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Keyword: africawatch

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  • Mugabe party mocks starving nation

    02/25/2007 3:03:13 AM PST · by MadIvan · 21 replies · 879+ views
    The Sunday Times ^ | February 25, 2007 | Jan Raath and RW Johnson
    PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s endlessly proclaimed illusion of Zimbabwean democracy, prosperity and health and education for all reached its most surreal extreme at a party held yesterday costing 300m Zimbabwe dollars to celebrate his 83rd birthday.This sum would have been worth £150,000 when officials of the ruling Zanu-PF began collecting for the event in December, but by this weekend it was down to £23,000, so fast is the currency falling in value. Mugabe mingled with the 20,000 guests in the Mboka football stadium in the city of Gweru and used a lengthy speech to condemn homosexuality. The party was shown on...
  • Is it the beginning of the end for Mugabe?

    02/24/2007 3:30:01 AM PST · by MadIvan · 19 replies · 978+ views
    The Scotsman ^ | February 24, 2007 | MICHELLE FAUL
    SIGNS are mounting that Zimbabwe is witnessing the last, desperate throes of a regime that has destroyed one of Africa's few successful economies.As president Robert Mugabe celebrates his 83rd birthday today with champagne and cake at a £600,000 party, hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans are struggling to survive on bread and water. As the country approaches 18 April, the 27th anniversary of the end of white rule and Mr Mugabe's rise to power, the years of abuse and neglect are culminating in untenable crises. Hyperinflation that brings shortages of food, fuel, medication and electricity has the population in revolt; opposition...
  • Mbeki boosts police force as he finally admits to crime crisis

    02/10/2007 4:29:05 AM PST · by MadIvan · 8 replies · 455+ views
    The Scotsman ^ | February 10, 2007 | FRED BRIDGLAND AND SARAH MCGREGOR
    FACED with soaring public anger and international fears about violent crime in South African, Thabo Mbeki, the country's president, conceded for the first time yesterday that it was a deeply serious problem, as he announced an increase in police numbers of nearly 20 per cent.In his annual State of the Nation address, he said: "We cannot erase that which is ugly and repulsive and claim the happiness that comes with freedom if communities lived in fear, closeted behind walls and barbed wire, ever anxious in their houses, on the streets, unable freely to enjoy our public spaces." South Africa has...
  • Mugabe to be given extra two years in power

    12/15/2006 4:57:58 AM PST · by MadIvan · 10 replies · 402+ views
    The Scotsman ^ | December 15, 2006 | CRIS CHINAKA
    ROBERT Mugabe is expected to be given an additonal two years as president of Zimbabwe, with the ruling party expected to endorse a controversial proposal to extend his rule until 2010.Mr Mugabe's ZANU-PF party opens a three-day annual conference today to discuss the economy and proposals to "harmonise" the national electoral calendar, effectively a call to postpone a 2008 presidential election until 2010, when parliamentary polls are due to be held. Officially, ZANU-PF says it wants to postpone the presidential vote to save money, but analysts believe the decision is meant to give Mr Mugabe, 82, more time to sort...
  • Mugabe feted as nation fails

    12/10/2006 3:16:13 AM PST · by MadIvan · 60 replies · 1,395+ views
    The Sunday Times ^ | December 10, 2006 | Christina Lamb
    ZIMBABWE has the highest inflation and lowest life expectancy in the world, not to mention the highest percentage of orphans. So desperate is the shortage of food that President Robert Mugabe’s own guards have been spotted shooting squirrels in Harare’s Botanical Gardens.However, Mugabe, 82, may be rewarded by being made president for life at his party’s annual conference this week. Among the main proposals to be discussed is postponing presidential elections from 2008 till 2010. But Didymus Mutasa, the powerful national security minister and secretary for administration in the ruling Zanu-PF party, said last week that Mugabe had done “so...
  • Arrest, arrest, and a beating: it's daily life in Zimbabwe

    12/06/2006 3:39:24 PM PST · by MadIvan · 4 replies · 363+ views
    The Times ^ | December 7, 2006 | Jan Raath
    The audience in the cinema in Bulawayo was distressed, said the German Ambassador. Pius Ncube, the outspoken Roman Catholic Archbishop, was quite emotional. Paul Themba Nyathi, the articulate opposition figure, had just been charged with inciting the Armed Forces to rise against Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe. Police had intercepted pamphlets that he and a party worker were distributing, which criticised the Government’s failure to ensure their welfare . “They are struggling to pay for food and health and education because they are poorly paid,” it said. He could get 20 years in jail.The reason for the audience’s distress,...
  • FRANCE VS. RWANDA: Envoy expelled as judge rules President was behind killing

