Top Africa stories: Zim Army, Mnangagwa, Grace Mugabe

Thousands of soldiers 'deployed throughout rural Zim', MDC claims… as it warns of violence ahead of polls

Harare – Zimbabwean opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party led by Morgan Tsvangirai, has reportedly claimed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has deployed thousands of soldiers throughout the country's rural areas "in a sinister move to scare villagers into voting the ruling Zanu-PF".

According to New, the MDC said this as it demanded the demilitarisation of the villages.

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Zim hotels 'have old beds with linen that often smells of cigarette smoke', claims central bank chief

Harare - Zimbabwe's central bank governor John Mangudya has reportedly criticised the country's top hotels and safaris, saying they were "filthy" as some of them "don't even change linens with bed-sheets often smelling of cigarette smoke". 

According to New, Mangudya claimed that the country's hospitality industry standards had fallen significantly and were negatively impacting the country’s tourism sector.

He called on the local hospitality sector to improve its falling standards as he announced a $15m tourism development facility put together by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

John Mangudya

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Grace Mugabe's 'fake' degree: University students want vice chancellor to go

Harare – Students have reportedly given the vice chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Levi Nyagura, 48 hours to step down from the institution over former first lady Grace Mugabe's alleged "fake" degree.

In a letter delivered to UZ on Wednesday, the Zimbabwe National students' Union (Zinasu), threatened "intensified protests" to force Nyagura to step down if their call was not heeded.

"It is our considered view that your continued stay at the helm of the institution further degrades its already tainted image in the academic field. This is because you presided over the awarding of a bogus doctorate to Grace Mugabe," read part of the letter.

Grace Mugabe

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Zimbabwe elections in '4 to 5' months: president

Harare - Zimbabwe will hold elections in four to five months, the country's new president has said, pointing to an earlier date than expected following the ousting of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa took office in November after a shock military takeover ended Mugabe's 37-year reign.

"Zimbabwe is going for elections in four to five months' time and we have to preach peace, peace and peace," Mnangagwa said Wednesday during a visit to neighbouring Mozambique.

Mnangagwa, 75, vowed to hold fair elections to ensure Zimbabwe "engages the world as a qualified democratic state," according to Thursday's state-owned Herald newspaper.

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'Strengthen existing Mugabe-era bilateral relations with Namibia,' Mnangagwa urged

Windhoek – Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been urged to strengthen the existing Robert Mugabe-era bilateral relations with Namibia, as he visited the country this week, a report says. 

According to Namibia's New Era newspaper, political commentators in the south western African country urged the visiting Zimbabwean government delegation led by Mnangagwa to build on existing bilateral relations between the two countries.

The deputy vice chancellor at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Dr Andrew Niikondo, said that Mnangagwa's visit was an indication of the continued relations between the two countries that dated back to pre-independence.

Emmerson Mnangagwa

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Zambia says new cases dropping in deadly cholera outbreak

Johannesburg - Zambia has struggled to contain one of its deadliest cholera outbreaks in years, sending soldiers into a slum last week to keep order, collaborating with the World Health Organisation on a vaccination program and even declaring a week of prayer.

Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya this week said there has been a "drastic reduction" in the number of new cases in the outbreak which has killed more than 70 people in the southern African nation since October, most of them in the capital, Lusaka. The provision of fresh water, education in waste disposal and personal hygiene and other preventive measures are being taken, the minister said.

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Egypt raises 'extreme concern' about Nile dam with Ethiopia

Cairo - Egypt’s president says he expressed his "extreme concern" over the lack of progress in talks over the construction of a massive Nile dam in Ethiopia during a meeting with that country's visiting prime minister.

Egypt fears the dam, which is about 60% complete, will significantly reduce its vital share of the Nile's waters. Ethiopia has downplayed those fears and said it needs the dam for its own economic development.

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