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The hypocrisy of Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is hurling accusations of sexual scandal at opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai. But those pale in comparison to Mugabe's own scandals.

Zimbabwe has slim chances of holding free and fair elections: HRW

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Zimbabwe’s chances of holding free and fair elections are 'slim' unless the state security sector is reformed, Human Rights Watch has said in a report documenting abuses ahead of upcoming polls.

Zimbabwe: Trouble ahead, trouble behind

JOHANNESBURG — With elections looming in Zimbabwe, the country’s top human rights defender is mired in an unprecedented position: having to defend herself.

Mugabe's motorcade has terrorized drivers for years.

Zimbabwean president's speeding entourage has killed 3 in recent weeks, but it has been frightening motorists for many years.
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Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe arrives in his motorcade for the opening of the third session of the parliament in Harare on July 13, 2010. (DESMOND KWANDE/AFP/Getty Images)

"Bob Mugabe and the Wailers" - that's how Robert Mugabe's motorcade has been known for years, because of the screaming sirens from its cars, warning drivers to pull fully off the road and stop when it whistles by.

But now Mugabe's motorcade is no laughing matter: It has been involved in three fatal accidents in the past two weeks.

This week one person was killed and 15 injured when the lead car in the speeding motorcade crashed into a minivan taxi, according to the BBC.

The crash occured Sunday in the rural area of Zvimba, Mugabe's birthplace, about 50 miles northwest of Harare.

More from GlobalPost: Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe's motorcade in 3 deadly accidents in 2 weeks

Earlier this month, a motorcycle in the presidential cavalcade hit and killed a homeless man during another visit to the president's hometown. And in a separate acccident on the same trip, a member of the presidential guard died and seven others were hurt when a truck in the motorcade overturned after one of its tires burst, reported CNN.

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Zimbabwe activists get community service for viewing Arab Spring videos

JOHANNESBURG — A Harare court today sentenced six Zimbabwean activists to community service and a fine for watching video footage of last year's uprisings in Egypt.

Zimbabwe's government may shut down without diamond revenue, says finance minister

The finance ministry expected to receive $77.5 million from diamond sales over the first two months of this year, but has only seen $19.5 million, Biti told a news conference on Wednesday.

Zimbabwean women arrested for sex crimes

Found with 33 sperm-filled condoms

Three Zimbabwean women have been accused of sex attacks on male hitchhikers, allegedly to steal their semen for use in ritual practices, in a case that has gripped the public imagination and the media. The gang appeared to face charges of 17 counts of aggravated indecent assault in court today, reports the Guardian.

Sisters Sophie and Netsai Nhokwara and Rosemary Chakwizira, who were arrested by Zimbabwean police on Friday, were found with 33 condoms containing semen.

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Zimbabwe kicks out Libyan ambassador

Mugabe expels Libyan diplomat for defecting from Gaddafi and siding with rebels.
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Libyan embassy staff and Libyan nationals demonstrate outside the Libyan embassy in Harare on August 24, 2011. Libya's ambassador to Zimbabwe led a demonstration in which Libyans burned portraits of embattled leader Moammar Gaddafi and replaced Gaddafi's green flag with the old tricolor red, black and green flag from independence in 1951. The Mugabe government has ordered the deportation of the Libyan ambassador and others for these actions. (Jekesai Njikizana /AFP/Getty Images)

Well at least Robert Mugabe is faithful to fellow dictators. He is sticking by deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi is be on the run in Libya and the Libyan rebels' Transitional National Council is consolidating its control over their country and meeting with European leaders. But that doesn't change Mugabe's support for Gaddafi.

The Mugabe regime is deporting Libya's ambassador to Harare and other embassy staff who announced they had defected from Gaddafi to the rebels' transitional council.

Mugabe had close relations with Gaddafi and has not recognized the rebels. His government announced it is expelling the Libyans and gave them a 72-hour deadline that expires Thursday. Libyan Ambassador Taher al-Megrahi said he and other Libyan embassy staff are leaving Zimbabwe later Thursday, reported Associated Press.

They are believed to be the first Libyan diplomats to be deported for defecting.

Zimbabwean officials acted after al-Megrahi led Libyan protesters who tore down and burned the old Libyan flag outside the embassy and hoisted the new rebel tricolor flag.

In fact, the Mugabe government said that Gaddafi is welcome to come to Zimbabwe for asylum.

