Monday 18 December 2017
(The Associated Press 11/23/17)
As Zimbabwe on Thursday prepared to swear in a new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, after 37 years, attention turned to the fate of Robert Mugabe and the wife who just days ago was poised to succeed him. The 93-year-old Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday as lawmakers began impeaching him, has not spoken publicly since his stunning speech on Sunday night defying calls from the military, ruling party and the people to step down. Mugabe appeared to remain in the capital, Harare, with former first lady Grace, but it was not clear under what terms. A new photo circulating on social media, said to be taken this week, showed Mugabe and his wife sitting on a sofa with advisers standing behind them...
(Xinhua 11/23/17)
The African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) have welcomed the resignation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday. Tuesday's decision will go down in history as an act of statesmanship that can only bolster President Mugabe's political legacy, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission in a statement later Tuesday. Mugabe resigned on Tuesday after pressure from the military and Zimbabweans, ending his 37-year grip on power. His resignation was greeted with wild scenes of celebration by Zimbabweans who now look forward to a new political dispensation in the country. President Mugabe will be remembered as a fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter, and the father of the independent Zimbabwean nation, AU's statement said. Faki Mahamat noted that AU...
(RFI 11/23/17)
Zimbabwe's next President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to lead the country out of economic ruin, ahead of his inauguration Friday. The former Vice president returned to Harare Wednesday, after being sacked two weeks ago, in what triggered a military takeover and the end of Robert Mugabe's near four decade rule. Nicknamed the "Crocodile" for his political shrewdness, Emmerson Mnangagwa portrays himself as a free-market enthusiast. A week before military generals took over Zimbabwe, the 75-year old penned a strongly-worded critique of former President Robert Mugabe, and the clique around him, blaming it for the country's economic collapse. Relations between the former allies have cooled significantly since their first encounter in a Zimbabwean prison cell in the 1970s. Before falling out...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as president on Friday, marking a new era for the country ruled by Robert Mugabe from independence nearly four decades ago until his swift downfall this week. The ruling ZANU-PF party has nominated Mnangagwa to fill the vacancy left by Mugabe on Tuesday and he will be sworn in on Friday, said Jacob Mudenda, the speaker of parliament. Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa as vice president two weeks ago to smooth a path to the succession for his wife Grace, who is much younger than the 93-year-old leader. Mnangagwa fled for his own safety and the military...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Zimbabwe's former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa was to return to the country Wednesday to take power after Robert Mugabe's resignation brought a sudden end to 37 years of authoritarian rule. Mugabe's iron grip ended in a shock announcement to parliament where MPs had convened to impeach the 93-year-old who dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life for decades. On the streets, the news that his long and often brutal leadership was over sparked wild celebrations which lasted late into the night, with crowds dancing and cheering ecstatically amid a cacophony of car horns. "Comrade Mnangagwa is coming back today," senior aide Larry Mavhima, told AFP...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Zimbabweans waited Wednesday to discover when their new leader would be appointed after president Robert Mugabe's resignation brought a sudden end to a 37-year reign of authoritarian rule. Mugabe's tenure ended in an announcement at a special joint session of parliament where MPs had convened to impeach the 93-year-old who dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life for decades. On the streets, the news that his long and often brutal leadership was over sparked wild celebrations on Tuesday evening. Car horns honked and large crowds erupted into ecstatic cheers and dancing. The likely next president is Emmerson Mnangagwa, who Mugabe sacked as his deputy earlier this month in a move that pushed infuriated army chiefs to seize power and force...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Robert Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday, a week after the army and his former political allies moved to end four decades of rule by a man once feted as an independence hero who became feared as a despot. His former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose sacking this month prompted the military takeover that forced Mugabe out, will be sworn in as president on Wednesday or Thursday, Patrick Chinamasa, legal secretary of the ruling ZANU-PF party, told Reuters. The 93-year-old Mugabe had clung on for a week after an army takeover, with ZANU-PF urging him to go. He finally resigned moments after parliament began an impeachment process seen as the only legal way to force him...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
