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Zimbabwe may face famine

The US-funded Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) has said that Zimbabwe may face famine this year, due to wilting crops caused by poor rains. The organisation added that more than two million Zimbabweans would require food aid between now and March.

“Since December, below-average precipitation and above-average temperatures continue to help strengthen seasonal moisture deficits across central Mozambique, southern Malawi, southern Madagascar and southern Zimbabwe,” FEWSNET said. Read More…

On this day December 31, 1963

The Central African Federation officially collapsed, eventually to become Zambia, Malawi and Rhodesia.

Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, also known as Central African Federation, was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to the end of 1963, comprising the former Self-Governing (since 1923) Colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland. Read More…

On this day December 21, 1979

The Lancaster House Agreement was signed, ending biracial rule in Zimbabwe Rhodesia following negotiations between representatives of the Rhodesian government and the Patriotic Front.

Bishop Abel Muzorewa signs the Lancaster House Agreement seated next to British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington

Bishop Abel Muzorewa signs the Lancaster House Agreement seated next to British Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington

The Agreement consisting of ZAPU (Zimbabwe African Peoples Union) and ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union) and the Zimbabwe Rhodesia government, represented by Bishop Abel Muzorewa and Ian Smith. It was signed on 21 December 1979.

Following the Meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government held in Lusaka from August 1-7 1979, the British government invited Muzorewa and the leaders of the Patriotic Front to participate in a Constitutional Conference at Lancaster House.

The purpose of the Conference was to discuss and reach agreement on the terms of an Independence Constitution, and that elections should be supervised under British authority to enable Rhodesia to proceed to legal independence and the parties to settle their differences by political means.

Red Cross appeals for US$33 million in food aid for Zimbabwe

The Red Cross has appealed for US$33.2 million worth of humanitarian aid to feed 222,035 hungry people in Zimbabwe. According to the institution, there are 2.8 million or so people in the country who are “food-insecure”.

“The Red Cross is appealing for 38.4 million Swiss francs [US$33.2 million] to continue its emergency food operation until September 2010,” the Red Cross said in a statement on Friday. Read More…

Zimbabwe’s MDC pulls out of unity government

Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Zimbabwean Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the country’s Prime Minister, has pulled out of the coalition government, accusing Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe of being “dishonest and unreliable”.

Tsvangira

Morgan Tsvangirai

Tsvangirai and his MDC party said that they would pull out from the government until outstanding issues in a power-sharing agreement between Tsvangirai and Mugabe were resolved.

He made the announcement following a crisis meeting that was called after the MDC treasurer general was indicted on charges of terrorism.

Tsvangirai said that “this party, for now, cannot renege on the people’s mandate.

However, it is our right to disengage from a dishonest and unreliable partner.” Read More…

Torture and forced labor at Zimbabwe diamond fields

An international human rights group said Zimbabwe’s police and army are forcing children and adults to mine diamond fields and torturing and beating local villagers to control access to the precious gems.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

A report released Friday by Human Rights Watch accused President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party of profiting from the alleged abuses taking place in the diamond fields of the eastern Marange district.

The group’s Africa director, Georgette Gagnon, said security forces have turned a peaceful area into a “nightmare of lawlessness and horrific violence.” Read More…

Cholera cases in Zimbabwe pass 80,000

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a cholera epidemic in the African country of Zimbabwe has now infected over 80,200 people. The epidemic is the worst cholera outbreak in Africa for fifteen years.

Distribution of cholera

Distribution of cholera

The United Nations agency stated that approximately half of all the patients that died of the disease did not reach any of the 365 cholera treatment centers located in the country.

Since the outbreak began in August of last year, over 80,000 people have been infected and 3,759 people have died from the disease in Zimbabwe as of February 19. That compared with 3,172 deaths out of 78,882 cases that were recorded as of Tuesday. Read More…