More than a decade after Zimbabwe’s government began seizing sprawling white-owned commercial farms, a new fight is brewing here over who will profit from the nation’s vast bounty of platinum, chromium, nickel and diamonds.

more, from the New York Times, here. and then a critique of the piece from Africa Is A Country, here.


art: Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe ® and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (L) attend the Zimbabwe international investment conference in Harare. July 9, 2009. Photo by Philimon Bulawayo

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ZIMBABWE: President Robert Mugabe Health Causes Insecurity

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Emmerson Mnangagwa, a powerful former security chief and for decades one of Mugabe’s closest aides, stands in line to succeed Mugabe in the event of his death.

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President Mugabe Is Not Dead - Zimbabwean Government

President Mugabe Is Not Dead – Zimbabwean Government

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Yesterday, there were death rumours surrounding Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe after news spread rapidly about his alleged ill health.

Under the headline “President well, fine”, the state-run Herald newspaper said stories about Mugabe’s health emerged each year when he took his annual leave outside the country.

“You cannot doubt that there will be a story on the President’s alleged death every…

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The Kenyans who attacked Robert Mugabe on Twitter

The Kenyans who attacked Robert Mugabe on Twitter

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Don’t believe everything you read on social media – especially in the recent Kenyan tirades against Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

International Twitter wars (“Twars”) have become something of a sport among African countries in recent years – with Kenyans often the most vociferous participants. But this time they seem to have called it wrong.
On Wednesday, a Kenyan news outlet, The…

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Zimbabwe urged to guarantee safety of journalists
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Global media watchdog, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, on Friday urged Zimbabwe to guarantee the safety of journalists after a reporter was beaten up and detained by police. Tapiwa Zivira, a journalist with the privately-owned NewsDay newspaper was attacked days after President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace accused reporters at independent newspapers of writing lies about her. NewsDay said that during the assault police referred to Grace Mugabe’s accusations. “Public figures should have a high tolerance for criticism and should never disparage independent journalists for doing their work,” Sue Valentine, the CPJ’s co-ordinator for Africa, said in a statement.
Source: AFP
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ZIMBABWE: Battle To Replace President Mugabe Gets Ugly

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“While this ugly war has raged for months in other provinces, it has now come home (to the Midlands).

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Exiles blame Mugabe for mis-leading statements

Exiles blame Mugabe for mis-leading statements

By Edgar Gweshe | The Zimbabwean |

Exiled Zimbabweans have blasted President Robert Mugabe for trying to cover up for his misrule that has forced millions of people to leave the country for political and economic reasons.

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President Robert Mugabe

Mugabe recently blamed Zimbabweans living in South Africa for criminal behaviour. His statement drew the ire of opposition parties and other critics who…

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ZIMBABWE: 300,000 Beneficiaries Of Mugabe’s Land Reforms To Pay Tax

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Mugabe new rules stipulate that “resettled farmers with permits and 99-year leases… shall be expected to pay rent and a development levy,”

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Mugabe signs Zimbabwe constitution, paving way for vote

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe signed a new constitution into law on Wednesday, replacing a 33-year-old document forged in the dying days of British colonial rule and paving the way for an election later this year.

Approved overwhelmingly in a referendum in March, the constitution clips the powers of the president and imposes a two-term limit. However, it does not apply retroactively so the 89-year-old Mugabe technically could extend his three decades in office by another 10 years.

A beaming Mugabe, flanked by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, his main political rival, and Deputy President Joice Mujuru signed multiple copies of the charter at State House in the capital to cheers and applause from aides.

The constitution was rewritten under terms of a power-sharing deal between Mugabe and Tsvangirai after elections in 2008 marred by violence.

The five-year coalition government formed under the same agreement expires on June 29, and parliamentary and presidential elections should follow within 90 days of that date.

However, many obstacles remain, not least finding the estimated $130 million needed to pay for the election and reaching agreement on outside monitors.

Harare has turned down offers of United Nations or donor assistance and Mugabe accused some in the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC), which has been mediating in the crisis, of trying to impose their will.

“We rejected this,” he told reporters after the signing ceremony, adding that any vote would be fair. “We will ensure that there won’t be any violence, that there won’t be any rigging.”

Mugabe made no mention of an election date but Tsvangirai later told reporters it would be later rather than sooner because of the need to amend electoral laws and allow the 30-day registration period for new voters mandated in the constitution.

State media said on Wednesday that Mugabe was pressing for a vote before July although his rivals wanted it delayed to allow for the opening up of broadcast media, registration of new voters and reform of the military to ensure it stays out of politics.

Zimbabwean President, Condemned by West, Is Selected for Chinese Peace Prize

Zimbabwean President, Condemned by West, Is Selected for Chinese Peace Prize

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BEIJING — President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has crushed political opponents in his country, and democratic challengers and their supporters have faced intimidation, jail and worse.

Mr. Mugabe, whose ZANU-PF party controls the levers of power, has presided over economic policies that have resulted in rampant inflation and poverty. Widely condemned by Western governments, he is considered one of…

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EU renews sanctions on Zimbabwe, Mugabe

EU renews sanctions on Zimbabwe, Mugabe

The European Union renewed for another year its sanctions against Zimbabwe, including a travel ban and asset freeze on President Robert Mugabe and his wife, according to a notice on Friday in the EU’s Official Journal.

