -- named for his arch-rival Mugabe -- after the cortege made a brief stop at the MDC's offices. Tsvangirai, the country's...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Zimbabwe’s president on Sunday praised opposition icon Morgan Tsvangirai who died last week as an outstanding political figure who had endured political hardship and deserved his place in the country's history. Tsvangirai, the strongest and fiercest opponent ever to Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party's four decades of rule, died on Wednesday, aged 65 at a hospital in South Africa where he had been undergoing treatment for colon cancer. "When we write the history of this country we cannot leave out the participation and role that the former prime minister played in the effort to entrench democratic values in this country,"...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between 2015 and 2016," Bukar Tijani, FAO's assistant director general for Africa, said at the regional conference that opened on Monday in Khartoum. "Over the same period, the number of under-nourished rose from 200 million to 224 million in Africa. This...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/18)
Zimbabwean anti-corruption investigators said Friday they had arrested a university professor over the suspected fraudulent awarding of a doctorate to former first lady Grace Mugabe. Levi Nyagura, the vice chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission following an investigation into the PhD. It emerged that Grace was awarded the degree by the university in 2014 after just months of study. Doctorates typically require several years of full-time research and writing. "Nyagura has been arrested. We cannot have people who award fake degrees," Goodson Nguni, a ZACC commissioner told AFP over the telephone. The professor will be charged with abuse of office, he said, refusing to say whether Grace also faces arrest. Grace Mugabe's apparent...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Zimbabwe's main opposition party is facing the threat of damaging splits just months before a historic election, as feuding erupts after the death on Wednesday of its leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai's final months were accompanied by increasingly public quarrelling between his three deputies over who would succeed him as head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The party -- which has a history of splintering -- had been trying reunite to fight the coming election, but the death of its widely-admired founder triggered renewed rivalry. Fresh divisions could mean that President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF face little opposition at the election, which is expected by July.
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
Morgan Tsvangirai, who has died after a battle with cancer, was the face of Zimbabwe's downtrodden opposition for decades. Jail, beatings by pro-regime thugs and perennial disappointment at the ballot box never dented the 65-year-old's desire to move the country past the decades of autocratic rule by former president Robert Mugabe and his acolytes. The leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party (MDC) took his furtive first steps on the country's complex and sometimes violent political scene as a trade union activist in the 1980s. He went on to form a unity government with Mugabe after disputed elections in 2008 in which he beat the veteran autocrat -- now 93 years old -- in the first round of...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/18)
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Saturday said the country will not return land seized from former white commercial farmers almost two decades ago. "It will never happen," Mnangagwa said in a speech to his ZANU-PF party supporters in central Zimbabwe, broadcast on television. His statement comes two months after white farmer Robert Smart got his land back after being evicted in June by ex-president Robert Mugabe's government. Zimbabwe embarked on a violent land reform programme in 2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks. Thousands of white farmers were forced off their land by mobs or evicted, with Mugabe saying the reforms would help black people marginalised under British...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/18)
Zimbabwe's main opposition was embroiled in a power struggle on Friday over who is in charge of the party months before key elections, as leader Morgan Tsvangirai receives cancer treatment in hospital. Two vice presidents of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party clashed openly over who is acting leader while Tsvangirai undergoes chemotherapy in neighbouring South Africa. Both Nelson Chamisa, 40, and Elias Mudzuri, 60, have claimed on social media to be in charge as the party prepares to take on the ruling ZANU-PF in the first polls since Robert Mugabe's fall. "It is only the acting president who has the authority to talk to him (Tsvangirai) and act on his behalf, it is myself and no one else,"...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/09/18)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Poor rains and crop infestations in southern Africa are threatening deeper hunger across the region, with millions of people, particularly children, at risk, the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday. “Given that the region has barely emerged from three years of very damaging El Nino-induced drought, this is a particularly cruel blow,” Brian Bogart, WFP’s regional program advisor, said in a statement. Large swathes of land across the region, from South Africa to Zambia, has been hit by high temperatures and low rainfall, while an invasive crop-eating army fallworm outbreak has shrunk cereal crop production for 2018, experts said. WFP said there were fears for another rise in the number of people in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues, as well as opening a...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
Ailing Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday appointed one of his three deputies to take charge of the party while he undergoes cancer treatment in neighbouring South Africa. Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said in a statement the former union chief had appointed Nelson Chamisa, 40, as acting president "until the president’s return.” "This is in light of the president’s absence and that of the two other vice presidents who are both in South Africa," Tamborinyoka said. Tsvangirai who announced in 2016 that he had colon cancer, is undergoing treatment in South Africa.
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
Former Springboks coach Peter De Villiers has been appointed to lead Zimbabwe as it seeks to qualify for next year's Rugby World Cup, the union boss said Wednesday. The Zimbabwe Rugby Union CEO Sifiso Made confirmed De Villiers' appointment on a two-year contract. "As you are aware Peter de Villiers was Springboks coach at both senior and junior level and he is the first guy to beat New Zealand," Made told AFP. "He brings depth, knowledge and a wealth of international experience at the highest level which we didn’t have in our local coaches. This is the World Cup qualifier year and we need to win all the five games." De Villiers who coached South Africa between 2007 and 2011...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily. For now, the notices are being given only to men without families, officials said...

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