No immunity from prosecution for Grace Mugabe - Mnangagwa

27 January, 2018, 20:32 | Author: Charlene Valdez
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Attending his first global conference since replacing former president Robert Mugabe through a military action, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa has not only put a new face to the leadership of the country, but a new message as well - that Zimbabwe is open for business, and to foreign observers interested in overseeing the upcoming elections.

"Next month I will be able to make a proclamation of elections, so I believe that elections will not be in July, they will be earlier than July", Mnangagwa said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Questioned whether he would allow observer missions from the likes of the European Union (EU) in, he answered: "If you have that criteria, why would you want to deny worldwide observers coming to our country? The European Union. I would welcome them", he said.

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The worldwide community will be closely watching the vote, which is seen as a litmus test of Mnangagwa's democratic credentials and is key to unlocking badly needed financial assistance and repairing relations with Western powers and global financial institutions. "We don't want to think along racial lines, that is the philosophy of the past". The ruling ZANU-PF holds a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

"We have not given anyone any immunity", he said, but added that Mugabe had been given a "very lucrative package" that included a salary, allowances and first-class travel.

The country is on its way to rejoining the Commonwealth with President Mnangagwa yesterday saying there were no more impediments to Zimbabwe hooking up with the club of former British colonies.

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The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has been weakened by splits, and its leader Morgan Tsvangirai is in poor health as he battles cancer. President Mnangagwa, who was accompanied by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba met President Berset at his Davos offices.

In the latter half of Mugabe's rule, Zimbabwe's economy collapsed, particularly after violent and chaotic seizures of thousands of white-owned commercial farms.

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Jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities declined 1,200, largely affected by retail trade (-1,500). Fairfield County continued to have the highest unemployment rate at 9.5 percent.

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