Africanews RSS Receive free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds. Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:50:15 +0000 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:50:15 +0000 Eritreans, Sudanese worse affected by Israel's forced deportation plan Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:50:15 +0000 A plan by Israeli authorities to forcibly deport to third countries or jail African migrants will affect predominantly Eritrea and Sudanese migrants in the country. Israel is looking to close its Holot detention center for African migrants within four months. The center is home to thousands of refugees. The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) in a statement last week said it was seriously concerned about the move under which proposals: “Eritreans and Sudanese asylum-seekers and refugees would be compelled to accept relocation to countries in Africa or face imprisonment in Israel.” “In light of the intention to see the departure of infiltrators on a large scale to third countries, we may reconsider the need for the continued existence of the Holot facility, as the infiltrators’ departure could come directly from city centers to the third countries,” Israeli authorities are quoted to have said. It is believed that for Africa, Rwanda and Uganda are the third countries that Israel plans to send the refugees to. An Israeli High Court in August okayed the emigration policy but tasked the government to ensure that deported migrants will be safe with the third countries. If successful, it will be the first time that such a move has been executed given that earlier attempts by Italy (Libya) and Australia (Malaysia)with third-party countries were dismissed by local courts with the reason that such deportations were inconsistent with international law. It is believed that over 40,000 African migrants are residing in Israel by close of 2016. The government insists they are largely economic migrants even though most have applied for refugee status and that they are fleeing conflict and persecution back home. Eritrea is one of the African countries that produces the largest number of refugees and asylum seekers from south of the Sahara. Most young people flee harsh economic conditions back home and the political situation as well. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Angola president fires top security chiefs appointed by dos Santos Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:40:31 +0000 Angolan president Joao Lourenco has fired the police chief and head of the intelligence service in his first replacements in the security services since taking office in late September this year. Lourenço sacked Ambrósio de Lemos as Commander General of the National Police, replacing him with Alfredo Mingas. Whiles António José Maria was replaced as Chief of the Intelligence Service and Military Security by Apolinário José Pereira. Both security chiefs were appointed by his predecessor and were seen as top allies of the former leader. Lourenco who replaced the country’s long-serving president, Eduardo dos Santos, has been undertaking a series of decisions seen by political watchers as asserting his authority in the former Portuguese colony. He closed a media outfit set up by dos Santos months back. Grecima was largely labeled as a propaganda institution created by dos Santos. He returned its operations to the presidency’s communications unit. He has also issued reviews of the country’s oil and mining sectors since taking over. His biggest move was firing daughter of dos Santos and Africa’s richest women as head of the national oil firm, Sonangol. The sack of Isabel dos Santos was announced last week. The presidency replaced Isabel with an official she had fired previously. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Thieves dig tunnel under Kenyan bank, make away with over $482,000 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:30:24 +0000 Robbers in Kenya took a rather unconventional mode of entering a bank and making away with cash to the tune of 50 million Kenyan shillings (equivalent to $482,000). The police confirmed the incident which happened on Monday at the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) in Thika – an industrial town in Kiambu County, located north east of the capital, Nairobi. The bank manager told the police that he found that cash had been stolen from two of the bank’s vault early Monday morning. “They broke into two safes…it is believed they used oxy-acytelene flames to drill holes into them,” police said. Local media reports that the robbers had dug the tunnel which breaks off at a sewer line. Photos shared on social media show part of the tunnel leading into the bank. Some reports say they dug the tunnel over a period of six months. No arrests have so far been made. Even though customers thronged the bank premises which had been cordoned off by police officers and investigators, the bank assured that depositors money was safe. “There is no cause for alarm. Customers seeking to transact can do so at any other KCB branch or access services through our mobile and Internet banking platforms,” the bank said in a statement. Photo credit: Kenya’s ‘The Star’ news portal Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Eritrea capital Asmara employs solar energy to power street lights Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:20:52 +0000 Asmara, the capital of Eritrea has began using solar energy to power street lights, the information minister has disclosed. According to Yemane Ghebre Meskel, under the first phase of a plan to ensure street lights rely on solar energy, 10 kilometers of road have so far been connected. He added that the areas targeted for this phase were main arteries and populated suburbs of Asmara amongst others; Idaga Arbi, Akhria, Idaga Hamus and Modeshto. Asmara was declared a world heritage site in July this year by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after years of lobbying. UNESCO described Asmara as a ‘modernist city of Africa.’ Across the continent, solar energy is seen as an expensive option by many governments. The power mix in Africa largely depends on hydroelectric and thermal options. The most recent talk of solar energy was in Ghana where the Energy Minister in October 2017 said the presidency and parliament were soon going to depend fully on solar energy. “It makes a lot of sense that in order to utilize our solar and produce the necessary demonstration effect for the rest of the country, that significant buildings adopt solar. “So the Ministry of energy building, the Parliament House of Ghana and Jubilee House (presidency) must all go solar to send the right signal to the rest of the nation that the government is behind it and that is the proper thing to do,” Boakye Agyarko is quoted to have said. Photo credit: @hawelti Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Zimbabwe has chance to experience 'genuine democracy': Ex-U.N. chief Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:10:36 +0000 A former United Nations Secretary-General has said Zimbabwe’s ongoing political crisis presents an opportunity of a transition into a ‘genuine democracy.’ According to Kofi Annan, if leaders of the southern African country put the nation first in these times, Zimbabwe will be the winner at the end of the day. Annan in his capacity as Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation stressed in a statement released on Monday (November 20) that the best way out of the crisis was for a free, fair and credible election when citizens go to the polls in 2018. “General elections in Zimbabwe are already scheduled for 2018. They present an historic opportunity for the voters of Zimbabwe  to choose their leaders in a manner that confers full legitimacy on the winning candidate. That vital goal will only be achieved by safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process. “This requires that all political parties and candidates are allowed to campaign openly and freely without intimidation, that the media is permitted to provide impartial coverage of the elections and the Zimbabwe voters are empowered and encouraged to vote for whomever they wish without fear or favour,” he said. He warned Zimbabwe not to slide into setbacks as has been seen by African nations during political transitions. The events of the past week offers Zimbabwe the chance for democratic renewal and a march towards genuine democracy, Annan added. The Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) last Wednesday seized power after it had warned President Mugabe to halt political purges of supporters of his former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mugabe fired Mnangagwa in what was believed to be a move to allow First Lady Grace Mugabe take that post. Mugabe has resisted pressure to resign despite losing support of the ruling party, ZANU-PF and war veterans. There was a massive anti-Mugabe protest over the weekend demanding that the 93-year-old steps down. But in an address to the nation last Sunday, Mugabe said he still remained in charge and that he will preside over ZANU-PF’s congress in December. He had earlier being recalled by the party as its president and secretary. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Mauritius the best governed country in Africa-Mo Ibrahim Mon, 20 Nov 2017 12:51:50 +0000 Mauritius for the fifth year in a row, finished top of the Ibrahim index of African Governance. The Index, recently compiled by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, supports good governance and leadership in Africa. The four categories of governance as assessed by the Index are: Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. From a total of 53 African countries, Sudan was treated as a single country, Mauritius got the highest overall score. Somalia was at the bottom of the table, while South Africa had the highest regional average and the Central Africa had the lowest. However, Liberia and Sierra Leone showed an improvement in governance, while Madagascar r registered a wide decline. The index of African Governance, which is released annually, gave Ghana a score of 65 out of 100, which equates to the 8th best score on the continent. Ghana scored highest in Participation & Human Rights (72.0), but abysmally in Sustainable Economic Opportunity (51.1). According to a statement released by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which carries out the survey, Ghana has been ‘increasingly deteriorating’ in score over the past decade. This year’s Ibrahim Prize was awarded to former Cape Verde President Pedro Verona Pires. The prize is awarded to a democratically elected former African head of state that has served their term in office within the limits set by the country’s constitution, has left office in the last three years, and has demonstrated excellence in office. The winner of the award receives US$5 million over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life thereafter. The prize has not been awarded for two years, apparently because of no suitable candidates. Michael Ike Dibie African stories for african kids [This is culture] Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:02:52 +0000 Nearly half of Africa’s population is under 18, a huge potential for the future of the continent. Education therefore plays a major role in enabling this youth to develop critical thinking skills. Because an uneducated people does not go very far. Today is the Universal Children’s Day. In this domain, everyone knows that the key to everything is education and the magic word is: school. But sometimes knowledge can be conveyed through cartoons or books. On today’s segment we took a glimpse into educational contents adapted for the young African public. For instance, there is an Ethiopian cartoon that is quite entertaining but also educative. It is called “The Tibeb Girls” which features 3 girls with superpowers . They use their powers to denounce taboos in African societies, and also educate on subjects ranging from conjugal violence, how to be educated and so on. Tsion Giros is Ethiopian. She publishes books aimed at Ethiopian kids, and wishes to promote ethiopian culture and languages, like amharic. “I decided to get into the publishing industry because the books I was reading to my children did not reflect their realities. I want them to know about their history, like the battle of Adwa. Most kids don’t know the battle of Adwa. It’s the time when Ethiopians won against Italia in 1866. I want them to know their history so they can take pride in being Africans and Ethiopians.” For Tsion, representation matters. “I want my kids to see a black hero in books. Cinderella does not have Blacks. I want my daughter to see herself, a curly-haired as a hero in books. A main character, not just a supporting character. My daughter finds it very exciting that there is an Ethiopian hero in the book, and she looks like her. And this shows you that children really want to see themselves in books.” We took a look on photo by Vincent Tremeau. Vincent met several children in various countries on the continent (like Central African Republic, Mali, DRC, etc) and he asked them a famous question: What do you want to be when you grow up? His photo project is called “One day, I will”. In one of the portraits, there is a little boy in suit, his hand on his chest , he wants to become the president of Mali because he thinks he can help his country but also earn a lot of money. Most children interviewed want to become footballers, soldiers or teachers. Have a look at the video! Barbara Loundou Mugabe source of Zimbabwe's headaches, ZANU-PF plots impeachment Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:16:12 +0000 Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF will discuss the impeachment of President Robert Mugabe on Monday, its chief whip said, after a noon deadline expired for the 93-year-old to resign and bring the curtain down on nearly four decades in power. Mugabe refuses to resign, ZANU-PF to press on with impeachment— africanews (@africanews) November 19, 2017 Impeachment could see Mugabe kicked out by a vote in parliament in under a day and would represent an ignominious end to the career of the “Grand Old Man” of African politics, who was once lauded across the continent as an anti-colonial hero. Chief whip Lovemore Matuke told Reuters ZANU-PF members of parliament would meet at 1230 GMT to start mapping out Mugabe’s impeachment. Zimbabwe's ruling party set to sack Mugabe on Sunday, as protesters march in Harare— africanews (@africanews) November 18, 2017 In the draft motion, the party accused Mugabe of being a “source of instability”, flouting the rule of law and presiding over an “unprecedented economic tailspin” in the last 15 years. It also said he had abrogated his constitutional mandate to his hot-headed and unpopular 52-year-old wife Grace, whose tilt at power triggered the backlash from the army that saw it put tanks on the streets of the capital last week. Botswana's President Ian Khama asks Mugabe to relinquish power— africanews (@africanews) November 18, 2017 On paper, the process is relatively long-winded, involving a joint sitting of the Senate and National Assembly, then a nine-member committee of senators, then another joint sitting to confirm his dismissal with a two-thirds majority. However, constitutional experts said ZANU-PF had the numbers and could push it through in as little as 24 hours. Mugabe makes 'academic' public appearance, first since army takeover— africanews (@africanews) November 17, 2017 “They can fast-track it. It can be done in a matter of a day,” said John Makamure, executive director of the Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust, an NGO that works with the parliament in Harare. Mugabe’s demise, now almost inevitable, is likely to send shockwaves across Africa, where a number of entrenched strongmen from Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni to Democratic Republic of Congo’s Joseph Kabila are facing mounting pressure to step aside. Zimbabwe army warns Mugabe against party purge or they will step in— africanews (@africanews) November 14, 2017 Mugabe was once admired, even in the West, as the “Thinking Man’s Guerrilla”, a world away from his image in his latter years as the stereotypical African dictator proudly declaring he held a “degree in violence”. As the economy crumbled and opposition to his rule grew in the late 1990s, Mugabe tightened his grip around the southern African country, seizing white-owned farms, unleashing security forces to crush dissent and speaking of ruling until he was 100. Mugabe is Zimbabwe's Goliath, youth urged to be his 'David'— africanews (@africanews) September 29, 2017 New antiretroviral drugs, early diagnosis key in combating AIDS: U.N. Report Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:12:18 +0000 Developing new antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and using technology for early diagnosis are among steps needed to sustain momentum in fighting HIV/AIDS and ending the disease as a public health threat by 2030, UNAIDS said in a report on Monday. The U.N. AIDS agency said that by June this year around 21 million people were receiving life-prolonging ARV treatment, with rapid progress seen over the past five years when the numbers of people accessing medication nearly doubled. “The pace of scale-up has been particularly remarkable in eastern and southern Africa, the region most affected by the epidemic,” said the “Right to Health” report, released in Khayelitsha township, some 30 km from Cape Town. The number of people on treatment in the region surpassed all other regions combined in 2010 and presently accounts for 60 percent of all people on treatment. South Africa led the world with the number of people on treatment, at 4.2 million, followed by India, Mozambique and Kenya which have more than 1 million being treated. UNAIDS said the worldwide expansion of ARV therapy was the main factor behind a 48 percent decline in deaths from AIDS-related illnesses, from a peak of 1.9 million in 2005 to 1 million in 2016. New first-line ARVs, such as dolutegravir, which cause fewer side-effects and suppress viral loads more quickly, will help countries such as South Africa save money and treat more people, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said at the report launch. “In the next six years South Africa is going to save 11 billion rand ($783 million) on HIV/AIDS treatment, meaning that we are going to treat more people with the same amount of resources,” he said. In September, Reuters reported a new deal for combination pills using dolutegravir that caps prices at $75 per patient a year, with Africa expected to benefit first. Last year a major milestone was reached, when for the first time more than half of all people living with HIV worldwide were accessing ARV therapy, said the report. But the disease, which attacks the immune system making the body more susceptible to illness, remains a significant killer. AIDS-related illnesses remain the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age (15-49 years) globally, and they are the second leading cause of death for young women aged 15-24 years in Africa, said the report. “The problem that is coming is complacency… We still have 17 million people waiting for treatment and if we stop now, we will have a rebound in this epidemic,” UNAIDS executive director, Michel Sidibe, told the Khayelitsha community. REUTERS 93-year-old ex-Zambian president sent to Mugabe amid political impasse Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:08:19 +0000 The Zambian government has officially waded into the political crisis in next door Zimbabwe after stating last week that it was monitoring the situation. President Edgar Lungu on Monday sent former president Kenneth Kaunda to Harare to try to convince President Robert Mugabe to step down after his widely expected resignation on Sunday did not come on in a 20-minutes address to the nation. “Dr Kaunda used the presidential jet and has already arrived in Harare,” a senior government source told Reuters. The 93-year-old Kaunda served as Zambia’s first president between 1964 and 1991. After 27 years in power, he eventually lost the country’s first multi-party elections and was replaced by Frederick Chiluba. Kaunda like Mugabe is also an independent war veteran. Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) took power last Wednesday after warning Mugabe to halt purge of supporters belonging to axed vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa. The army has since held Mugabe under house arrest allowing him a brief appearance at a graduation ceremony last Friday. Efforts to get Mugabe, 93, to step down started last week with a delegation from South Africa and the Catholic Church joining the army to talk him out. Two rounds of talk with Mugabe have failed to get the desired results. The ruling party, ZANU-PF on Sunday removed Mugabe as its president and first secretary, its lawmakers have also started processes to impeach Mugabe when parliament reconvenes on Tuesday. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Somalia illegally surrendered citizen to Ethiopia - parliamentary report Mon, 20 Nov 2017 14:02:17 +0000 Somalia’s parliament, the House of the People, says the government’s formal handover of a Somali national to neighbouring Ethiopia was illegal. The parliamentary body set up to probe the circumstances surrounding the transfer of Mr. Abdikarin Sheikh Muse of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) presented its report with the conclusion that the government of President Farmaajo was wrong in the matter. The team of 15 legislators – from both houses of the parliament – was constituted on September 18, 2017 from the office of the Speaker of the House with the sole objective of reporting back on the circumstances surrounding the handover. Somalia parliament opens probe into handover of citizen to Ethiopia | Africanews— Jawar Mohammed (@Jawar_Mohammed) September 19, 2017 Mogadishu’s detention and subsequent transfer of the ONLF leader to Ethiopia in August 2017 sparked outrage in the country. The action was described as a breach of Somali and international laws – which decries refoulement. The parliament was on recess at the time the action took place, most lawmakers had gone on the annual pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. The Upper House met but deferred to the Lower Chamber to deal with the matter first. The current decision is one issued by the two houses, reports indicate. The ONLF group in a statement confirming the handover of its top official expressed worry about the possible mistreatment that Sheikh Muse was likely to face. “The Somali government has forcefully transferred a political refugee to Ethiopia which is known to torture and humiliate its opponents. It has been intimated that Mr. Abdikarin was sacrificed in order ti get political support from the Ethiopian regime,” their statement in August read. It condemned the Somali regime and called for the release of Muse – who Ethiopia insists holds an Ethiopian passport and opted to return voluntarily. That claim has been roundly rejected by the family and the group which he belonged to. ONLF describes itself as “a national liberation organisation that struggles for the rights of the Somali people in Ogaden and has no involvement whatsoever in Somalia’s multifaceted conflict at all.” Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Demonstrations continue in Togo [no comment] Mon, 20 Nov 2017 11:16:39 +0000 Activists have been protesting in Togo for a month this week, some musicians from the countries have added their voices to the street demonstrations, calling on the government to put in place, next year, a limit to the Presidential mandate of the country headed by President Gnassingbe. Nigerian economy grows 1.4 pct in Q3 - Statistics Office Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:52:01 +0000 Nigeria’s economy grew 1.4 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, the statistics office said on Monday, extending its slow climb out of its first recession in a generation. Africa’s largest economy returned to growth in the second quarter of 2017 but the recovery has been fragile due to the continuation of depressed oil revenues and a shortage of hard currency. The National Bureau of Statistics said oil production, on which the OPEC member state’s economy largely relies, stood at 2.03 million barrels per day in the third quarter. President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2017 budget outlines record levels of spending, especially on infrastructure, to try to kick-start growth, but the plan has faltered. The budget was delayed as lawmakers withheld approval, and even when passed, planned capital spending has been slow to happen. Despite these problems, Buhari’s government is proposing record spending of 8.6 trillion naira ($27.30 billion) for 2018, although economists have questioned whether that goal is realistic. Kenya court upholds President Kenyatta's election victory Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:11:23 +0000 Kenya’s supreme court on Monday upheld President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in a contentious repeat vote that was boycotted by the opposition. In a unanimous decision, the court dismissed challenges by human rights activists and a politician who argued that last month’s election was not conducted according to the law. “There is no perfect election; there will always be errors in elections, but you cannot invalidate an election unless those errors affect the outcome,” said the country’s attorney general, Githu Muigai. Protests began in response to the court’s decision, while live television footage showed Kenyatta supporters bursting into song. The court had in September nullified the August presidential election over irregularities and ordered a new vote which was held las month. It is the first time a court in Africa has overturned a presidential election. Opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose legal challenge led to the nullification, had then boycotted the repeat election and rejected Kenyatta’s overwhelming win. In some opposition strongholds, the repeat vote could not be carried out amid unrest. Odinga called Monday’s court decision no surprise. “We … had repeatedly declared before this Supreme Court ruling today that we consider this government to be illegitimate and do not recognize it. This position has not been changed by the court ruling,” he said. The opposition leader said the court’s decision was “taken under duress. We do not condemn the court, we sympathize with it.” Odinga is asking for international intervention as violent protests continue. Michael Ike Dibie Zimbabwe's Mugabe has drafted resignation letter - CNN Mon, 20 Nov 2017 08:41:55 +0000 Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has agreed to stand down and his resignation letter has been drafted, CNN said on Monday, citing a source familiar with his negotiations with the generals who seized power in Harare last week. The source said that the generals had given into many of Mugabe’s demands including full immunity for himself and his wife Grace, and that he would keep his private properties. Under the terms of the deal, Mugabe and his wife Grace would be granted full immunity, CNN said. Two senior government sources told Reuters late on Sunday that Mugabe had agreed to resign but did not know details of his departure. For the resignation to formally take place, however, a letter must first be sent to the speaker of Parliament, added the source. Mugabe had stunned the nation on Sunday when he refused to say in a live televised address if he was stepping down. His party had given Mugabe, who has been under house arrest since the military seized power, 24 hours to resign or be impeached. On Saturday, thousands of Zimbabweans had taken to the streets calling for him to go. Murderous cult leader Charles Manson dies at 83 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:01:54 +0000 Convicted murderer and cult leader Charles Manson has died of natural causes at the age of 83. His death was announced by the California Department of Corrections. Manson had been imprisoned since 1971, when he was charged in connection with the 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others. The wife of film director Roman Polanski, Tate was eight months pregnant when members of the so-called Manson Family broke into her house in Los Angeles and stabbed her. Four other people at the house were also killed. The next day, Manson’s followers murdered two people in a separate attack. Although Manson did not commit the murders, he was accused of orchestrating the killings. Manson and four of his followers were convicted on five counts of first degree murder. Initially sentenced to death, their sentences were communted to life in prison when capital