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“Happy birthday, Mr. Dictator”

first_img Zimbabwean court must free imprisoned journalist who is unwell ZimbabweAfrica ZimbabweAfrica News Help by sharing this information November 12, 2020 Find out more While the state-owned press just talks about the president’s birthday, independent newspapers continue to be gagged. They try to cover human rights issues and the country’s economic and social situation, but they are exposed to serious reprisals. Repressive legislation, state control of public media, harassment of the privately-owned press, physical attacks on freelance photographers, arbitrary arrests, illegal detention, systematic persecution of human rights activists and heavy-handed interrogation by the Central Intelligence Organization – these are the ingredients of censorship and suppression of free speech in Zimbabwe.Mugabe is one of the world’s oldest heads of state, on a par with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdelaziz Al Saud and Singaporean President Sellapan Ramanathan, two other champions of press freedom.Not everyone is living so comfortably at 87. Take the example of 87-year-old Chinese activist and journalist Sun Shucai. A refugee in Bangkok since November 2006, registered with UNHCR, in possession of a documenting saying he had requested UN protection, he was nonetheless arrested by the Thai authorities last December and has been in an immigration detention centre ever since .Happy Birthday, Mr. Predator. You caused your country to plummet in the press freedom index our organization publishes every year and now it is in the bottom third. Thanks to the money your First Lady makes from diamond trafficking and the fortune you have stolen from the people, no one doubts that your party will be a lavish one. Meanwhile, your people will have to grit their teeth. News Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono denied bail November 27, 2020 Find out more Photo : AFP RSF_en center_img Follow the news on Zimbabwe Organisation The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa September 1, 2020 Find out more to go further February 18, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 “Happy birthday, Mr. Dictator” Robert Mugabe will turn 87 on 21 February. Appointed prime minister in 1980, he stepped up to presidential throne seven years later. Since then no one has been able to get him to step down. Independent Zimbabwe, the former Southern Rhodesia, has been subject to his dictate for 24 years. And journalists have had to behave themselves!“The old man,” as he is known in Harare, is expected to celebrate his birthday with the usually pomp. While his people go hungry, he gorges himself. There are few reasons for partying in Zimbabwe. Hyperinflation, food shortages, unemployment, a devastating AIDS epidemic. The time when Zimbabwe was southern Africa’s breadbasket is long gone. No matter. Monday is his birthday. Like a boy, that’s all he can think about right now. News Receive email alerts Reportslast_img read more

