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Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa to re-equip and modernize National defense forces | Coastweek | Coastweek

HARARE (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s president-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa is seen greeting supporters at the commemoration of Heroes' Day in the capital city of Harare. Emmerson Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to focus on rebuilding the economy following the July 30 polls with the outcome being contested by the opposition MDC Alliance in court. XINHUA PHOTOS - SHAUN JUSA

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa pledges
to re-equip
and modernize nation’s defense forces 

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday pledged to re-equip and modernize the country’s defense forces and improve the conditions of service of military personnel.

Officiating at the 38th anniversary of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces Day, Mnangagwa said some of the equipment being used by the defense forces was old.

“My administration is committed to progressively and comprehensively addressing the conditions of service of our defense forces, inclusive of their housing needs as the economy improves. In addition, my administration will also pay attention to the equipping of our forces with new equipment.

“Currently some of the equipment in their possession dates back 30 years,” he said.

Economic problems bedeviling the country have not spared the military, with some officers struggling to find decent accommodation.

Mnangagwa once again urged Zimbabweans to remain peaceful in the aftermath of the July 30 elections which had taken a violent turn after some opposition supporters protested against the perceived delay in announcing the results.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Zimbabwe’s president-elect urges nation to now focus on economy after polls

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s president-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday urged Zimbabweans to now focus on rebuilding the economy following the July 30 polls whose outcome is being contested by the opposition MDC Alliance in court.

In a speech to commemorate the country’s departed heroes and heroines who sacrificed their lives for the attainment of Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980, Mnangagwa said the time for politics was over and all efforts should now be placed on reviving the economy for Zimbabwe to become a middle-income economy by 2030.

“It is now time to put elections behind us and for us to embrace the future. The task facing us today is a great one. Let us unite as Zimbabweans, revive our economy and rebuild our great nation,” Mnangagwa said.

He urged Zimbabweans to shun political differences and unite for the good of the nation.

“It is indeed important for us to close ranks and collectively push forward the national agenda and forge our country to new frontiers of economic development. Let us move forward with single mindedness, determination and unity of purpose,” he said.

He reiterated that Zimbabwe held a free, fair and credible election despite opposition claims that the election outcome was rigged in his favor.

The opposition MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa on Friday filed a constitutional court petition challenging Mnangagwa’s victory, a move that stalled his inauguration planned for Agu.12.

According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Mnangagwa polled 50.8 percent of the vote, against his nearest rival Chamisa’s 44.3 percent.

Chamisa is claiming that ZEC tampered with the votes to deny him victory in an election he also says was marred with several irregularities.

He wants the constitutional court to either declare him the winner or call for a fresh election.

In his address Mnangagwa once again blamed the MDC Alliance for instigating the post-election violence on Aug. 1 that resulted in the death of six civilians when soldiers opened fire to disperse the protesters.

He urged political parties in the country to remain peaceful and to always strive to do that which is in the public good and in the national interest.

Mnangagwa urged the nation to continuously cherish the political independence from Britain and always safeguard national security and territorial integrity.

“Let us never allow our differences to separate us, cause animosity or stir violence among us,” he said.

The nation, he said, should also strive to develop solutions to its challenges in its quest to grow the economy.

“At the national level we will continue to scale up efforts to attract investment into our country and ensure we become the prime investment destination for increased wealth creation and decent jobs,” he said.

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Zimbabwe ruling party files opposing papers against
opposition bid to nullify presidential election result

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean ruling ZANU-PF on Wednesday filed papers at the Constitutional Court opposing the application made by the opposition MDC-Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa seeking to nullify the result of the presidential election won by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Chamisa wants the court to either declare him winner or order a re-run of the presidential election.

Lead lawyer Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana said the opposition party did not have a case and was merely grandstanding.

He said that he was confident that the Constitutional Court would deal with the matter soon to pave the way for Mnangagwa’s inauguration.

“He has to be inaugurated because he is a legitimately elected President of this country,” he said.

Lewis Uriri, also representing Mnangagwa, said the opposition did not have evidence of what it was alleging were irregularities in the July 30 election in which Mnangagwa won 50.8 percent of the votes against Chamisa’s 44.3 percent.

“They are no more than clowns coming to court to play the game that ought to be played elsewhere. It’s a waste of the time of the people of Zimbabwe; yet it’s their right to be heard and we have no doubt that they will fail to prove what they allege because they have no evidence of what they allege,” he said.

Mnangagwa was due to be inaugurated on Aug. 12 but the legal action taken by the opposition two days earlier scuttled the plans.

The Constitutional Court has up to 14 days to come up with a ruling and if anyone is declared winner of the presidential election, he will be inaugurated in the following 48 hours.

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Zimbabwe opposition MDC Alliance files court challenge on Mnangagwa victory

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwe opposition MDC Alliance on Friday filed its application with the Constitutional Court seeking the nullification of the victory of incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the July 30 polls.

According to electoral authorities, Mnangagwa won 50.8 percent of the vote, beating his main rival, Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance, who has rejected the results, saying they were fraudulent.

“The application has been lodged. We are seeking a declaration to the effect that the presidential election was not properly conducted, it was not done in terms of the constitution, it was not conducted in terms of the Electoral Act and it was not conducted in terms of standards of fairness, transparency and accountability,” Chamisa’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu told reporters.

“Consequently we also seek a declaration to the effect that the announcement made by Justice Priscilla Chigumba declaring Emmerson Mnangagwa as the duly elected President of Zimbabwe is faulty at law. It is null and void and must be set aside,” Mpofu said.

He said the opposition is seeking the court to declare the proper winner and “that proper winner is my client (Chamisa).”

“In the alternative, we seek that there be another election which complies with the dictates of the law and which complies with the letter and spirit of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” the lawyer said.

The respondents should file their opposing papers within three days and the court must hear and determine the matter within 14 days.

The court challenge effectively stops the planned inauguration of Mnangagwa on Sunday.

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UN chief monitoring forced return of Zimbabwe opposition leader

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres watched with concern Thursday the situation in Zimbabwe following the alleged forced return of an opposition leader seeking asylum in neighboring Zambia.

“We’ll monitor the situation to see what has happened since his refoulement,” Farhan Haq, Guterres’ deputy spokesman, told reporters at UN Headquarters, referring to Tendai Biti, the senior opposition denied asylum in Zambia and returned to his home country.

Biti fled Zimbabwe while police were looking for him and other opposition leaders for allegedly instigating violence last week sparked by the long-time ruling party Zanu-PF winning the recent elections.

“This particular politician, Biti, was refouled from Zambia to Zimbabwe and of course we would be concerned about it if there was any mistreatment,” Haq said.

Six people died in the protests following the first election after long-time, 94-year-old President Robert Mugabe was ousted in a military coup last year. Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zanu-PF leader, was elected, defeating Nelson Chamisa, Movement for Democratic Change, (MDC) leader.

“UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, says it is gravely concerned about reports of the forced return of a Zimbabwean asylum-seeker by Zambia to his country of origin,” said Haq. “It is reported that the authorities handed him over to his country of origin today (Thursday) despite a court order to the contrary.”

Published reports said that after Biti’s return and a brief detention he was freed on 5,000 U.S. dollar bail

“Refoulement or forcibly returning refugees and asylum-seekers to their country of origin is a serious violation of international refugee law,” the spokesman said. “UNHCR calls on Zambia to investigate this reported incident urgently.”
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SEE ALSO:

Emmerson Mnangagwa of ruling ZANU-PF is elected President
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FURTHER READING:

Zimbabwe delays Mnangagwa inauguration after opposition challenge

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