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President Mnangagwa preaches peace ahead of the elections

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Zimbabwe President

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged political parties and candidates contesting the July 30 harmonised elections to continue preaching peace and unity among Zimbabweans, saying he was happy with the tranquillity in the country so far.

In an audio message posted on various platforms, including the ED Has My Vote Facebook page, President Mnangagwa said the contest between candidates should be on ideas and not physical clashes.“I wish to express to you my desire for us to have a peaceful election,” he said.

“You may be a Zanu-PF member or a member of an opposition political party, the crucial thing that we require of all our political parties is peace.“We must also encourage the general public to elect us in peace.

Differences may be there, but those differences should be about ideas and one party saying they can execute them better than the other party. That is allowed.“For now, I’m quite pleased that so far we’ve not had any problems regarding our politics. All parties, brought together, are campaigning peacefully. My wish is for us to continue like that.

“I would also like to appeal to all candidates, in their individual capacity or as a collective, to continue preaching the gospel of peace and unity in our country.
Zimbabwean President Mnangagwa said while the country could be facing a few challenges, there were already glaring signs of change since the new administration took over the reins of power in November last year.

“We now have peace, we now hope in everything that we do,” he said.“As you know, Rome was not built in a day, but the foundation for a better Zimbabwe has already been laid and it’s there for everyone to see. So, let us all be united and work as a unit to develop our country because no one else but us can develop our country.

“If we remain united, we will never experience hunger in our country. We shall work on improving our schools’ infrastructure for our children to have a better education.

“We shall also improve our health delivery system to ensure that our healthcare facilities are adequately resourced with drugs and other requirements.
“We want more schools so that each one of us in our respective areas, our children can walk short distances to the nearest school. We also want our people to walk short distances to the nearest clinic. We would also want to refurbish our road network.”

The Zimbabwean President said his Government was also doing everything in its power to resuscitate industry and create more jobs.“That is why you see me visiting other countries to lure investors into the country,” he said. “They’re injecting capital, building new factories, they are venturing into mining, and they are doing quite a lot to improve our railway system.

“All this cannot be done in one day, but we have already started. So, I say to you, this coming election must be held in peace, for us to prosper together. Yes, I am the President of Zanu-PF, so I urge my fellow Zanu-PF members to go out in their numbers and vote to preserve our national heritage because this heritage we have in an Independent Zimbabwe was brought about by Zanu-PF.”

Addressing Zanu-PF supporters in Masvingo last Friday, President Mnangagwa said he will soon meet fellow presidential candidates following the sitting of the nomination court the previous day so that they commit to holding peaceful polls.

The Herald

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BUSINESS

Zimbabwe agrees to pay $3.5 billion compensation to white farmers

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Zimbabwe White Farmers

Zimbabwe agreed on Wednesday to pay $3.5 billion in compensation to Zimbabwe white farmers whose land was expropriated by the government to resettle black families, moving a step closer to resolving one the most divisive policies of the Robert Mugabe era.

But the southern African nation does not have the money and will issue long term bonds and jointly approach international donors with the farmers to raise funding, according to the compensation agreement.

Two decades ago Mugabe’s government carried out at times violent evictions of 4,500 Zimbabwe white farmers and redistributed the land to around 300,000 Black families, arguing it was redressing colonial land imbalances.

The agreement signed at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State House offices in Harare showed white farmers would be compensated for infrastructure on the farms and not the land itself, as per the national constitution.

Details of how much money each farmer, or their descendants, given the time elapsed since the farms were seized, was likely to get were not yet clear, but the government has said it would prioritise the elderly when making the settlements.

Farmers would receive 50% of the compensation after a year and the balance within five years. Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and acting Agriculture Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri signed on behalf of the government, while farmers unions and a foreign consortium that undertook valuations also penned the agreement.

“As Zimbabweans, we have chosen to resolve this long-outstanding issue,” said Andrew Pascoe, head of the Commercial Farmers Union representing  Zimbabwe white farmers.

The land seizures were one of Mugabe’s signature policies that soured ties with the West. Mugabe, who was ousted in a coup in 2017 and died last year, accused the West of imposing sanctions on his government as punishment.

The programme still divides public opinion in Zimbabwe as opponents see it as a partisan process that left the country struggling to feed itself. But its supporters say it has empowered landless Black people. Mnangagwa said the land reform could not be reversed but paying of compensation was key to mending ties with the West. Reuters

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NEWS

Chinamasa calls U.S. ambassador ‘thug’ as anti-government protests loom

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Chinamasa

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party on Monday called the United States ambassador a “thug” and accused him of funding the opposition ahead of this week’s planned anti-government protests that authorities say are meant to overthrow the government.

Without providing evidence, ZANU-PF spokesman Patrick Chinamasa told reporters that U.S. ambassador to Harare, Brian Nichols, was involved in subversive activities to topple President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

Chinamasa’s comments echo the Robert Mugabe era, where the ZANU-PF government regularly accused the United States and Britain of seeking to dislodge it from power.

“He (Nichols) continues to engage in acts of undermining this republic and if he does so, if he continues engaging in acts of mobilising and funding disturbances, coordinating violence and training insurgents, our leadership will not hesitate to give him marching orders,” Chinamasa said.
“Diplomats should not behave like thugs, and Brian Nichols is a thug.”

The U.S. embassy in Harare did not immediately respond to Chinamasa’s comments. Political tensions are rising fast in the southern African nation after activists called for demonstrations on July 31 against government corruption, which they blame for deepening the worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

Last month, the government summoned Nichols after a senior White House official said Zimbabwe was among “foreign adversaries” using the civil unrest in the United States following the death of George Floyd to interfere in U.S. affairs.

The U.S., Britain, E.U. embassies and the United Nations have all criticised Zimbabwe for the arrest of journalists and political challengers.
Relations between Zimbabwe and the West were promising when Mnangagwa replaced Mugabe after a coup in 2017, but have soured over the government’s human rights record.

Patrick Chinamasa urged party supporters to defend themselves from protesters and avoid a repeat of the deadly violence that followed post-election demonstrations in August 2018 and the January 2019 protests over a steep fuel price hike.“No, this time no. Use any means at your disposal to defend yourselves,” Chinamasa said. Organisers say this week’s protests will be peaceful. Reuters

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HEALTH

Perence Shiri, Zimbabwe Agriculture Minister Dies

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Perrence-Shiri-Dead

Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister Perence Shiri, a retired general who helped plot the ouster of Robert Mugabe in a 2017 coup, has died, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday.

Perence Shiri, who commanded the air force for 25 years until he joined the government in 2017, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday, two government sources said. He died in the early hours of Wednesday.

“Shiri was a true patriot, who devoted his life to the liberation, independence and service of his country,” Mnangagwa said in a statement. He did not say how Shiri died.

But domestic media said Shiri, 65, succumbed to complications from the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, which has infected 2,817 and killed 40 in Zimbabwe.

A liberation war veteran,Perrence Shiri had a chequered past. He commanded the army’s Fifth Brigade unit that carried out the 1980s massacres of thousands of civilians in western Zimbabwe as the government sought to quell an insurgency.

The army massacres, known as ‘Gukurahundi’, a Shona term meaning the ‘early rain that washes away the chaff’, remain a sore point for the people of the Matabeleland region, many of whom demand justice and reparations.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change accused Perence Shiri of being among the security chiefs who organised violence against its members after Mugabe lost the first round of the presidential vote in 2008.Reuters

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