President Robert Mugabe's resignation letter was read out by Zimbabwe parliamentary Speaker Jacob Mudenda to lawmakers gathered at a conference centre in Harare to discuss an impeachment motion on Tuesday. It read: State House Harare Zimbabwe 21 November 2017 The Honourable Jacob Mudenda Notice of resignation as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe In terms of the provisions of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe, amendment number 20, 2013. Following my verbal communication with the Speaker of the National Assembly, Advocate Jacob Mudenda at 13:53 hours, 21st November, 2017 intimating my intention to resign as President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 (1) of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
China on Wednesday said it respected Robert Mugabe's decision to step down as president of Zimbabwe and vowed to continue "friendly" relations with the country it backed during his authoritarian rule. China became a major political and economic partner of Mugabe's regime over the years as the West shunned the veteran leader over his government's human rights violations. But the Asian power has avoided taking sides since the military took over and placed Mugabe under house arrest last week. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang praised Mugabe, 93, for his "historic contributions" to Zimbabwe's independence and his commitment to the friendship between the two countries. "China respects Mr. Mugabe's decision to resign, and he is still a good friend of...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
The Zimbabwean parliament did not have time to vote for Robert Mugabe's dismissal -- because the president had already resigned. But this extraordinary session served as an outlet for elected officials, who took the opportunity to denounce the excesses of his authoritarian regime. On this historic Tuesday afternoon, the chamber was not big enough to accommodate all the lawmakers and senators who rushed to initiate impeachment against the former independence hero turned pariah. After a brief interruption, everybody moved to the Harare International Conference Centre, which was large enough to accommodate all of the officials. At around 4:45 pm (1445 GMT) Senator Monica Mutsvangwa from the Zanu-PF party, got the procedure under way. "I move the motion (of impeachment) in...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - When Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe sacked his vice president in front of 12,000 baying party members in 2014, Emmerson Mnangagwa sat quietly in the crowd, a green baseball cap pulled low over his eyes. The man who stood to gain most from the dismissal betrayed nothing through his expression and gentle clapping - a survival tactic honed during five decades of service to the mercurial Mugabe. His cap, however, spoke volumes. Emblazoned across its front, next to a portrait of Mugabe, were four words: “Indigenise, Empower, Develop, Employ” - a slogan of the ruling ZANU-PF party. That day, he became Mugabe’s official deputy. Mnangagwa, whose sacking from the post this month brought Zimbabwe’s political crisis to a...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is expected to be sworn in as president following the resignation of Robert Mugabe, will return home on Wednesday, a ruling party ZANU-PF official said. Mnangagwa, whose sacking this month prompted the military takeover that forced Mugabe out, was expected to land in Zimbabwe at 1130 GMT, Larry Mavhima, an ally of the former vice president, told Reuters. Mnangagwa, 75, who fled from Zimbabwe in fear of his safety after being sacked this month, could be sworn in as president later on Wednesday or on Thursday and is likely to lead ZANU-PF into elections next year. Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday, a week after the army and his...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
The United States said Tuesday that President Robert Mugabe's resignation offers Zimbabwe's people a "historic opportunity" for change and could help end its isolation on the world stage. Washington has been reluctant to call the military takeover that acted as a catalyst for the longtime ruler's resignation a coup, and seized on his departure to try to turn a page. "With the resignation of Robert Mugabe, today marks a historic moment for Zimbabwe," US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, as jubilant crowds took to the streets of Harare. "We congratulate all Zimbabweans who raised their voices and stated peacefully and clearly that the time for change was overdue," he said. "Zimbabwe has an extraordinary opportunity to set itself on...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
