Wednesday 13 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/11/17)
Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union's top security official warned Sunday, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU's commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants. "There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East," Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service news agency. "The return of these elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability...
(AFP 12/08/17)
A Zimbabwean court on Thursday freed a Mugabe-era finance minister on bail ahead of his trial on corruption charges, laid following his arrest at the height of last month's military takeover. Ignatius Chombo, a close ally of former president Robert Mugabe who resigned on November 21, was the first Mugabe loyalist to be charged with a crime. The Zimbabwe High Court freed him on $5,000-bail (4,200 euros) but ordered he report to police three times a day, surrender his passport and stay away from government offices and the central bank. He had been in police custody for more than a fortnight. Chombo was formerly secretary for administration in the ruling ZANU-PF party and was the last finance minister in Mugabe's...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, called for public unity to revive the country's sickly economy as his new cabinet took office on Monday. "I have sworn in a new cabinet just to finish the term of the former president, which is a period of six to seven months," Mnangagwa said after the new ministers took the oath of office at state house. "I believe with my team we will stand up to the challenge." "I want them (Zimbabweans) to be...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, came under fire on Friday for unveiling a debut cabinet that named two military allies to top positions, reappointed figures from the discredited Mugabe era and sidelined the opposition. Mnangagwa gave key jobs to two top military officers, including Sibusiso Moyo, a major general who on November 15 went on state TV to announce the military's takeover -- a power grab which climaxed a week later when Robert Mugabe quit the presidency. According to a statement released late Thursday, Moyo was appointed foreign minister while the long-serving...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
Zimbabwean activist pastor Evan Mawarire was acquitted Wednesday of trying to overthrow former president Robert Mugabe in protests last year that shut down major cities and paralysed public transport. The court ruling came a week after Mugabe, who ruled for nearly 40 years, was ousted by a military intervention. "There is no evidence that he (Mawarire) urged a violent removal of government," high court judge Priscilla Chigumba said in her ruling. The judge said Mawarire had called for non-violent protests...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - A Zimbabwean court found a pastor not guilty on Wednesday of attempting to subvert the government in a case seen as a barometer of judicial independence under new President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Evan Mawarire was a strident critic of former President Robert Mugabe who resigned last week after 37 years in power week under pressure from the army and ruling ZANU-PF party. Mawarire’s #ThisFlag movement last year organized the biggest protests in a decade against Mugabe over a...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Zimbabwe's new president on Tuesday gave a three-month ultimatum for the return of funds siphoned out of the country by individuals and corporations, as he moves to stem graft and revive the moribund economy. "The government of Zimbabwe is gazetting a three-month moratorium within which those involved in the malpractice can bring back the funds and assets, with no questions being asked or charges preferred against them," Emmerson Mnangagwa said in a statement. The amnesty period will run from December 1. "Upon expiry of the three-month window, the government will proceed to effect arrest...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has opened a three-month amnesty window for the return of public funds illegally stashed abroad by individuals and companies, he said on Tuesday. Upon the expiry of the amnesty at end of February next year, the government will arrest and prosecute those who would have failed to comply, Mnangagwa said in a statement. Mnangagwa was sworn-in as president on Friday and promised to tackle corruption, which had become endemic under former president...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Fidelis Mukonori, the Jesuit priest who mediated Robert Mugabe's exit in what was a seismic moment in Zimbabwe's history, said the 93-year-old appeared relieved after signing his resignation letter. It was the culmination of a chaotic fortnight which began when Mugabe fired his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, prompting a military takeover and mass street protests which eventually forced him out, ending a 37-year reign that will best be remembered for its economic ruin. The resignation letter, which was read out in parliament on November 21, was the result of days of mounting pressure and back-and-forth negotiations with the military generals which were chaired by Mukonori.
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Zimbabwe's former finance minister, Ignatius Chombo, who is facing graft charges dating back more than 10 years, was denied bail Monday by a magistrate's court. "The court is of the view that indeed there are compelling reasons to deny the accused person his right to bail,"magistrate Elisha Singano said. "I concur with the state that if the accused is released at this time there will be a public outcry." He also said the risk of Chombo fleeing was high. Chombo...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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,...
(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...
(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...

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