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Robert Mugabe hints at retirement

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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has announced his retirement.

The Zimbabwean president has always maintained that he would die in office.

Speaking to a group of war veterans at the weekend Mugabe admitted that the country’s economy is crumbling and said he would retire.

Zimbabwe’s currency is in poor shape and banks running out of cash, the country is also feeling the pinch of a crippling drought.

However ZanuPF said Mugabe will still be contesting in the country’s next election in 2018 and if he is re-elected, he will only retire in 2023, when he turns 99.

Mugabe told the “war collaborators” that he believed he had now “defeated… the British and Americans…” and that he understood times were difficult in Zimbabwe. “We are in a critical time… for regime change.”

Mugabe regularly tells supporters that Zimbabwe has yet to be unexplored financial riches, but that is not what local geologists and other analysts say.

“There was a time, some years ago, when Zimbabwe seemed important, that it could be a powerhouse in the region, but that moment has long gone, and now it is hard to find anyone who can forecast how it can repay its debts even with a new leadership, let alone attract foreign investment,” said a Harare-based financial analyst who asked not to be named.

“There are no so-called unexplored minerals. The best opportunities are a few, well managed, small mines, but nothing big.”

He also questioned why anyone with alternatives would choose to live in Zimbabwe, as it was short of water and electricity. “There is not much to attract anyone to Zimbabwe these days. It is not a particularly comfortable or attractive place to live nowadays.”

Mugabe also acknowledged that there were factions within Zanu PF but that they would come together ahead of the next elections. Veteran Zimbabwe political analyst Brian Raftopoulos says chances that the fractured opposition could win the next elections are “bleak”.

Zimbabwe is so broke it has largely run out of the cash it uses, US dollars, and later this week a new currency called Bond Notes will emerge in some bank exporters’ bank accounts.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Bahaa admits standing-in for Mo Salah in Tv ads

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Ahmad Bahaa says he has acted as a stand-in for the Liverpool and Egypt striker in TV commercials.

Electronics engineer Bahaa told an Egyptian talk show on Al-Nahar TV he had appeared as Salah in mobile phone and soft drinks adverts, as well as an anti-drugs campaign.

“I did several ads with Salah,” he said.

Bahaa only appears in wide shots, not close-ups.

Mo Salah and Ahmad Bahaa

Seeing double? Mo Salah and his lookalike

“Salah of course can’t stay for long to shoot a single ad,” Bahaa explained.

“I would spend a couple of days [shooting] here, while they complete [filming] with him in England.

“This is just to speed up the process because he doesn’t have a lot of time to spare.”

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24 Hours Across Africa

Referendum is inevitable; says Catalan ex-deputy leader

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After massive protest over Spain’s Supreme Court ruling on the Catalan separatist leaders, The ex-regional learder says referendum is unavoidable.

Oriol Junqueras, the Catalan regional government’s former deputy leader, said in emailed answers to questions that the prison sentences imposed on him and eight others on charges of sedition only made them and their movement stronger and more determined

The court on Monday slapped the longest prison term, 13 years, on Junqueras. The convictions sparked protests across the region.

“What I’m sure of is that this conflict is to be resolved via ballot boxes … we are convinced that sooner or later a referendum is inevitable because otherwise, how can we give a voice to the citizens?” he wrote from prison, adding that he did not regret having organized a referendum in 2017.

“That we will carry on and not give up because we never have and won’t do it now. That prison and exile have made us stronger and makes us ever more convinced, if that is possible, in our profoundly democratic beliefs.”

All defendants were acquitted of the gravest charge, rebellion. Three other defendants were found guilty only of disobedience and not sentenced to prison.

“I’m sure this sentence will not weaken the independence movement, quite the contrary,” he said.

Catalonia’s independence drive has been a major challenge for Spain for years, attracting worldwide attention when separatist leaders defied courts and conducted a referendum on secession in October 2017 and a subsequent short-lived declaration of independence.

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