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Zimbabwe Election: Businesses Shut, Army Patrols ‘Ghost Town’ Harare As Nation Awaits For Results

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Businesses have shut in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, as the nation awaits results from the heavily disputed presidential election.
Armed soldiers and police are on patrol, ordering people to “behave”. Three people were killed in the city on Wednesday in clashes between the security forces and supporters of opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.
He says Monday’s polls were being rigged to give President Emmerson Mnangagwa victory.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) said there was “absolutely no skulduggery”, and it would begin releasing presidential results. Mr Chamisa insists he has won, and has called on his supporters to await “mass celebrations”.
The elections were the first since long-time ruler Robert Mugabe, 94, was ousted in November.
The polls were intended to set Zimbabwe on a new path following Mr Mugabe’s repressive rule.
However, Mr Chamisa’s MDC Alliance has accused the military of using excessive force to quell Wednesday’s protests.
Mr Mnangagwa said the government was in talks with Mr Chamisa to defuse the crisis and proposed an independent investigation to bring those who were behind the violence to justice. “This land is home to all of us, and we will sink or swim together,” Mr Mnangagwa said in a series of tweets.
No violence was reported on Thursday. A truckload of armed policemen and soldiers were driving around the city shouting, “Behave yourself, people of Zimbabwe.”
A BBC reporter in Harare says the city centre is like a “ghost town”.
Riot police also surrounded the headquarters of the MDC Alliance.
Zanu-PF, in power since the country gained its independence 38 years ago, has won a two-thirds parliamentary majority – and denies allegations of rigging.

How have foreign powers responded?
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged Zimbabwe’s politicians to exercise restraint, while UK foreign office minister Harriett Baldwin said she was “deeply concerned” by the violence.
The US embassy in Harare advised its citizens to avoid the city centre, following Wednesday’s unrest.
In a message to Zimbabwe’s politicians, the embassy said there was a “historic opportunity to move the country towards a brighter future”. “Violence cannot be part of that process,” it added.
China, Zimbabwe’s main international ally, said it hoped all sides would put the country’s interests first following a “generally peaceful and orderly” election.

The main candidates Chamisa (L) and Mnangagwa (R)

What happened after the vote?
The day after the election, the MDC Alliance said Mr Chamisa had won the presidential election, pre-empting an official announcement and prompting its supporters to celebrate in some areas of Harare
When Zec announced that Zanu-PF had won the parliamentary vote by a landslide on Wednesday, things turned nasty.
The opposition supporters were are also angered by the delay in announcing the presidential results.
Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said the government would not tolerate such protests.
The opposition “are testing our resolve, and I think they are making a big mistake”, he said.
A spokesman for Mr Chamisa condemned the deployment of soldiers and the subsequent loss of life.
“Soldiers are trained to kill during war. Are civilians enemies of the state?” he asked.
“There is no explanation whatsoever for the brutality that we saw.”Zec said the verification of the presidential election result was “going very well”.
There had been a delay because of the need for party agents to verify the result, it said.
The electoral commission confirmed on Thursday that its website had been hacked, saying it took it down “within 11 minutes” of the attack.
In terms of the law, Zec has until Saturday to announce the result.
A presidential candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to win outright. Otherwise, a run-off election will be held on 8 September.

What are election observers saying?
The European Union and Commonwealth missions criticised the delay in announcing the presidential results.

Which results have been declared?
Zec has announced all parliamentary results. Although Zanu-PF won by a landslide, it gained fewer seats than in the 2013 election.
More than five million people were registered to vote, and there was a turnout of 70%.
This is the first time in 16 years that the government has allowed EU, Commonwealth and US election monitors into the country.
The Commonwealth said parties should use “all available conflict resolution mechanisms” to resolve differences.
“The electoral process is yet to be concluded. The greatest test of leadership is called for now,” its mission said.

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AFRICA FOCUS

Prophet Makes His Sheep Drink JIK In Church As A Sign Of Faith, Six Dead

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Six people have been confirmed dead while four are in critical condition after South African Prophet Rufus Phala allegedly gave them Jik, a household bleach to drink as a sign of faith during a church service.
Recently, the same prophet made his church members drink Dettol, claiming the antiseptic liquid will heal their sickness.


According to Daily Sun SA, Prophet Rufus had told the congregation to drink the disinfectant, promising they would be healed of their sickness.
“I know Dettol is harmful, but God instructed me to use it. I was the first one to drink it,” he claimed, adding that he had been getting WhatsApp messages from people who said they had been healed.

Police are investigating the incident.

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Magufuli Tells Women To Give Up On Contraceptives

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Tanzanian president John Pombe Magufuli has urged Tanzanian women to “give up contraceptive methods” insisting his country needs more people.

According to The Citizen daily newspaper, Magufuli said, “You have cattle. You are big farmers. You can feed your children. Why then resort to birth control? This is my opinion, I see no reason to control births in Tanzania.”

“I have travelled to Europe and elsewhere and have seen the harmful effects of birth control. Some countries are now facing declining population growth. They are short of manpower.”

Magufuli urged Tanzanians to ignore bad advice disseminated by outsiders saying: “It is important to reproduce.”

“Women can now give up contraceptive methods,” he added.

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Uhuru Off  To The US Ahead Of His Meeting With Trump.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta departs from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

 

 

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has left for Washington DC ahead of his meeting with President Donald Trump on Monday.

The plane carrying Uhuru and his delegation departed Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after midnight.

DP William Ruto and Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe led senior government officials in seeing off the President.

During his visit to the US, Uhuru will visit the White House at the invitation of the US President with whom the Kenyan Head of State will hold talks on a wide array of subjects among them trade and regional security.

Over the years, Kenya has remained a strategic and key partner of the US in the management of peace and security in Eastern Africa covering the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa regions where the country is at the core of restoring peace and stability in South Sudan.

In Somalia, the Kenyan armed forces are involved in the fight against the Alshabab terrorist group under AMISOM.

Besides trade and regional security, the two will discuss ways of strengthening the blossoming Kenya-US relations focusing on the two nations’ shared democratic values and mutual interests.

The Uhuru-Trump meeting comes at an opportune time for Kenya considering that Uhuru is currently involved in implementing programs to bolster trade and investments in the country through his administration’s Big 4 development agenda.

The Kenyatta and Trump meeting is a major boost for Kenya’s tourism and aviation sectors as it happens just weeks before the commencement of direct flights from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to New York in October this year.

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma who is already in the US on Thursday met with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo ahead of the meeting between the two presidents.

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