Zimbabwe Ruling Party Replaces Mugabe as Leader with Ousted VP

Source:  TeleSUR
November 19 2017

Robert Mugabe 5.jpg
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Grace Mugabe has been expelled from the ZANU-PF party as well.

Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF has removed President Robert Mugabe as head of the party, replacing him with Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had recently been ousted as the country’s vice president. Mugabe remains the president of the country.

RELATED:  What Next for Zimbabwe After Robert Mugabe: Division and Hatred? Or ‘One Love?’

Grace Mugabe, the president’s wife, as well as Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere, Ignatius Chombo and Patrick Zhuwao, Mugabe’s nephew, were expelled from the party.

The meeting, held by ZANU-PF’s Central Committee, the highest decision-making body in the party, comes one day after a march of tens of thousands of people, in favor of ousting the long-serving leader. Protesters waved Zimbabwean flags and hoisted placards with slogans like, “Mugabe Must Rest Now,” and “No to a Mugabe Dynasty.”

However, the army reiterated that their action is “not a coup” and “not against President Mugabe,” but against “criminals” within his sphere and those who support Grace Mugabe’s political ambitions, which splintered the party ahead of its upcoming national congress to select a new leader before planned presidential elections in 2018.

Regarded across Africa and the diaspora as one of the last liberation fighters against European colonialism on the continent, a struggle epitomized in Bob Marley’s song “Zimbabwe,” Mugabe is said to have asked to serve the rest of his presidential term until next year’s elections when he will voluntarily step down. Mugabe made a public appearance days after the army came onto the streets and was seen in photos shaking hands and smiling with the army general who led the military action.

The Zimbabwe parliament

Military leaders are also set to meet with Mugabe later on Sunday, with a Catholic priest expected to mediate between the army and president, who has rejected a deal to step down, CNN reported, citing an official.

The Zimbabwe parliament is set to meet on Tuesday and could vote to start impeachment proceedings against Mugabe.

On Wednesday, the army seized power in the capital, Harare, but denied they had carried out a coup stating they were attempting to strike a deal with the president to resign.

The elder statesman put the African nation into a tailspin after firing his Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was tipped as his successor.

Zimbabwe’s Indigenization Minister Patrick Zhuwao said the veteran leader “is willing to die for his principles.” Mugabe has been the elected leader of Zimbabwe for 37 years.

RELATED: Mugabe Stripped of WHO Goodwill Ambassadorship

Ousting former president Ian Smith

After having been imprisoned for over a decade by colonial forces, as well as being prohibited from attending the funeral of his three-year-old son, Michael Nhamodzenyika, Mugabe helped lead the Chimurenga Bush War from Mozambique to oust former president Ian Smith and his white minority government.

He’d come under fire for reclaiming land to distribute more equitably among his compatriots. By 2013, despite the British government withholding the white farmer’s compensation package, Mugabe had lived up to his end of the bargain, expropriating or confirming for redistribution most of their land.

The United States imposed a credit freeze on Zimbabwe in 2001. The European Union followed suit in 2002 by imposing sanctions in the form of an asset freeze and travel ban. The measures led to a major trade deficit and adversely affected the country’s healthcare system.redistribution

Mugabe Makes First Public Appearance, Military Pushes Exit

Source:  TeleSUR
November 17 2017

mugage attending graduation.jpgMugabe attending a graduate ceremony, his first public appearance since the military mobilization on Harare. | Photo: Reuters

Being cheered by a crowd at a graduation ceremony, Mugabe made his first public appearance since the military mobilized in Harare.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe made his first public appearance at a graduation ceremony in the capital city of Harare.

RELATED:   Zimbabwe’s Military Denies Coup, Zuma Says Mugabe Is ‘Fine’

This was the first time Mugabe had been seen since his military-imposed house arrest that began on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Defence Force announces “breakthroughs” for Mugabe’s exit from power.

“The Army applauds the nation for remaining patient and peaceful while it carries out its operations,” the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, ZDF, said in a statement.

The ZDF announced that it has reached “significant progress” to facilitate the exit of the government of President Mugabe, who has remained in power since the nation’s independence in 1980, and purging “criminals” from the African nation’s political structure.

Negotiations described as “on the way forward” are still under way, the Zimbabwe Defense Forces reported in a statement, which was delivered through state media.

“Significant progress has been made in its operation to identify the criminals around President Mugabe,” said the military, while confirming the continuity of the search and capture of these “criminals”, without giving any specific details or names.

OPINION:  Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe Has Fallen From Grace

The army insisted in its statement that these people “committed crimes that caused social and economic suffering” to the country.

The statement continued, “we are working with the President and Commander in Chief Robert Mugabe on the way forward.”

