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Zimbabwe Couple Weds Days After Crocodile Bites Off Bride’s Arm |RN

Farai Mutsaka
In this photo taken on Saturday, May, 5, 2018, Zenele Ndlovu, center, and Jamie Fox hold hands on their wedding day at a hospital Chapel in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe © Associated Press In this photo taken on Saturday, May 5, 2018, Zenele Ndlovu, centre, and Jamie Fox hold hands on their wedding day at a hospital Chapel in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe  
 

(HARARE) — A couple attacked by a crocodile wedded days later in a Zimbabwean hospital, where the bride was recovering after losing an arm.

“In one week we went from shock and agony to a truly amazing experience,” 27-year-old Jamie Fox told The Associated Press Monday.

Fox and his then-fiancée, Zanele Ndlovu, were canoeing on the Zambezi, one of Africa’s longest rivers when a crocodile attacked them on Apr. 30. Zenele lost her right arm and suffered injuries to her left hand. Five days later, they married in a hospital chapel.

“We were glad we still had our lives and managed to keep our wedding date, although we had to do with a much smaller venue. The celebrations went ahead at the original venue but Zenele and I had to remain at the hospital,” Fox said.

a woman standing in a room: In this photo taken on May, 5, 2018, Zenele Ndlovu walks down the aisle on her wedding day at a hospital Chapel in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. © AP Photo In this photo taken on May 5, 2018, Zenele Ndlovu walks down the aisle on her wedding day at a hospital Chapel in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He described the wedding as “incredible.”

Victoria Falls Guide, a travel website, describes canoeing on the Zambezi above the Victoria Falls “the perfect activity for those who not only want to see the abundant bird and animal life but also want to experience the peace, tranquillity and beauty of the Zambezi River.”

For the couple, the experience turned into a terrifying incident.

“I was shouting, trying to save her. She was not complaining of pain when we managed to pull her out of the water, maybe because of the shock. We were hoping the doctors would save her arm but that was not to be,” said Fox, adding that the couple had dated for about 18 months.

In this photo taken on Saturday, May, 5, 2018, Zenele Ndlovu, center, and Jamie Fox hold hands on their wedding day at a hospital Chapel in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

“I proposed in February. We are hoping to settle in the U.K. so we are sorting out her visa and then we will think of the honeymoon,” he said.

Zanele was discharged from the hospital on Monday.  (Time)

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Zimbabwe’s Army General, Coup Leader Named Mnangagwa’s Deputy |RN

Constantine-Chiwenga

Gen. Constantino Chiwenga

Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed as one of his deputies in the ruling party the leader of the military takeover that led to ex-president Robert Mugabe’s overthrow.
Constantino Chiwenga recently retired as army chief, prompting speculation that he would receive a political post.
The appointment is seen as a first step towards becoming vice-president.
Mr Chiwenga retired this week, more than a month after the army intervened in a row over Mr Mugabe’s succession.
The other deputy Zanu-PF leader is Kembo Mohadi, who was state security minister under the former president.
The 15 November takeover came days after Mr Mnangagwa, then deputy president, was fired by Mr Mugabe and left the country.
That move was seen as an attempt to install Mr Mugabe’s wife Grace as his successor instead of Mr Mnangagwa.
But Mr Mnangagwa had strong ties to the military, and following the intervention he was appointed president and inaugurated on 24 November.
Like Mr Mnangagwa, Mr Chiwenga used to be one of Mr Mugabe’s right-hand men, playing a central role in the seizure of white-owned farms and a brutal crackdown on the opposition after elections in 2008.
But he is said to be committed to rescuing Zimbabwe’s economy, which he believes is in such a dire state that it threatens national security.
Mr. Mnangagwa has already appointed two former military men as ministers.
On 30 November former general Sibusiso Moyo, who played a prominent role in the takeover, was made foreign minister and former air force chief Perence Shiri was named minister of agriculture and land affairs.   (The Sun)

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First White Farmer Recovers Land Under Zimbabwe’s New President, Mnangagwa |RN

A white Zimbabwean farmer evicted by gun-wielding police and a mob associated with the ruling party has returned to a hero’s welcome, in a sign that the new president is charting a path away from predecessor Robert Mugabe on an issue that had hastened the country’s international isolation.

With a military escort, Robert Smart made his way into Lesbury farm about 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of the capital, Harare, on Thursday to cheers and song by dozens of workers and community members.