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File Picture of President Mugabe and his wife Grace (REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo (ZIMBABWE)

“The restrictive measures should be renewed until 20 February 2016,” the notice read. “The…

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ZIMBABWE: Robert Mugabe ‘A Lion Of Africa’ - Bruce Wharton

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Bruce Wharton outgoing US Ambassador: “Robert Mugabe is a lion of Africa. He has dedicated his life to create a free and independent Zimbabwe.”

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Zimbabwe: Principals Approve Draft Constitution

The principals in the unity government have announced they have reached agreement on the draft of the constitution presented to them by the cabinet committee on Thursday, paving the way for some progress towards a referendum.

Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and MDC President Welshman Ncube all addressed journalists after meeting with the full COPAC management committee.

The cabinet appointed committee had met twice on Wednesday and ironed out the remaining contentious issues. The resulting solutions were presented to the principals in Thursday’s meeting and they agreed to adopt the new version.

“We are glad to say that we have now come to the conclusion of the exercise and all parties are agreed. Sure there will be some T’s to cross and I’s to dot but we are generally agreed and the finalization of the draft has now been made,” Mugabe told reporters.

He added that after the finalisation of the actual draft constitution the principals would announce the way forward, including a date for the referendum and a roadmap for elections.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said: “We have reached a defining moment for the country. I am sure that the people’s patience has been tested severely, that they have legitimate expectations out of this process. I am glad to say this concludes a long journey that we have travelled to arrive at this national process.”

But according to Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, this draft agreed to by the principals still has to be presented to the standing committees of the political parties, ZANU PF’s politburo and to the full COPAC parliamentary committee, before a final draft goes to a referendum.

Matinenga insists this is just a formality, but there remain concerns that ZANU PF will once again seize the opportunity and throw a spanners into the works and demand further changes, as they did last year after agreement had been reached by the negotiators.

Political commentator Wilbert Mukori said ZANU PF will most likely cause further delays, in order to minimize the amount of time left for other more important reforms that were agreed to in the GPA.

Mukori said this agreement by the principals weakens SADC’s position, because the regional grouping can now be accused of blocking progress by the unity government if they interfere with this process and demand more GPA reforms.

Moron Of The Week” Inductee Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe: Gay Marriage Will Lead To Extinction

The Huffington Post reports:

Zimbabwe’s president said Thursday that homosexuality doesn’t belong in Zimbabwe and it violates women’s rights by denying the union of men and women needed to bear children.
Robert Mugabe, 88, speaking at a women’s HIV/Aids and gender rights conference in Harare, said the “gay world” goes against nature.
After earlier remarks by UN human rights chief Navi Pillay referring to the criminalization of homosexuality in some countries, Mugabe said Zimbabwe and Africa won’t recognize same-sex marriage because it leads to human “extinction.”
He said male homosexuality took away women’s traditional rights of being mothers.
Homosexuality is illegal in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe, who has repeatedly described same-sex partners as “lower than dogs and pigs,” has vowed not to allow gay rights to be included in a new constitution being drafted.
“Mothers were given the talent to bear children. That talent doesn’t belong to men,” he said.
“When God created Adam … if Adam had desired a person like him it would not have made him any happier,” Mugabe said.
“When a man says he wants to get married to another man, we in Zimbabwe don’t accept it. We can’t talk of women’s rights at all if we go in that direction. It will lead to extinction,” he said.
On demands for women’s equality, Mugabe said he doubted women will get equal representation as lawmakers in Zimbabwe.
“Our customs look down on women as inferior. Men pay cattle and money to get a wife and expect women to obey them. Women will surely lose. Men say that women are not as knowledgeable as us. The attitude of men still despises women,” he said.
Pillay told Thursday’s GlobalPower Women Network Africa meeting on women’s rights that decisive leadership was needed to craft fair laws and policies on property rights for widows, early marriages, sexual violence, marital rape, homosexuality and commercial sex work.
She arrived Sunday to assess human rights in Zimbabwe. It is the first visit of a UN human rights chief to the troubled southern African nation.
Thursday’s women’s rights meeting coincided with the release of Amnesty International’s annual global rights report.
The report cited one of its concerns over the past year as “worsening discrimination in Africa over people’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
It said in October that two allegedly gay men were arrested in Harare after being assaulted by Zimbabwean mobs. Mugabe’s party militants then repeatedly threatened violence against the men’s lawyers when a court cleared them of engaging in homosexuality.
Amnesty also said Thursday that police in Zimbabwe have continued to harass, intimidate and assault perceived opponents of Mugabe’s ZANU PF party.
It said in the past year “security elements” had arrested senior politicians aligned to the former opposition in the nation’s three-year coalition government and disrupted their political activities.
Human rights defenders were also arrested, detained and tortured, Amnesty said.
Mugabe’s party has denied the existence of state-sponsored political violence in meetings with Pillay.
She ends her weeklong visit Friday.

"Mugabe Must Go" demo in Zambia (Video)

“Mugabe Must Go” demo in Zambia (Video)

LUSAKA – President Robert Mugabe came face to face with how Zambians feel about his continued 35-year-long stay in power. Huge crowds of Zambians chanted “MUGABE MUST GO” at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the capital Lusaka.

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President Robert Mugabe

Mugabe is in Lusaka to attend the inauguration of Zambia’s new president on Saturday following elections held this week. Strangely Mugabe left for Zambia…

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ZIMBABWE: President Mugabe Rewards Top Army Officers

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The promotions are widely seen as a thank you gesture by Mugabe who was rescued by the military after losing the first round of the 2008 presidential election to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

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