Top Africa stories: Grace Mugabe, MDC, Madagascar

Zim govt 'withdraws Grace Mugabe's state security' – report

Harare – The Zimbabwean government has reportedly withdrawn ex-first lady Grace Mugabe's state security detail, with most aides formally assigned to her being "recalled and reassigned".

According to NewsDay, Grace used to have security agents specifically assigned to her before she was kicked out of the ruling Zanu-PF party where she was the leader of the women's league.

The report said that Grace’s security agents were "withdrawn progressively until Monday".  

"She no longer has a team that is dedicated to her," a source was quoted as saying.

Grace Mugabe

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EXCLUSIVE: Chamisa says MDC-T still firmly behind ill Tsvangirai

 

Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) deputy president and Morgan Tsvangirai's long time ally says the party remains behind the veteran politician, but if he steps down they are capable of leading it.

The MDC-T Deputy President Nelson Chamisa, told News24 on Wednesday that Tsvangirai remained the party's "best way forward" but if he was to retire they would be ready to take over from the veteran politician. 

Chamisa said he had worked with Tsvangirai for 18 years, and had learned a lot from him. 
“Tsvangirai remains the icon of the party; he is our mentor and is the face of the party in the coming polls. The party has given him enough time to recuperate and take the party to its glory. But if he steps down, we're ready to lead," said Chamisa. 

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WATCH: 'I left Zimbabwe with the help of angels', former Grace Mugabe ally tells BBC

Harare - Grace Mugabe ally and former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo says he and his family escaped an attack by soldiers as they sheltered at the home of a colleague on the night of the military takeover in Zimbabwe.

Speaking in an interview with the BBC's Hardtalk programme, Moyo denied earlier reports that he took shelter, together with cabinet colleague Saviour Kasukuwere, at the home of former president Robert Mugabe.

"There were 11 of us at (Kasukuwere's) residence when the residence was attacked," Moyo said. 

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Mnangagwa is 'afraid of elections', claims Grace Mugabe ally

Harare - Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe was ousted by a "military coup" that forced his resignation, former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo said in an interview with the BBC broadcast on Thursday.

Moyo, a former higher education minister under the last president and an ardent Mugabe loyalist, said Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa stole power and was leading an "illegal regime".

"Mnangagwa and (Vice President Constantino) Chiwenga, they know only too well that they have come into power via the bullet and not the ballot," Moyo, who is in self-imposed exile, told the BBC's Hard Talk programme.

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Death toll in Madagascar cyclone rises to 33 as 22 missing

Johannesburg - The UN humanitarian agency says the death toll from a cyclone in Madagascar has reached 33.

A statement on Wednesday cites Malagasy authorities and says another 22 people remain missing.

Tropical Cyclone Ava struck the Indian Ocean island over the weekend, causing the evacuation of more than 24 000 people.

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Third night of unrest in Tunisia as hundreds arrested

Tunis - A third night of unrest has shaken parts of Tunisia where authorities said Thursday the number of arrests has risen above 500 as anger grows over austerity measures.

Police arrested 328 people on Wednesday for theft, looting, arson and blocking roads, the interior ministry said, after arresting 237 the previous day.

Ministry spokesman Khalifa Chibani however said the "violence" was less intense than in previous days.

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