Such scenes were once unthinkable in a country where land ownership is an emotional issue with political and racial overtones.

“We have come to reclaim our farm,” sang black women and men, rushing into the compound.

Two decades ago, their arrival would have meant that Smart and his family would have to leave. Ruling ZANU-PF party supporters, led by veterans of the 1970s war against white minority rule, evicted many of Zimbabwe’s white farmers under an often violent land reform program led by Mugabe.

Whites make up less than 1 percent of the southern African country’s population, but they owned huge tracts of land while blacks remained in largely unproductive areas.

The evictions were meant to address colonial land ownership imbalances skewed against blacks, Mugabe said. Some in the international community responded with outrage and sanctions.

Of the roughly 4,500 white farmers before the land reforms began in 2000, only a few hundred are left.

But Mugabe is gone, resigning last month after the military and ruling party turned against him amid fears that his wife was positioning herself to take power. New President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a longtime Mugabe ally but stung by his firing as vice president, has promised to undo some land reforms as he seeks to revive the once-prosperous economy.

On Thursday, some war veterans and local traditional leaders joined farm workers and villagers in song to welcome Smart’s family home.

“Oh, Darryn,” one woman cried, dashing to embrace Smart’s son.

In a flash, dozens followed her. Some ululated, and others waved triumphant fists in the air.

“I am ecstatic. Words cannot describe the feeling,” Darryn told The Associated Press.

Smart’s return to the farm, facilitated by Mnangagwa’s government, could mark a new turn in the politics of land ownership. During his inauguration last month, Mnangagwa described the land reform as “inevitable,” calling land ownership and management key to economic recovery.

Months before an election scheduled for August 2018 at the latest, the new president is desperate to bring back foreign investors and resolve a severe currency shortage, mass unemployment and dramatic price increases for food and household items.

Zimbabwe is mainly agricultural, with 80 percent of the population depending on it for their livelihoods, according to government figures.

Earlier this month, deputy finance minister Terrence Mukupe traveled to neighboring Zambia to engage former white Zimbabwean farmers who have settled there.

The Commercial Farmers Union, which represents mainly white farmers, said it plans to meet the lands minister.

“I am advising our members to be patient and give it time. But I do see many of them going back into farming,” said Peter Steyl, the union’s vice president. “The government seems serious about getting agriculture on track but how it is going to achieve this, I don’t know.”

The firmness with which the government ensured Smart’s return signaled resolve.

At the farm, a soldier sat quietly in a van that acted as an escort for the family. His services were not needed. The people gathered at the farm share deep social bonds with the family, away from the politics of race and elections.

“I have known this boy since day one,” said 55 year-old Sevilla Madembo. “He was born here. I took care of him when he was young. He is back to take care of me now that I am old.”

She was born at the farm, which also was home to her parents and grandparents.

“We are part of one family. We belong to the Tandi people. That’s why we are going to perform a traditional African ceremony before we start on production,” Darryn said, going through the farmhouse.

Locks to some rooms had been changed by the “new owner,” a cleric with close ties to Mugabe’s family. Other rooms had been ransacked and most property was missing.

Left untouched on the walls were a portrait of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a photo of Zimbabwe’s last colonial leader, Ian Smith, officiating at an agricultural fair.

Peter Tandi, the local chief, led efforts to lobby Mnangagwa’s administration to allow Robert Smart to return to the farm. “He voluntarily gave up his estates to the community when the land reform program started. He continued helping us with technical knowledge, equipment and other inputs,” Tandi said.

“That man supported the guerrillas during the war. … He gave us a place to hide from colonial government soldiers,” said Gift Maramba, a war veteran and local ZANU-PF official.

Smart and his son held back tears while greeting familiar faces. Others were keen to get on with business.

“Hey Darryn, I want us to talk about my beans I stored in your warehouse,” one villager said.

“We can discuss that later, man. Come on, for now let’s just be happy to be with each other again,” Darryn replied.

(Source: AP)

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Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe ‘To Receive £7.5m Plus Salary For Life’ After being Deposed

Rachel Roberts
a group of men riding on the back of Robert Mugabe            © Provided by Independent Print Limited

Deposed Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace are to receive £7.5m as well as immunity from prosecution as part of a reported “golden goodbye” package.

