Tuesday 20 February 2018
(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...
(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) 02/17/18)
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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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) 02/05/18)
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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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) 01/25/18)
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...

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