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ZIMBABWE’S FIRST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION SET TO TAKE PLACE IN JULY

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Zimbabwe’s first presidential and parliamentary elections since the end of former strongman Robert Mugabe’s long rule will take place in July, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Saturday.

The polls will be the first major test of the new leader, who took power in November after a de facto military coup forced the 94-year-old Mugabe to resign.

They will also be the first without Mugabe’s name on the ballot since independence from Britain in 1980.

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“As a nation, party and government, we are looking forward to very peaceful, transparent and harmonised elections in July this year,” Mnangagwa told reporters after a meeting with South Africans President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday night.

Mnangagwa, 75, said the elections would be free of the violence that gripped previous polls and which was one of the reasons for strained relations between Zimbabwe and the West.

“I have already invited all political parties in Zimbabwe to a roundtable where we all commit ourselves to non-violence,” he added.

Mnanaggwa will have to announce a date in an official notice. He has said he would invite Western observers, who had been banned under Mugabe’s rule.

The state-owned weekly Sunday Mail said a European Union pre-election team was expectewd in Harare on Monday.

The EU head of mission in Zimbabwe, Phillipe Van Damme, told the paper it would meet the president, political party leaders, and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Mugabe, in his first comments since he stepped down, said last week that Mnangagwa’s rule was “illegitimate” and a “disgrace”.

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Motherland News

Nigerian President Buhari Warns Ballot box snatchers to value their lives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has warned those planning to snatch ballot boxes during the elections to desist or pay with his or her life if caught.



President Buhari who stated this at the opening session of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus meeting in Abuja, on Monday, said that such act would be the last unlawful act the person will be brought to book.

Meanwhile, the governors of Imo, Rochas Okorocha and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun were conspicuously absent at the meeting.

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Buhari who said he is confident that he has garnered enough supporters having gone round the country to campaign, urged party members to reassure their constituents to come out and vote on the rescheduled dates.

While urging party agents to watch out for the party interests at the polling units the president said that he has directed security agencies to identify hot spots and be ready to move should they suspect any attempts to cause problems by thugs across the country irrespective of party affiliations.

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Health & Lifestyle

DR Congo blame Unending Ebola Outbreak on Violence , Community Mistrust.

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DR Congo Ministry of Health spokesperson Jessica Ilunga has declared that violence and community mistrust have continued to hamper all efforts to control and end the fresh Ebola outbreak, which started Aug. 1.



Though according to the World Health Organization the number of new Ebola cases has dropped slightly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as there are 33% fewer cases to date in February compared with the same time period in December per STAT’s Helen Branswell, but some experts warn Axios that there remain signs that this outbreak is far from over.

Meanwhile, some experts warn that, that doesn’t mean the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak on record is yet under control, and in fact it could simply be moving to new areas of the sprawling country.

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Johns Hopkins’ public health expert Jennifer Nuzzo maintains there are several reasons people should continue to view this outbreak as a cause for concern.

However, Nuzzo said Congo needs more than money from the international community and the U.S. in particular. Safety concerns have largely caused the CDC to limit its Ebola experts to the capital city of Kinshasa, where some have returned after being evacuated during an uptick in election-related violence, Nuzzo added that Now is the time for the U.S. to send them into the field.

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