The 93-year-old autocrat, who finally bowed to pressure to resign after 37 years in power, is said to have struck a bargain with the military to allow him and his wife to enjoy their retirement in the lap of luxury in Zimbabwe rather than being forced into exile.

Although ousted by a military takeover, Mr Mugabe will continue to enjoy full military protection as a former head of state as well as his full presidential salary of £112,500 a year until his death, local media reported.

Dubbed “Gucci Grace”, Ms Mugabe is known for her extravagant shopping habits, particularly her love of designer shoes. More than 40 years younger than her husband, she will continue to receive half of his salary after his death.

According to reports, Mr Mugabe negotiated the exit package for himself and his 52-year-old wife through a team of mediators who included a Catholic priest.

An unnamed source told the Zimbabwe Independent: “Government will give him a £3.75m lump sum and then the remainder will be paid out in instalments.

My friend had 'Mugabe fever' – until something terrible happened to him © AP My friend had ‘Mugabe fever’ – until something terrible happened to him  

“Mugabe will also enjoy full medical cover as well as his monthly salary. In the event of his death, his wife will be given half (of his) salary per month.”

Sources claimed that shortly after Mr Mugabe tendered his resignation following the takeover and impeachment proceedings against him, Commander of the Presidential Guard, Brigadier-General Anselem Sanyatwe, called for an emergency Joint Operations Command meeting with uniformed officers.

“We were told that the President had resigned, but that he was granted full immunity. Sanyatwe informed us that Mugabe will continue to enjoy protection as a former head of state,” the unnamed source reportedly told the newspaper.

Mr Mugabe’s 37-year rule, characterised by corruption and oppression, left Zimbabwe with an impoverished population, an unemployment rate of 80 per cent, a virtually worthless currency and crippling debts.

His successor, 75-year-old Emmerson Mnangagwa, a long-time Mugabe ally in the ruling Zanu-PF party, was sworn in on Friday promising a new era, despite widespread fears he will offer more of the same.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe appeares in public in capital Harare© Tafadzwa Ufumeli/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe appeares in public in capital Harare  

He has urged Zimbabweans not to carry out any type of “vengeful retribution” against the former president and praised the “immense contribution” Mugabe had made to the country.

Opposition politicians blasted the deal which will allow the Mugabes to remain in their sprawling mansion, known as the Blue Roof, in Harare, complete with domestic and security staff.

“We are not privy to any deal reached with Mugabe, and if there is any deal on money or anything else it is unconstitutional,” said Douglas Mwonzora, secretary general of the Movement for Democratic Change, the main opposition party.

“In terms of the constitution, Mugabe is a retired president and does not have immunity to criminal or civil wrongdoing committed while in office. In Zanu-PF, they can grant each other immunity, but the law does not authorise that.”

Ms Mugabe, her husband’s former secretary who married him and became First Lady in 1996, recently spent millions of dollars buying property and luxury cars in her native South Africa.

Although there remains a certain level of respect for Mr Mugabe among some people in Zimbabwe, particularly for the contribution he made to the country’s wars of liberation in the 1960s and 1970s, there is widespread disgust for his wife and their children due to their lavish spending.

The couple’s son, 25-year-old Bellarmine Chatunga, recently posted a clip on social media taken in a Johannesburg nightclub showing him pouring a £200 bottle of champagne over a £45,000 watch, bragging that “daddy runs the whole country”.

Ms Mugabe’s ambitions to succeed her husband as President finally led to his undoing, triggering the military overthrow after the First Lady and those around her orchestrated the firing of Mr Mnangagwa as Vice President.

At his swearing-in ceremony, Mr Mnangagwa vowed to hold “free and fair” elections by next August, telling the cheering crowds: “The people’s voice will be heard.”                   (The Independent)

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Former Mugabe’s Finance Minister Cries For Intervention Over Corruption Charges

Former Mugabe’s finance minister cries for intervention over corruption charges: ‘I was handcuffed, blindfolded by masked men in army uniforms,’

Zimbabwe-finance-minister2 (2)

It appears those who aided former president Robert Mugabe to plunder the country’s resources were not spared from the purge. Zimbabwe’s finance minister says masked men in military uniforms burst into his home and pointed assault rifles at him and his wife as the military moved in against former President Robert Mugabe.

Ignatius Chombo is in court to face corruption charges that some observers believe are politically motivated after Mugabe’s resignation.