Uganda draws Ghana, Egypt again in AFCON finals

first_imgGabon take on CameroonAlthough Gabon are the second lowest ranked team among the 16 contenders, they look set to make the last eight, probably with four-time champions Cameroon.The hosts rely heavily on 2015 African Footballer of the Year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a prolific goalscorer with German giants Borussia Dortmund.During the draw ceremony, Gabonese officials emphasised that the country was ready to host a tournament they co-staged with neighbours Equatorial Guinea in 2012.A disputed presidential election victory by incumbent Ali Bongo two months ago triggered riots with opposition parties claiming vote fraud.New prime minister Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet said: “We will not back away from the tournament. We are ready and will organise an exceptional tournament.”Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 Ivory Coast were not impressive in qualifying, drawing three of four matches against Sierra Leone and Sudan, and Morocco are probably a team they wanted to dodge.Herve RenardThe Moroccans are coached by Herve Renard, the charismatic Frenchman who masterminded the Ivorians’ triumph in Equatorial Guinea last year.He then left for a brief, unsuccessful spell in the French Ligue 1 before being hired by Morocco, and they became the first qualifiers for the 2017 tournament.Renard has won the Cup of Nations twice, taking no-hopers Zambia to the title in Gabon four years ago.“If I had to name teams I wanted to avoid before the draw, I would have said some of the teams in our group,” admitted Renard.“To face Ivory Coast is difficult, especially as we have had the chance to know their players, it’s practically the same squad.“But we have to be competitive. The match against Claude Le Roy (coach of Togo) will be something that again will be difficult for me.“But over 90 minutes I have to forget everything this man did for me and do everything in order to beat him.”Veteran Le Roy has won the Cup of Nations once, with Cameroon in 1988, and Gabon will mark his ninth appearance at the Cup of Nations finals.He has failed to reach the knockout stage only once. AFCON2017 DRAWGroup A – Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Cameroon, Burkina FasoGroup B -Algeria, Zimbabwe, Senegal, TunisiaGroup C – Ivory Coast, Togo, Morocco, DRCGroup D – Ghana, Uganda, Egypt, MaliJanuary 17  – Uganda vs GhanaJanuary 21– Uganda vs EgyptJanuary 25  – Uganda vs MaliUganda Cranes will come up against two opponents they are already lined up to face in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.The Africa Cup of Nations draw placed Egypt and Ghana in Uganda’s Group D.Ghana, according to FIFA rankings, are the team to beat in Group D. Apart from Uganda, they will take on Egypt, making their return to the contest after missing three finals, and Mali.Being grouped with Ghana offers Egypt yet another chance to avenge one of their most humiliating results, a 6-1 thrashing by the Black Stars in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.No team will be more excited about going to Gabon in January than Uganda — the last time they qualified was in 1978 when the notorious Idi Amin ruled the east African state.Uganda coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic said: “This is a tough and competitive group, but I believe in the players and the team.“We have a realistic chance to get good results and reach the knockout stage.”The draw produced three groups containing three of the top 10 ranked football nations in Africa, according to FIFA.Algeria (2), Senegal (3) and Tunisia (4) are in one mini-league, Ivory Coast (1), DR Congo (6) and Morocco (10) in another and Ghana (5), Egypt (7) and Mali (9) in a third.A lot of teams will get to know each other extremely well, too, as Ivory Coast and Morocco also share a 2018 World Cup qualifying group, as do Ghana, Egypt and Uganda.Champs Ivory Coast start against TogoIvory Coast will start their defence of the Africa Cup of Nations against Togo in January, according to the draw made Wednesday.Ivory Coast, who beat Ghana on penalties in the 2015 final, are in Group C against Togo, Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo.Hosts Gabon, who saw political turmoil after a disputed election in August, will stage the opening match in Libreville on January 14 against Guinea-Bissau, who make their first appearance in the 16-nation tournament.Cameroon and Burkina Faso are also in Group A.Algeria have the toughest first round in Group B where they also take on Tunisia and Senegal for one of the two qualifying places for the quarter-finals.The final is in Libreville on February 5.last_img read more

Return to winning ways, Barca’s homage to victims – Valverde

first_imgBarcelona coach Ernesto ValverdeBarcelona, Spain | AFP | Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde conceded it was vital for his side to help lift spirits in the Catalan capital by beating Real Betis 2-0 in their La Liga opener on Sunday.Twin terrorist attacks on Thursday killed 14 people and wounded around 120 in Barcelona’s bustling Las Ramblas thoroughfare and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils.“Today was a special day in many ways,” Valverde said after his first league match in charge of the Spanish giants.“We started La Liga, but we are aware of the importance of the events that took place this week in Barcelona and Cambrils.”An emotional day at the Camp Nou was filled with tributes to those killed and injured in the most deadly terror attack on Spanish soil in 13 years.A minute’s silence was held before kick-off, whilst Barcelona players wore black armbands and shirts with ‘Barcelona’ replacing individual names on the back.On the field, Valverde’s reign got off to a difficult start with a 5-1 aggregate thrashing in the Spanish Super Cup at the hands of rivals Real Madrid. Share on: WhatsApp However, despite the absence of the injured Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta, captain Lionel Messi inspired Barca to a comfortable win thanks to an Alin Tosca own goal and midfielder Sergi Roberto’s first La Liga goal.“We know of the solidarity that has risen up not just here, but in all parts of the city,” added Valverde.“We couldn’t let that down. I said yesterday our idea was to move forward, to give a feeling of normality.“At the same time we wanted to honour all the victims of the attacks, albeit in our own way, by winning the game, and we will continue to think of them and our life here in Barcelona.”last_img read more