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Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa registers for first national elections with rival Chamisa.

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President Emmerson Mnangagwa registered on Thursday for Zimbabwe’s first national elections of the post-Mugabe era, with his main rival Nelson Chamisa hoping to rally younger voters against the generation that won independence.

Western governments and investors will be closely watching the July 30 presidential and parliamentary ballots, for which monitors got clearance to deploy for the first time since 2002.



Mnangagwa and Chamisa, who also signed up on Thursday, are both campaigning on a pledge to revive an economy crippled by a legacy of often violent seizures of land from white commercial farmers and a black economic empowerment drive that targeted foreign-owned businesses.

Those policies were cornerstones of Robert Mugabe’s near four-decade rule, which ended in November after a de facto military coup that transferred power to 75-year-old Mnangagwa, his loyal acolyte for nearly 50 years.

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The ruling ZANU-PF says Zimbabwe is at a critical stage of transition requiring an experienced politician like Mnangagwa.

Chamisa, the 40-year-old leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), says the president is equally to blame for the country’s economic troubles, since he served in each of Mugabe’s governments since independence in 1980.

Both arguments appear to have struck chords among the 5.4 million-strong electorate, 60 percent of whom are under 40.

While Zimbabwe lacks a reliable polling system, an unofficial survey released last week in its second city Bulawayo by the Mass Public Opinion Institute put Mnangagwa on 42 percent and Chamisa on 31 percent, while 25 percent declined to disclose a preference.

Crucially, Mnangagwa enjoys the backing of the army, which analysts say remains averse to any leader who lacks a pedigree from the liberation war against white rule.

Chamisa faces the additional hurdle of a divided opposition vote.

Joice Mujuru, a Mugabe deputy for 10 years before she was ousted from the ruling party in 2014, and Thokozani Khupe, who leads a splinter MDC faction after falling out with Chamisa, also entered the presidential race.

Another four lesser-known candidates also registered.

“We have opened up the democratic space and everyone is excited, they feel they can enter the race and contest, which is good,” said Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambai, after filing Mnangagwa’s papers at the High Court.

Attempts by Chamisa to have Mujuru and Khupe join the MDC and its alliance of smaller parties have so far failed.

“It is unfortunate that we are in a situation where other parties have not seen the light to say that it is important for opposition forces to unite and rally behind one candidate,” said Jameson Timba, who presented Chamisa’s nomination papers.

If no single presidential candidate wins an absolute majority next month, a run-off is scheduled for September.

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REUTERS

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Granqvist Penalty Earns Sweden a sweet return.

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Sweden marked their first appearance in the World Cup for 12 years by beating South Korea thanks to a penalty from captain Andreas Granqvist that was awarded after a video assistant referee (VAR) review.

There was a short delay for Kim Min-woo’s foul on Viktor Claesson to be analysed on video and for the referee to point to the spot before Granqvist sent goalkeeper Cho Hyun-woo the wrong way.

Sweden, who join Mexico at the top of Group F on three points, created the better chances in Nizhny Novgorod.

Marcus Berg should have scored midway through the first half but his close range shot was beaten away by Cho, while South Korea did not manage a single shot on target.

In a scrappy game, Cho also saved well from Ola Toivonen’s header following a free-kick.

South Korea, competing in their ninth successive World Cup, were disappointing and the closest they came to scoring was when Koo Ja-cheol headed into the side netting.

The result means Mexico, 1-0 winners over world champions Germany on Sunday, and Sweden have a three-point lead after the first round of matches in Group F.

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Lake Victoria Island in tension as Uganda arrests Kenyan fishermen

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The arrest of 12 Kenyan fishermen by Ugandan security operatives has caused fresh tension in Lake Victoria islands in western Kenya.

In what is seen as retaliation after Kenyan security officials secured the release of their three police officers arrested by Ugandan soldiers last week, fishermen on the Kenyan side of the lake are in fear of a fresh wave of arrests.

Local politicians have reignited the debate on ownership of Migingo Island in Lake Victoria, saying they have been raising these issues yet the government has done nothing about it.

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Barely a week after Ugandan authorities abducted three Kenyan police officers and five fishermen from Nambo Beach in Siaya County, they struck again on Saturday, seizing two boats.

Witnesses say the officers’ guns and phones were taken away before the officers were transferred to Namaingo in eastern Uganda by boat.

Siaya County Administration Police Commandant Patrick Lumumba said the incident involved up to eight soldiers on patrol who arrived in a Kenyan boat.

On Saturday, according to an incident reported at Usenge Police Station by Nambo Beach Management Unit chairman Gabriel Onyango at 4pm, two Kenyan boats – one with an engine and the other without – were confiscated by Ugandan soldiers.

According to Mr Crispin Nyaga, Usenge police boss, the soldiers were three, one in uniform and armed. They seized the boats, arrested six fishermen, and took away hundreds of kilogrammes of fish.

The boat without an engine belongs to a Mr Omollo. On board were fishermen Daniel Oyugi, John Liepa and Daniel Odhiambo.

The other boat is owned by Mr Atepe Okinya, and was being used by fishermen Evans Ochieng, Sadam Onyango and Kevin Otieno.

“The authorities took away about 400kgs of fish but released the fishermen,” said Mr Nyaga.

This time round, the Quick Response Team of the Administration Police of Kenya gave hot pursuit and rescued both fishermen and the boats, he said.

He added that the area needs frequent patrol by Kenyan officers to prevent unnecessary arrests by Ugandan soldiers.

A day earlier, six fishermen from Ringiti Island were arrested and released on Saturday after paying some money. The fishermen were arrested on Friday morning near the island while fishing.

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Harare central hospital investigates burning of five-day-old twins

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A pair of five-day-old twins were burnt to death in an open cradle at Harare Central Hospital.

The hospital says it is still carrying out investigations since last week it happened, but negligence is suspected.

The twins were reportedly placed in an isolation ward as they were recovering from jaundice.

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They were placed in an open cradle and a beam of light was used to provide heating.

However, something malfunctioned and the babies were dehydrated and burnt to death.

Their mother, Belinda Balalika found the babies dead when she went to breastfeed them at midnight.

A source who spoke to The Standard said,“ Something malfunctioned and the babies were burnt to death, but what is saddening is the fact that the staff did not check on the babies on time.’

Harare Central Hospital CEO Nyasha Masuka added, “We will be able to give details on Monday when all the investigations have been completed.”

 

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