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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Renewed Sanctions: Zimbabwe president
urges United States to be more objective

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has exhorted the United States to have a clear grip of the political situation in the country.

State-owned newspaper The Herald reported Thursday that Mnangagwa had told reporters after meeting new U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe Brian Nichols the previous day that the new envoy, who started his tour of duty in the country in July, should have a proper understanding of what is happening in the country.

Nichols paid a courtesy call on Mnangagwa a few days after U.S. President Donald Trump renewed sanctions on the country.

Nichols urged the Zimbabwean Constitutional Court to remain impartial as it dealt with the challenge on the presidential election result brought before it by opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance.

Chamisa is challenging Mnangagwa’s victory over him after the president polled 50.8 percent of the vote to his 44.3 percent.

Asked what his views were on Trump’s decision to renew the sanctions, Mnangagwa said:

"Should I concern myself about what is happening in Washington?

"Do they concern themselves about us?"

He said the discussions he had held with Nichols were necessary since he was an ambassador who should have the correct appreciation of the current political environment.

"We were able to share his views and my views on the current situation in the country and we are moving forward as a country.

"We would want our people, yourselves to be peaceful, to convey the message of peace, tranquility and unity.

"Only when the country is stable and people are peaceful can development thrive, not when we are throwing stones at each other.

"That is the message you people must convey," he said.

Six people died on Aug. 1 after opposition supporters protested in central Harare over perceived delays by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to announce the results of general elections held two days earlier.
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UPDATES:

Zimbabwe constitutional court to hear challenge
to president-elect Mnangagwa’s victory

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe will on Aug. 22 hear opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s application seeking to nullify President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the July 30 presidential election.

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

His spokesperson, Nkululeko Sibanda, confirmed in a twitter message on Thursday that the court has set Aug. 22 as the day on which it would hear the application.

"President Nelson Chamisa’s court application to be heard on the 22nd of August 2018 at 10 am.

The evidence is overwhelming and victory is certain," Sibanda said.

Chamisa filed his papers seeking the nullification of the presidential election result on Aug. 9, with Mnangagwa, through the ruling ZANU-PF’s secretary for legal affairs Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana, filing opposing papers on Wednesday.
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Zimbabwe poised for significant power boost as China ratchets up investment

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe is poised for a major energy boom that could significantly lower its reliance on imports once China completes the expansion of the country’s major power plant.

The Hwange Thermal Power Station, the 14th largest plant in southern Africa, has an installed capacity of 920 MW but has not been operating at its optimum level due to aging.

The 1.5 billion U.S. dollar expansion project by Sinohydro, China’s hydropower engineering and construction firm, will lift the plant’s installed capacity to 1,590 MW, which is expected to maintain its position as the country’s biggest power plant.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the project, once completed, will modernize Zimbabwe’s energy infrastructure and ensure energy self-sufficiency.

It is the largest power development project to be undertaken by Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

Expansion work started in June, and is expected to be completed by mid-2022.

This is Sinohydro’s second major power development project in Zimbabwe in five years.

The firm started the expansion of Kariba South Hydro Power Station in 2014 and completed the work in March 2018, raising its installed capacity to 1,050 MW from 750 MW, making it currently the largest power generator in Zimbabwe.

When commissioning the Kariba expansion project in March, Mnangagwa hailed the project as a milestone achievement in the country’s quest for development.

The president said apart from helping the country, which has faced perennial power shortages and a pressure to reduce its power import bill, the additional 300MW would significantly boost power supplies in the country that is seeking to revive its economy after nearly two decades of stagnant growth.

Zimbabwe has a national power demand of 1,600 MW but is currently producing 1,200 MW.

It plugs the shortfall through imports from neighboring South Africa and Mozambique.

Li Yueping, vice president of the Power China Group, the parent company of Sinohydro, said the power projects in Zimbabwe will help drive industrial and mining development, support economic recovery and benefit millions of households.

"In the future, we will continue to work jointly with our Zimbabwean partners for a new era and new journey," he said.

           

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