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Zimbabwe’s Ruling Party, ZANU-PF, Postpones Annual Conference Indefinitely

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The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party to postpone its annual conference indefinitely.

Party acting spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa, was qouted by local media on Thursday as revealing this after the party’s Politburo meeting.

Chinamasa said that the conference, which has been scheduled for Bindura, Mashonaland Central Province, in December, would no longer go ahead as a precaution against COVID-19.

He said the conference had been postponed indefinitely to allow the government, the party and people to contain the pandemic.

The party holds annual conferences for four years ahead of an elective congress every fifth year, according to its constitution.

Chinamasa said the Politburo had received a report from the Conference Coordinating Committee on the state of preparedness of the party to hold the National People’s Conference but had decided not to go ahead with the conference for the time being.

“However, in line with COVID-19 Level II restrictions currently obtaining, the Politburo resolved that having done well to contain the COVID-19 disaster as compared to other countries, the party must not get carried away,” he said.

“In times of national emergencies such as COVID-19, the priority of the party should be to protect the lives of our people and the security of our nation,” said Chinamasa.

He said the Politburo deliberated on various options available on holding the conference with suggestions on either, holding it virtually or postponing it indefinitely and holding it when the situation normalised.

“After lively, honest and frank deliberations, the Politburo took the decision to postpone the Annual People’s Conference indefinitely, to allow the government, party and the people to contain the COVID-19 pandemic without undue disturbances,” he said.

The government has since banned the holding of elections to fill casual vacancies in Parliament and local authorities, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

As at Oct. 21, the country recorded 8,215 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 236 related deaths.

Politics

Zimbabwe Arrests Mayor On Corruption Charges

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The police in Zimbabwe have arrested the mayor of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, over allegations of corruption surrounding the allocation of public land.

Jacob Mafume, who is a member of the MDC Alliance and formerly with People’s Democratic Party formerly the MDC Renewal Team party, spent the night at a police station in the city.

He has not commented on the accusations.

Mafume was elected mayor of Harare on 3 September 2020 to replace Herbert Gomba who was recalled from his position by MDC-T.

The opposition MDC Alliance party has accused the government of “weaponizing the law against its members”.

“We know that his real offence was winning the mayoral vote for the MDC Alliance… They want to remove him and replace him with a Zanu PF [ruling party] proxy,” it said in a tweet.

“This is a flimsy, political case designed to oust him from his mayoral post because he’s MDC-A.”

State-owned Herald newspaper quotes a police spokesperson as saying police will give more information on the arrest on Thursday.

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North Africa Politics

Sudan’s Former PM, Sadiq al-Mahdi, Dies Of COVID-19

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Sudanese politician and former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi has died at the age of 84.

The octogenarian died from a coronavirus infection weeks after being hospitalized in the United Arab Emirates, according to family sources and a party statement early on Thursday.

Mahdi, 84, was Sudan’s last democratically elected prime minister and was overthrown in 1989 in the military coup that brought former president Omar al-Bashir to power. Mahdi’s Umma Party was one of the largest opposition parties under Bashir.

Last month, his family said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was transferred to the UAE for treatment a few days later following a brief hospitalization in Sudan.

According to a statement by his party, Mahdi would be buried on Friday morning in the city of Omdurman in Sudan.

No successor has been named by the party but al-Mahdi’s daughter Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi, who is the party’s deputy leader has been the most visible party leader in political negotiations and the media in recent years.

Leading Sudanese opposition figure Sadiq al Mahdi talks during an interview with Reuters in Khartoum, Sudan, on April 25, 2019.

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Politics

Nigerian Senator Fined For Assault Leaves Opposition For Ruling Party

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Senator Elisha Abbo, a lawmaker from Adamawa State, Northeast Nigeria has defected from Nigeria’s opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Abbo, who was recently convicted and fined for assaulting a woman, announced his switch on the floor of the Senate.

In a letter titled “Movement of God’s People from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC,” Abbo blamed the mismanagement of the opposition in his state as his reason for changing parties. He said governor of the state Ahmad Fintiri is not handling the party well.

“I write to formally inform you Sir, the Senate and indeed Nigerians of my defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), ” he wrote in the letter.

“This is as a result of the mismanagement of the PDP by Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri in Adamawa State which led to the crisis in the party that in turn led to the polarization of the party in the state (PDP and rPDP).

“Today I join the APC and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhamadu Buhari to build the Nigeria of our dreams.

“The journey may be long, but we are on the right track as I strongly believe that by the end of the tenure of Mr President, Nigeria will be a better place.

“My Senate President Sir, it is worthy of note that in the history of Nigeria’s Nascent democracy, specifically from 1999 till date, no President has paid attention to the welfare of Nigerian Citizens like President Muhamadu Buhari as it is evident in packages such as:i. Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT); ii. Homegrown School Feeding Program (HGFP); iii. Trader Money; iv. Market Money; v. Farmers’ Money; vi. nPower; vii. Special Public Works Programme, currently employing 1000 persons from each of the 774 local Government Areas; viii. National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA): Buhari Young Farmer’s Network; ix. Artisans and Transportation Grants; x. Guaranteed Off-take Scheme; xi. CAC Business Formalization Scheme; xii. Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Grants among others.

“Thus, in living up to the expectation of the good people of Adamawa North Senatorial District, I hereby defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) with effect from today being Wednesday, the 25th day of November, 2020.

“Accept Distinguished SP Sir, the assurances of my highest regards.”

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