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Mugabe Resigns

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Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe resigned as president Tuesday after 37 years in power, as parliament began impeachment proceedings against him.

“My decision to resign is voluntary on my part and arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire for a smooth, non-violent transfer of power,” said Mugabe in his letter which was read out in parliament, sparking cheers and dancing.

Cars began honking horns and people cheered in the streets, as the news spread like wildfire across the capital, Harare.

Mugabe, who had been the world’s oldest head of state at 93, said that proper procedures should be followed to install new leadership.

Mugabe’s resignation brought an end to the impeachment proceedings brought by the ruling ZANU-PF party after its Central Committee voted to oust the president as party leader and select recently fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as his replacement, a move that eventually could lead to Mnangagwa becoming head of state. Currently in exile, Mnangagwa served for decades as Mugabe’s enforcer, with a reputation for being astute and ruthless, more feared than popular.

Before the resignation, crowds rallied outside Parliament, dancing and singing. Some people placed photos of Mugabe in the street so that cars would run over them. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party said the culture of the ruling party “must end” and everyone must put their heads together and work toward free and fair elections.

Zimbabweans celebrate in Harare after the resignation of Mugabe. Photograph: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

Earlier Tuesday, Mnangagwa said in a statement that Mugabe should acknowledge the nation’s “insatiable desire” for a leadership change and resign immediately.

Mnangagwa added to immense pressure on Mugabe to quit after nearly four decades in power, during which he evolved from a champion of the fight against white minority rule into a figure blamed for a collapsing economy, government dysfunction and human rights violations.

“The people of Zimbabwe have spoken with one voice and it is my appeal to President Mugabe that he should take heed of this clarion call and resign forthwith so that the country can move forward and preserve his legacy,” Mnangagwa said in his statement, after more than a week of silence.

Mnangagwa, who fled the country and has not appeared in public during the past week’s political turmoil, said Mugabe had invited him to return to Zimbabwe “for a discussion” on recent events. However, he said he will not return for now, alleging that there had been plans to kill him at the time of his firing.

“I will be returning as soon as the right conditions for security and stability prevail,” said Mnangagwa, who has a loyal support base in the military. “Never should the nation be held at ransom by one person ever again, whose desire is to die in office at whatever cost to the nation.”

Zimbabwe’s polarizing first lady, Grace Mugabe, had been positioning herself to succeed her husband, leading a party faction that engineered Mnangagwa’s ouster. The prospect of a dynastic succession alarmed the military, which confined Mugabe to his home last week and targeted what it called “criminals” around him who allegedly were looting state resources — a reference to associates of the first lady.

Mnangagwa was targeted by U.S. sanctions in the early 2000s for undermining democratic development in Zimbabwe, according to the Atlantic Council, a U.S.-based policy institute. However, J. Peter Pham, an Africa expert at the council, noted that some Zimbabwean opposition figures have appeared willing to have dialogue with Mnangagwa in order to move the country forward and that the international community should consider doing the same.

“We’re not saying whitewash the past, but it is in the interests of everyone that Zimbabwe is engaged at this critical time,” Pham said in a statement.

Regional leaders continued efforts to find a solution to the political turmoil, with South Africa’s state-run broadcaster reporting that the presidents of South Africa and Angola would travel to Zimbabwe on Wednesday to meet with “stakeholders” in the political crisis, including Mugabe and the military.

Impeachment proceedings began days after huge crowds surged through the capital, Harare, to demand that Mugabe quit. The ruling party had instructed government ministers to boycott a Cabinet meeting that Mugabe called for Tuesday morning at State House, the president’s official residence, and instead attend a meeting at party headquarters to work on the impeachment.

It was not clear how long the impeachment process could take. The ruling party has said Mugabe could be voted out as early as Wednesday but some analysts believe the impeachment process could take weeks and would, if conducted properly, allow Mugabe to make a case in his defense.

Mnangagwa called for unity and appeared to embrace the prospect of taking over power.

“I will not stand in the way of the people and my party,” he said.

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East-Africa

World Bank Commits U$500million Aid To Burundi

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The World Bank has said, it will commit to extend over U$500million to support the Burundi government development projects.

This was revealed by Véronique Kabongo the representative of the World Bank in Burundi. She was visiting Prime Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

According to details, their discussions focused on several points including confirmation of support in socio-economic development.

“We hope to commit this year a total envelope of U$500 million in donations to Burundi in various fields including trade facilitation, digitization, infrastructure and many others,” said Kabongo.

Meanwhile, in May, the World Bank Group approved a U$6 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to support communities in restoring degraded landscapes and intensifying sustainable land management practices for more resilient food production and strengthened value chains.

“Climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier of fragility in a country like Burundi, and this additional financing builds on the recognition that landscape restoration efforts must be addressed to tackle multifaceted problems related to rural poverty, nutrition, food security, and land use at the community level” said the World Bank official then.

Burundi has a policy that requires all International NGOs to pursue an ethnic quota system which has since 2018 soiled the relationship between government and the NGOs.

In October 2018, the government slammed a three-month suspension on almost all international NGOs operating in Burundi earlier this month is part of a wider crackdown on civil society, analysts say, in a nation where an estimated 3.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Government officials claim the ban comes as a result of organizations violating an article in the General Framework for Cooperation between the Republic of Burundi and Foreign NGOs, a 2017 amendment that means recruitment of national staff must respect ethnic quotas laid out in the constitution.

But humanitarians argued that while the national constitution seeks to achieve ethnic balance within public administration, it does not include recruitment parameters for NGOs.

“The logic behind the constitutional law is to encourage power sharing … and no one is questioning power sharing as a principle at the government level … but why are these quotas being specifically implemented on INGOs and not other sectors?” Rachel Nicholson, an Amnesty International researcher, asked.

Some 130 international NGOs are represented in Burundi, according to a government official.

The suspension excluded those INGOs running hospitals and schools, in what some say is a tactic to avoid blame for any negative impacts of the suspension.

In June 2020, Maj. Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye officially took over as new president of Burundi replacing his former boss Pierre Nkurunziza who died from sudden sickness.

Nkurunziza had cultivated a very bad relationship with the international NGOs and other global institutions which later suspended aid to the East African nation.

Maj. Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye seems to be courting a new path with the NGOs and global institutions as he urgently seeks financial and technical support to rebuild the country after years of problematic leadership of his former boss.

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Cabo Delgado

Mozambique Government Hails Operations By Joint Troops in Cabo Delgado

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The Mozambican government has expressed its satisfaction with the advances made by the joint troops in the northern operational theatre, in Cabo Delgado province.

Intense fighting is ongoing in the province plagued by terrorists that have been in control since October 2017.

The minister of National Defence, Jaime Neto made the remarks on Monday in the capital Maputo during the launch of the commemorative week of the Day of the Armed Forces of Defense of Mozambique, which will reach its highest moment on the 25th of September this year.

“The result on the ground is positive. You are seeing the commitment of the Mozambican Defense Armed Forces and the friendly forces on the ground. Persecution is strong but, for us, it satisfies the pace at which things are happening,” the minister said.

He warned that it is still too premature to speak of a possible victory, but he assures that the troops continue to improve their combat strategies, with a view to consolidating the progress on the ground, cornering the terrorists who are currently scattered in some points in the areas of conflict.

However, Jaime Neto noted that there are still many challenges in the northern operational theater, but with the support of foreign troops, including the Southern African Development Community (SADC) alert force and the Rwandan army, enemies are losing ground.

For liberated areas, the situation allows the safe return of displaced populations to their villages.

“As you know, the force is already far from the starting point. For example, we have already left the Awasse area, covering the whole of Mocímboa da Praia, as far as Palma,” he stressed.

As part of the commemorations for the week of September 25, the minister urged the FDS to give all its efforts to the elimination of terrorism in Mozambique and the actions of the self-proclaimed Junta Militar da Renamo, the largest opposition party, which constitute the largest threats to security and sovereignty.

In turn, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces for the Defense of Mozambique (FADM), Joaquim Mangrasse, assured that the Mozambican forces will continue to fight on land, sea and air to protect the territorial integrity and security of the people.

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Cabo Delgado

Rwanda Army Chief Of Staff Visists Mozambique

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Rwanda Defence Force Army Chief of Staff (ACOS), Lt Gen Mubarakh Muganga is on a 4-day visit to Rwandan Forces deployed in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.

Upon arrival at Mocimboa da Praia yesterday, the ACOS was welcomed by the Joint Force Commander, Maj Gen Innocent Kabandana who briefed him about the progress of military operations against terror groups in Cabo Delgado.

Lt Gen Muganga met Rwandan troops and commended them for the good work done since their arrival in Mozambique.

He further conveyed a message of appreciation from the RDF Commander-in-Chief, President Paul Kagame, for the security achievements gained since the Force’s arrival in Cabo Delgado.

The ACOS urged the Forces to keep the momentum and continue to be good ambassadors of Rwanda.

Rwandan troops in collaboration with Mozambican Forces fought and dislodged the terror groups from several towns including their main bases in MOCIMBOA DA PRAIA and other localities that include among others AWASSE, PALMA, QUIONGA, CHINDA, MBAU, MAPALANGANHA, TETE, NJAMA, QUELIMANE and most recently SIRI I and SIRI II considered to be their strongholds.

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