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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Zimbabwe veterans to stage more protests until Mugabe leaves

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The influential Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) said Monday it would invite Zimbabweans back into the streets for more protests until President Robert Mugabe steps down.

The association spoke after Mugabe failed to announce his resignation as widely expected in a televised address to the nation Sunday night.

ZNLWVA chairperson Christopher Mutsvangwa told a press conference that Mugabe should stop pretending that things were normal in the country after the military "stepped in" to weed out "criminals" surrounding him, whom it accused of committing crimes that threatened national security.

"If Mugabe refuses to step down, we are going back to the people and calling on them to come back onto the streets.

"Last time about 1.5 million people participated in the streets and this time we want even more support.

"We will stage a sit in until Mugabe is gone.

"We will not leave Harare until he is gone," Mutsvangwa said.

Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets of Harare Saturday to call on Mugabe to resign.

Mugabe was recalled from the ruling ZANU-PF party as its leader and given until noon Monday to step down or face impeachment.

But in his national address Sunday night, Mugabe said he would chair the party’s extraordinary congress next month to address challenges afflicting the party.

Meanwhile, Mutsvangwa said the war veterans association had instituted court action to legalize the military action against Mugabe after the army seized power from him last Wednesday.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

In political storm, Zimbabwe’s mobile networks
overwhelmed by avid social media users

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Events of the past week surrrounding the fate of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe have put tremendous pressure on the mobile networks of the sounthern African country as people chose to stay on social media to be in the loop.

State-owned NetOne said on Monday that its network experienced congestion.

"We would like to inform all our valued customers that we are currently experiencing high data usage and congestion on the network. We are doing all the best we can to address the issue," a message posted to NetOne’s subscribers said.

Zimbabwe’s military took over government functions last week in an action they said was not a coup but has been widely interpreted as such, saying that it wanted to get rid of "criminals" around Mugabe and put the economy back on the rails.

Many took to social media to spread the news.

Even those in the diaspora stayed on their mobile phones and were sharing pictures of what was happening as excitement gripped Zimbabweans who believed that a new political dispensation beckoned, especially on Saturday when tens of thousands marched against Mugabe.

Messages were being posted via Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter with images of the march and commentaries.
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Zimbabwe’s Mugabe says to chair ZANU-PF congress
in December despite recall from ruling party

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe told his countrymen on live television on Sunday evening that he will chair the ruling party’s congress in December to resolve problems afflicting the ZANU-PF.

Mugabe’s address on national television came after the ZANU-PF’s decision earlier Sunday to recall him from the position of party leader and give him until noon Monday to resign as president or face impeachment proceedings.

In his address from the State House, Mugabe, flanked by army generals, acknowledged the presence of ills afflicting his party and said he would chair the ZANU-PF’s congress next month to resolve the problems once and for all.

He said he was in agreement with the concern raised by the army generals in a meeting at State House that the infighting in the party was hurting the economy.

"Among the issues discussed (with the army generals) is that relating to our economy, which as we all know is going through a difficult patch.

"Of greater concern to our commanders are the well-founded fears that the lack of unity and commonness of purpose in both party and government was translating into perceptions of inattentiveness to the economy.

"Public spates between high ranking officials in the party and government, exacerbated by multiple conflicting messages from both the party and government, made the criticisms leveled against us inescapable," Mugabe said.

He said some of the conflicts in the party were being caused by inter-generational conflict which he said must be resolved and harmonized through merging of old established players as they embrace and welcome new rules.

"Indeed all these matters will be discussed and settled at the forthcoming congress within the framework of a clear radioman that seeks to resolve once and for all any omissions or contradictions that have affected our party negatively," Mugabe said.

"The congress is due in a few weeks from now and I will preside over its processes, which must not be prepossessed by any acts calculated to undermine or to compromise the outcomes in the eyes of the public," he said.

Mugabe said the military operation last Wednesday was triggered by concerns arising from their reading of the state of affairs in the country and the party.

"Whatever the pros and cons of the way they went about registering those concerns, I as the president of Zimbabwe and their commander -in-chief do acknowledge the issues they have drawn my attention to and I do believe that these were raised in the spirit of honesty and out of deep and patriotic concern of the stability of our nation and for the welfare of our people."

Mugabe said in his meeting with the commanders they underscored the need for the party to collectively start process that return the nation to normalcy.

Mugabe said the military operation did not amount to a threat to the country’s constitutional order nor was it a challenge to his authority as head of state and government and commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces.

"The command element remained respectful, and computed within the dictates and mores of constitutionalism.

"True, a few incidents may have occurred here and there but these are being corrected," Mugabe said.

He said he was happy that throughout the short period of the military intervention the pillars of state remained functioning.

Mugabe said the infighting in his party was affecting government projects and said this should now stop as the party inaugurates a new work culture which shows a strong sense of purpose and commitment to turning around the fortunes of the economy.

Mugabe also acknowledged the role played by liberation war fighters and said the party will strive to cater for their welfare and ensure their participation in strategic party and government positions.

He said the party has to return to its guiding principles as enshrined in the constitution, which must apply fairly and equitably in all situations.

"The era of victimization and arbitrary decisions must be put behind as we all embrace a new ethos predicated on the supreme law of our party," he said.

           

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