Top Africa stories: Zim activist, Ali Bongo, Somalia


'They tried to crush her spirit': Anti-Mugabe activist ordered freed after 82 days in custody

Harare - Critics of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe have been celebrating a court order for the release of an anti-government activist who has been in custody for nearly 12 weeks.

But there are loud questions as to why mother-of-five Linda Masarira of the Tajamuka [We are Agitated] protest movement was kept inside a maximum security prison for so long.

 She was arrested on July 6 in Harare. Lawyers have been trying to get her freed ever since. 

Masarira has not been tried or convicted of a crime. But her case has been complicated by a warrant of arrest issued against her in the eastern city of Mutare on June 6, when she did not turn up for a court hearing on a different matter. 

She says she was in hospital on that day receiving treatment for a dislocated finger sustained during a police beating. 

She's been seen in court recently with bandages on her hand.

Zimbabwe protests

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Somalia delays elections one more month

Mogadishu - Troubled Somalia on Monday announced it was delaying its elections for one more month to October and November due to security issues and administrative problems.

Somalia's internationally-backed government was supposed to hold national elections this year but instead scheduled a limited franchise election in which ordinary citizens do not participate.

Somalia flag

The vote had been scheduled to be held in August, but the UN-sponsored election team delayed the presidential vote to October 30, following parliamentary elections from late September to October 10.

But Monday a statement from the Somalia Federal Indirect Electoral Team (FIET) announced a further delay, pushing the parliamentary election to between October 23 and November 10, with the president elected no later than November 30.

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Ethiopian woman executed over murder of Saudi Arabia child

Addis Ababa - An Ethiopian woman was executed in Saudi Arabia on Monday after she was convicted of killing a Saudi child.

According to a report by Arab News, the Saudi Ministry of Interior confirmed the death of Zamzam Abdullah Boric, after a "guilty" verdict was upheld by courts in the country.

Boric was accused of slashing her victim's throat before leaving her in a bathroom to bleed to death.

Although Boric's age and occupation were not yet disclosed, it was  believed that she worked in the Kingdom as a domestic worker.

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Ali Bongo sworn in as Gabon president after disputed win

Libreville - Ali Bongo was sworn on Tuesday as Gabon's president after the country's top court controversially validated his fiercely contested election win, taking his family's reign over the oil-rich country into a fifth decade.

"I pledge to devote all my efforts for the good of the Gabonese people and to ensure their well-being... and respect and defend the constitution and the rule of law," the 57-year-old said.

Cannons were fired during the ceremony in the seafront presidential palace in Libreville, as fears of fresh violence resurfaced.

Ali Bongo

President Ali Bongo

The event was attended by a handful of African leaders including the presidents of Mali, Niger, Togo and Sao Tome - as well as the prime ministers of Chad, Senegal, the Central African Republic and Morocco - but most regional and continental heavyweights stayed away.

Government spokesperson Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze said Bongo wanted to install "a unity government by this week or the start of next week".

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