    11/24/2006 3:04:15 PM PST · by MadIvan · 11 replies · 740+ views
    The Times ^ | November 25, 2006 | Jonathan Clayton
    Decades of hostility between France and Rwanda burst into the open yesterday when the tiny Central African state recalled its ambassador and broke off diplomatic relations with Paris.Charles Murigande, the Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister, said: “We have ordered the French Ambassador to leave our country within 24 hours and given other French diplomats 72 hours to leave the country,” he said. Rwanda made its move after a French anti-terrorist judge issued arrest warrants against nine leading Rwandans for killing a former President, the event that sparked the 1994 genocide. Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, who brought the terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, Carlos...
  • Ethiopia confronts Somali warlords

    11/23/2006 3:20:56 PM PST · by MadIvan · 12 replies · 759+ views
    The Times ^ | November 24, 2006 | Jonathan Clayton
    The Horn of Africa, one of the most volatile regions in the world, edged closer to war yesterday after Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, said that his country had completed preparations to take on a powerful Islamic alliance in neighbouring Somalia.Mr Zenawi told the Ethiopian parliament that the Islamists presented a “clear and present danger” to Ethiopia, whose main regional enemy — Eritrea — was arming them. He said that attempts to settle the crisis through dialogue and negotiation had failed. “When any country faces that type of danger it has the full right to defend itself against this...
  • Beijing makes play for Africa

    11/05/2006 2:06:18 AM PST · by MadIvan · 78 replies · 1,055+ views
    The Sunday Times ^ | November 5, 2006 | Michael Sheridan
    PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has hailed China as his “second home” and praised Beijing for its refusal to link aid and investment to human rights or democracy as it scrambles for assets in Africa.Mugabe’s remarks came in an “exclusive interview” with the Chinese state news agency Xinhua, which rarely boasts of its exclusives but was eager to publicise his appreciation of China’s friendship in contrast to “western hostility”. The red carpet has been laid out for 48 African leaders, including Mugabe and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, as China revels in hosting its biggest summit with the continent since the...
  • Beijing hosts its biggest diplomatic party as it joins scramble for Africa

    11/01/2006 3:35:08 PM PST · by MadIvan · 11 replies · 354+ views
    The Times ^ | November 2, 2006 | Jane Macartney
    China aims to make new friends and show the West that it is a force to be reckoned withChinese tour guides are brushing up their Swahili, most cars have been ordered off Beijing streets and officials have been told to cycle to work. Hotel chefs have created African menus, the flags of African nations fly over Tiananmen Square and the airport highway has been closed to everyone but African leaders arriving for the largest diplomatic gathering the Chinese capital has seen. The Beijing summit runs over the weekend with as many as 48 of the heads of Africa’s 53 countries...
  • Madonna adopts mud hut baby

    10/12/2006 11:29:04 PM PDT · by MadIvan · 87 replies · 2,347+ views
    The Daily Telegraph ^ | October 13, 2006 | David Blair
    A boy from an isolated village in Malawi's rugged bush was handed into the care of Madonna yesterday when a judge approved the pop star's adoption papers.David Banda was born in a mud hut 18 months ago. His mother, Marita, gave birth without a nurse or medical equipment, save for a plastic sheet. She died days later. The High Court in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, plucked David from his home village of Lipunga, where children in rags play in the dust beside women pounding maize, and gave him a symbol of Western popular culture for a foster mother. Mr Justice Andrew...
  • Outcry from opposition as Mugabe gives himself extra time in power

    09/25/2006 1:03:06 AM PDT · by MadIvan · 9 replies · 537+ views
    The Daily Telegraph ^ | September 25, 2006 | Peta Thornycroft
    President Robert Mugabe sought to extend his rule for another four years yes>terday when his regime announced that Zimbabwe's next presidential election will be postponed.Mr Mugabe's present term of office ends in 2008. But the 82-year-old leader, who won a violent and widely condemned presidential election four years ago, is about to rewrite the constitution and give himself the option of staying in power beyond this limit. The next presidential poll will be delayed until 2010, on the pretext that parliamentary elections are also due in that year and the two contests should be harmonised. Nathan Shamuyarira, the official spokesman...
  • Zimbabwe 'as bad as it can get'

    06/01/2006 5:00:39 PM PDT · by Aussie Dasher · 33 replies · 1,030+ views
    Herald Sun ^ | 2 June 2006
    LIVING conditions have worsened in Zimbabwe, where most of the 700,000 people who lost homes or businesses in mass evictions last year were still struggling to find shelter, a United Nations housing expert said today. Miloon Kothari, the UN special rapporteur on adequate housing, said most of those displaced by President Robert Mugabe's May 2005 eviction campaign remained homeless, in resettlement camps or were living without food, safe water or sanitation. "It is as bad as it can get," Mr Kothari said. He took aim at the international community for what he called a "shocking" lack of pressure on Zimbabwe....
  • ZIMBABWE: $100,000 banknote is enough to buy a loaf

