Africa top stories: Zimbabwe, Gabon, DRC


Mugabe owns at least 14 farms, Zim opposition claims

Harare – Zimbabwe's opposition, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) has reportedly accused President Robert Mugabe of owning more than 14 farms, in a development seen as contravening the country's constitution on land.

According to New Zimbabwe, the PDP, which is led by former finance minister Tendai Biti, said that Mugabe owned vast tracks of land, which included his dairy farm Gushungo Dairies, Gushungo Estate as well as Mazowe Iron Mask estate.

PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume claimed that Mugabe had failed to reign in on corruption because he was also deeply involved in unfair distribution of resources.

He said that this was a direct contravention of Section 293 subsection 2 of the country's constitution, which stated that: "the state may not alienate more than one piece of agricultural land to the same person and his or her dependents."


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'The people of Zimbabwe are not fools': Ex-fin min slams allegations against protest judge

 Harare - A high court judge who overturned a police ban on demonstrations earlier this month has now been accused of demanding a bribe, state media reported on Friday.

Opposition Movement for Democratic Change secretary general Douglas Mwonzora said on Twitter that Priscilla Chigumba was being "victimised for the progressive judgement allowing demonstrations".

Chigumba ruled on September 7 that the police ban on anti-government street demonstrations in central Harare was unconstitutional in what was widely welcomed as a victory for human rights activist and opponents of President Robert Mugabe.

But according to the state-controlled Herald newspaper on Friday, Chigumba was accused of soliciting a $20 000-bribe from a man who was party to a separate court case she presided over recently.

Court gavel

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World Bank responds to Zim activist Dzamara's petition

Harare – The World Bank country director for Zimbabwe, Guang Zhe Chen, has responded to a recent petition by Zimbabwean activist Patson Dzamara, calling on the international lending institution not to resume support for the southern African country. 

According to The Southern Daily, the outspoken political activist delivered an "epic, touching, heartfelt" petition to the global financial institution this month.

Dzamara's petition followed reports that the World Bank was considering giving the southern African country a line of credit to pull it out of its economic crisis. 

Dzamara, however, urged the World Bank not to lend money to Mugabe's government.


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ICC prosecutor opens initial probe into Gabon unrest

The Hague - The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said on Thursday she was opening an initial probe into the deadly unrest in Gabon triggered by disputed elections.

The news came only days after President Ali Bongo, re-elected by a wafer-thin margin in the August 27 vote over his rival Jean Ping, vowed to form "an inclusive government" for the oil-rich central African country.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Libreville had referred the violence to her office on September 21, asking it "to open an investigation without delay".

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US orders families of govt personnel to leave DRC

Washington - The United States on Thursday ordered families of government personnel stationed in the Democratic Republic of Congo to leave amid fears about escalating violence, the State Department said.

"The potential for civil unrest is high in parts of Kinshasa and other major cities," it said, referring to the country's capital in a travel warning.

"As a result of the deteriorating security situation, family members of US government personnel have been ordered to leave the country beginning September 29. Most official US government travel to the DRC has been halted."

It noted that violent clashes this month between security forces and opposition protesters over the electoral process had resulted in deaths and the destruction of property.


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