Wednesday 25 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way to go, and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting, until every boy and every girl has access to education," she told the crowd. At ease with the African heads of state gathered onstage, Rihanna put...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
A Zimbabwean opposition leader and her entourage were Thursday attacked with stones by suspected ruling party activists in Harare, her party said. Joice Mujuru, a former vice president of the country who is now leader of the National People’s Party (NPP), and her supporters were pelted while on the campaign trail. Zimbabwe is due to hold general elections before July -- the first polls since independence hero Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power. Mujuru is one of the prominent contenders. Mujuru was hit on the cheek with a stone and later addressed a rally in the working class suburb of Glen Norah after she received medical treatment, her spokesman said. Mujuru "was going to address a rally...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure specific funding levels. In her tweet to Macron, Rihanna -- who met with him in Paris in July -- thanked the French leader for leading the conference...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/18)
With Zimbabwe holding elections this year, the opposition had been feeling cautiously optimistic -- until its arch-enemy, Robert Mugabe, was ousted from power. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe's main opposition party, now faces the threat of a revived ZANU-PF party at polls that look set to further cement one-party rule. Morgan Tsvangirai, veteran leader of the MDC, was among the most prominent critics of Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF, but he has been forced out of the action by colon cancer. The party's history of splits has also returned, despite an agreement last year enabling the MDC to lead an united opposition into the elections. "It is going to be an uphill task for the MDC facing ZANU-PF...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/18)
Zimbabwe has announced that white farmers still in business after controversial land reforms will be able to obtain 99-year leases, signalling a new government approach to the key agricultural sector. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who replaced the ousted Robert Mugabe in November, has vowed to revive the moribund economy, boost investment and create employment after years of decline. The agriculture ministry directed "all remaining white farmers be issued with 99-year leases instead of five as per previous arrangements," according to a statement seen by AFP on Wednesday. Thousands of white farmers were forced off their land by violent mobs or evicted, with Mugabe saying the reforms would help black people marginalised under British colonial rule. Critics blame the land redistribution, which...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/30/18)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s economy could grow by up to 6 percent this year, more than an initial forecast of 4.5 percent, due to the reforms being pursued by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, the finance minister told a state-owned newspaper. Mnangagwa, who came to power in November after a de facto military coup that removed long-time leader Robert Mugabe, has promised economic reforms to attract foreign investment and restore ties with international lenders so the country can access fresh funding. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government would be bold in reforming loss making state-owned companies and the mining sector...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/29/18)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A company helping to produce a new voter roll for Zimbabwe has accused the election commission of “impropriety” in its handling of tenders, potentially tarnishing the credibility of a poll meant to usher in a new era of transparency post-Mugabe. A credible vote is key to the restoration of democratic legitimacy following a de facto coup in November that ousted veteran leader Robert Mugabe after 37 years at the helm. It is also crucial to unlocking badly needed financial aid and repairing relations with Western powers. New President Emmerson Mnangaga, 75, a onetime protege of Mugabe, said last week that transparent elections would be held by July and that he would respect the result if the opposition...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/29/18)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is experiencing a dry spell that could cut crop yields, a farmers’ union said on Monday, but a government official said the country had enough grain reserves to last until next year. The southern African nation produced 2.1 million tonnes of the staple maize last year, the highest in two decades thanks to above normal rainfall and government funding to farmers. But rains have been erratic so far since the summer cropping season started at the end of November, while a long dry spell this month has raised alarm among farmers. Ben Gilpin, a director at the Commercial Farmers Union, said crops in the maize producing belts were showing signs of moisture stress while in the...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
To ward off evil spirits, Jochonia Moyo picks wild herbs as he returns to Bhalagwe detention camp -- the site of unimaginable brutality during a series of massacres more than 30 years ago that still haunts Zimbabwe today. Here, Moyo was detained, beaten with clubs and forced to abuse other prisoners as Robert Mugabe's soldiers embarked on an orgy of killing that left an estimated 20,000 dead in just two years. The massacres occurred in the early 1980s, but for decades were discussed only in hushed voices. Now, though, the end of Mugabe's iron-fisted rule has revived calls for justice -- and renewed accusations that the new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, played a key role in the bloodshed. "I remember perfectly...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in Thursday's edition of the US journal Science. Until now, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old. "Misliya is an exciting discovery," said co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
