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Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa Lambasts the U.S. after Capitol riot

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Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reacted to Wednesday’s violent protests in the U.S. capital after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol Building.

Trump had egged on his supporters to march to the seat of the legislature to scuttle a process to confirm the election of President-elect Joe Biden.

President Mnangagwa tweeted that the U.S. “has no moral right to punish other nations under the guise of democracy”.

He said that the U.S. has subjected Zimbabwe to “painful” economic sanctions.

The U.S. and the European Union have both maintained sanctions on Zimbabwe, citing a lack of progress in democratic and human rights reforms as well as restrictions on press freedoms while targeting specific individuals and companies.

Mnangagwa wrote: “Last year, President Trump extended painful economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, citing concerns about Zimbabwe’s democracy.

“Yesterday’s (Wednesday) events showed that the U.S. has no moral right to punish another nation under the guise of upholding democracy. These sanctions must end.

“I’d like to again congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his confirmation as the 46th President of the United States. Zimbabwe is, as it always has been, ready to work together as friends and partners with the U.S. for the benefit of both our peoples.”

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North Africa Politics

Egypt Extends State of Emergency for 3 Months

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Egyptian parliament on Thursday approved a presidential decree extending a nationwide state of emergency for three more months.

The General Committee of the House of Representatives – the lower chamber of parliament – said the state of emergency would start on Jan. 24.

“The decision has been taken to deal with the ongoing dangerous health and security conditions in the country,’’ said the general committee.

According to the decree, the armed forces and the police will take the necessary measures to fight terrorism and its financing, maintain security nationwide, protect public and private properties and preserve the lives of citizens.

According to the Egyptian constitution, presidential decisions to extend the state of emergency must be approved by the parliament.

Egypt imposed the state of emergency in 2017 after two church bombings killed at least 45.

It has since been constantly renewed in accordance with the constitution.

Egypt has been suffering terrorist attacks, which killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in remote North Sinai Province and later spread to big cities including Cairo and Alexandria, since the military ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Most of the attacks were claimed by the Wilayat Sinai, a Sinai-based group affiliated with the extremist Islamic State.

In February 2018, Egypt launched a comprehensive operation to uproot terrorism, which has since killed at least 1,000 militants.

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AfCFTA

AU Member States Adopt Digital COVID-19 Certificates

The new digital application will assist travelers to comply with Covid-19 travel protocols and share vital information to end double testing across the continent.

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From the month of January, all member states of the African Union (AU) will start using digital Covid-19 certificates as one way of eliminating travel restrictions that were occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new digital Covid-19 certificates will assist travellers to comply with Covid-19 travel protocols and share vital information to end double testing across the continent.

The application is from Econet Wireless and PanaBios and has been certified by AU and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The application will also share information concerning the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements which are applicable to the entire stretch of a passengers’ journey across the African continent.

This new innovation is coming at a time when the African Union is working closely with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat to reduce the number of non-trade barriers in the wake of implementation of African free trade.

The AU has already sent a notice to all its member states on the digital Covid-19 certificates for the simplified health-related immigration processing for travellers and port officials, to ensure that the African continent continues to control and possibly reduce the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The application powers the Trusted Travel Portal, which contains information about the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements. This is a database of authorised laboratories and vaccination compliance material.

Several African countries are now experiencing a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with a surge in cases reported daily. This has led to countries placing strict movement restriction within the countries.

Some African countries have begun assessing different COVID-19 vaccines available so as to commence procurement.

South Africa tops the continents chart of COVID-19 cases with a total of 1.37m positive reported cases so far. Of this number, 1.16m have recovered and sadly, 38,854 people have so far died of COVID-19 related cases.

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Health

COVID-19: Zimbabwe’s First Lady Calls for Prayers, Fasting

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The Zimbabwean First Lady has invited women in the country to join her for three days of prayer and fasting over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Auxillia Mnangagwa stated she would fast and pray from Thursday till Saturday for Zimbabwe to be “spared from further calamity”.

She urged women to ensure their families observe Covid-19 safety guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading further.

“We need a plan at the household level for regularly using any means at our disposal to clean and sanitise our homes, to ensure that everyone in the home knows the importance of having a mask and masking up properly, more importantly to organise sharp, safe errands for our requirements to get going whilst enforcing the family to stay at home,” she said in a statement.

Zimbabwe has lost 879 people to coronavirus, including top government officials with the most recent death being that of Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo.

On Wednesday, January 20, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Sibusiso Moyo, died after contracting COVID-19.

Moyo, a former army general who announced the military coup that led to the removal of the late long-serving leader Robert Mugabe in November 2017.

Moyo died at a local hospital early on Wednesday,.

Moyo was one of several generals who, after helping plot the coup, were rewarded with senior positions in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet and the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Another cabinet minister, retired general and agriculture minister Perrance Shiri, died of the virus in July 2020.

Zimbabwe has suffered a surge in COVID-19 infections, with more than half of the 28,675 total cases and 825 deaths being recorded since New Year’s Day.

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