Thursday 23 November 2017
(BBC News Africa 11/14/17)
Zimbabwe's army chief has warned those responsible for "purging" the country's ruling Zanu-PF party to stop, or the military will step in. The rare intervention comes just a week after President Robert Mugabe sacked his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa. General Constantino Chiwenga, who appeared at a news conference with another 90 senior army officers, did not refer to anyone by name. Mr Mnangagwa, once seen as a successor to Mr Mugabe, has fled into exile. Africa Live: More on this and other stories Mugabe's wife urges him to name heir 'Grace Mugabe underwear' reporter held Mr Mugabe's wife Grace, who is now the favourite to succeed her husband, referred to Mr Mnangagwa as a snake which "must be hit on the...
(Bloomberg 11/14/17)
Zimbabwe armed forces commander Constantine Chiwenga called for an end to purges in President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party and said the security services would stop those “bent on hijacking the revolution,” signaling a split with the 93-year-old leader. Chiwenga, speaking alongside the commanders of the army and air force, was commenting on the upheaval in the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front following Mugabe’s dismissal of Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, as vice president a week ago and his subsequent expulsion from the ruling party. Mnangagwa, an ally of Chiwenga, fled the southern African nation on Dec. 8 because of “incessant threats” against him and his family. “It is with humility and a heavy heart that we come before you to pronounce...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Zimbabwe's top military commander on Monday urged the ruling Zanu-PF party to put its house in order, saying the military would step in if the revolution that brought independence was under threat. While pledging allegiance to President Robert Mugabe as Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, Constantino Chiwenga told a press conference that some counter-revolutionaries were bent on reversing the gains of the liberation struggle and making Zimbabwe a neo-colonial state. "May I remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting the revolution the military will not hesitate to step in," he said. Chiwenga noted that there were current purges within the party targeting people who had a history with the liberation struggle...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their dollar profits in full. At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”. He did not specify the...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Zimbabwe's army chief on Monday demanded a "stop" to the purge in the ruling ZANU-PF party after the sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, and warned the military could intervene. "The current purging which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background must stop forthwith," General Constantino Chiwenga told a media conference attended by about 90 senior army officers at army HQ. "We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in," he warned in a statement. Mnangagwa was dismissed and humiliated a week earlier after clashing with veteran President...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/13/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - For most investors around the world, bitcoin is a volatile and highly speculative bet. For Zimbabweans, however, the cryptocurrency seems to offer rare protection from the onset of hyperinflation and financial implosion. Some are turning to bitcoin out of desperation as their bank deposits lose value almost by the day, while others are using the online currency for housekeeping such as funding family members studying abroad. The result is startling. Bitcoin's BTC=BTSP global surge to a record high of $7,888 last week - a sevenfold increase since the start of the year - has been spectacular enough. But on Harare's bitcoin exchange, Golix (golix.io), the price hit $13,900, a 40-fold jump in the same period. Warnings abound...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
A Zimbabwe court on Friday released on bail four people facing charges of undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe after his powerful wife was jeered at a rally. Three men and a woman were arrested after attending a ruling ZANU-PF party rally in the country's second city Bulawayo where Grace Mugabe was heckled while addressing the crowd on Saturday. "There is no compelling reason for denying the accused their rights," said magistrate Franklin Mkhwananzi, ordering them back to court on November 24. They were freed on $50 bail each and barred from attending a forthcoming presidential rally in Harare, whose date is yet to be announced. According to The Herald newspaper, prosecutor Jerry Mutsindikwa had on Thursday told the...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
Four people have appeared in court in Zimbabwe on charges of undermining the authority of President Robert Mugabe after his wife was heckled while addressing a rally, a state-owned newspaper reported Friday. The Herald said the four were arrested after attending a ruling ZANU-PF party rally in the country's southwestern city of Bulawayo where Grace Mugabe was jeered during a speech on Saturday. Prosecutor Jerry Mutsindikwa told a magistrate court that "the quartet, with others allegedly sang the song 'into oyenzayo siyayizonda'" -- whose lyrics in Ndebele mean "we hate what you are doing" -- while Grace addressed the rally.
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
President Robert Mugabe has exerted almost total authority over Zimbabwean politics for decades -- but the sacking of his most senior long-time confidante could spark repercussions beyond his control. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was dismissed and humiliated on Monday after clashing with Mugabe's wife Grace, who is now in prime position to succeed her husband. The removal of Mnangagwa, who has powerful military connections, has laid bare the rivalries inside Zimbabwe's political establishment as Mugabe, 93, shows increasing signs of old age.
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
Zimbabwe freed on Thursday a 25-year-old American journalist charged with subverting President Robert Mugabe on account of an alleged tweet that described the ageing leader as "selfish and sick". Martha O'Donovan had been charged with attempting to overthrow Mugabe as well as undermining or insulting the veteran leader, now 93. The arrest of O'Donovan and the seizure of her laptop in a dawn raid at her apartment last Friday came just weeks after the government appointed a cybersecurity minister tasked with policing social media. "Ms Martha O'Donovan has been granted $1,000 bail (860 euros) and ordered to reside at a given address, surrender her passport... and report twice a week" to detectives, said O'Donovan's lawyer Obey Shava, speaking outside Harare's...
