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Zimbabwe Parties in Final Push for Votes as Campaigning Ends

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Zimbabwe's political parties

Zimbabwe’s political parties made a last-ditch pitch for votes on Saturday ahead of July 30 elections as a campaign distinguished by the absence of widespread violence that marred previous contests drew to a close.

A credible vote and an acceptable result would serve as a foundation for the southern African nation to rebuild its battered economy and relations with the international community after two decades of misrule and political turmoil under Robert Mugabe.

Both the ruling party and main opposition have pledged to create jobs, promote growth, attract foreign investment and bring an end to the corruption that characterized the Mugabe era.

The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, now led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took office in November after the military took charge and Mugabe was forced to quit, held its final mass rally at the National Sports Stadium in the capital, Harare.

Most urban centres are strongholds of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, and the 60,000-seat venue was about two-thirds full. Party supporters were presented with green caps, T-shirts and scarves upon arrival.

“This is a new Zimbabwe, a new era,” Mnangagwa told the cheering crowd.

He noted that he’d “opened the democratic space,” allowing all parties to campaign freely for the first time, before warning international observers to “just do your work and don’t interfere in our country’s politics.”

‘In the past’

Millicent Plant, 37, an unemployed Harare resident, said she’d begun supporting Zanu-PF after Mugabe left office.

“Mugabe is in the past,’’ she said at the ruling party rally. “People will forgive Zanu for what went wrong. Mnangagwa has begun improving things. He is promising us jobs.”

A few miles away, tens of thousands of enthusiastic MDC supporters dressed in the party’s red T-shirts and caps converged on Harare’s Freedom Square. The crowd was dispersed over a large area and its size was difficult to estimate.

“We know the current government is clueless and directionless,” said Nelson Chamisa, the MDC’s leader, who was mobbed when he arrived at the gathering. “Change is inevitable and unstoppable.”

Under Zimbabwean law, campaigning must end on Saturday. More than 5.6 million people have registered to vote for a new president, lawmakers and local government representatives.

Mnangagwa, 75, a former deputy president and spy chief, and Chamisa, a 40-year-old lawyer and church pastor, are the stand-out favourites among 22 candidates contesting the presidential race. One candidate dropped out late Friday.

‘Sick and Tired’
“Chamisa is the face of the younger generation,” said teacher Samuel Tayengwa, 27, who attended the MDC rally.

“Mnangagwa is the same as Mugabe. We are sick and tired of lies. Let us change the people who lie to us.”

Mnangagwa has a clear edge when it comes to funding – his image adorns billboards and thousands of posters, including two giant ones affixed to the sides of Zanu-PF’s 15-floor headquarters in Harare.

Mugabe was declared the winner of every election in Zimbabwe held since white-minority rule ended in 1980.

The MDC alleges the last three votes were stolen and that its supporters were subjected to murder, rape and arson by members of the security forces and ruling party militia.

‘First Step’
That violence led to targeted sanctions against some members of Zanu-PF and they could be lifted if Zimbabwe returns to the rule of law.

Free and fair elections are a “first step” toward that process, the U.S. embassy in Harare tweeted Saturday, citing Senator Jeff Flake who will monitor the vote alongside American observers.

Despite being peaceful, this year’s contest has been controversial.

The MDC says the voters roll is defective, controls over ballot papers are inadequate and the electoral commission is biased in favour of the ruling party — allegations the body denies.

The independent Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network, a Harare-based alliance of 34 civil-rights and religious group that’s monitoring the vote, said its audit of the voters’ roll didn’t identify significant anomalies.

In the Balance
The only significant opinion poll was conducted by research company Afrobarometer, which surveyed 2,400 adults between June 25 and July 6.

Forty per cent of respondents said they would vote for the ruling party, 37 per cent backed a seven-party alliance led by the MDC, 3 per cent supported other parties, and the balance was undecided.

A runoff election will be held on Sept. 8 if no candidate wins more than half the vote.
Bloomberg

DIASPORA

Zimbabwean Drivers in the UK: Converting Your License? The Ministry of Transport Addresses Your Questions

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Zimbabwean Drivers Licence to UK Licence

Recently, the Zimbabwe Ministry of Transport addressed the rising concerns about converting Zimbabwean driver’s licenses to British driver’s licenses. They shared an official statement on social media that provided answers to several crucial questions raised by Zimbabwean drivers.