Zimbabwe-Finance-minister

Ex-minister Chombo says he was handcuffed and blindfolded in the early-morning November 15 raid and driven to an unidentified location, where for days interrogators told him he had performed badly as a government official.

Zimbabwe-finance-minister1

He says he was then handed over to police for arrest.

 According  to Chombo also is questioning the corruption allegations, saying some date back two decades. “I found it a little bit odd that it would come up now,”.
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Former VP, Mnangagwa Takes Power In Zimbabwe |The Republican News

Emerson-Mnangagwa-sworn-in

Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has addressed the people of the country who throng the stadium in Harare, vowing to serve all citizens.
He said he felt “deeply humbled” to take the role and not oblivious to the many Zimbabweans from across the political and racial divide who have helped make this day.”
He paid tribute to his predecessor Robert Mugabe – to muted applause – calling him “a father, mentor, comrade-in-arms and my leader”.
Mr Mugabe left office dramatically this week after 37 years of authoritarian rule. His departure followed a power struggle in which Mr Mnangagwa was sacked as vice president to pave the way for Grace Mugabe, the then-first lady, to take up the presidency.
Mr Mnangagwa fled the country but returned to a hero’s welcome and on Friday struck a conciliatory tone.
“The task at hand is that of rebuilding our country,” he said.
“I am required to serve our country as the president of all citizens regardless of colour, creed, religion, tribe, totem or political affiliation.”
Although Mr Mnangagwa has unseated Zimbabwe’s long-time ruler, he is still associated by many with some of the worst atrocities committed under the ruling Zanu-PF party since the country gained independence in 1980.
Emmerson Mnangagwa in numbers
He was the country’s spymaster during the 1980s civil conflict, in which thousands of civilians were killed. But he has denied any role in the massacres, blaming the army.
How has the inauguration unfolded?
Tens of thousands of people packed the National Sports Stadium in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, to witness the inauguration. Pop singer Jah Prayzer provided the entertainment and, as people in the crowd danced, the atmosphere was closer to that of a concert.
Dignitaries, including leaders from various African countries, filed in to cheers.
Opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Joice Mujuru – who both had their sights on the presidency at various times – were there.
Mr Mnangagwa was led in the oath of office by Chief Justice Luke Malaba, saying he would “be faithful to Zimbabwe”, “protect and promote the rights and people of Zimbabwe” and discharge his duties to the best of his abilities.
Mr Mnangagwa was accompanied by his wife Auxilia and gave her a kiss after the green presidential sash was placed around his neck.
Was Mr Mugabe there?
No – and the official reason given was that at 93, the former president needed to rest.
But the fact he is not attending is a reminder that this is no ordinary transition, the BBC’s Andrew Harding reports, and that despite Mr Mugabe’s official resignation he was forced out by the military.
On Thursday, several reports suggested Mr Mugabe had been granted immunity from prosecution.

(Source: BBC)

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Mugabe Pens Down Strong Words For The People Of Zimbabwe: You Will Appreciate Me When I’m Gone

Robert-Mugabe (2)

Former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe

My fellow Zimbabweans, I am writing this letter and hope that all of you will read it and share it.
My days on this earth are numbered, But I know that once I am gone, you and your children will never forget about me.
I want you to understand that the reason I have stayed long in power, 36 years on, Is because I want to empower all of you my fellow black Zimbabweans, No other president in the entire continent of Africa has done what I have done for you, But you continue to take me for granted.
Do you know that in the whole of Africa, Zimbabweans are the only blacks who own their land? We are the only blacks who own and run means of production, We own our own companies and our own land, that is the true meaning of independence. Political and economic independence. I have fought tooth and nail my entire political life to ensure that all of you have both political and economic independence, I don’t hate white people, no, not at all. What I hate is their thinking that they are better than us, that they can just come to our country and take our resources and our land, And tell us what to do, To that I say no, Today, I am happy that almost all the land is in black hands.
It’s up to you to use the education I gave you to develop the land so it is productive so you can feed yourself, One thing I am proud of is that I worked hard to ensure our natural resources and our land was given back to its rightful owners: You the black people of Zimbabwe.
Go to other countries in Africa, Right here just across Limpopo, In South Africa, Mandela sold out and gave all the land and economy to the whites, The blacks in South Africa will be slaves to white South Africans forever, As long as land is not in the hands of its rightful owners, The Africans, the black man will continue to suffer in his own land.
The real wealth is now in your hands, I wrestled it away from the white people who came to steal it from you, Yes, the world was angry at me and punished the whole country with sanctions, But I don’t care because I know I was doing the right thing, I was empowering my people, you should take care of the land and the industries I have given you.

I did my part, the ball is now in your court, do your part, you will remember me and appreciate me for what I have done for you when I am gone….

Your president and leader of Africa for Africans

Robert Gabriel Mugabe

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Inside Robert Mugabe’s Lavish ‘Blue Roof’ Mansion He Shares With Wife Grace |RN

Jamie Bullen
                       © AP

This is the lavish mansion owned by Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace while millions of desperate Zimbabweans face starvation.

Photographs of the plush palace, dubbed ‘Blue Roof’, show the 93-year-old tyrant immerses himself in luxury, far away from the pain and suffering felt by ordinary people in the cash-strapped nation.

a large white building with grass in front of a house              © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

The 25-bedroom house, valued at $10 million (£7.5m) in Harare is based in 44-acre grounds fenced off from the public and protected by a multi-million pound security system, The Zimbabwean reported.

Images show the extravagant property decked with marble floors, expensive chandeliers and a swimming pool.

a large pool of water             © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited  

The pictures were released as evidence Mugabe and his wife lavished millions of themselves while leaving millions to suffer.

They emerged as Mugabe desperately clings onto power after he was sacked as leader of the country’s ruling Zanu-PF party, having driven Zimbabwe to economic collapse.

a large stone building            © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited  

Yesterday, party chiefs dumped the man who has led the African nation for the past 37 years and replaced him with his former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa – who Mugabe himself sacked two weeks ago.

It was that decision then which sparked fears among army chiefs that Mugabe was trying to pave the way for his younger wife Grace to seize control of power after he died.

a living room filled with furniture and vase        © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited  

The ruling party later announced he MUST resign as president by midday today (10am UK time) or face impeachment.

So far, Mugabe has ignored the ultimatum.

a kitchen with a sink and a mirror              © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

The decision to dump Mugabe means the former state security chief Mnangagwa – known as “The Crocodile” – is now in line to head an interim post-Mugabe unity government that will focus on rebuilding ties with the outside world and stabilising an economy in freefall.

There were scenes of celebration – with singing and dancing – inside the chamber of the Zanu-PF headquarters after the decision to sack Mugabe.

a group of people in a room              © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited  

”He has been expelled,” one of delegates told Reuters. ”Mnangagwa is our new leader.”

However, the news does NOT mean that he has lost the Presidency – yet.

Officially he is still in power – although many have questioned whether that is in reality true after reports earlier this week that he was effectively under house arrest – but it’s a defining moment.

a group of people in a room                © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

It is the first step in the process of removing Mugabe as President.

The party also sacked Grace Mugabe – expelling her for life – along with Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Ignatius Chombo and Patrick Zhuwao who were seized in what many international observers view as a coup earlier this week.

Zimbabwe’s ruling party had been widely expected to dismiss Mugabe as its leader today to force him to call an end to his 37 years in power peacefully following the coup, the head of the liberation war veterans said.

a bedroom with a bed and a chair in a room                   © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

Earlier, speaking to Reuters as he walked into an extraordinary meeting of ZANU-PF’s central committee, Chris Mutsvangwa said Mugabe was running out of time to negotiate his departure and should leave the country while he could.

“We are going all the way,” Mutsvangwa said. “He’s trying to bargain for a dignified exit.”

It met earlier today – amid unconfirmed reports that the embattled 93-year-old leader has gone on hunger strike in protest at the de facto military coup earlier this week – and sacked the man who has led them for the last 37 years.

To add insult to injury, they then appointed as their new leader the man Mugabe had sacked himself two weeks ago, his former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

It was that decision then which sparked fears among army chiefs that Mugabe was trying to pave the way for his younger wife Grace to seize control of power after he died.

The ruling party later announced he MUST resign as president by midday tomorrow (10am UK time) or face impeachment.

The decision to dump Mugabe means the former state security chief Mnangagwa – known as “The Crocodile” – is now in line to head an interim post-Mugabe unity government that will focus on rebuilding ties with the outside world and stabilising an economy in freefall.

There were scenes of celebration – with singing and dancing – inside the chamber of the Zanu-PF headquarters after the decision to sack Mugabe.

