Mugabe marks 30 years of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe marked the 30th anniversary of its independence yesterday the same way that it had celebrated its initial separation from Britain: with a stadium speech by Robert Mugabe.
The veteran leader sounded an unusually conciliatory note in Harare, calling for an end to political violence and avoiding the usual name-calling of his opponents. "Your leadership in the inclusive government urges you to desist from any acts of violence that will cause harm to others and become a blight on our society," he told a rally attended by about 30,000 people.
Mr Mugabe even acknowledged the presence of former rival and current Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in a move that drew a cheer from supporters of Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) at the venue. However, the speech also revealed some of the key areas for the coming election battle between the partners in Zimbabwe's dysfunctional power-sharing government.
The 86-year-old President said he would pursue controversial plans to transfer a majority shareholding in all foreign firms to local partners under a new law. He also railed against the US and UK over their refusal to abolish sanctions. There is increasing speculation that the troubled southern African nation could go back to the polls within the next 12 months despite a lack of progress in electoral reforms. Alternatively, elections could be held as late as 2013.
Analysts expect the ruling Zanu-PF party to base its campaign on blaming sanctions for the devastated economy and pushing its "indigenisation" plans. The scheme for ownership transfers is strongly rejected by the MDC, which argues that it will scare off badly needed foreign investment.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...
£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...
£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...