Zimbabwe's leading university has published the thesis submitted by former first lady Grace Mugabe, who was controversially awarded a doctorate which is now the subject of a fraud investigation. Grace, whose apparent desire to succeed her 93-year-old husband prompted last year's army takeover that eventually saw Robert Mugabe resign, was awarded a PhD by the University of Zimbabwe in 2014 after just months of study. Doctorates typically require several years of full-time research and writing. "We saw the thesis on the website (late Wednesday)... the question is why it took four years to publish," said Ashley Munetsi, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe National Students' Union. Zimbabwean anti-corruption...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, said Wednesday that the country would go to the polls before July, in the first elections since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power. Mnangagwa, who took office in November after a shock military takeover led to Mugabe's ousting, promised to hold a fair vote. Under Mugabe, who had ruled since 1980, Zimbabwean elections were marred by vote-rigging, intimidation and violent suppression of the opposition. "Next month I will be able to make a proclamation of elections, so I believe that elections will not be in July, they will be earlier than July," Mnangagwa said the World Economic Forum...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/24/18)
DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday the country will hold transparent elections by July and he would respect the result if the opposition wins. The election will be the first big test of his legitimacy since he took power in November when the military ousted Robert Mugabe who ruled for 37 years. It will also test the country’s electoral system after complaints of rigging at previous votes. Mnangagwa, 75, told the World Economic Forum in Davos the nation was “open for business”. Government spending ballooned under Mugabe and was in part used as patronage. More than 90 percent of the budget went on civil servant salaries, leaving little extra for investment needed to boost...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Despite Donald Trump reportedly dismissing African nations as "shitholes", Zimbabwe's new president said Wednesday he would welcome the US president to build a golf course in his country. "If President Trump came here today when I am still around I would... say: 'Oh, Mr President, Zimbabwe is open for business'," President Emmerson Mnangagwa said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "I know Americans like to play golf -- come and build golf courses... build hotels, I will give you incentives," he added. "We are open and we want to catch up with the rest of the region." He was replying to a question about reported remarks by Trump earlier this month in which the US president allegedly complained about...
(Xinhuanet 01/24/18)
The Zimbabwean government has ordered its ministers and senior civil servants to declare their assets, as it moves to curb corruption in the public sector. A statement issued by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda late Tuesday said the written declaration must be submitted by no later than Feb. 28. It said the order covered ministers and their deputies, permanent secretaries, senior principal directors, board members of state enterprises and parastatals and their chief executive officers. Also included were chief executives of local authorities and members of constitutional commissions, whether executive or independent. Sibanda said since his inauguration on Nov. 24, President Emmerson Mnangagwa had consistently called for strict adherence to good corporate governance. "The President...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/18)
Three luxury cars belonging to the Mugabe family were briefly detained in Botswana after the vehicles were involved in a crash as they were driven out of Zimbabwe, police said Tuesday. The Rolls Royce Ghost, a red Porsche and a Range Rover were damaged when the convoy -- led by former first lady Grace Mugabe's son -- slowed down to avoid cattle crossing the road. The vehicles were hit by a Toyota Corolla near the village of Artesia, 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of the capital Gaborone, in the nighttime accident on Friday, police said. "We kept the vehicles for few hours at the police station and they were...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/18)
Thisara Perera starred with bat and ball as Sri Lanka ended their recent dismal run by beating Zimbabwe by five wickets in the tri-nation one-day international tournament in Dhaka on Sunday. Perera claimed four wickets to lead an inspired Sri Lankan bowling attack that limited Zimbabwe to 198 all out before his unbeaten 39 helped the islanders to chase down their target in 44.5 overs. Sri Lanka were in trouble at 145-5 before skipper Dinesh Chandimal (38 not out) and Perera put on an unbeaten 57-run stand for the sixth wicket. Perera, who bats left-handed, sealed the win with a six to keep Sri Lanka's tournament hopes alive after they lost against Zimbabwe and hosts Bangladesh. Zimbabwe paceman Blessing Muzarabani...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through sport, organizers said. The countries represented included Nigeria, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. Some of the people taking part had come to Europe as asylum seekers while others were born on the continent. “We are all human, we have...

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