“We will periodically publish press releases to keep the public informed of events in the country, and the Army applauds the nation for remaining patient and peaceful while it carries out its operations,” the statement said.

Opposition leaders told CNN that a plan to remove Mugabe was discussed “a long time ago” by members of the president’s party and members of the opposition.

State media has said that Mugabe does not intend to leave his position and instead wants to continue until 2018, when the 93-year old’s term expires.

The military mobilized to secure power, which they have said is not a coup, after a dispute over the president’s successor.

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe ‘under house arrest’ after army takeover

Sources:  BBC and businessinsider.com
November 15 2017

robert mugabe.jpgZimbabwe’s military has placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest in the capital Harare, South African President Jacob Zuma says.

Mr Mugabe told Mr Zuma in a phone call that he was fine, the South African leader’s office said.

Troops are patrolling the capital, Harare, after they seized state TV and said they were targeting “criminals”.

The move may be a bid to replace Mr Mugabe with his sacked deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, BBC correspondents say.

Mr Mnangagwa’s dismissal last week left Mr Mugabe’s wife Grace as the president’s likely successor.

Heavy gun and artillery fire could be heard in northern parts of Harare early on Wednesday.

Mr Mugabe, 93, has dominated the country’s political scene since it gained independence from the UK in 1980.

What do we know of Mr Mugabe’s situation?

The firing heard during the early morning came from Harare’s northern suburbs, where Mr Mugabe and a number of government officials live, the BBC’s Shingai Nyoka reports from Harare.

In a statement, Mr Zuma’s office said: “President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine.”

Special envoys from the Southern African Development Community would be sent to Zimbabwe, he added.

A Zimbabwean army officer, Major General Sibusiso Moyo, went on TV after the takeover to say Mr Mugabe and his family were “safe and sound and their security is guaranteed”.

sibusiso moyo zimbabwe.jpgHow did the military justify its move?

“We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and commander-in-chief of Zimbabwe defence forces comrade R.G. Mugabe and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.

“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country, in order to bring them to justice.

“As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.” Maj Gen Moyo said, reading out a statement.

Maj Gen Sibusiso Moyo read out a statement on national TV early on Wednesday

Maj Gen Moyo also called on the security services to co-operate “for the good” of the country and warned that any provocation would “be met with an appropriate response”.
Uniformed soldiers took over Zimbabwe’s state broadcaster, ZBC, and broadcast a statement to the nation in which a senior officer from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces denied that the military was staging a coup.
Soldiers could be seen deployed on the streets of the capital, Harare, alongside armoured assault vehicles.
The crisis follows unease over the future of Zimbabwe, which intensified last week when Mugabe dismissed his presumed successor, vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe and his family are “safe and sound”

The president of neighbouring South Africa, Jacob Zuma, said in a statement that he had spoken to Mugabe and that he was unharmed but confined to his home.
As daylight broke, a witness told Reuters that soldiers and armored vehicles were cutting off road access to government offices, parliament, and courts in central Harare.
The news agency also reported that the country’s finance minister had been detained by the military.
In their statement on Wednesday, the military said their aim was to “pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation” in Zimbabwe, then to give back power.  Major General S.B. Moyo, the army’s Chief of Staff Logistics, said:
“To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government.

“What this mobile defence force is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed, may result in a violent conflict.”  The military action comes shortly after a political crisis inside Zimbabwe precipitated by Mugabe’s decision to fire one of his two vice presidents.  Mugabe dismissed his presumed successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who then left Zimbabwe.
According to Reuters, military leaders saw the move as an attempt to clear the way for Mugabe’s wife, 52-year-old Grace Mugabe, to take power herself.

It is unclear where either Grace Mugabe or Mnangagwa is now. The military’s statement refers to Mugabe “and his family,” implying that his wife is with him.
Outlets including Sky News have suggested she has fled west to Namibia, but a minister in the Namibian government has denied that is the case.
Reports online that Mnangagwa has returned to Zimbabwe have yet to be verified by any major news organisation.

The situation is coming to a head in advance of the ZANU-PF special congress next month, where Mugabe can appoint a new vice-president.

 

Obama Declares Cuba and Venezuela National Security Threats

The executive order allows the president to use national emergency resources to fight the threat, such as enforcing sanctions against the country.

 raul y obama in cuba.jpg

In March, Barack Obama became the first U.S. president to visit Cuba in 88 years. | Photo: Reuters

Consistent with their new strategy of planning and working for regime change in Cuba through indirect and covert means,  the US government, through President Obama, has extended for another year economic sanctions against Cuba despite abstaining recently in the vote to end the blockade at the General Assembly of the United Nations.

A national emergency

The United States declared a national emergency to deal with perceived “threats” in Cuba and Venezuela on Friday, along with Iran, Libya, Ukraine, Zimbabwe and countries Washington claims “support terrorism.” The declarations effectively extend for another year economic sanctions already in place.