punishment was briefly abolished in the United States in 1972. Manson was denied parole 12 times, most recently in 2012. Arab League slams "Iranian aggression" Sun, 19 Nov 2017 23:30:54 +0000 Saudi Arabia and other Arab foreign ministers have criticised Iran and its Shi’ite ally Hezbollah at an emergency meeting of the Arab League at it headquaters in Cairo. Saudi Arabia warned it would not stand by in the face of Iranian aggression as Bahrain said Iran-backed Hezbollah was in total control of Lebanon. The League’s General Secretary Ahmed Abul Gheit,said he might raise the matter with the UN^s security Council. “I hope that the Iranians will change their policies and behaviour, and hope that they have received the message in Iran that there is Arab anger.” While in Israel a cabinet minister has publically claimed his country has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran. Regional tensions have recently risen between Sunni hy Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran over Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s surprise resignation, and an escalation in Yemen’s conflict. #BREAKING: #Arab League: We will not declare war on #Iran at this stage— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) November 19, 2017 Mugabe refuses to resign, ZANU-PF to press on with impeachment Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:18:17 +0000 Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe has adamantly refused to step down. In his long awaited address to the nation on Sunday evening, the president insisted that he is still in-charge and pledged to preside over the ZANU-PF congress in December. We gave Robert Gabriel Mugabe every chance to have a dignified exit. But he is mad.— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 19, 2017 “The congress is due in a few weeks from now. I’ll preside over its processes which must not be prepossessed by any acts calculated to undermine it or to compromise the outcomes in the eyes of the public,” he said. The news stunned Zimbabweans and the world alike as he defied expectations. Zimbabwe latest: - Robert Mugabe on TV - President fails to resign - Everybody is left baffled - Speech “differed from plan” - Acknowledges past “failures” - Now faces impeachment— Bloomberg Africa (@BBGAfrica) November 19, 2017 The ruling party says it will go ahead with plans to impeach him while leader of Zimbabwe’s war veterans Chris Mutsvangwa, called on Zimbabweans to take to the streets on Wednesday. Actually all the old man needed to do was stick to the script. Now we must remove him.— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 19, 2017 ZANU-PF issues ultimatum to Mugabe to resign by noon Monday or face impeachment Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:50:38 +0000 Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF says president Robert Mugabe must resign as president by noon Monday or impeachment proceedings will start when parliament resumes on Tuesday. Former president Robert Mugabe has been given until 12 tomorrow to resign from his government deployment. He must now step down as president of Zimbabwe or we will be forced to remove him.— ZANU PF (@zanu_pf) November 19, 2017 The party fired Mugabe as its chief, expelled his wife as leader of the party’s women’s league and other top officials loyal to the president. “R.G. Mugabe should resign forthwith from his position as president and head of state and government of the republic of Zimbabwe and if his resignation has not been tendered by midday tomorrow the 20th November 2017, the ZANU-PF chief whip is ordered to institute proceedings for the recall of the president in terms of section 97 of the constitution of Zimbabwe,” said Patrick Chinamasa, legal affairs secretary for ZANU-PF and Zimbabwe’s cyber security minister. Sacked vice- president Emmerson Mnangagwa was reinstated and is to head the party. The 93- year old president has stubbornly refused to resign and reports say he was meeting with army chiefs in the country in an attempt to persuade them to change course. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for the last 37 years. robert mugabe sacked from zanu-PF Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:05:52 +0000 Our journalists are working on this story and will update it as soon as more information becomes available. Zimbabwe's ruling party set to sack Mugabe on Sunday, as protesters march in Harare Sat, 18 Nov 2017 18:54:34 +0000 Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party is expected to meet on Sunday to sack president Robert Mugabe and reinstate Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice- president who was fired last week. The meeting scheduled for 10:30 am local time would also dismiss Grace Mugabe from her role as head of the ZANU-PF Women’s League. Negotiations are going on behind the scenes to persuade Mugabe to step down. Thousands of protesters marched on the streets of Harare on Saturday to demand the resignation of the president. Scenes from the anti-Robert Mugabe protests today in Harare, Zimbabwe…— Facts About Africa (@OnlyAfricaFacts) November 18, 2017 According to Reuters, Patrick Zhuwao a nephew to the president said Mugabe and his wife Grace are “ ready to die for what is correct” and have no intention of stepping down in order to legitimise this week’s military take over. He was speaking to the news agency from a secret location in South Africa. Meanwhile, police blocked the protesters who were headed for Mugabe’s private residence. The 93-year old leader has been under house arrest since the take over. Outside the Statehouse- “Privileged Angle” #Zimbabwe— African (@ali_naka) November 18, 2017 In neighboring South Africa, a section of Zimbabweans living in the country gathered in Pretoria in solidarity with their fellow country men. Analysts say this is a watershed moment in Zimbabwe and the departure of Mugabe is likely to send shock waves across a number of strongmen clinging to power in Africa. Anambra Election: IPOB attributes low turnout to boycott order Sat, 18 Nov 2017 17:05:00 +0000 Low turnout greets Anambra state gubernatorial elections. The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, attributes low turn out to boycott order and they thanked the electorates for supposedly heeding their call. Emma Powerful, the spokesperson of the group in a statement attributing the development to their directive saying : “IPOB wants to use this opportunity to congratulate Biafrans particularly the people of Anambra State for obeying the order of IPOB and our leader Mazi Nnamdi who has been abducted since 14th September 2017 in today’s election. “The people of Anambra State have shown the whole world that they are the first sons of Biafraland and no doubt about that, there is no election in Anambra State, everywhere is empty both the polling booths and streets are totally deserted. “We want to tell the whole world that IPOB under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu gave the order on Anambra State governorship election to prove to the civilised nations that we are no more interested in the system of government and her political strategies. The international community and other civilised nations should come for rescue of Biafrans in the Nigerian Islamic government,” Powerful said. The Nigerian government has labeled the group a terror organisation. Last week, members of IPOB were reported protesting in Onitsha, dissuading residents from partaking in the election. While some attribute the large voter apathy across the state during the election to the IPOB boycott order and militarisation of the state, others say it is because there was no enough flow of cash by the contesting parties. US civil right activist Jesse Jackson diagnosed with Parkinson's disease Sat, 18 Nov 2017 12:54:55 +0000 U.S. civil rights activist Jesse Jackson announced on Friday (November 17) that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, an ailment that constrains movement and gets progressively worse with time. In a statement issued by the Chicago-based Rainbow Push Coalition which he founded, the 76-year-old minister said he reluctantly sought medical attention after his ability to move and perform routine tasks became increasingly difficult over a three-year period. Parkinson’s disease occurs when certain nerve cells break down and reduce the amount of the chemical, dopamine, that sends signals to the part of the brain that controls movement, according to But the disease progresses slowly, and treatments can slow it down even more, it said. Jackson has been a leader of the U.S. civil rights movement since the mid-1960s and was with Martin Luther King when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968. Jackson said he planned to advocate to find a cure for the disease, which he said “bested my father,” strikes 60,000 Americans a year and afflicts 7 to 10 million people worldwide. He also said he is writing his memoir. He twice sought the Democratic presidential nomination and has acted as an emissary to secure the release of Americans held abroad. Equatorial Guinea ruling party wins elections Sat, 18 Nov 2017 11:47:06 +0000 The Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE), which has been in power for nearly 40 years in the country, has once again won the legislative, senatorial and municipal elections of November 12 with nearly 100% of the vote. The president of the National Electoral Commission, Clemente Engonga Nguema Onguene announced on Friday that the PDGE and its 14 allied parties get all 75 seats at the senatorial level. At the Chamber of Deputies in Malabo, only a single member of the opposition of the