    05/31/2006 11:53:41 PM PDT · by MadIvan · 119 replies · 3,198+ views
    The Times ^ | June 1, 2006 | Jan Raath
    A NEW $100,000 banknote will be issued in Zimbabwe today. With a value of about 67p, it is worth only the price of a loaf of bread.Its introduction comes as the economy buckles under the highest rate of inflation in the world, currently at 1,042 per cent. The note makes its debut barely four months after the Reserve Bank introduced the $50,000 note, the highest denomination at the time. In only two weeks the Zimbabwe dollar has lost half of its value. Despite the hyperinflation, mass unemployment and crippling shortages of fuel and foreign currency, Zimbabwe is a country of...
  • Congo president on military rapes: 'Unforgivable'

    05/31/2006 9:47:16 AM PDT · by Mazda3Fan · 3 replies · 432+ views
    LUBUMBASHI, Democratic Republic of Congo (CNN) -- Confronted with atrocious accounts of rape committed by members of the Congo military, Congolese President Joseph Kabila at first was silent -- then found his voice, saying "It's shocking."
  • 'Terrified' Mugabe tightens his grip

    05/28/2006 12:38:47 AM PDT · by MadIvan · 31 replies · 1,453+ views
    Scotland on Sunday ^ | May 28, 2006 | DANIEL PEPPER
    WHEN THE soldiers rolled past Lot Dube's land and set up camp, they told him and other farmers that all non-maize crops would be destroyed.Their entire harvest would have to be sold to the Zimbabwean government's Grain Marketing Board so it could be used to purchase foreign currency. It is the Mugabe regime's latest ploy to buy its way out of an economic crisis so severe that inflation is running at more than 1,000%, a record for an African nation supposedly not at war. Dube, 63, who has farmed in the southern Insiza district since 1982, had to watch while...
  • Zimbabwe on edge as inflation hits 1,000%

    05/13/2006 12:58:55 AM PDT · by MadIvan · 29 replies · 864+ views
    The Scotsman ^ | May 13, 2006 | CRIS CHINAKA
    ZIMBABWE'S annual inflation rate topped 1,000 per cent in April, underlining the severity of an economic crisis analysts say could trigger protests against Robert Mugabe's government.Zimbabwe, in its eighth year of recession, has the fastest shrinking economy of a country outside a war zone, according to the World Bank, and the highest inflation rate in the world. The official statistics agency said yesterday the annual inflation rate hit a record 1,042.9 percent in April after rising 913.6 per cent in March. "As expected, it's more doom and gloom," said John Robertson, a private economic consultant. "How do you start to...
  • A nation of millionaires who can't afford to buy anything

    05/07/2006 11:41:46 PM PDT · by MadIvan · 47 replies · 2,220+ views
    The Times ^ | May 8, 2006 | Jonathan Clayton
    Zimbabweans are speaking out with candour against the Government as the country descends further into economic chaos WITH his torn shirt and tattered trousers held up by a piece of string, Barons Chikamba is an unlikely millionaire. His life is a daily struggle despite the seemingly astronomical prices that he charges for even a short hop in the battered car that he uses to ferry visitors around Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. Even his lowest fare is more than a million Zimbabwean dollars. It may sound a lot, but in a country where even the official rate of inflation is nearly 1,000...
  • Celebrities back tampon rebels of Zimbabwe

    05/06/2006 10:28:51 PM PDT · by MadIvan · 68 replies · 3,493+ views
    The Sunday Times ^ | May 7, 2006 | Christina Lamb
    SHE has been arrested 22 times, tortured so badly that her front teeth were knocked into her nose and had an AK-47 thrust up her vagina until she bled. Thabitha Khumalo’s crime: to campaign against a critical shortage of tampons and sanitary towels in Zimbabwe, one of the least talked about and most severe side-effects for women of the country’s economic crisis.Now her cause has been taken up in Britain by celebrities including the actors Anna Chancellor, Gillian Anderson, Prunella Scales and Jeremy Irons. Later this month they will launch “Dignity. Period!”, a fundraising campaign to buy sanitary products for...
  • Mugabe buys support of top army officers as discontent swells in ranks

    04/09/2006 4:50:36 AM PDT · by MadIvan · 16 replies · 459+ views
    The Sunday Times ^ | April 9, 2006 | Christina Lamb
    THE Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has placed army and intelligence officers in control of key state institutions in an attempt to retain military support and quell discontent amid widespread hunger and opposition threats of mass mobilisation. The attorney-general, chief executive of the Grain Marketing Board (the national food monopoly), and the head of the country’s electoral commission are all now serving or retired officers of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), as are several members of the newly created Senate. Last week Mugabe put Constantine Chiwenga, the ZDF chief, in charge of tax collection after reports of corruption at the Zimbabwe...