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Mugabe Resisting Army Pressure to Quit: Senior Source

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Robert Mugabe
  • Mugabe Resisting Army Pressure to Quit: Senior Source

President Robert Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler, an intelligence source said on Thursday.

The source said Mugabe is resisting mediation by a Catholic priest to allow the 93-year-old former guerrilla a graceful exit after a military coup.

The priest, Fidelis Mukonori, is acting as a middle-man between Mugabe and the generals, who seized power on Wednesday in a targeted operation against “criminals” in his entourage, a senior political source told Reuters.

The source could not provide details of the talks, which appear to be aimed at a smooth and bloodless transition after the departure of Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

Mugabe, still seen by many Africans as a liberation hero, is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa’s most promising states.

Zimbabwean intelligence reports seen by Reuters suggest that former security chief Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was ousted as vice-president this month, has been mapping out a post-Mugabe vision with the military and opposition for more than a year.

Fuelling speculation that that plan might be rolling into action, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who has been receiving cancer treatment in Britain and South Africa, returned to Harare late on Wednesday, his spokesman said.

South Africa said Mugabe had told President Jacob Zuma by telephone on Wednesday that he was confined to his home but was otherwise fine and the military said it was keeping him and his family, including wife Grace, safe.

Inspte of the lingering admiration for Mugabe, there is little public affection for 52-year-old Grace, a former government typist who started having an affair with Mugabe in the early 1990s as his first wife, Sally, was dying of cancer.

Dubbed “DisGrace” or “Gucci Grace” on account of her reputed love of shopping, she enjoyed a meteoric rise through the ranks of Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF in the last two years, culminating in Mnangagwa’s removal a week ago, a move seen as clearing the way for her to succeed her husband.

In contrast to the high political drama unfolding behind closed doors, the streets of the capital remained calm, with people going about their daily business, albeit under the watch of soldiers on armored vehicles at strategic locations.

Whatever the final outcome, the events could signal a once-in-a-generation change for the former British colony, a regional breadbasket reduced to destitution by economic policies Mugabe’s critics have long blamed on him.

(Reuters/NAN)

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Buhari Declares Oct 1 Public Holiday

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Muhammadu Buhari

The Federal Government has declared Thursday, October 1, 2020, as a public holiday to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration, congratulated all Nigerians on the celebration of the country’s Diamond Jubilee while stressing the government’s commitment to the socio-economic transformation of the country.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘FG Declares Thursday, October 1, 2020, Public Holiday To Mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary’ and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah.

According to the statement, the minister praised Nigerians for the feats in economy, education, the creative sector, amongst others.

The statement also quoted Aregbesola as saying, “Though celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp and pageantry, but with the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act cautiously, we cannot avoid the imperative of a low-keyed celebration at this time.”

It added, “While wishing Nigerians a fruitful independence celebration, he reminded them of the fact that our founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came together for Nigeria’s independence.”

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INEC To Introduce E-voting, Talking to Machine Manufacturers

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INEC Commences Process of Introducing E-voting, Discussing With Manufacturers

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday said it has commenced plans to replace manual voting with an electronic voting system.

According to Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this during the demonstration of electronic voting machines, the commission has invited manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world to demonstrate how the machines work and preparatory to the full migration.

He said, “Over the years, the commission has been automating the critical pillars of the process. The biometric register of voters has been updated continuously. At the moment, the INEC register of voters is the largest database of citizens in Nigeria.

“In addition, the combination of biometric voter cards commonly known as the Permanent Voter Card and the Smart Card Reader have revolutionised the accreditation of voters during elections.

“More recently, the introduction of a number of portals has facilitated the seamless nomination of candidates for elective offices by political parties as well as the accreditation of observers and the media.

“Most significantly, the commission now uploads polling unit level results in real-time on Election Day to a portal for public view. These are significant innovations that have deepened the transparency and credibility of elections and the electoral process in Nigeria.

“The commission developed the specifications of the functions required of the machine. After extensive discussion and review, the commission took the decision to invite original manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world for a virtual or practical demonstration of the machines.”

Yakubu explained that more than 40 companies have indicated interest and would be demonstrating to the commission how the IT solutions meet its specifications.

“The commission is aware that Nigerians want us to deepen the use of technology in elections. Let me reassure Nigerians that the commission is committed to expediting the process leading to the deployment of the EVMs in elections in earnest,” the INEC chairman said.

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Mali Sworn In Bah Ndaw as Transition President

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Malian Mutinying Soldiers

Mali’s interim president, Bah Ndaw, chosen to head a transitional government following a coup last month, was sworn in during ceremonies in the capital Bamako on Friday, AFP journalists witnessed.

A committee appointed by the junta which seized power on August 18, toppling President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, selected Ndaw, a 70-year-old retired colonel, as interim president.

Ndaw is due to lead a transition government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

The ceremony on Friday took place in a theatre filled with officials dressed in military fatigues, senior judges, and foreign diplomats.

During the ceremony, Supreme Court Chief Prosecutor Boya Dembele said the challenges facing both men were “enormous”.

“It will truly require a reformulation of the state,” said the judge, dressed in red fur-lined robes.

The swearing-in comes as the fragile Sahel state’s neighbours have leaned on the military junta to appoint civilians as interim president and prime minister.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) slapped sanctions on the poor country on August 20 to push for a swift return to civilian rule.

A decision by the bloc on whether to ease the measure is possible on Friday, according to former Nigerian president and ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan.

“We are optimistic that this event will signal the beginning of the return to normalcy in Mali,” he said on Twitter on Thursday night, referring to the swearing in of interim-government leaders.

Last month’s coup followed weeks of mass protests against Keita, spurred by frustrations over a brutal jihadist conflict, perceived corruption and the country’s slumping economy.

Mali has struggled to quell an eight-year-old Islamist insurgency which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.

AFP

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