Mugabe’s likely successor suffers poisoning; Grace Mugabe denies hand

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe looks on as he attends the 2nd Session of the South Africa-Zimbabwe binational Commission (BNC), in this October 3, 2017 photo, at Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guest House in Pretoria. (AFP)
Updated 07 October 2017
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Mugabe’s likely successor suffers poisoning; Grace Mugabe denies hand

HARARE: Zimbabwe Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said late on Thursday he had been hospitalized in South Africa in August because he had been poisoned, escalating confrontation in the country during a fight to succeed 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa, a former intelligence chief nicknamed “the Crocodile,” is the leading candidate to succeed Mugabe, the only leader Zimbabwe has known since independence in 1980.
He did not say who he believed was responsible for trying to kill him, but his main political rival, First Lady Grace Mugabe, swiftly denied having anything to do with it.
Mnangagwa was airlifted to Johannesburg after falling ill in August. At a news conference late on Thursday open only to state media, he said doctors had concluded that poisoning was to blame for his illness, and not inadvertent food poisoning.
“The medical doctors who attended to me ruled out food poisoning but confirmed that indeed poisoning had occurred and investigations were in progress,” Mnangagwa said, reading from a statement. He provided no further details or proof.
Mnangagwa, 75, became vice president in 2014, putting him at the front of the pack to succeed Mugabe. However over the last 18 months he has met fierce opposition from Grace Mugabe and a faction of the ruling party backing her.
The first lady denied having anything to do with his illness and accused him of lying about it to get public sympathy.
“Why should I kill Mnangagwa? Who is Mnangagwa on this earth?” Grace Mugabe said in footage aired on Friday on state television. “Killing someone who was given a job by my husband? That is nonsensical.”
After his hospitalization, Zimbabwean media said Mnangagwa had suffered food poisoning after eating ice cream from a dairy company owned by Mugabe and his wife, which both the Mugabes denied.


Prince William visits Namibia on conservation tour

Updated 24 September 2018
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Prince William visits Namibia on conservation tour

  • The tour will see the prince visit Tanzania and Kenya
  • It precedes the 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London next month

WINDHOEK: Prince William arrived in Namibia on Monday on the first leg of a tour to learn more about wildlife conservation in Africa ahead of a London-based wildlife conference next month.
Namibia is home to the largest black rhino population, at more than 2,000, whose horn is sought after by smugglers.
The Duke of Cambridge, visiting as president of United for Wildlife, which fights illegal trade in wildlife, and patron of Tusk, which promotes conservation, aims to better understand conservation in Namibia, said British High Commissioner to Namibia Kate Airey.
“The prince has been very keen ahead of that conference to talk to government and also to see that experience in the field,” said Airey.
The tour, which will see the prince visit Tanzania and Kenya, precedes the 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London next month.
Namibia passed legislation in 1996 giving local communities the power to create their own conservancies and benefit from wildlife on communal land, allowing them to work with private companies to create their own tourism products.
“Our model is very simple but very effective because we involve communities. There is nothing you can do to succeed in conservation of wildlife without involving communities,” said Namibia’s Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta.
Communal conservancies have grown to 82 from four in 1998, according to the Namibia Tourism Board.