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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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South Sudan Leaders Sign New Peace Agreement. The Question Is: Will It Hold?

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If it holds, the deal on power-sharing signed on August 6 by President Salva Kiir and his now reinstated Vice President Riek Machar could end a civil war that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions in the world’s youngest country. But there have been ceasefires and agreements before that were not worth the paper they were written on. DW talked to Douglas Johnson an author of books on South Sudan, about the chances for the new deal.
This isn’t the first agreement signed by Kiir and Machar. What are your expectations concerning the present deal?
Douglas Johnson: The problem, of course, is implementation. Who is going to monitor and guarantee implementation? We’ll have to wait and see. Part of the problem, of course, is that it’s a power-sharing agreement, not really addressing the fundamental political and constitutional issues of South Sudan. You now have five vice-presidents, you’ve got an expanded assembly, you’ve got attempts to give people positions from the very top to the local states. The whole issue of the constitutional powers between a central government and state governments hasn’t been addressed. If this agreement gives South Sudan some time in which to have a full-scale, proper constitutional consultation that leads to a stable peace agreement, fine. But right now I think that there are some real questions about whether this formula will work.

Among the problems that need to be addressed what would be the priorities?
There are the security priorities as well as the political priorities. Right now there has been a proliferation of armed groups throughout South Sudan. You have within the SPLA itself – the national army – a number of units that are very poorly disciplined, very poorly trained, and have been involved in some of theworst atrocitiesin the war. Something has got to be done about them. To disband them may be one thing that could give people a sense that maybe security was going to be reestablished. But a lot of the other groups are not organized military groups. They are armed civilians. Some of them have been represented in this peace agreement. But we don’t know whether the people who have signed on behalf of armed groups really represent them. And as long as the armed groups are there as autonomous units that have been set up for their own self-defense or for their own offense against their neighbors, we don’t quite know how security is going to be reestablished. It is not going to be established by incorporating all of these armed groups into a national army. The national army is far too big, it is far too poorly trained and it is far too ill-disciplined.

I’ve mentioned the political issues. We’ve got now both by Riek Machar’s main opposition and the government’s proposals to divide up South Sudan into smaller states. This is not the right approach to a federal system, because it leaves the power of the central government supreme in creating the states, with no real examination of the viability of each of them. For instance, just a few months ago, a minister in one of the newly created states announced that he had no office, that his office was a desk underneath a tree. Creating states and appointing people into positions doesn’t actually solve the administrative and political issues. And I think that has to come about by a more far-reaching set of consultations, leading to some sort of constitutional convention.

Some of the African leaders who witnessed the signing of the new peace deal

If the peace agreement holds, what will it mean for the region especially taking into account the recent peace deal between neighboring Ethiopia and Eritrea?
If this peace agreement holds, it can only be good news for the region in general. Insecurity in South Sudan has affected the neighbors, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan. There are South Sudanese refugees in all of those countries. I wonder to what extent it will actually lead to greater security in Sudan. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended with the independence of South Sudan has not brought peace to Sudan. They are still fighting in the Blue Nile area and in the Nuba Mountains with groups that were formerly a part of the SPLA. I think that what Khartoum wants and what South Sudan now probably will have to do is to cease to give any kind of support to the insurgencies in those two areas. But that by itself won’t necessarily bring peace and stability to Sudan. So certainly this is good news for Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, and, I suppose – to a lesser extent – the Democratic Republic of Congo, but we’ll have to wait to see what sort of an impact this has on Sudan’s own internal insecurity.
Why this agreement at this time? Is it a result of international pressure, even if Kiir says it is not?
I really can’t answer that, I don’t know exactly what has gone on behind closed doors between the government in Khartoum and the government in Juba. The excuse that Salva Kiir used for the failure of the previous peace agreement was that it had been imposed on him by IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development). It is interesting that he is saying that there is now no international pressure on him, because of course there has been quite a lot of international pressure. What this seems to indicate is that he has decided not to use the excuse of an imposed peace to jettison it at a later time. I think that what we have to realize is that the coalition that has kept Salva Kiir in power in Juba, has fractured. He is not in as strong a position as he thought he was back in 2016 to break that peace agreement.

Under the present scenario it also seems unlikely that either side will be taken to task anytime soon for the atrocities they’ve committed.