RELATEDObama Declares Venezuela a Threat to National Security

President Barack Obama warned that one of the main national security threats to the U.S. is mass undocumented immigration from Cuba, days after he ended the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” policy, which granted residency to Cubans who arrived in the U.S. without visas, reported Sputnik.

Obama used an executive order in March 2015 to declare that the situation in Venezuela has “not improved.” He cited human rights violations, persecution of political dissenters and restrictions on the freedom of the press.

When a national emergency was declared against Venezuela in 2015, Obama also ordered sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials, saying they would be banned from traveling to the United States and any and all assets and properties belonging to them would be frozen.

Under the National Emergencies Act sanctions must be renewed every year, however, the executive orders Obama signed Friday are not set to expire until two months into the Trump administration. The move appears to suggest that the Obama administration is concerned that the renewals could get overlooked in the expected chaos of Trump’s White House. If he chooses to, Trump could rescind the sanctions by executive order.

OPINIONThe Audacity of Obama’s Farewell Address

The extension of U.S. sanctions against Iran come despite the historic agreement reached last year between the two countries. The extension of sanctions against Russia, imposed in response to their actions in Ukraine and Crimea, come amidst recent hysteria about suspected interference in the U.S. election by the Putin regime. Some have speculated that Trump’s pick for foreign secretary, Rex Tillerson, may soon move to remove the sanctions given they block a multi-billion dollar project he negotiated with Russia while CEO of ExxonMobile.

The United States currently has 31 officially declared national emergencies.

Sources:  TeleSUR, Curacao Chronicle

Cuba: Zimbabwe Will Overcome the Illegal Western Sanctions

Cuban Ambassador to Zimbabwe Elio Savon OlivaCuba’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Elio Savon Oliva, is optimistic that Zimbabwe will overcome the illegal Western sanctions imposed on the country in the same manner that the Caribbean island has for more than 50 years. The United States imposed financial, commercial and economic sanctions on Cuba in 1960, two years after Cdes Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara led the overthrow of the Washington-backed Fulgencio Batista puppet regime.

The sanctions on Cuba have cost the Caribbean’s largest island billions of US dollars, and related terror activities by CIA-sponsored and trained militias have led to the loss of numerous lives through bombings and attacks on civilian air-craft.

Zimbabwe too, according to ZANU-PF’s highly subscribed 2013 election manifesto, has lost more than US$40 billion because of American sanctions over the past decade.

joice mujuruAmbassador Oliva and his wife Mrs Dlores Meras Morejon -who is also a diplomat – met Acting President Joice Mujuru (left) in Harare yesterday and said Zimbabwe too could beat sanctions.

“Zimbabwe can also overcome illegal sanctions as Cuba did. Cuba will continue supporting Zimbabwe to overcome this embargo,” Ambassador Oliva said.

He said Cuba had survived through unity of purpose among citizens and support from the international community.

The overwhelming majority of the United Nations membership has for more than 20 years voted for an end to the embargo on Cuba, with only the US, Israel and the Marshall Islands supporting the sanctions.

Similarly, much of the world – including SADC, Comesa, the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Pan-African Parliament and the SADC Parliamentary Forum, among others – have called for an end to sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The sanctions on Zimbabwe were imposed after the 2000 Fast-Track Land Reform Programme that sought to adjust colonially-skewed tenure patterns.

Ambassador Oliva said his meeting with Acting President Mujuru was to reinforce bilateral relations.

He said Cuba was also implementing an economic reform programme similar to the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-sset).

Zimbabwe and Cuba enjoy cordial relations dating to the days of the liberation struggle.

These ties have seen Cuba sending medical personnel to Zimbabwe on a government-to-government arrangement, in addition to training teachers.

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Zimbabwe: Let’s Emulate Cuba’s Tourism Model, Says Mzembi

Source:  AllAfrica.com

walter nzembi zimbabweZimbabwe’s tourism and hospitality industry should benchmark itself with Cuba’s tourism industry experience due to similar sanctions-induced economic challenges, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi said yesterday.

In an interview after meeting Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister Mr Bruno Rodriguez Parilla in Harare to exchange notes on the two countries’ tourism industries, Minister Mzembi said Zimbabwe could learn a lot from their counterparts in terms of running the tourism sector in an economic milieu that is offset by western sanctions.

Cuba survived two major market collapses

“Cuba has been under sanctions since 1961 when the US broke diplomatic relations with Cuba and immediately they lost 90 percent of their source of international arrivals. And in the mid-90s they also suffered near collapse of the tourism sector due to the collapse of the Socialist countries in Eastern Europe who were major replacement markets after the collapse of the US market. So they have suffered two major market collapses.

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