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said in parliament Wednesday that Gaddafi would be welcome in Zimbabwe to ensure a smooth transition in Libya. He denied rumors that Gaddafi is already in Zimbabwe, reported the Zimbabwean newspaper, NewsDay.

 

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Zimbabwe selling blood diamonds: report

JOHANNESBURG — Banks enable illegal sales of Zimbabwean “blood diamonds” by allowing payments through local banking partners, charge human rights groups.

Zimbabwe News: Death of Gen Solomon Mujuru sets off political turmoil

Unexpected death of power-broker increases political tumult over successor to Robert Mugabe.
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Zimbabwe's political scene was thrown into turmoil by the death of Gen Solomon Mujuru, an influential power broker. His wife, Vice President Joice Mujuru, is seen as more vulnerable following her husband's death. Here Mrs Mujuru is shown in a photo taken in 2004. (Stringer//AFP/Getty Images)

A bombshell hit Zimbabwe's tense political situation Tuesday with the death of Gen. Solomon Mujuru, one of the country's main political power brokers and the husband of Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Mujuru, 62, died in a fire at his house in Beatrice, Zimbabwe's army commander announced. The farmhouse in Beatrice, about 40 miles southwest of Harare, is on a 3,500 acre property seized from a white farmer in 2001.

Mujuru's death will intensify turmoil in President Robert Mugabe's party over the question of who will succeed the 87-year-old president.

Mujuru and his wife together led a powerful faction in Mugabe's party, Zanu-PF. Mujuru was the leader of Mugabe's guerrilla fighters who fought in the 1970s to end white-minority-ruled Rhodesia. He went by the nom de guerre of Rex Nhongo.

At Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, Mujuru became commander of the nation's army. He led the army for more than 10 years and still commanded loyalty of many in the military. His influence in the military backed up his wife's political career and Mujuru was widely viewed as a kingmaker who would influence the selection of who will succeed Mugabe.

When Mujuru retired he went into business and acquired an empire of farms, properties, mines and other interests that made him one of Zimbabwe's wealthiest men and he became even more influential in the top echelons of Mugabe's party and its policymaking politburo. Good looking with a winning smile and an impressive physical presence, it was easy to see how Mujuru held considerable influence in the army and throughout Zanu-PF. Mujuru was also known as a heavy drinker, sometimes seen drinking whisky in public.  

The Mujurus are the are the chief rivals in Zanu-PF to Defense Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is known as "the Crocodile." The Mujurus have competed with Mnangagwa over who will succeed Mugabe. It is not known how Vice President Joice Mujuru will fend in Zimbabwe's political turmoil without her husband's muscle to back her up. She is now exposed and more vulnerable, according to Harare analysts.

Joice Mujuru is seen as leading a moderate, reformist side of Zanu-PF that is open to working with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai his party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Mnangagwa has a more hardline position against Tsvangirai.

Zimbabwe's state media have reported Mujuru's death as the result of an electrical fire, but many in political analysts in Zimbabwe suspect that Mujuru was murdered. Whether his death was accidental or not, his death leaves a vacuum in Zimbabwe's political setup that will create more tumult. 

"It's a huge shock. The suspicion of a power play is everywhere. Everybody's talking about it. If that was involved, it's a huge event and could spark violence between factions of Zanu-PF," said Eddie Cross, policy co-ordinator general of the MDC.

"We've been saying for a long time that if there's a civil war in Zimbabwe, it won't be between Zanu-PF and the MDC, it will be between factions of Zanu-PF," said Cross, according to the Guardian.

"There is so much fighting in Zanu-PF now that, if it's foul play, it's anybody's guess who might have done this," said John Makumbe, professor of political science at the University of Zimbabwe. "I think we are going to see a severely fractured party because there is going to be finger pointing and allegations from one side against another. The two factions, Mujuru and Mnangagwa, have been fighting for crumbs from the rich man's table. Mugabe will not find it easy to handle. It will make him age a little faster again."

Mujuru's death is likely to strengthen Mnangagwa's hand, according to the Zimbabwean media entrepreneur Trevor Ncube. "It certainly weakens Mrs Mujuru's chances of succeeding Robert Mugabe," he said. "All their supporters will have to regroup and consolidate. It strengthens Emmerson Mnangagwa's chances in a big way. I suspect there may be celebrations in that camp."

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