Voting has opened in Zimbabwe’s general elections. Veteran and oldest African president Robert Mugabe, 89 in power for the last 33 years has promised to step down if his ruling Zanu PF is defeated. Mugabe’s main challenger is Morgan Tsvangarai 61, former trade unionist and head of the Movement for Democratic Change MDC. Tsvangarai has been Zimbabwean Prime Minister in an uneasy coalition with Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party since February 2009. Mr Tsvangarai has promised to be magnanimous in victory and that he will allow Mugabe who at 89 is still kicking strong, to take a well deserved luxurious retirement.
Mugabe is regarded as the father of the nation and still has a stranglehold on the politics of Zimbabwe. He does not sound like someone who wants to take an early exit from political Life. The MDC has already accused the ruling party of vote rigging and has contested the authenticity of voters’ registers which still have names of people who died many years ago.
Both Mugabe and Tsvangarai are polarizing factors in Zimbabwean politics and the country needs a third political force which a breakaway faction of the opposition MDC has been unable to provide.
The main feature of the elections has been a mysterious Baba Jukwa who has been annoying ruling Zanu PF party officials by revealing their political intriques in a facebook page. All attempts to uncover the identity of the mysterious Jukwa has failed. Baba Jukwa has assess to very sensitize information from the ruling party and some analysts believe disgruntled members of Mr Mugabe’s party who want to see a change in the country have been delibrately feeding him with party secrets.
It will be a close run race and election results are expected by weekend.
Cameroon. Trial of University of Buea students continue today
17 students of the University will appear at the Buea Court of First Instance today July 31 2013 as their trial following the February 2013 unrest in the University continues. One university student leader Sigala Remy was jailed for 18 months and 15 others acquitted recently in an unconnected trial.
Those who will be in court include Njungwe Marcel, Ayuk Tabe Vitalis,Fritz Enonji, Suh Ngwa, and Wabi Franklin. The students are charged with destroying university property and holding the Vice Chancellor Nalova Lyonga hostage during the February strikes in the University.
University authorities and South West governor Bernard Okalia Bilai have denied influencing court proceedings to make sure the students are jailed to frighten other students from demonstrating in future.
Mali Elections results roll in
Former Malian Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita might not need to face another election after early results showed he is having a comfortable lead.
Mali’s Territorial Administration Minister Colonel Moussa Sinko Coulibaly told journalists in Bamako, “after one-third of votes counted, one candidate, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, has a wide margin compared with the other candidates…If maintained; there will not be a need for a second round”
There was an impressive turnout for last Sundays’ elections, the first organized by the military since it seized power in March 2012.
Full results are not expected till Friday August 2nd. There will be a run-off second round on August 11 if no party wins a 50 plus one vote majority in the elections.
Egypt. Unrest continues as first foreign eyewitness confirms Morsi is ok
Egypt’s interim leader and his military backers are still trying to figure out how to contain the militant supporters of former president Mohammed Morsi. They are now camped out at a square near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque, threatening to remain there till Mr Morsi is e-installed as president. 70 Morsi supporters were killed during clashes with the military last Saturday.
Baroness Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief yesterday became the first foreign official to see the detained Morsi. She confirmed he was in good health after she held two hours talks with him. She revealed she did not know where he was detained.
With president Obama’s administration unsure about what to do to help resolve the constitutional crisis in Egypt, the EU is in a good position to help negotiate some kind of arrangement out of the present impasse. The US that gives an annual 1.5 billion military aid to Egypt insists only early elections might bring peace to a country whose people now know they can help change presidents but can’t stop the military from intervening in politics.
Cameroon Leadership Academy Opens September 17
The second edition of the Cameroon Leadership Academy, CLA, will run from September 17 to 21 2013 at the AES Sonel Training Centre in Ombe, Mutengene, Southwest Region, Roland Kwemain, Chair of Go Ahead Africa Ltd, the organizer has said.
According to Kwemain, the CLA is a platform for building the capacity of young Cameroonian leaders thereby empowering them to play a significant role in the progress and emergence of the country.
The CLA is focused on the training and exchange of experiences by 100 Young Active Citizens from the ten regions of Cameroon aged between 18 to 35 years on the basics of civic engagement and professional accomplishment.
Explaining the motif of the CLA, the Go Ahead Africa Chair said; “Our aim is to create a world-class of young Cameroonian leaders who are masters of their own destiny and committed to serving the emergence of our country and our continent, Africa! This is the opportunity to focus on strengthening the capacity of young Cameroonian leaders who will serve as ambassadors of Vision 2035.”
Applicants are advised to go online; www.camerleadership.org to fill the application form before August 5 2013. Consideration will be given to gender equality, the inclusion of disabled persons and representation from the ten regions of Cameroon