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Updated at 2017-12-19 17:45:58 UTC

Is There Ever Such a Thing as a Good Coup?

On Dec. 7, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government announced its first proposal to revive Zimbabwe’s economy. The national budget on offer followed the Nov. 16 coup that ousted longtime dictator Robert Mugabe. The 93-year-old strongman assumed control of Zimbabwe in 1980 and had expected his wife, Grace Mugabe, who is 40 years his junior, to succeed him as the country’s leader. He had recently fired Mnangagwa, who was his vice president, at the behest of his wife. This led to an alliance between Mnangagwa and the military, and triggered the recent coup.
Thus did Mugabe’s notorious reign dramatically end. The military went to great lengths to insist that what happened was not a coup. Since the end of the Cold War, there’s been increased international pressure to act democratically in order to qualify for foreign aid. Mnangagwa appointed a new cabinet, complete with senior military figures in high profile positions. For some, the coup has been cause for optimism. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson calls it a “moment of hope” for Zimbabweans. And the new government’s proactive efforts to re-engage foreign investors certainly give rise to a sense of hope, which has left people wondering if other African nations will try to rid themselves of their strongmen in the same way. This raises the question whether there is any such thing as a good coup -- a military intervention that ends an autocracy and leads to democratization. Data shows that while this outcome is possible, there is overwhelming evidence that it is rarely the case. Read More..

Zimbabweans, South Africans and other nationals are upset over Slave Trade in Libya

Some Zimbabweans and other nationals took to the streets in Johannesburg a few days ago to protest against slave trade in Libya where blacks are being sold to what observers say are terrorist groups looking for manpower. Human rights activists say some people are being killed while in 'markets'.

Mugabe’s priest says Grace Mugabe’s future looks bleak once her husband dies

The Catholic priest who negotiated former president Robert Mugabe’s exit had no kind words for his wife Grace and blamed her for Mugabe’s demise. Father Fidelis Mukonori told the Jesuit Review that Grace Mugabe’s greed for power was a serious contributor to her husband’s political demise. He therefore did not believe that she would have any future after her husband dies.
“I’m sure that people would do justice to her,” he said.
Father Mukonori said factional battles that led to the firing of Emmerson Mnangagwa so that Grace could succeed him “broke the camel’s back”.
The problem, he said, was: “Political debauchery… political division… slicing each other’s character… trying to position each other for power.”

We Will Work With The Zimbabwe Defence Forces To Win 2018 Elections Resoundingly: Mutsvangwa

Special advisor to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Christopher Mutsvangwa has stated that Zanu-PF will win next year’s harmonised elections resoundingly. Mutsvangwa said that Zanu-PF was going to win the elections more emphatically than the 1980 Elections.

He reiterated that the ruling Zanu-PF party was going to work “heavily” with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces in order to mobilise voters.

Mnangagwa appointed Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri as the party’s national chairperson

Zanu-PF First Secretary and President Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa today appointed Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri as the party’s national chairperson, while Cde Mabel Chinomona was appointed the party’s secretary for Women’s League.
President Mnangagwa also appointed Major General Engelbert Rugeje as secretary for the Commissariat, while Cde Pupurai Togarepi was re-instated as the secretary for Youth Affairs.
Maj-Gen Rugeje took over from Mr Saviour Kasukuwere who was expelled from party, while Cde Togarepi replaced Mr Kudzanai Chipanga who suffered the same fate with Mr Kasukuwere. Dr Obert Mpofu was made the substantive secretary for Administration, taking over from Mr Ignatius Chombo who was expelled from the party.
President Mnangagwa said he will appoint two vice Presidents in the next few days.

Mnangagwa Endorsed as Zanu PF Leader, Calls for Credible 2018 General Elections

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Friday the ruling ZANU-PF should aim to hold free and fair elections always, while his party endorsed him as its leader and official candidate for the top job when the vote comes.
The international community will be closely watching the next elections, due by the end of July, following last month’s de facto military coup which ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year reign. There is talk that the vote could be brought forward to as early as March.
Mnangagwa, 75, who was sworn in as president on Nov. 24, was addressing a special congress in downtown Harare which endorsed him as the party’s leader and presidential candidate in the elections.
“Democracy bids that as a political party, ZANU-PF must always compete for office through pitting itself against opposition parties in elections which must be credible, free, fair and transparent,” he told about 6,000 party members.
Since he assumed power, Mnangagwa has consistently mentioned the credibility of the elections, a sign of the vote’s importance in shoring up Zimbabwe’s democratic credibility.

Mugabe to miss Zanu-PF congress for first time since 1963 - report

Harare – Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who also used to be the leader of Zanu-PF is set to miss the ruling party's congress for the first time since the party's founding in 1963, a report says. Zanu-PF party was gearing up for its extraordinary congress that was set to take place on Friday in Harare. According to News Day, in a landmark moment for Zanu-PF, "new party leader Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took power following chaotic but peaceful scenes that engulfed the country following the November 14 military intervention, would preside over the ruling party’s extraordinary congress".

LATEST IN ZIM: Mnangagwa govt 'orders land grabbers to vacate farms' – report

Harare – Zimbabwe's new minister of lands, agriculture and rural settlement, Retired Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, has reportedly ordered those who have illegally occupied farm lands to leave "immediately" or face the wrath of law. According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Shiri said: "If we are to meet the goals set out by government to use agriculture as the mainstay of the economy, we need to ensure unquestionable sanity on the farms. "…All those who were illegally settled or who just settled themselves on resettlement land should vacate immediately".

At least 66 journalists 'languishing in African jails' – media watchdog

Cape Town – At least 262 journalists have been jailed for doing their job around the world, and 66 of these, are in Africa - as of December 1, says a media watchdog.  According to a Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) prison census 2017 report, as of December 1, sub Saharan countries had arrested at least 39 journalists, while north African countries had arrested 27. The north African power house, Egypt, remained at number 1 in Africa, with at least 20 journalists in its prisons, while Eritrea with 16 came in in second place.

'Don't seek military services to settle personal scores,' army warns Zimbabweans

Harare – The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) has reportedly warned citizens against seeking the service of the army to "fight personal battles", saying that this was against the precepts of the law. According to the state owned Herald newspaper, ZDF also warned against malicious individuals who aimed at disturbing peace and taking advantage of the army's ongoing Operation Restore Legacy. The security forces said that they were aware of imposters who were impersonating members of ZDF on videos that were being shared over social media sites.

New Zimbabwe govt 'keen to show respect to Mugabe'

Harare - Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe, 93, who was ousted from power last month, has flown to Singapore for a medical check-up, his ex-spokesperson said on Thursday. Mugabe and his wife Grace have not been seen in public since he was forced to resign after a military takeover brought a sudden end to his authoritarian 37-year reign. "He is in Singapore. It's part of his package as a retired president to travel overseas. He routinely goes to Singapore to meet with his doctors," George Charamba told AFP.

Somalia's Shabaab kill 18 police in academy bombing

Mogadishu - A suicide bomber from Somalia's Shabaab insurgents killed 18 police officers and wounded 15 others on Thursday when he blew himself up inside the country's main police academy, the force's chief said. Witnesses said the police were gathered in a square ahead of their early morning parade when the bomber attacked in the capital Mogadishu. "Eighteen members from the police were killed, and 15 others were wounded, after a suicide bomber blew himself inside the academy," acting police chief General Muktar Hussein Afrah told reporters. The attacker disguised himself in a police uniform to access the camp, Afrah said.