I think what we have to see here is the growing power of public opinion in South Sudan. There is of course repression by the government of its critics. There is no press freedom. The national security operates pretty much independently, without any sort of control over them. But I‘m beginning to see not only in youth groups, but in women’s movements and other civil society and civilian organizations a growing demand that there must be some sort of accountability for the atrocities that have taken place since 2013.
Written by DW

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Zimbabwe Election 2018: Who Will Win Zimbabwe Election? Who Is The President?

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Zimbabweans have headed to the polls today in the first election since long-time president Robert Mugabe was ousted last year. So who will win and who is the current president?

Zimbabweans hope this watershed vote will serve to breathe life back into the economy and improve the country’s global standing.

The country’s founding president Robert Mugabe was ousted in a military coup last year, after a four-decade repressive rule riddled with corruption, diplomatic isolation and accusations of war crimes.

Once one of Africa’s most promising economies, Zimbabwe was plunged into crisis which resulted in unprecedented poverty across the nation.

The main contenders in today’s election are current president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over after the coup, and opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

Polls give Mr Mnangagwa, and his ruling Zanu-PF party, a narrow lead over Mr Chamisa’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance.

Mr Mnangagwa is nicknamed ‘The Crocodile’ for his political cunning and is hoping for the election to legitimise his hold on power.

Mr Chamisa, 40, could become Zimbabwe’s youngest ever president if elected.

Former president Mr Mugabe, 94, during a surprise press conference on Sunday, indicated support for Mr Chamisa rather than back the man who ousted him.

He said: “I cannot vote for those who tormented me. ”I hope the choice of voting tomorrow will thrust away the military government and bring us back to constitutionality.”

Mr Chamisa, a pastor who became an MP at 25, has promised to rebuild Zimbabwe’s failed economy.

However, he has been criticised for making unrealistic promises, such as the introduction of a high-speed bullet train and bringing the Olympics to Zimbabwe.

Mr Mnangagwa has responded to Mr Mugabe’s support of the opposition, saying: “It is clear to all that Chamisa has forged a deal with Mugabe, we can no longer believe that his intentions are to transform Zimbabwe and rebuild our nation.”

Mr Mnangagwa has survived numerous assassination attempts since coming to power, which he blames on supporters of Mr Mugabe.

He has pledged to boost the economy, woo foreign investors and create jobs.

However, Mr Mnangagwa is associated with some of the worst atrocities committed under his former boss, Mr Mugabe, during his time at the helm of Zanu-PF.

He was heavily involved in the country’s 1980s civil conflict, in which thousands of civilians were slaughtered, though he denies any involvement in the massacres.

About 5.5 million people have registered to vote today and almost half of those are under 35.

Long lines of voters have gathered outside polling stations in the cities as well as rural areas.

After an exciting moment for Zimbabweans when the Mugabe era ended last year, voters now have the opportunity to take their country’s future in their own hands.

Voters will not only vote for a new president today, they will also elect an MP and councillor.

Results are expected to start coming in throughout the course of the night but Zimbabwean law allows five days before results are announced.

 

Daily express

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Female MP Advises Women: Be Second Wives And Avoid Being Single Mothers

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Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru has stunned Kenyans after telling women to consider getting married as second wives to avoid being single mothers.

Speaking on KTN’s Morning Express, Waruguru told women they can only consider a man their husband when he is in their house.

“Somebody else’s husband is their husband within the confines of their homes. The moment you left your home, Mike Gitonga, you’re here as a servant who is serving KTN. You’re here because you’re serving Kenyans,” charged Ms Waruguru.

“Mzee ni wako kwa boma, akishatoka, you take care of yourself. And you choose what you want. And the constitution allows even president Uhuru Kenyatta and assented to the Marriage Bill (allowing polygamy).”

 

SINGLE MOTHERS

Ms Waruguru encouraged women to find husbands at all costs.

“I’d encourage majority of Kenyan women who are single and they’ve found a man who they think can be a good friend and a husband, moving forward, and they love their children. We do not have to raise our children as single mothers,” said the woman rep.

“And especially our boys… I passionately feel for the boy child. Not only through marriages, we need to take this conversation further. That our children, whether boys or girls, they need people to look up to as fathers and if there no fathers we need to go farther to see whether we can get uncles, and mentors.”

“Somebody else’s husband is their husband within the confines of their home. Mzee ni wako kwa boma akishaatoka, take care of yourself and choose what you want. The constitution allows it,

“If you feel you have the energy, you are free to marry a second wife. We need you,” she added.

The woman rep, who is married as a second wife, caused a stir earlier this month when she claimed she had been barred from a Kericho hotel after being asked to produce a marriage certificate.

 

Source: Nairobinews

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