Riot police block doctors from marching to Parliament, standoff ensues

Riot police block doctors from marching to Parliament, standoff ensues 1

HARARE — Doctors protesting the abduction of a union leader have been met by a line of police in Harare as fears grow about government repression. The Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association says its president Peter Magombeyi was abducted on Saturday after calling for a pay strike. Magombeyi left home in Budiriro, a suburb of Harare, after 8PM on September 14 saying he was going for a prayer meeting, colleagues say. At 10.19PM on the same night, he sent a message to a WhatsApp group for doctors saying he was being…

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Mbeki hails ‘great patriot’ Robert Mugabe during ANC memorial

Mbeki hails ‘great patriot’ Robert Mugabe during ANC memorial 4

DURBAN, South Africa – Former South African president Thabo Mbeki has lauded the late Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, calling him a combatant and true African patriot. “He was a great patriot, a defender of Africa’s independence, a defender of Africa’s interests. He was very principled and very brave. He was able to speak out in defence of those [Africa’s] interests,” Mbeki said on Tuesday. He was speaking at a memorial for Mugabe that was held by the African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal in a packed Durban City Hall. Mbeki lashed…

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Zimbabwe’s currency worst performing in the world in 2019

Zimbabwe’s currency worst performing in the world in 2019 6

HARARE – If you thought Argentina’s currency crisis was bad, spare a thought for Zimbabwe. Measures to protect the Zimbabwe dollar – including sky-high interest rates – seem to be coming to naught. Since the country allowed formal trading of what was effectively a new currency in February, the unit has depreciated to 13.52 per U.S. dollar, from 2.50. That equates to a loss in value of 82 percent – easily the worst performance globally, excluding hyperinflationary Venezuela. It’s even weaker on the black market, changing hands on the streets…

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Churches call for independent probe into abductions, doctor still missing

Churches call for independent probe into abductions, doctor still missing 8

HARARE – The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) on Tuesday warned that citizens are facing “the highest level of vulnerability” because of a failure by authorities to investigate and punish crimes against rights activists and trade union leaders. The ZCC said it had noted reports of at least 20 abductions in recent months but “none of the reported cases of abduction and torture have been successfully investigated and prosecuted.” Hundreds of doctors protested for a second day in Harare and Bulawayo on Tuesday over the disappearance of their union leader…

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Zambia to double electricity prices as it looks to South Africa for imports

Zambia to double electricity prices as it looks to South Africa for imports 10

LUSAKA – Zambia is in talks with South African power utility Eskom to import 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity, Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa said on Tuesday, adding that retail prices could double once imports begin. Zambia has a power deficit of more than 750 MW because of low water levels at hydropower dams, Nkhuwa told reporters on the sidelines of an energy meeting. He gave no time-frame for when imports could start. “(Retail prices) will be maybe double the amount because we are paying half the amount that we are…

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Tunisian establishment stunned as outsiders win presidency

Tunisian establishment stunned as outsiders win presidency 12

TUNIS – Tunisia’s electoral commission on Tuesday said law professor Kais Saied and detained media mogul Nabil Karoui won most votes in Sunday’s presidential election, beating major political leaders to advance to a second-round runoff. The commission’s announcement following a full count of votes confirmed exit polls released on Sunday evening and partial results issued throughout Monday. The election was held the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi who died in office at the age of 92 in July. Sunday’s vote has been seen in Tunisia as a sharp rebuke…

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Fraud accused ex-ZBC bosses Mavhura and Shumba freed on bail

Fraud accused ex-ZBC bosses Mavhura and Shumba freed on bail 14

HARARE – Former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation (ZBC) CEO Patrick Mavhura was granted $5,000 bail by a court in Harare on Tuesday. Mavhura and the ZBC’s former head finance, administration and human resources, Benania Shumba, were arrested last Thursday accused of defrauding the broadcaster of over US$250,000. Shumba was also freed on $5,000 bail by Harare magistrate Vongai Guwuriro-Muchuchuti coupled with stringent reporting conditions. The two were ordered to report twice a week at the police, not to interfere with witnesses, to continue residing at their given addresses and to surrender…

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Harare City Council sues Zanu PF’s Jongwe Printers over $110k debt

Harare City Council sues Zanu PF’s Jongwe Printers over $110k debt 16

HARARE – Zanu PF-owned Jongwe Printing and Publishing Company has been dragged to the High Court by the City of Harare after failing to settle a $110,246 debt despite being ordered to pay by the same court. City of Harare is seeking an enforcement of a Deed of Settlement in which Jongwe was ordered to settle the debt early this year. The debt was accumulated from unpaid rates and services. David Kanokanga, a lawyer representing City of Harare said in an affidavit that a Deed of Settlement was signed by…

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Anger over Mnangagwa regalia as Mugabe’s body goes to Kutama

Anger over Mnangagwa regalia as Mugabe’s body goes to Kutama 18

KUTAMA – The body of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, who died on September 6, arrived in his home village on Monday for a subdued farewell at a dusty sports field after a weekend state funeral with African leaders in the capital. Mugabe, who died aged 95 on a medical trip to Singapore, stayed in power for nearly four decades until a 2017 coup ended his increasingly autocratic rule. His death has left Zimbabwe deeply split over the legacy of a man once praised as an anti-colonial liberation icon, but…

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UN rights expert visits Zimbabwe amid protest bans, abductions

UN rights expert visits Zimbabwe amid protest bans, abductions 23

HARARE – The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association begins a 10-day visit to Zimbabwe on Tuesday to assess the country’s challenges in relation to the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the country. Clément Nyaletsossi Voule’s visit comes as the Zimbabwe government is under the spotlight for clamping down on protests and strikes by labour unions. Doctors held a candlelight vigil at Parirenyatwa Hospital on Monday night demanding the release of the leader of their union, Dr…

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