Citizens ‘ Party for Innovation (CI) was elected, leaving 99 seats to the ruling party. Some 300,000 Equatorial Guinean voters were called to the polls in the country where the multi-party system was introduced in 1991, but led by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema since 1979. He is now 74 years, one of Africa’s longest serving presidents. The opposition denounced multiple “frauds” and “irregularities” on the day of the vote as Internet access was cut off and remained very restricted until the announcement of the results on Friday night. Turnout at the polls was 84%, said the president of the electoral Commission who reiterated that “No protest of the results or claim has been recorded. Anambra election: IPOB accuses security agents of planting explosives in state Sat, 18 Nov 2017 10:45:52 +0000 Ahead of Anambra state gubernatorial elections, the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, raised concerns over indictment of the group by security forces. Emma Powerful, Spokesperson of the group, alleged the Army, the Department of State Services and police had planted explosives in strategic areas of the state. IPOB claimed that the explosion of the bombs would be blamed on them, to justify the Federal Government’s claim that IPOB was a terrorist organisation. “The Nigerian Government and her security operatives especially, the Nigerian army and police, including the DSS, have lost the bid to label IPOB a terrorist organisation among the civilised nations. So, they have resorted to crude evidence-planting as they did with their so-called imported double-barrelled hunting guns at Apapa Wharf. “Chief of Army Staff, General Buratai and his military hierarchy are desperately using every and any available strategy to justify their actions against IPOB family members in Biafraland particularly in Anambra State because of our boycott threat”, he said in a statement released. 26,000 personnel were deployed by the police for the election while the Civil Defence deployed 13,000 personnel, the number of personnel by the Navy and Army is still unknown but it’s speculated to be several hundreds. After threats by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to disrupt the election, the heavy presence of the Nigerian security forces has further heightened fear and anxiety among the inhabitants. Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader had earlier said unless the Nigerian State calls for a referendum to determine the status of the country, there would be no election in Anambra State. Today’s election proceedings are keenly watched across the world as its outcome might determine the new course for Nigeria’s sovereignty. Botswana's President Ian Khama asks Mugabe to relinquish power Sat, 18 Nov 2017 10:22:35 +0000 Botswana President Ian Khama said on Friday that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe should end his attempts to remain in office after the military seized power this week as he has no regional diplomatic support to stay in power. The military intervention, which political sources say could pave the way to a national unity government after 37 years of Mugabe rule, also presented “an opportunity to put Zimbabwe on a path to peace and prosperity”, Khama told Reuters. “I don’t think anyone should be President for that amount of time. We are Presidents, we are not monarchs. It’s just common sense,” Khama said. Zimbabweans gather for rally calling on Mugabe to resign Sat, 18 Nov 2017 10:09:17 +0000 President Robert Mugabe’s own ruling ZANU-PF party wants him to step down. Party members will hold a rally in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare on Saturday to make the point. Mugabe, at Zimbabwe’s helm since independence from Britain in 1980, faces the starkest challenge ever to his rule after the army seized power on Wednesday, saying it was targeting “criminals” around the despot leader. ZANU-PF on Friday called for Mugabe to resign, the main state newspaper The Herald reported, a clear sign that the aging leader’s authority has collapsed after the army takeover. The newspaper said that ZANU-PF branches in all 10 provinces had met and had also called for Mugabe’s wife Grace, whose ambitions to succeed her husband triggered the political crisis, to resign from the party. A senior member of ZANU-PF earlier told Reuters the party wanted their long-time president gone. “If he becomes stubborn, we will arrange for him to be fired on Sunday,” the source said. “When that is done, it’s impeachment on Tuesday.” The Herald reported that ZANU-PF would convene a special Central Committee meeting on Sunday to “realign the revolutionary party with current political developments”. Pointedly, the military said it “fully supports” a “solidarity march” – apparently separate from the ZANU-PF event – in Harare on Saturday, part of an apparent groundswell of anti-Mugabe sentiment unleashed by the dramatic events of the past few days. The army said it had been “approached by several private volunteer organisations seeking to freely move and express their desires” and they could do so if they were orderly and peaceful. Harare has been calm as the coup has unfolded but the armed forces also said in a statement that “people have been warned against looting”. The army appears to want Mugabe to go quietly and allow a transition to Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose sacking last week as vice president sparked the army action. A goal of the generals is to prevent Mugabe handing power to his wife, Grace, 41 years his junior, who appeared on the cusp of power after Mnangagwa was pushed out. Mugabe, 93, who calls himself the grand old man of African politics, looks to be running out of options. The army is camped on his doorstep. Grace Mugabe is under house arrest and her key political allies are in military custody. All the main pillars of Mugabe’s rule have turned on him or have offered no support. The police have shown no resistance, while Chris Mutsvangwa, the leader of Zimbabwe’s influential war veterans, said on Friday that Mugabe would not be allowed to resist the military and remain in power. And ZANU-PF, which built a cult of personality around its leader, has now deserted him. Mugabe is revered by some as an elder statesman and independence leader but also reviled by many in Africa and abroad who accuse him of resorting to violence to retain power while running a once promising economy into the ground. The economy collapsed after the seizure of white-owned farms in 2000. Unemployment is now running at nearly 90 percent and chronic shortages of hard currency have triggered inflation, with the prices of imports rising as much as 50 percent a month. Zimbabweans arrive for anti-Mugabe rally Sat, 18 Nov 2017 08:49:28 +0000 People arrived early on Saturday (November 18) at a rally venue in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, where thousands are expected to show support for a military seizure that could force President Robert Mugabe to resign. Mugabe, at Zimbabwe’s helm since independence from Britain in 1980, faces the starkest challenge ever to his rule after the army seized power on Wednesday (November 15), saying it was targeting “criminals” around the nonagenarian leader. The army appears to want Mugabe to go quietly and allow a transition to Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose sacking last week as vice president sparked the army action. A goal of the generals is to prevent Mugabe handing power to his wife, Grace, 41 years his junior, who appeared on the cusp of power after Mnangagwa was pushed out. Mugabe, 93, who calls himself the grand old man of African politics, looks to be running out of options. Putin and Erdogan: Analysis [International Edition] Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:11:54 +0000 Putin’s meeting with Erdogan has been seen as a thaw in relations between the two countries in the wake of tensions following Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane back in 2015. Although Moscow is an ally of Damascus regime and Ankara supports the rebels. What are the reasons for the reconciliation , let’s follow up this analysis on this edition of International Edition presented by @Ruth Lago <link></link> <guid></guid> <pubDate>Sat, 18 Nov 2017 05:51:26 +0000</pubDate> <comments/> <description>Our journalists are working on this story and will update it as soon as more information becomes available.