”He has been expelled,” one of delegates told Reuters. ”Mnangagwa is our new leader.”

 However, the news does NOT mean that he has lost the Presidency – yet.

But he is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power pauperised one of Africa’s most promising states.

 

Once a regional breadbasket, Zimbabwe saw its economy collapse after the seizure of white-owned farms in the early 2000s, followed by runaway money-printing that catapulted inflation to 500 billion percent in 2008.

a group of people in a room

(Source: Mirror)

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Robert Mugabe Has Agreed To Resign, Drafts His Resignation Letter – CNN Says

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has agreed to stand down and his resignation letter has been drafted, CNN said on Monday, citing a source familiar with his negotiations with the generals who seized power in Harare last week.
Under the terms of the deal, Mugabe and his wife Grace would be granted full immunity, CNN said. Two senior government sources told Reuters late on Sunday that Mugabe had agreed to resign but did not know details of his departure.

(Source: Reuters)

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Zimbabwe Calm As Regional Leaders Hold Talks With Mugabe, Military |RN

-AU urges restoration of constitutional order

-Opposition groups call on President to resign

Zimbabwe was calm yesterday even as it faces uncertainty amid quiet talks to resolve the political crisis and the likely end of President Robert Mugabe’s decades-long rule.

Envoys from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are trying to reach a deal on the future of Zimbabwe and Mugabe who has led the country for 37 years. SADC officials converged on Botswana for a meeting chaired by South Africa and Angola. Their recommendations will be given to heads of state and government.

Reports said SADC, ministers were already in Harare meeting with Mugabe and the army separately.

Mugabe has been in military custody, reportedly with his wife, and there was no sign of the recently fired deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled the country last week, Associated Press reported. The military remained in the streets of Harare.

Witnesses confirmed a sighting of Mugabe’s motorcade moving through the capital, Harare, its destination unknown. They said a helicopter was hovering at the same time the motorcade was sighted. It was not immediately clear where the motorcade was going.

African Union leader Alpha Conde, said: “The African Union expresses its serious concern regarding the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe.” He went on to insist that “constitutional order… be restored immediately” and called “on all stakeholders to show responsibility and restraint”.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for calm, non-violence and restraint after gunfire and explosions were heard near Mugabe’s compound.

Seizing on the political limbo to speak out, a range of voices yesterday urged Mugabe to step aside and for the country to transition into free and fair elections. Reports said sources suggest Mugabe may be resisting pressure to step down, insisting he remains the legitimate president.

Sticking points are said to include what role Mnangagwa will play and the security of Mugabe’s family.

ZANU-PF’s United Kingdom representative, Nick Mangwana, has suggested to the BBC that Mugabe could remain nominally in power until the party congress in December, when Mnangagwa would be formally installed as party and national leader.

Head of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and the main opposition leader in Zimbabwe, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai said yesterday: “In the interests of the people, Mr Robert Mugabe must resign… immediately”.

Tsvangirai, who has been abroad receiving treatment for cancer, also called for a “negotiated all-inclusive transitional mechanism” that would lead to “comprehensive reforms for free and fair elections to be held”.

This has been echoed by another Zimbabwean opposition leader, Tendai Biti, who told the BBC: “It is urgent that we go back to democracy… that we go back to legitimacy but we need a transitional period and I think, I hope, that dialogue can now be opened between the army and Zimbabweans.”

The People’s Democratic Party said in a statement yesterday that the transitional authority should be “made up of competent Zimbabweans whose mandate will be to put in place measures to turn around the economy” and build a better society for all.

Zimbabwean vice president who was fired in 2014, Joice Mujuru, called for “free, fair and credible elections.” She told reporters she was heartened by assurances given so far that condemn violence and encourage peace. She said she has not been contacted by the military or Mnangagwa’s people.

More than 100 civil society groups have issued a statement urging Mugabe to peacefully step aside and asked the military to quickly restore order and respect the constitution. A joint statement by churches also appealed for calm. The Zimbabwean pastor whose social media campaign led to the largest anti-government protests in a decade called on citizens to “stand up for peace.”

Evan Mawarire, who founded the #ThisFlag movement, asked: “Should we just sit and wait or shall we at least be part of this transition process?” He urged that citizens not wait for regional leaders to broker the next phase. Members of the opposition, civil society and religious groups called for calm and respect for rights.  (The Sun)

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