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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

Kagame Critic Found Dead Mysteriously

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The deceased was Victoire Ingabire's (pictured) spokesperson. Courtesy photo

The spokesman for leading Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire has been found dead, a government official said on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear how 30-year-old Anselme Mutuyimana had died.

Twenty-five years after a genocide that killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has won international praise for presiding over a peaceful and rapid economic recovery

But he has also faced mounting criticism for what human rights groups say are widespread abuses, a muzzling of independent media, and suppression of political opposition. He denies those charges.

Several dissidents have been found dead inside Rwanda and in exile in unsolved cases in recent years.

Rwandan authorities said they were investigating the death.

“The investigation has started. No suspects so far,” said the spokesman for the Rwanda Investigation Bureau, Modeste Mbabazi.

Mutuyimana’s elder brother Augustin Tubanambazi told Reuters that the body had no visible wounds, but had blood in its mouth.

In 2010, the Democratic Green Party’s vice president, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, was found dead.

In 2014, exiled former Rwandan intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya was found murdered in a Johannesburg hotel room.

Ingabire, who returned from the Netherlands to contest a presidential election in 2010, had previously served six years of a 15-year sentence for inciting insurrection.

She said another official from her FDU-Inking party, Jean Damascene Habarugira, had been found dead two years ago and the crime had never been solved.

“We need justice,” Ingabire said.

She said witnesses had described men in police uniforms in a red car detaining Mutuyimana in the western Mahoko area.

Police did not return calls seeking comment on that report.

By Reuters

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Man Dies After Seventh Round In Sex Competition

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A middle-aged man, simply known as Davy, has died in a popular hotel in Ikotun area of Lagos State Nigeria during a sex competition with a lady identified as Loveth.

It was gathered that the late Davy had argued with Loveth on who can last longer in a sex bout.

Both claimed they were stronger and refused to admit defeat.

During the argument, Davy staked N50,000 on the condition that if Loveth defeats him during the romp, she will take the money.

Loveth agreed, moved into the hotel and booked for a chalet.

It was gathered that while the marathon sex lasted, Davy pulled through to the sixth round but Loveth was unshaken till the seventh round when he collapsed and died on top of her.

She then raised the alarm and contacted the hotel management, who handed her over to the Ikotun Police Division while the body of the deceased was deposited at an undisclosed hospital for autopsy.

Loveth was later transferred to the SCIID Panti, Yaba, where she told investigators what transpired between her and the late Davy. Thefate of Loveth will depend on the outcome of the autopsy.

 

Source: Guardian Nigeria

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Rwanda Government Critic Diane Rwigara Acquitted

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Diane Rwigara is a prominent critic of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame

A Rwandan court in the capital, Kigali, has acquitted government critic Diane Rwigara and her mother of charges of inciting insurrection and forgery.

Ms Rwigara was imprisoned for over a year, after being barred from running in presidential elections against the long-standing incumbent Paul Kagame and the 37-year-old opposition leader faced up to 22 years in prison for charges she said were politically motivated.

A three-judge panel told a packed room all the charges were “baseless”. Since her arrest, Ms Rwigara’s family have been subject to interrogations and their family assets forcibly auctioned. “I am very happy with the verdict,” said Ms Rwigara,who has been out on bail since October. “I am continuing with my political journey because there’s still a lot that needs to be done in our country.”

During the hearings, the businesswoman asserted that Rwanda’s economy was mainly controlled by the governing party’s elite. “Everything I talked about in the past has not been resolved. There are still many political prisoners in the country,” she told journalists after the high court ruling.

Ms Rwigara has repeatedly accused President Kagame of stifling dissent and criticised his party’s unyielding grip on power since it assumed control after the country’s civil war and it’s a big win for the young opposition leader. Diane Rwigara always maintained that the accusations against her were politically motivated.US politicians and human rights advocates urged the court to drop the charges and it did, citing lack of evidence.

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