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ZIMBABWE’S FIRST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION SET TO TAKE PLACE IN JULY

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Zimbabwe’s first presidential and parliamentary elections since the end of former strongman Robert Mugabe’s long rule will take place in July, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Saturday.

The polls will be the first major test of the new leader, who took power in November after a de facto military coup forced the 94-year-old Mugabe to resign.

They will also be the first without Mugabe’s name on the ballot since independence from Britain in 1980.

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“As a nation, party and government, we are looking forward to very peaceful, transparent and harmonised elections in July this year,” Mnangagwa told reporters after a meeting with South Africans President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday night.

Mnangagwa, 75, said the elections would be free of the violence that gripped previous polls and which was one of the reasons for strained relations between Zimbabwe and the West.

“I have already invited all political parties in Zimbabwe to a roundtable where we all commit ourselves to non-violence,” he added.

Mnanaggwa will have to announce a date in an official notice. He has said he would invite Western observers, who had been banned under Mugabe’s rule.

The state-owned weekly Sunday Mail said a European Union pre-election team was expectewd in Harare on Monday.

The EU head of mission in Zimbabwe, Phillipe Van Damme, told the paper it would meet the president, political party leaders, and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Mugabe, in his first comments since he stepped down, said last week that Mnangagwa’s rule was “illegitimate” and a “disgrace”.

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Ghana: video of police assault on nursing mother goes viral

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Ghana’s social media space – Facebook and Twitter – has been buzzing with a call for the arrest of a police officer for assaulting a nursing mother.

A viral video shows the said officer in what starts like a tussle with the woman in a banking hall. Subsequently, he is seen hitting the woman with an umbrella, punching and slapping her on the face.

Reports indicated that the woman, a client of the savings and loans company, where the incident occured had arrived when the company had closed.

She ostensibly got in despite the close of business and refused to leave till she could withdraw a sum of 250 cedis ($50). Social media users are calling for the immediate arrest of the police officer. 

Local media portals also report that the police heirachy has confirmed that a probe had been opened into the alleged incident and that due process was going to be pursued.

The video continues to be widely shared on Facebook with some prominent media personalities joining the calls for justice for the woman.

 

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Motherland News

Trump extends Somali immigrants’ stay in US

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Somalis living in the United States under protected status have been given permission by the Trump administration to remain in the country for at least another 18 months, because of ongoing violence in the North African nation.

At least 500 Somalis in the United States with Temporary Protected Status will be able to re-register for an extension of their status through March 17, 2020, according to a Thursday statement from the Department of Homeland Security. The status grants beneficiaries the ability to legally work while they are in the United States.

 

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