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Zimbabwe Harare International Airport
to be named after Robert Mugabe

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Harare International Airport will be renamed after President Robert Mugabe with effect from Nov. 2017, a Cabinet minister has said.

Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Joram Gumbo told state media that the airport will be renamed Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport after the International Civil Aviation Organization approved the proposed change of names.

“The International Civil Aviation Organization has approved the change of name. The process has started and by end of November we will have renamed it,” Gumbo said.

This will be the second time in post-independent Zimbabwe that an airport has been named after a person, the first one being Bulawayo Airport which was upgraded from domestic to international and renamed Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport after the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo.

The only other public airport bearing the name of a person is the Mount Hampden Airstrip.

The then Rhodesian government changed its name to Charles Prince Airport in 1978 after Charles Hilton Prince who had worked there between 1958 and 1973 as Air Traffic Controller and airport manager.

Many roads in major urban centers have been named after Mugabe, with even an orphanage at a mission school in Manicaland bearing his name.

Gumbo said the ruling Zanu-PF party had on numerous occasions requested the renaming of the airport after him.

“We think it is a small recognition by the people of Zimbabwe to name the Harare International Airport as the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. It is something small to recognize his contribution.

“He is a peacemaker. He is an icon for Africa,” Gumbo said.



Zimbabwe opposition leader recovers from illness ahead of polls next year

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has fully recovered from a recent illness which saw him being airlifted to neighboring South Africa for treatment, an official said Friday.

His spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said Tsvangirai had completed his medical procedure and was in a stable condition.

“President (of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change) Morgan Tsvangirai, who is in a very stable condition, has completed his medical procedure in South Africa but is now taking several days of rest from the hectic schedule of work that awaits him in Harare,” Tamborinyoka said in a statement.

He said Tsvangirai will not be at work for some days to come as he fully recharges his batteries ahead of the mammoth responsibility of providing leadership in galvanizing the nation for the watershed polls set for next year.

In the meantime, the three Vice Presidents of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party will continue to execute their assigned tasks to ensure consistent and uninterrupted leadership to the various party programs currently taking place, said Tamborinyoka.

Tsvangirai, who was diagnosed of colon cancer in 2016, was airlifted to South Africa on Sept. 15 after suddenly falling ill while at a workshop in Kadoma, Zimbabwe.

His party did not disclose what he was being treated for in South Africa but the opposition leader receives his cancer treatment in the neighboring country.

The 65-year-old Tsvangirai is due to challenge President Robert Mugabe in next year’s polls.



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