Recognition of Zimbabwean Driver’s License by the British Government

One of the key questions addressed in the statement is whether the British Government still recognises the Zimbabwean driver’s license. The response was affirmative, confirming that Zimbabwean licenses are still recognised.

However, there have been unconfirmed reports of some Zimbabweans using counterfeit metal driver’s licenses in the UK. The drivers reportedly end up being involved or causing road traffic accidents

This has prompted the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the UK to require Certificates of Competency. These certificates are now part of the conversion process

Certificate of Competency Requirements

A question commonly asked by individuals who have lost their Certificate of Competency, which is now required for conversion, was also addressed.

The Ministry explained that the current system does not provide for duplicate Certificates of Competency due to their limited validity of 30 days.

The Ministry is actively engaging with the DVLA to reconsider this requirement.

Class Conversion and Downgrading

The statement addressed concerns from individuals who have class 2 driver’s licenses but wish to convert to classes 4 and 5, as opposed to being limited to class 2. The DVLA’s hesitation stems from doubts about the skills of many class 2 drivers who may not have undergone essential tests. To address this, the Ministry is facilitating testing for class four licenses, ensuring that drivers are competent for their desired class.

The Ministry has emphasised the importance of avoiding the use of fake Certificates of Competency. It strongly warns against presenting counterfeit certificates to the DVLA or any licensing authority as this may result in the revocation of valid driver’s licenses. The Ministry further urges applicants to follow the correct procedures for license conversion and avoid any illicit means.

Contacting CVR for License Verification

Concerns about the DVLA’s ability to contact the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) for license verification were also addressed. The Ministry assured the public that CVR maintains regular communication with DVLA.

To assist with license verification, citizens were provided with contact information for CVR via email addresses:

registrarcvr@gmail.com, ddcvrl@gmail.com, and ddcvr2@gmail.com.

Additionally, individuals were encouraged to seek assistance from their respective embassies if needed.

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NEWS

Public Outcry Grows Over Mnangagwa’s Appointments of Family Members as Deputy Ministers

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On Monday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was accused of nepotism for appointing his son, David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, as the deputy finance minister in his new cabinet, after a controversial re-election. David will be working under finance minister Mthuli Cube. Additionally, the president’s nephew, Tongai Mafidhi Mnangagwa, was named as the deputy minister of tourism and hospitality.

According to Fadzayi Mahere, a member of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), the cabinet of Mnangagwa is unacceptable. Mahere stated that it is a combination of illegitimacy, corruption, violence, nepotism, incompetence, and sex scandals. She added that it lacks the ethical leadership that Zimbabweans need and deserve. It is no surprise that the national mood is dismal.

Mnangagwa appointed Christopher and Monica Mutsvangwa as ministers. Christopher will lead the new ministry of Veterans of Liberation, while Monica will be the minister of Women’s Affairs and SMEs.

David Mnangagwa graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a law degree. He was elected to parliament through the youth quota system, listed on a Zanu PF party roster from the Midlands province. Mnangagwa is believed to have almost two dozen children.

Tongai, meanwhile, is the Zanu PF MP for Hunyani constituency. His late father, David, was Mnangagwa’s young brother.

On Monday, sources reported that Mnangagwa is contemplating bestowing an official role on his son, Emmerson Junior, in his office. According to the source, Junior has already attended some of the president’s meetings with foreign investors, which has been an uncomfortable situation. Mnangagwa aims to regularise this arrangement by giving Junior an official position, such as an adviser or director.

On August 23rd, the 80-year-old Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the election amidst opposition allegations that the vote was fraudulent. He is now serving his second and final term as president, becoming another addition to the list of African leaders who have established political dynasties.

In Congo-Brazzaville, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso appointed his son Denis-Christel as a cabinet minister, a move that revived media speculation that he had a dynastic succession in mind.

Teodoro Obiang, President of Equatorial Guinea, appointed his son, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, as Vice President. He has been in power since removing his uncle Francisco Macías Nguema in 1979.

The former President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba, is the son of Omar Bongo who held the position from 1967 to 2009. Similarly, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila succeeded his father, Laurent-Désiré, after his assassination and remained as the head of state for 17 years.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has appointed his daughter Ange Kagame as the deputy executive director of the Strategy and Policy Unit in the Office of the President.