</description> <media:content url="" fileSize="" type="image/jpeg" xmlns:media=""/> </item> <item> <title>Alpha Blondy wants A.U., ECOWAS action after CNN exposé on Libya migrants Fri, 17 Nov 2017 16:12:12 +0000 Legendary Ivorian reggae musician, Alpha Blondy, known in private life as Seydou Kone has again waded into the debate for sub-Saharan African leaders to help protect their citizens wherever they find themselves. His recent call is on the African Union and the west Africa regional bloc, ECOWAS, to take decisive action on migrant abuse in the north African country of Libya, failure for which civil society must stand up to fill that role. Blondy was reacting to a recent investigative piece by American channel, CNN, on the strife and hustle that migrants in the country suffer at the hands of their captors and traffickers. In a Facebook post titled “To Presidents of the African Union and ECOWAS,” he wrote a message in French – a translation of which is as follows. “Let me apologize for telling you that we are Africans who count on you to defend us and to protect us, we are surprised and amazed at your silence over the dismal, humiliating and unacceptable situation that your nationals, brothers, sisters, our sons and daughters are sold as slaves in Libya (a member of the African Union). “You and your information services must have seen CNN reporting on a ‘slave auction’ of your nationals, in captivity in Libya (at the very moment I’m talking to you). What are you waiting for before you respond and intervene? But what are you waiting for?! “This cry of the heart is not a call to violence, but I ask all Africans and all those who have been shocked by this act that constitutes a crime against humanity to assemble at all Libyan embassies in their respective countries, until the total liberation of all captives in Libyan territory.” Blondy is on record to have called on the A.U. to address issues of rising conflict across the continent. He is also a U.N. Ambassador for Peace for his native Ivory Coast. The last time he spoke to Africanews in an interview last year, he bemoaned how the political bloc had looked on as foreign forces entered Libya and joined rebel groups to kill then leader Muammar Gaddafi. “I am very disappointed by the fact that the African Union allowed Colonel Gaddafi to be killed,” he said. “The African Union exists but it is France that has to protect Mali. What is the role of the the African Union if the African Union is not capable of defending the African interest? What is their role?” Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Ethiopia insists GERD project will be fully funded locally Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:22:32 +0000 The Ethiopian government says it will not require external assistance to complete its flagship hydroelectric dam, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on a recent visit to Qatar dispelled rumours that as part of his trip, Ethiopia planned to seek Qatari support for the project. The government has mobilized domestic resources to fund work to the current stage. The Premier said that completing the project with local resources was a position that will not be compromised, state affiliated ENA portal reports. Work on the project which started in April 2011 is past the 50% mark, it is estimated that it will produce over 6,400MW of power – and will have the pride of being the largest on the continent. With that feat, Ethiopia is in line to become East Africa’s leading power exporter and a top renewable energy hub on the continent. A combination of their power generating sources – hydroelectric, geothermal, wind and solar energies – is estimated at 60,000MW. Ethiopia besides its political obligation and involvement in the region is a strong business force also despite being landlocked. The electric railway linking the country to Djibouti is one of the major projects it has with the Red Sea state. Meanwhile, the ongoing dispute over the project especially its impact on water distribution of the River Nile continues. The issue affects Egypt, Ethiopia as well as Sudan. There has been calls by Egypt for all parties to meet and share results from the technical studies and to firm up commitments in that regard. Leaders of the three countries in 2015 signed a cooperation deal over the giant hydroelectric dam which will lie on a tributary of the river Nile, at the time tensions had risen over regional water supplies. The leaders said the “declaration of principles” would pave the way for further diplomatic cooperation on the dam, which has stirred fears of a regional resource conflict. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Ethiopia students abandon varsity education over ethnic tensions Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:10:54 +0000 Ethnic tensions in Ethiopia is affecting university education as students from the northen Amhara region have abandoned their studies in the Oromia region. Local media portal, Addis Gazetta, reports that the Amhara students were leaving Metu University campus ‘in droves.’ Their reason for leaving was for fear of their safety, the portal added. According to reports, classes had stalled since last week due to the tensions. Pictures shared showed students on and outside the campus with their packed luggages. Reports indicate that they opted to leave despite assurances from the Oromia regional government to ensure their safety. Amhara students are leaving Metu University after most students (mainly Tigrayans &Oromos) have already left and gone home— Addis Gazetta (@addisgazetta) November 17, 2017 Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Education in early November made changes to placement of freshmen into universities located in the Oromia and Ethiopia-Somali regional states. The move which effectively meant students from Oromia and Ethiopia-Somali regions could only be placed in universities located in their respective regions was part of measures to remedy a recent internal strife that led to deaths and mass displacements. Protests had also been staged inside universities in Oromia demanding reassignment of students from Jijiga university due to ‘safety concerns,’ the Addis Standard news portal reported at the time. The inter-regional clashes is said to be ethnic in nature even though political, human rights watchers and Oromo activists insist that it has an element of government complicity. The government says it continues efforts to restore a durable peace in the area. Most ethnic Oromos believe that the government continues to arm a paramilitary force, the ‘Liyu Police’ located in the Somali region as part of efforts to clamp down on Oromo protesters. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Zimbabwe war vets plan anti-Mugabe rally, ruling party 'withdraws support' Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:27:03 +0000 Police in the Zimbabwean capital Harare have given the green light to a planned protest on Saturday calling for embattled president Robert Mugabe to resign. The protest is called by the Zimbabwe National War Veterans Association, ZNWVA, under the theme “Solidarity with Zimbabwe Army Intervention and Call for Mugabe to Resign.” It is due to take place at the Zimbabwe grounds. At a press conference on Friday, leader of the ZNWVA, Chris Mutsvanga, said there was no going back with the need for Mugabe to leave after 37 years in charge of the southern African country. “There is no going back about Mugabe, period. And that’s what we are saying, that’s why we are bringing all the population of Zimbabwe. We have indicated that we want their support tomorrow. We have declared as war veterans, that is the message, there is no going back, he must leave.” Meanwhile a representative of the ruling party, Zanu-PF, in the United Kingdom has disclosed that all provinces of the party had asked that Mugabe be recalled as party leader. That former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa should replace Mugabe in acting capacity and that Grace Mugabe be stripped off her post as head of the Women’s League of the party. “All 10 Zanu PF Provinces have resolved to direct Central Committee to recall the President and ask him to stand down as party leader. Vice President Mnangagwa be restored and assume leadership of the party in an acting capacity until Congress. Thank you Comrades,” Nick Mangwana said in a tweet. Your Update: 6 PCCs have passed resolutions: Direct the Central Committee Recall Cde RGM as President 2- Reinstate all Members expelled since ‘14 3- Women’s League to remove Cde. G. Mugabe as Secretary 4- Reinstate Cde E. Mnangagwa as VP of the Party— Nick mangwana (@nickmangwana) November 17, 2017 The army who the war vets are marching in solidarity with had asked Mugabe to halt purge of party people allied to ex vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mugabe fired Mnangagwa for alleged disloyalty in a move that was seen as paving the way for First Lady Grace Mugabe to be appointed. The army on Wednesday announced taking over reigns of the country and placing Mugabe under house arrest. Between then and Friday, there has been talks between Mugabe, the army and negotiators impressing on him to step down but that has so far not yielded positive results. Mugabe, despite being under arrest, was allowed by the army to attend a graduation ceremony in the capital. It is reported that Mugabe is asking to be allowed to stay in charge till December when the ruling ZANU-PF goes to congress to elect new leaders. Mugabe has been head of the country both as Prime Minister and President for a combined duration of 37 years. He assumed power in 1980 and had been chosen by his party to contest in elections due in 2018. The ZNWVA is an organisation established by former combatants of the Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army and Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army who served during the Rhodesian Bush War. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban KENYA SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA'S OCTOBER ELECTION WIN Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:49:15 +0000 Our journalists are working on this story and will update it as soon as more information becomes available. Pics of the day: November 17th, 2017 Fri, 17 Nov 2017 18:09:26 +0000 Africanews samples the best pictures of the day’s news. Mugabe must go: Botswana's Khama and Ivory Coast's Ouattara back exit calls Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:10:56 +0000 Two African leaders have waded into the political crisis in Zimbabwe, calling on long-serving Robert Gabriel Mugabe to step aside. The two leaders are Botswana’s Ian Khama and Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara. Ouattara is a ‘newcomer’ making such a call unlike his Botswana counterpart Khama who had openly voiced that view since last year. The AFP news agency quoted the Ivorian leader as saying the world had changed and due to age and the duration Mugabe has been in power, “everyone is aware that it is time for him to handover his seat to a new generation.” He, however, reserved praise for Mugabe, 93, who has been in power for the past 37 years. Starting off as Prime Minister of the southern African country after independence in 1980 before becoming president seven years later. Khama is no newcomer in the area of calls for Mugabe to leave power. In an interview with Reuters, he said the military move on Mugabe was an opportunity to rest the path Zimbabwe was heading. “I don’t think anyone should be president for that amount of time. We are presidents not monarchs. It’s just common sense.” In September 2016 he broke ‘diplomatic rules’ openly asking Mugabe to step down. “Without doubt. He should have done it years ago. They have got plenty of people there who have got good leadership qualities who could take over. “It is obvious that at his age and the state Zimbabwe is in, he’s not really able to provide the leadership that could get it out of its predicament,” Khama added. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Upsurge of violence in Cameroon's anglophone crisis worries U.N. Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:54:12 +0000 The United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) has expressed concerns over the rising spate of deadly exchanges between the Cameroon’s security forces and separatists in the country’s restive anglophone region. UNOCA head and special emissary of the U.N. chief said the upsurge of violence against civilians and security forces was unacceptable stressing the need for dialogue to resolve deep seated differences. “We strongly condemn those acts of violence. Their authors should be identified and brought before a court in accordance with the law,” Francois Lounceny Fall said in a statement on Thursday November 16, 2017. He also spoke about commitment of the U.N. to the territorial integrity and unity of Cameroon as a nation. He further reiterated calls for calm and restraint and the need for inclusive dialogue to be held, a view advanced by President Paul Biya in October. The two regions – Southwest and Northwest – have been at the heart of what has become known as the ‘anglophone crisis.’ The security forces have been accused by rights groups of heavy clampdown on people protesting marginalization in the regions. Separatists have confirmed being behind recent attacks that has so far led to the death of four paramilitary forces – known as gendarmes. Their respective capitals (Southeast – Buea and northeast – Bamenda) have been under curfew following the attacks. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Zimbabwe's exiled veep Mnangagwa reportedly returns Fri, 17 Nov 2017 07:27:10 +0000 Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe’s former vice-president is reported to have returned to the country barely two weeks after he reportedly fled after his boss dismissed him. President Mugabe kicked out Mnangagwa, a key member of the country’s revolutionary struggle, in a move political watchers say was to pave the way for his wife, Grace Mugabe, to become president if he stepped down. An unnamed aide of the former veep told the AFP news agency that the man known as the “crocodile” was back in the country. AFP said it could not independently verify the report. Mnangagwa left Zimbabwe on November 8 accusing Mugabe of turning the southern African country into his private property. The Army last Monday asked government to halt purge of his followers in the party of that they will “step in.” Their comments were met with condemnation but barely 24 hours later, they announced a takeover – insisting it was not a coup – but that they were after criminal elements surrounding the president. They have entered negotiations with Mugabe for a “dignified exit” but reports indicate that the 93-year-old leader is bent on staying as president till his party, ZANU-PF, go to Congress in December to decide on a new leader. Mugabe is under house arrest according to the army but was allowed to attend a graduation ceremony in the capital Harare on Friday. He has yet to make any pronouncements on the army’s actions. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Mugabe makes 'academic' public appearance, first since army takeover Fri, 17 Nov 2017 12:59:23 +0000 Embattled Zimbabwean president Robert Gabriel Mugabe made his first public appearance in the wake of the military takeover on Wednesday. Scenes at the 15th ZOU graduation ceremony today— ZBC News Online (@ZBCNewsonline) November 17, 2017 The 93-year-old joined a graduation ceremony at the Zimbabwe Open University in the capital Harare. The last photos of him before today was during a meeting on Thursday with the army chief and negotiators from South Africa and the country’s Catholic church. As he turns 93-years-old today: Who is Robert Mugabe?— africanews (@africanews) February 21, 2017 Mugabe appeared wearing a blue and yellow academic gown with a cap, “sat in large wooden chair at the front the hall. He was greeted by ululations from the crowd as he declared the ceremony open,” Reuters news agency said. Zimbabwe's leader since 1980: Mugabe met the high and mighty >— africanews (@africanews) November 16, 2017 Despite opening the ceremony he did not make any public pronouncements keeping in tradition with the usual process. He, however, conferred degrees on deserving students. Reports indicate he has since left the premises. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Promoting Rugby in Nigeria [The Morning Call] Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:51:10 +0000 Nigeria is known for sports such as football, basketball and Athletics; but then how about Rugby? Maybe not so much. Now though, there are calls for the promotion of the sport in the country. Congo releases imprisoned relatives of Pastor Ntumi [The Morning Call] Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:44:29 +0000 In the Republic of Congo, two imprisoned relatives of opposition rebel leader Pastor Ntumi were released in Brazzaville earlier this week. The gesture of the Congolese government has been interpreted in various ways by political analysts with many seeing it as the beginning to the end of the socio-political crisis that has rocked the Pool region. We speak on the latest release of Ntumi’s relatives with Alphonse Ndongo, a political journalist based in Brazzaville and what more to expect in the pool region’s crisis mediation efforts. Press review [The Morning Call] Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:28:06 +0000 Friday morning headlines from some of the papers across the continent Calls grow for Mugabe to step down amid military siege [The Morning Call] Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:26:30 +0000 Zimbabwe’s long-time President Robert Mugabe has been holding direct talks with the army over his future even though there has been no official word on the outcome of talks he has had with regional envoys and the army chief. But sources say he has so far refused to step down. Pictures emerged of the 93-year-old Mugabe meeting the army chief and two envoys from South Africa at his official residence in Harare. The talks in Harare came after tumultuous days in which soldiers blockaded key roads, took over state TV and put the veteran leader under house arrest. Meanwhile, long time opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said it was “in the interests of the people” that Mr Mugabe “resigns… immediately”. 32 teams line up for Russia 2018. Who's in? [Sport] Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:35:27 +0000 World Cup qualifying has ended and we now know all 32 teams who will compete at next year’s World Cup in Russia. Who’s are these teams and when’s the draw? Victor Muisyo will tell you more. Again news on Wednesday that France and NOT South Africa would host the 2023 Rugby World Cup broke the hearts of many in the rainbow nation and across the continent. We have the reactions. And finally, the Super Eagles of Nigeria on Tuesday made a big statement ahead of the World Cup after they stunned two-time world champions the Albiceleste of Argentina 4-2 in a friendly played in Krasnodar, one of the World Cup host cities in Russia. Watch the highlights. Follow @Muisyo_ Cameroon: Fire razes down parliament Fri, 17 Nov 2017 07:00:20 +0000 A fire swept through the main building of Cameroon’s parliament in Yaounde overnight, causing substantial damage, local television reported on Friday. Public broadcaster CRTV said witnesses reported that the blaze was raging on the third and fourth floors of the building. “Firefighters are working to put out the blaze,” it said on Twitter. #Cameroon: Members of #Parliament , administrative and security officials at the National Assembly for first hand appraisal of the flames that have devastated parts of the building.— CRTVweb (@CRTV_web) November 16, 2017 “Several deputies from all parties and administrative authorities are helping the deployment of firefighters to stop the flames, which have already ravaged four floors of the administrative block of the building,” it added. Pictures posted on social media appeared to show a large part of the building had been damaged. There has so far been no indication of any casualties and the cause of the blaze was not immediately clear. AFP Mugabe meets army chief and 'peace' emissaries, standoff reported Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:35:58 +0000 A smiling President Robert Mugabe was pictured shaking hands with Zimbabwe’s military chief a day after the army seized power, throwing confusion over predictions that the 93-year-old’s nearly four-decade rule had come to an end. Mugabe unexpectedly drove from his “Blue Roof” Harare compound in Harare, where he had been confined since troops took to the streets, to State House, where official media pictured him meeting military chief Constantino Chiwenga and South African ministers sent to mediate the crisis. The official Herald newspaper carried no reports of the outcome of the meeting, leaving Zimbabwe’s 13 million people in the dark as to what was happening as night fell on Thursday. Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler and is refusing to quit, but pressure was mounting on the former guerrilla to accept offers of a graceful exit, sources said on Thursday. Earlier, a political source who spoke to senior allies holed up in the compound with Mugabe and his wife Grace said he had no plans to resign voluntarily ahead of elections due next year. “It’s a sort of stand-off, a stalemate,” the source said. “They are insisting the president must finish his term.” The army’s takeover signalled the collapse in less than 36 hours of the security, intelligence and patronage networks that sustained Mugabe through 37 years in power and built him into the “Grand Old Man” of African politics. A priest mediating between Mugabe and the generals, who seized power on Wednesday in what they called a targeted operation against “criminals” in Mugabe’s entourage, has made little headway, a senior political source told Reuters. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai called for Mugabe’s departure “in the interest of the people”. In a statement read to reporters, Tsvangirai pointedly referred to him as “Mr Robert Mugabe”, not president. The army may want Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, to go quietly and allow a smooth and bloodless transition to Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice president Mugabe sacked last week triggering the political crisis. The main goal of the generals is to prevent Mugabe from handing power to his wife Grace, 41 years his junior, who has built a following among the ruling party’s youth wing and appeared on the cusp of power after Mnangagwa was pushed out. The last of Africa’s state founders still in power from the era of the struggle against European colonisation, Mugabe is still seen by many Africans as a liberation hero. But he is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power pauperised one of Africa’s most promising states. Once a regional bread-basket, Zimbabwe saw its economy collapse in the wake of the seizure of white-owned farms in the early 2000s, followed by runaway money-printing that catapaulted inflation to 500 billion percent in 2008. Millions of Zimbabweans, from highly skilled bankers to semi-literate farmers, emigrated, mostly to neighbouring South Africa, where an estimated 3 million still live. After briefly stabilising under a 2009-2013 power-sharing government, when Mugabe was forced to work with the opposition, the economy has once again cratered, with dollars scarce, inflation surging, imports running out and queues outside banks. REUTERS U.K. reviews Eritrea travel advice citing new local currency rules Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:33:09 +0000 The United Kingdom has renewed its foreign travel advice in respect of Eritrea citing new limitations on local currency handling in the country. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) message dated November 16, 2017 warned citizens of potential confiscation of their funds or prosecution if they flout the new rules. The statement read in full: “Money section – there are low limits on local currency that can be taken from Eritrea; if you attempt to take more than 1,000 Nakfa you may have it confiscated; if you attempt to carry more than 5,000 Nakfa you may be subject to prosecution.” The Bank of Eritrea via a legal notice gazetted on October 25 limited the amount of Nakfa (the national currency) that can be taken outside the country. The notice says no traveler leaving Eritrea can take out more than a thousand Nakfa, about 65 dollars, and those under 18 cannot take any money at all. The U.K., however, maintained all security warnings contained in previous advisories including banning all travel to the countries borders particularly that with Eritrea and Djibouti. There are tensions on the said areas with the potential for escalation. The last U.K. advisory on Eritrea was on November 1 after rare protests in the capital Asmara led to the firing of gunshots to disperse protesters. Reports indicated that students had marched to resist government meddling in the affairs of a community school. It led to arrests of a number of people in a military swoop. Even though some reports suggested deaths were recorded citing opposition elements, the government rubbished the claims and blamed it on propaganda and destabilization elements linked to Ethiopia. Photo credit: Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban U.S., U.K. issue Zimbabwe security warning citing growing 'uncertainty' Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:20:48 +0000 Embassies of the United States and the United Kingdom in Zimbabwe have issued security warnings to citizens. The U.S. also said the political situation had forced them to suspend visa operations for this week. The U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said in a summary of its alert issued on Thursday November 16, 2017: “The political situation in Harare remains uncertain and there continues to be a military presence in and around the city. “British Nationals should continue to exercise caution when travelling around the capital. You should avoid large gatherings and any demonstrations. The U.S. issued two statements the first expressing concern over the military’s takeover of political power adding that they remained neutral on the issue but were calling for an expedient transition to democratic, civilian order. “We call on Zimbabwean military leaders to exercise restraint, respect the rule of law, uphold the constitutionally-protected rights of all citizens, and to quickly return the country to normalcy. “The United States encourages all Zimbabweans to resolve differences calmly and peacefully through democratic, transparent and constitutional processes, with proper respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression through any media, in order to move past this current crisis and towards a more stable future,” the statement read in part. Almost two days after the army announced that it had seized power from 93-year-old leader Robert Mugabe, the capital Harare was calm as Mugabe held talks with the army. Reports indicate that he is being asked to step down as leader to allow for transition into the post-Mugabe era. The talks include Mugabe, the army, and delegations from the South African government and the Catholic Church. Citizens await an announcement from the meeting on the way forward even though the country has largely been peaceful since the army took over on Wednesday. Events leading to the seizure of power – which the army insists is not a coup – started with the firing of former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa. A move deemed to have been carried out in the interest of getting First Lady Grace Mugabe to occupy that slot. The army threatened to step in in the wake of what it said was a purge of persons key to the country’s revolution struggle. They were slammed across board for their treasonable stands but barely 24 hours later, they took over national TV, ZBC, and announced a takeover of power. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Rwanda announces global visa free regime starting January 2018 Thu, 16 Nov 2017 22:26:35 +0000 Rwanda has announced what could be termed a global visa free entry for travelers from everywhere in the world starting January 1, 2018. A communique released by the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration said citizens of all countries the world over could enjoy 30 days visa on arrival under the regime. With some entrants required to pay a fee where applicable. Rwanda already has such a system in place for all African countries and a number of countries outside the continent. The country is reputed as one of the most open in visa openness index publications. The November 16, 2017 document read in part: “30 days visa upon arrival – Citizens of all countries to get visa upon arrival without prior approval, starting 01 January 2018. Before that, only African countries and few others were getting visa upon arrival.” The new visa regime also touched on other areas like visa reciprocity for specific countries whose citizens get free visas with 90 days validity. The countries in question are Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Haiti, Senegal, Seychelles and Sao Tome and Principe. This is in addition to the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Africa Member Community Partner States, Mauritius, Philippines and Singapore. This takes immediate effect. “Nationals of Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America will be issued with entry visa valid for a period up to 30 days and pay for a visa ($30) upon arrival without prior application,” according to a government portal. It also addresses the area of visa waiver for particular diplomatic and service passport holders, another directive that takes immediate effect. There is also a 90 day visa on arrival for travelers from the COMESA (The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa) region subject to payment of visa fees. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban