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Zimbabwe President Decries ‘Divisive Falsehoods’ Over Rights Abuse Claims

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Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops, Lawyers Criticize Alleged Government Abuses

Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has on Monday called criticism of human rights abuses by his government, “divisive falsehoods”. Mnangagwa says his administration was under renewed attack from domestic and foreign opponents.

Human rights groups and lawyers say activists are being arrested, abducted and tortured after they called for street demonstrations in late July. The government snuffed out the planned protests by deploying security forces on the streets. Arrests were also made.

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The main opposition movement for democratic change says about 30 of its members have fled their homes fearing abduction or arrest by state security agents.

Mnangagwa, during a Heroes Day speech in Harare, said the allegations were “unjustified attacks by whom he called perennial detractors, both inside and outside our border”.

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Mnangagwa, replaced Robert Mugabe after a 2017 coup with hopes that Mnangagwa would unite a polarized country and revive a stricken economy following the Mugabe era have been dashed. Like his predecessor, Mnangagwa accuses the west of funding the opposition to destabilize the country.

Critics also say Mnangagwa is using the cover of a COVID-19 lockdown to silence critics as anger grows over 737% inflation – which has brought back memories of hyperinflation under Mugabe a decade ago – a collapsing health sector and shortage of public transport.

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Mnangagwa, however, said his government had set a firm foundation “for a thriving constitutional democracy, and a just, open, accountable and prosperous society”.

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South Africa To Reopen International Travel

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South Africa To Reopen International Flight

South Africa says it will reopen its borders to international travel next month.  President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country has seen a significant drop in daily new coronavirus infections.

South Africa is the worst hit nation on the continent with more than six hundred sixty-five thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases. The virus also claimed more than 16,000 lives in the country. So far, more than 4 million coronavirus tests have been conducted.

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Transport minister Fikile Mbalula said travellers must present a 72-hours certification of covid-19 negative result.

Authorities say airports in Johannesburg and Cape Town are the only other two airports that will be open to let locals travel abroad and receive foreign visitors from countries deemed non-high-risk.

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South Africa: Ramaphosa Backs Removal Of Statues ‘Glorifying Racism’

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SA Leader Backs Removal Of Statues 'Glorifying Racism'

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has given a nod to the removal of statues that glorify the country’s apartheid past. Ramaphosa said “any symbol, monument or activity that glorifies racism, or represents ugly past, has no place in democratic South Africa.

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The campaign to remove statues of historical apartheid figures has been growing in the country, gaining support mainly from blacks.

The South African president said in a virtual address on Thursday “monuments glorifying divisive past should be re-positioned and relocated.  He made the remark as the country marked heritage day, an annual public holiday, to celebrate the country’s diverse cultures.

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Ramaphosa said removal of the statues should not be taken as erasing history, but as a way of “being sensitive to the lived experiences of the country’s people. He said the objective is to build a united nation.

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Mali’s Interim President To Be Sworn Into Office

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Mali’s Interim President To Be Sworn Into Office

Mali’s new interim president Bah Ndaw is due to be sworn into office today.  The former defence minister was picked by coup leader, Colonel Assimi Goita, to head a transitional government until elections are held.

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The military junta in Mali took over power and forced Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta out of office five weeks ago. ECOWAS leaders have overseen negotiations for a return to democracy.  The appointment of a civilian president was a condition for the west African regional group, ECOWAS, to lift the sanctions it earlier imposed after the coup.

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Mali leaders are hoping ECOWAS will lift sanctions on the country after the inauguration. The new government is expected to be in office for a transition period of 18 months that will lead to an election.

READ:  Doctors Call Off 40-Day Old Strike In Zimbabwe

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