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LONDON THEATRE

The Lion King Musical The Lion King Tickets Lyceum Theatre

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The Lion King London Tickets

What’s on at the Lyceum Theatre box office London events, The Lion King London tickets. Book tickets with Disney’s The Lion King and enjoy the Lyceum Theatre Stalls view, Royal Circle, or Grand Circle view. Click here to book Lion tickets online now and save time

Now in its 24th year at London’s Lyceum Theatre, THE LION KING will blow you away.

The Lion King tickets in London can be purchased from different online booking agencies or from ticket booths in London that normally have different ticket offers.

Disney’s The Lion King London tickets can also be purchased directly from the Lyceum Theatre box office. Contact the Lyceum Theatre London to Book Lion King tickets online or by phone number 0207 492 0834.

Contact our dedicated theatre experts team for group booking requests, Lion King theatre break packages, or any other theatre booking inquiries.

The Lion King London tickets special deals and discounts at The Lyceum Theatre box office in London.

The Lion King musical is set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and the evocative rhythms of Africa, Disney’s multi-award-winning musical ‘The Lion King’ will redefine your expectations of theatre.

The Lion King musical score, with songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, was complemented by Garth Fagan’s choreography, drawing from African ritual dance.

Taymor worked with costume/puppet director Michael Curry to transform the actors into life-sized animal artworks through imaginative costume designs.

The Lion King’s plot follows Simba, who is convinced by his evil Uncle Scar that he is responsible for the death of his father, Mufasa, who is king. Little Simba flees Pride Rock and grows up in isolation, with the help of a flatulent hog and whiny meerkat.

Eventually, Simba returns home to fight his evil uncle and accepts his rightful role as heir to the throne.

PLEASE NOTE: strobe lighting is used several times during the performance of The Lion King.

For good seats at the Lyceum Theatre, it is advised to avoid restricted view seats in the Stalls, Dress/Royal Circle, and Upper Circle. The Stalls are split into centre blocks and two narrow blocks by aisles.

The Dress Circle overhangs the stalls in row R so it might be difficult to enjoy The Lion King from there.

To get an amazing view of the Lion King performance in the stalls, it is advisable to sit from rows D to P. In the Dress Circle, one can get an amazing view from rows A to L, and the centre block offers an absolutely fantastic view.

When buying last-minute Lion King tickets it is advisable to ask if they are clear-view tickets otherwise the wonderful Lion King experience will be spoiled.

The Lyceum Theatre is a 2,100-seat West End theatre located in the City of Westminster, on Wellington Street, just off the Strand. The origins of the theatre date to 1765.

More answers to these questions are below: The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre phone number, Lyceum Theatre seating plan, Lyceum Theatre nearest tube, Lyceum Theatre box office, Lyceum Theatre London address, Lyceum Theatre events, Lion King London tickets, Lyceum Theatre dress code. Lyceum Theatre box office contact number.

Lyceum Theatre Box Office FAQs

The Lyceum Theatre is a 2,100-seat West End theatre located in the City of Westminster, at 21 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7RQ just off the Strand.

What is the Lion King London Lyceum running time?

The Lion King’s running time is 2 hours 30 minutes

Where is the Lion King Theatre in London?

The Lion King. Lyceum Theatre, London

Where is the Lyceum Theatre box office?

Lyceum Theatre’s box office is located inside the theatre building on Wellington Street and is open Monday 10 am – 6 pm, Tuesday to Saturday 10 am-8 pm and Sunday 11 am-3 pm.

Can you buy Lion King tickets at the box office?

You may purchase tickets to THE LION KING at the box office, online, or by phone.

What is the Lyceum Theatre box office postcode?

WC2E 7RQ

What is the Lyceum Theatre box office contact phone number?
Buy tickets by phone. If you would like to buy tickets over the phone, the Lyceum Theatre box office can be reached on 0844 8717627.

Where can I find the Lion King London Lyceum Theatre seating plan?
– Click here to view the Lyceum Theatre seating plan

What restaurants are near the Lyceum Theatre, London?
-Sophie’s Steakhouse, Fire and Stone, Cafe des Amis and Christopher’s American Grill

What is the Lyceum Theatre London address?
21 Wellington Street, London, WC2E 7RQ

What are the best seats in the Lyceum Theatre?
The Stalls seats are quite close to the stage and they do have the best seats in the house.

The stall seats are quite wonderful, especially during the opening score ‘The Circle of Life.

The top seats are in the centre section from rows A to R.

The Royal Circle or Dress Circle is in the tier above the Stalls and also offers very good seats, especially from row A to E.The Grand Circle is above the Royal Circle and one can still get a fairly good view from row B.

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