Zimbabwe

Harare (AFP) Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, declaring “I am not dying,” sought Saturday to brush aside growing concerns about his health after his wife urged him to name a successor. Mugabe’s medical trips to Singapore have become frequent in recent years, fuelling questions about his health. His last visit was early this month for what was described as a “routine medical check-up”. “There is the issue that the president is going. I am not going. That the president is dying. I am not dying,” Mugabe told thousands of supportersRead More
Harare (AFP) President Robert Mugabe’s wife Thursday urged her 93-year-old husband to name his chosen successor, fuelling renewed speculation about the race to take over from the world’s oldest national leader. Mugabe has always refused to publicly reveal his favoured heir, but Grace Mugabe — who is seen by some as a potential candidate — called for an end to the uncertainty. “President, don’t be afraid. Tell us who is your choice, which horse we should back,” she told a meeting of the women’s league of the ruling ZANU-PF party.Read More
Harare (AFP) A bill allowing President Robert Mugabe to appoint senior judges sparked outrage Wednesday from Zimbabwean opposition and activists who said it marked a new power-grab by the authoritarian government. The law, which was passed by the lower house on Tuesday, is the first amendment to the 2013 constitution, adopted four years ago by popular vote. “It’s a frontal attack on the rule of law,” opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislator and constitutional law expert Jessie Majome told AFP. “You can’t have a bill to concentrate power withRead More
Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) (AFP) An elephant that gave tourist rides in the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls trampled his professional handler to death, the local tour operators’ association said Tuesday. Enock Kufandanda, 50, was killed on Saturday by a bull elephant called “Mbanje” (“marijuana” in the local Shona language). Parks and wildlife authority rangers shot and killed the elephant, reported to be about 30 years old, soon after it charged and killed Kufandanda. “We confirm the sad incident, the third in the last 10 years,” Clement Mukwasi, of the Employers’Read More
Harare (AFP) Zimbabwe’s parliament on Tuesday passed a bill amending the constitution to give the president sweeping powers to appoint the country’s top judges without consulting any other institution. If passed into law, the bill will give Robert Mugabe the sole responsiblity to appoint the chief justice and their deputy. Under the 2013 constitution, the president could only appoint a chief justice from individuals recommended by the judicial services commission and after public interviews of the candidates. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who heads Zimbabwe’s parliament, hailed the adoption of theRead More
Harare (AFP) Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe lavished his sister-in-law with $60,000 on her birthday, state-owned media reported Monday, at a time when the country is running critically short of cash. The Herald newspaper said Mugabe, 93, and his wife Grace gave Junior Gumbochuma the money at her birthday celebrations, while the couple’s children gave her $10,000. “The gift was to thank Mrs Gumbochuma, a pastor, for the pivotal role she played in raising the First Family’s children,” the newspaper said. Gumbochuma, who is Grace Mugabe’s elder sister, celebrated her 60thRead More
Harare (AFP) Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returned home on Saturday after medical treatment in Singapore, the state broadcaster said, putting to rest speculation over the 93-year-old’s whereabouts. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said Mugabe, who left for Singapore last Saturday, “had eye surgery in the Asian country a few years ago” and had returned for a “routine medical check-up”. Mugabe, in power since Zimbabwe’s independence from British colonial rule in 1980, is his party’s presidential candidate for next year’s elections despite concerns over his age and fitness to rule. ZBC laterRead More
Harare (AFP) Zimbabwean riot police in the capital Harare fired tear gas and used water cannon on Wednesday to break an opposition protest calling for fair elections next year. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party had planned a march against voter registration centres which it says favour long-ruling President Robert Mugabe. A heavy police presence was on duty from early morning, and officers moved in to prevent marchers from gathering in the city centre. An AFP correspondent witnessed shopkeepers pulling down shutters and locking doors as tear gas cannistersRead More
Harare (AFP) Air Zimbabwe has laid off 200 employees — nearly half its workforce — to try to stay in the air, Zimbabwe state media reported Wednesday, as the country’s economic troubles deepen. Under long-time leader President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe has suffered mass unemployment, a collapse of many public services and banknote shortages as foreign investors have fled. According to Bloomberg News, the southern African country’s economy has halved since 2000. “We have retrenched 200 employees out of the 424,” Air Zimbabwe chairman Chipo Dyanda was quoted as saying inRead More
Harare (AFP) Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe is in Singapore for a “routine medical check-up”, state media reported Sunday. “President Mugabe on Friday left the country for Singapore for a routine medical check-up,” the Sunday Mail newspaper reported. The paper said the veteran ruler is expected back in Zimbabwe midweek. Mugabe’s medical trips to the Southeast Asia city state have become more frequent in recent years. His previous visit was in May, also said to be for a “routine medical check-up”. In 2011 and 2014 he had eye surgery inRead More