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Zimbabwe ruling party meets to seal Robert Mugabe’s fall from grace

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In an open space that Zimbabwe’s ruling party has called Robert Mugabe Square, delegates gathered Friday to seal the fate of a man they had revered for decades but removed from power in dramatic scenes last month.

Emmerson Mnangagwa has already been inaugurated as the new president and party leader, replacing Mugabe, who had led the party since 1975 and the country since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Friday’s ZANU-PF party meeting is the final step in Mugabe’s fall from grace after the military put him under house arrest, hundreds of thousands rallied in the streets and lawmakers began impeachment proceedings. Under the growing pressure, the 93-year-old who had vowed to rule for life finally resigned.

The decision to remove Mugabe as party leader was made by the Central Committee, and “it is a foregone conclusion delegates will ratify,” party spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo said.

Images of Mugabe’s face, usually plastered on delegates’ dress and other paraphernalia, were conspicuously missing, as was Mugabe himself. He flew to Malaysia and Singapore earlier this week to visit family and seek medical treatment in his first overseas trip since last month’s events.

Mnangagwa at his inauguration described Mugabe as a “father, comrade-in-arms and my leader,” even though his firing by Mugabe as vice president early last month set the events in motion amid concerns that unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe might succeed him.

Mugabe’s time was up the moment he surrendered power to his wife, some party delegates said.

The ruling party also was expected to endorse the 75-year-old Mnangagwa as party leader and its presidential candidate for next year’s elections, Moyo said.

Now Mnangagwa must find a way out of his longtime mentor’s shadow, revive the severely weakened economy and win over voters ahead of elections.

On Thursday, he called for longtime sanctions to be lifted to ease foreign investment and promised measures to make the once-prosperous southern African nation “a place where capital feels safe.”

The opposition, shut out of Mnangagwa’s Cabinet in favor of military and ruling party members, has joined the United States and others in the international community in urging Zimbabwe’s new government to make sure next year’s elections are democratic.

Mnangagwa, sanctioned by the U.S. years ago for his activities as a top Mugabe aide, has said the government will do all in its power to make sure the elections are “credible, free and fair.”

24 Hours Across Africa

Juventus seal Maurizio Sarri deal

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Source :BBC

Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea to become manager of Serie A champions Juventus on a three-year deal.

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Sarri, who joined the Blues from Napoli in July 2018, led them to third in the Premier League and won the Europa League in his one season in charge.

It is understood compensation in excess of £5m has been agreed between the two clubs for the 60-year-old.

Sarri will replace fellow Italian Massimiliano Allegri, who left Juventus at the end of last season.

“In talks we had following the Europa League final, Maurizio made it clear how strongly he desired to return to his native country, explaining that his reasons for wanting to return to work in Italy were significant,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.

“He also believed it important to be nearer his family, and for the well-being of his elderly parents he felt he needed to live closer to them at this point.”

Sarri signed a three-year deal last July but now becomes the ninth full-time manager to leave Chelsea under Roman Abramovich, who bought the club in 2003.

Derby boss and former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has been linked with taking over from Sarri but the Blues are yet to make contact with the Rams.

The Championship club are keen to extend Lampard’s deal – which has two years left – and have opened talks with the 40-year-old.

Chelsea are unable to sign any players after being given a two-window transfer ban by world governing body Fifa – a decision they are appealing against at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Hong kong: two million protesters demand Lam to resign.

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Source: Reuters

Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam apologized to its people on Sunday as an estimated 1 million-plus black-clad protesters insisted that she resign over her handling of a bill that would allow citizens to be sent to mainland China for trial.

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Organizers said almost 2 million turned out on Sunday to demand that chief executive Lam step down in what is becoming the most significant challenge to China’s relationship with the territory since it was handed back by Britain 22 years ago.

Sunday’s demonstration came in spite of Lam indefinitely delaying – though not withdrawing – the bill on Saturday in a dramatic climbdown that threw into question her ability to continue to lead the city.

On Sunday, she apologized for the way the government had handled the draft law, which had been scheduled for debate last Wednesday, but gave no further insight into its fate.

Organizers pressed ahead with the protest to demand the bill’s full withdrawal, as well as to mark their anger at the way police handled a demonstration against it on Wednesday, when more than 70 people were injured by rubber bullets and tear gas.

Some of Sunday’s marchers held signs saying, “Do not shoot, we are HongKonger.”

Police said the demonstration reached 338,000 at its peak. Organizers and police have routinely produced vastly different estimates at recent demonstrations.

Organizers estimated a protest the week before drew 1 million while police said 240,000.

“It’s much bigger today. Many more people,” said one protester who gave her name as Ms Wong. “I came today because of what happened on Wednesday, with the police violence.”

Loud cheers rang out when activists called through loud hailers for Lam’s resignation and the cry “step down” echoed through the streets.

“(An) apology is not enough,” said demonstrator Victor Li, 19.

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