Fanuel Jongwe

Zim rights groups vow mass protests

Zimbabwe's opposition and rights groups vowed on Monday to stage mass street protests against plans by President Robert Mugabe's supporters to extend the veteran ruler's term by another two years. The ruling Zimbabwe African National Union -- Patriotic Front has proposed that 82-year-old Mugabe's term be extended to 2010 by postponing presidential elections.

Defiant Mugabe dodges speculation over his future

Robert Mugabe dodged speculation on Friday about an extension to his presidency in an address to Zimbabwe's ruling party after warning potential successors there is no vacancy at the top. The 82-year-old, in power since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980, instead used his annual speech to Zanu-PF delegates to lambaste the one-time colonial masters.

Watchdog unlikely to get teeth into Zim inflation

The establishment of a new government watchdog to monitor prices and incomes in Zimbabwe is only likely to further accelerate the country's runaway inflation rate, according to analysts. Officials say a Bill is to be tabled in Parliament shortly for the creation of a prices and incomes commission in a country where the level of inflation crossed the 1 000% mark six months ago and now stands at 1 070%.

Zimbabwe journalists face ‘propoganda’ probe

Zimbabwean authorities have once again locked horns with the country's independent media after a state watchdog accused the journalists' union of disseminating propaganda against President Robert Mugabe's regime. The complaint was filed against the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists days after a case against an independent radio station was thrown out of court.

Zim police thwart union protests

Opponents of veteran Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe abandoned plans on Wednesday for a series of anti-government protests after the organisers were arrested in a police crackdown. The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions had hoped thousands of protesters would take to the streets in nationwide rallies to denounce fuel and food shortages.

Zim police deploy ahead of protests

Authorities in Zimbabwe staged a massive security operation on Wednesday in a bid to head off a series of banned protests against the economic crisis presided over by veteran President Robert Mugabe. Armed police fanned out across the capital, Harare, conducting body searches and spot checks of cars in scenes repeated in other major towns and cities throughout the country.

Zim opposition faces test of strength

Mass protests are planned across Zimbabwe on Wednesday, in the first test of strength among opponents of President Robert Mugabe since a bitter split in the ranks of the Movement for Democratic Change. Leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions insist they are ready to defy tough security laws and government threats with a series of marches.

Zim’s rights record under the spotlight

Zimbabwe's rights record was under the spotlight on Wednesday with critics blasting a proposed surveillance Bill and the failure to resettle hundreds of thousands whose homes were razed last year. In a further blow, the economically ravaged country's once-vibrant tobacco sector hit a new low on the last day of the auction season with sales expected to plummet 31%.

Chaos as Zim switches to new currency

Zimbabweans struggled to dispose of their soon-to-be worthless cash Monday as shops and businesses refused to accept old bank notes ahead of a deadline to convert to a new currency. In a move aimed at fighting runaway inflation, Zimbabwe's Reserve Bank slashed three zeros from its currency on July 31 and set a 21-day ultimatum for old notes to be handed in.

Zim rights groups to fight ‘eavesdrop’ law

Zimbabwean rights groups are preparing to fight a new Bill that would allow state agents to eavesdrop on private conversations and monitor faxes and e-mails. The Interception of Communications Bill is the latest in a series of laws critics say are meant to crush government opponents and emasculate the country's once-vibrant independent press.

Zimbabweans ‘living from hand to mouth’

As Zimbabwe reels under a world-record inflation of 1 042,9%, many are forsaking meals and walking or cycling for scores of kilometres to work every day in a tortuous battle to survive. Zimbabwe is going through the seventh year of economic recession characterised by four-digit inflation, shortages of basic foodstuffs while at least 80% of the population lives below the poverty threshold.

Zimbabwe considers taking back its white farmers

Zimbabwe is ready to allow the return of white farmers who were driven off their farms under President Robert Mugabe's land reform programme, the agriculture minister told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday. But minister Joseph Made denied that the new openness toward white farmers marked an about-face in land-reform policies that have been widely criticised as a failure.

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