(AFP 11/09/17)
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe attended a ceremony re-naming Harare Airport in his honour on Thursday, as his sacking of the vice president fuelled speculation over his succession plans. The 93-year-old president unveiled a plaque at the newly named Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, located 15 kilometers (nine miles) outside the centre of the capital. The refurbishment of the airport has been condemned by opposition figures as a waste of money. Activists from Mugabe's ZANU-PF party had campaigned for it to be re-named, threatening to bar the transport minister from the president's birthday celebrations in February unless their demands were met. "Thank you most sincerely for the honour bestowed on me. It is indeed a great gesture," Mugabe said at the...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe will upgrade its main airport at a cost of $153 million in an effort to attract more visitors, state media reported on Thursday, as authorities renamed the airport in honor of 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe. Harare International Airport will from Thursday be known as Robert Mugabe International Airport and is expected to undergo an upgrade so that it can handle 6.5 million passengers a year, more than double its current capacity. State-owned Herald newspaper reported that China Export and Import Bank will provide a $153 million loan that will, among other things, be used to expand the runway to allow multiple planes to land at the same time. Accepting the honor, Mugabe said renaming the airport...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
Zimbabwe's sacked vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa said Wednesday he had fled the country as he issued a direct challenge to long-ruling President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace. The ruling ZANU-PF "is not personal property of you and your wife to do as you please," Mnangagwa said in an angry five-page statement, vowing he would return to Zimbabwe to lead party members. "This is now a party controlled by undisciplined, egotistical and self-serving minnows who derive their power not from the people and party but from only two individuals in the form of the First Family," he said. Mnangagwa was the leading contender to succeed Mugabe, 93, but his abrupt removal appeared to clear the way for the president's wife...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired by President Robert Mugabe this week, is safe and will travel to South Africa “very soon”, the head of the war veterans Chris Mutsvangwa said on Wednesday. Mnangagwa’s removal on Monday was a boost for Mugabe’s wife, Grace, who has been a vocal critic of the former vice president and is seen as a potential successor to her husband. Mutsvangwa, a close ally of Mnangagwa, told reporters in Johannesburg that Grace was behind the purge of Mnangagwa and his allies.
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday said the route to leadership was long and full of “pitfalls and death”, as he accused his fired deputy and former protege of showing impatience in his bid to succeed him. Addressing supporters at the headquarters of his ZANU-PF party in Harare, 93-year-old Mugabe accused Emmerson Mnangagwa of consulting witchdoctors and prophets as part of a campaign to secure the presidency. Mnangagwa said he had fled Zimbabwe because of death threats and was safe. “My sudden departure was caused by incessant threats on my person, life and family by those who have attempted before through various forms of elimination including poisoning,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. The head of...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have all the kit they need to put theory into practice, thanks to a mobile science lab that tours selected state schools. "It's an exciting experience. We were being taught only the theoretical aspect of science subjects," Amadu, who wants to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s sacking of his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa was part of a wider purge, state media said on Tuesday, in a clear out analysts say is meant to neutralize any resistance to the political rise of his wife, Grace. Mugabe sacked his long-time ally Mnangagwa on Monday for showing “traits of disloyalty”, abruptly removing a favorite to succeed the 93-year-old leader and boosting the likelihood of Grace Mugabe becoming his next deputy and potential successor. State television ZBC said the purge went beyond removing Mnangagwa, 75, as half of the ruling ZANU-PF’s national provincial executives separately met and passed resolutions expelling supporters of the former vice president on Monday. ZANU-PF leaders in the eastern Manicaland...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
Zimbabwean vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa was plotting to seize power, state media said Tuesday, the day after President Robert Mugabe sacked him in a bitter power struggle. Mnangagwa was the leading contender to succeed Mugabe, 93, but his abrupt removal appeared to clear the way for the president's wife Grace to take over. The government-owned Chronicle newspaper published an excoriating editorial accusing Mnangagwa and his supporters of being "prepared to stampede President Mugabe from power." "The President had warned his deputy time and again to desist from having grand designs to seize power unconstitutionally...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was removed by Zimbabwe's leader Robert Mugabe as vice president on Monday after a bitter tussle with the first lady over succession, had waited almost four decades for his chance at the top job. Nicknamed "Ngwena" (The Crocodile) because of his fearsome power and ruthlessness against rivals, the 75-year-old had a reputation for taking no prisoners. But he was ultimately outfoxed by Grace Mugabe, who is 41 years younger than her husband, after she apparently convinced the veteran head of state to ditch his long-serving minister. An acrimonious weekend in which Mugabe's wife was openly booed at a rally prompting the president to blame Mnangagwa...

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