Susan Njanji

Rights groups concerned over Taylor trial

Rights groups in Sierra Leone said on Tuesday they feared former Liberian president and warlord Charles Taylor, on trial for crimes against humanity, could undermine -- or even escape -- international justice. Taylor pleaded not guilty on Monday during his first appearance at a United Nations-backed court to charges including murder, mutilation, sexual slavery and use of child soldiers.

Taylor pleads not guilty to crimes against humanity

Liberian ex-president Charles Taylor, once one of Africa's most feared strongmen, pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of crimes against humanity over years of atrocities in Sierra Leone. ''Most definitely, I'm not guilty,'' Taylor told Judge Richard Lussick at the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Mugabe plans to ‘consolidate gains’

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe opens the annual congress of his ruling Zanu-PF party on Friday, buoyed by his recent big win in controversial senate elections and infighting that has left the opposition in tatters. About 5 000 delegates of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) will converge on the small town of Esigodini in the southern Matabeland province.

Zim’s Senate polls ring death knell for opposition

Elections to a new Senate in Zimbabwe this weekend appear to have sounded the death knell for a party that posed the stiffest challenge to President Robert Mugabe's rule. The elections have exposed deep divisions in the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party and chances of two feuding factions reconciling have grown slimmer in the run-up to Saturday's polls.

Zim’s MDC to boycott Senate elections

Zimbabwe's main opposition on Wednesday announced it will boycott next month's polls to a newly created Upper House of Parliament, saying elections in the country are a farce and breed ''illegitimate outcomes''. Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said democracy in Zimbabwe is still a farce.

Keep your distance, defiant Mugabe tells West

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe returned to work on Monday after a visit to China yielded a few agreements but fell way short of an expected rescue package for his country, and remained defiant of Western criticism of his regime. The 81-year-old leader shrugged off global pressure over his government's urban demolition blitz.

Thousands homeless as Zim police raze townships

The oldest, most populous township in Zimbabwe's capital was filled with debris on Monday as police pressed on with a highly unpopular drive to clean up Harare, while resident complained they were hit by a ''tsunami''.

Zim prepares for UN envoy’s visit

United Nations envoy for humanitarian needs James Morris winds up his trip to drought-stricken Southern African this week, meeting with Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe to discuss food needs. Morris has already been forewarned by the state media not to overstep his mandate when he visits the country on Wednesday.

Zim reels under post-poll shortages

Zimbabweans are reeling under a serious shortage of basic commodities and erratic power supplies following the March 31 parliamentary elections, and experts partially blame this on dwindling foreign exchange reserves and a poor harvest. Captains of industry and trade union leaders say the shortages were anticipated.

Zim opposition still leading the race

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Friday made a strong early showing in elections, taking more than a quarter of contested seats in Parliament, the electoral commission said. The MDC won 31 seats in its urban strongholds.

MDC slams ‘mass fraud’ in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday dismissed the elections as a ''disgusting massive fraud'' and accused President Robert Mugabe of treating his country like ''his private property''. Incoming election results are showing that Mugabe's ruling party is starting to close in on Tsvangirai's early lead.

We need change, say Zim voters

Zimbabweans were holding landmark elections on Thursday that President Robert Mugabe hopes will tighten his ruling party's 25-year grip on power after weeks of campaigning. Under an early-morning drizzling rain, thousands of people could be seen queueing at polling stations in Harare.

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