Jul 21, 2018 Last Updated 1:53 PM, Jul 20, 2018
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Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe plan to form a regional bloc for tobacco producing nations in the SADC region.

Local trade and agriculture authorities have been meeting these other tobacco producing countries to enhance their regional block agenda.

This is in the hope of ensuring that they are able to speak with one strong voice, to avoiding being ripped off by international buyers.

Issues of pricing have been a shared problem in most of the tobacco producing countries, as international buyers tend to offer low prices for good leaf.

Director of Trade in the Ministry Christina Chatima discloses that the anti-smoking lobby is still their main challenge and they believe the coming together of the countries will help in voicing out concerns on the matter.

She adds that discussions on the union are progressing well and that they were to meet at the end of May.

Meanwhile Trade Spokesperson Wiskesi Mkombezi confirms the meeting has taken place.

Mkombezi however points out that the delegation that attended the talks is yet to furnish them with details of what has transpired at the meeting.

More than 100 political parties are expected to take part in the Zimbabwe elections expected to be held in July.

Preparations for watershed elections got underway over the weekend, with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) opening the voters roll for inspection countrywide.

The July election would be the country's first since independence in 1980 without the long-time ruler and former president Robert Mugabe.

About 5.5 million Zimbabweans have registered to vote in the country's elections.

The country's election body said opening the voters roll for inspection would help clean up anomalies and ensure fairness in the country's elections.

“The most commonly observed discrepancies anomalies arouse from typographic errors and incorrect polling stations posting while others involve people with same IDs and multiple registrations.

"It is for these reasons that the roll has to be inspected and it is for this reasons it is referred as the professional voters roll because is it in progress to identity more anomalies through subjecting it to public inspecting before final voters roll is gazetted. In other words, the inspection of the voters roll is an auditing process,” said ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba.

Chigumba also noted stories circulating on social media that say the electoral commission has already started rigging the election in favour of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his ruling Zanu PF.

“Let me take this opportunity to announce that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission would like to dissociate itself with an app which is circulating and this app has our logo and a message click to vote.

"When one follows the app the following messages appears 'Congratulations you have voted for Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa your vote counts'. Members of the public are advised that the message did not originate from ZEC and would like to state the commission does not use Whats App to communicate,” she said.

All Eyes On Zimbabwe

All eyes are on Zimbabwe after its President announced his resignation on Tuesday.

 The southern africa nation's leader, Robert Mugabe threw in the towel after being pilled pressure from the country's millitary. 

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces took over last week and refused to call their intervention a Coup.

This led to Mugabes' sacking on sunday as leader of the governing Zanu-PF. Officials from the Party odered Mugabe, 93 to resign on Monday, to which he refused.

As Mugabe's deadline elapsed, parliament met to begin the impeachment process, however in the midst of it all, Parliamentarians recieved Mugabe's resignation letter which was then read out.

The news was recieved by chants and shouts of jubilations from not only the parliamentarians but also the public.

Hundreds of people took to the streets to celebrate what many term as Ziimbabwe's freedom day.

Currently, Zimbawe is being led by the military as former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is yet to be sworn in as president.

The country will in 2018 hold elections to choose another leader.

The developments in Zimbabwe are being monitored in Malawi and the rest of the world.

 

Governments in Malawi and the rest of Southern Africa are closely monitoring developments in Zimbabwe where the military has intervened in a power struggle that has rocked the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union known in short as Zanu-PF.

The announcement followed the sound of explosions early Wednesday morning after tanks and army vehicles drove into Harare and took over key government buildings and offices including the state controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

According to international media reports, the military has placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest in the capital Harare.

South African President Jacob Zuma spoke to Mugabe on the phone where he said he was fine.

The developments in Zimbabwe are moving swiftly after the recent expulsions of potential successors of the country’s 93 year old leader.

One of them is Emmerson Mnangagwa a former intelligence chief who was also the Vice President of the country. 

He was purged after being regarded as a threat to Mugabe’s personally marked successor, his wife, Grace Mugabe.

Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe last week and reports said he had fled to Malawi where he sought refuge. 

Amid the unrest in the country, Mnangagwa tweeted on his personal account urging Zimbabweans to keep calm.

It read: "Zimbabweans stay calm &remain tuned to national news. I'm back in the country &will be quite busy over the next few days. My communication​ with you will now be via formal broadcasting channels so I'm unlikely to use the twitter handle. Thank you all for the support & solidarity".

 

 

The government of Malawi is neither confirming nor denying reports that fugitive former vice president of Zimbabwe Emerson Mnangagwa has sought refuge in the country.

Mnangagwa was fired from his position last week by President Mugabe in what is being described as political power struggle within the ruling Zanu-PF.

Mnangagwa, 75, was accused of being disloyal to Mugabe and his administration.

His removal made it more likely that President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace will follow in her husband's footsteps as leader of Zimbabwe.

She had earlier called on her husband to remove his vice-president who is a former intelligence chief, had been a leading candidate to succeed President Mugabe, 93.

According to reports, Grace Mugabe is expected to be appointed vice-president at a special congress of the ruling Zanu-PF party next month.

Mnangagwa was later ultimately fired from the ruling party, Zanu-PF on Wednesday last week and he then fled the country.

Reports say he has sought refuge in Malawi.

Speaking to Capital FM, however, Foreign Affairs Minister Emmanuel Fabiano demanded for more time before he could comment on the issue.

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