After Robert Mugabe's resignation as president of Zimbabwe, his former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose sacking led to the autocrat's downfall, seems likely to be the next head of state. On Sunday, Mnangagwa was named president of the ruling ZANU-PF party in place of Mugabe. That put him one step away from the top job as Mugabe was told to quit or be forced from office. Nicknamed "Ngwena" (The Crocodile) because of his fearsome power and ruthlessness, the 75-year-old Mnangagwa had appeared to have been outfoxed by Mugabe's wife, Grace. The first lady, who is 41 years younger than her husband, lobbied the veteran head of state to ditch his vice president, a long-serving lieutenant, to further her own political ambitions...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Hundreds of Zimbabweans who fled their homeland for South Africa during the despotic rule of Robert Mugabe took to the streets of Johannesburg to celebrate the resignation of the hated president. Blowing vuvuzelas, waving Zimbabwean flags and stamping their feet, Zimbabweans danced their way through Hillbrow, a cosmopolitan Johannesburg neighbourhood with a strong community of African immigrants. "We want to go back home, even tomorrow, even now at night. I'm very happy," Nikiwe Khumalo, 60, told AFP, 36 years after leaving Zimbabwe "to find food" in neighbouring South Africa. In the years that followed his coming to power in 1980, Mugabe set his country...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
British Prime Minister Theresa May said Robert Mugabe's resignation on Tuesday gave Zimbabwe "an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression that characterised his rule," and declared Britain stood ready to help. "In recent days we have seen the desire of the Zimbabwean people for free and fair elections and the opportunity to rebuild the country’s economy under a legitimate government," she said in a statement. "As Zimbabwe's oldest friend we will do all we can to support this, working with our international and regional partners to help the country achieve the brighter future it so deserves." Mugabe, who had led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, resigned as president on Tuesday as parliament began impeachment...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
The African Union has welcomed Robert Mugabe's decision to step down as president of Zimbabwe, saying the people had expressed their will for a "peaceful transfer of power." AU commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said he "welcomes the decision by President Robert Mugabe to step down from his position as Head of State following a lifetime of service to the Zimbabwean nation." "President Mugabe will be remembered as a fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter, and the father of the independent Zimbabwean nation," he said in a statement released late Tuesday. After dominating nearly every aspect of Zimbabwean public life for decades, the 93-year-old's tenure on Tuesday ended in an announcement at a special...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Car horns blared and cheering crowds waving the national flag thronged the streets of Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Tuesday after news broke that President Robert Mugabe had resigned after 37 years in power. The announcement came after days of mounting pressure on the 93-year-old leader, whose long and authoritarian rule made him feared by many of his citizens. "We are just so happy that things are finally going to change," Togo Ndhlalambi, 32, a hairdresser, told AFP. "We woke up every morning waiting for this day. This country has been through tough times." After a week of political turmoil, Zimbabweans reacted with shock, disbelief and delight. "I am so happy that Mugabe is gone, 37 years under a dictatorship is...
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
Here are some key dates in the life of Grace Mugabe, wife of resigned president Robert Mugabe, whose ambitions to succeed him largely led to a military takeover. - July 23, 1965: Grace Marufu is born in South Africa. - 1996: Aged 31, she marries Robert Mugabe, 72, for whom she had been working as a secretary and having an affair. The couple already have two children. - 2002: She is included in an EU asset freeze and visa ban against members of Zimbabwe's political and military elite. The United States also imposes a visa ban. - 2009: Grace Mugabe allegedly assaults a British journalist trying to photograph her leaving a Hong Kong hotel. She is granted diplomatic immunity from...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe Tuesday, swept from power as his 37-year reign of brutality and autocratic control crumbled within days of a military takeover. The bombshell news was delivered by the parliament speaker to a special joint session of the assembly which had convened to impeach Mugabe, 93, who has dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life since independence in 1980. It was greeted on the streets of the capital Harare with car horns and wild cheering. "I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation... with immediate effect," said speaker Jacob Mudenda, reading the letter. "My decision to resign is voluntary on my part. It arises...

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