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One dead, 22 hurt in opposition rally in Zimbabwe. What has VP Chiwenga got to do with it?

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One person was killed and 22 others seriously injured at a Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) rally in the Zimbabwean Midlands city of Kwekwe on Sunday.


The CCC supporters were attacked by a group of men armed with spears, machetes, iron bars and stones. The incident happened while opposition leader Nelson Chamisa was addressing thousands of supporters at the rally, ahead of March by-elections.


The violence broke out a day after Zimbabwean Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga threatened to crush the CCC “like lice”.


Zimbabwean Vice-President Chiwenga made the remarks while addressing Zanu-PF supporters at a rally in the same city, Kwekwe, on Saturday.


“I have heard others here saying, ‘Down with Triple-C’. Let me assure you that there is nothing that it [CCC] can achieve; you see how we crush lice with a stone. You put it on a flat stone and then flatten it to the extent that even flies will not make a meal out of it,” said Chiwenga.


Addressing a press conference on Monday, Chamisa said the violent attacks by Zanu-PF supporters were “provocative and intended to plunge the country into bloodshed and instability”.


In a statement, Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) said Mboneni Ncube, 30, was stabbed thrice with a sharp object. He died in hospital. 


“Towards the end of Nelson Chamisa‘s address, suspected Zanu-PF youths intercepted people in CCC T-shirts who were walking to the rally and threw stones at them. The skirmishes, about 400m from the venue, resulted in the deceased being stabbed thrice with a sharp object on the back, and died at Kwekwe general hospital,” read the police statement.


Police have arrested 16 people in connection with the violence.

Metro

Rwandan President, Kagame sacks over 200 military personnel in major shake-up

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Rwandan President, Paul Kagame has sacked over 200 soldiers including top military brass and commanders from the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) in a massive shake-up.

The dismissed officers include the former Commander of the Reserve Forces, Maj. Gen. Aloys Muganga, and Brig. Gen. Francis Mutiganda, a former Head of External Security in the National Intelligence Services, as well as 14 senior officers.

The announcement of the sacking of the officers which was contained in a statement released by the RDF on Wednesday, did not give reason for the sackings, but the move come a day after the president reshuffled the top echelon of the country’s military, which saw the firing of the Defence Minister and an Army Chief.

The sacking of the soldiers has further heightened tension between Rwanda and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, with each side accusing the other of working with rebels to topple one another’s governments, according to reports in local media.

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UN war crimes court declares Rwandan genocide suspect, Felicien Kabuga unfit to stand trial

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An 88-year-old Rwandan genocide suspect, Felicien Kabuga has been declared unfit to stand trial by judges at a United Nations War Crimes Court in The Hague.

In a decision published by the court on Wednesday, the judges acknowledged that Kabuga was no longer able to actively participate in his trial, and rather proposed an alternative process that aims to resemble a trial but does not allow for a conviction instead of stopping the proceedings completely.

“The trial chamber finds Mr. Kabuga is no longer capable of meaningful participation in his trial,” the publication said.

“The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, therefore, finds that Mr. Kabuga is not fit for trial and is very unlikely to regain fitness in the future.

“It is therefore agreed to adopt an alternative finding procedure that resembles a trial as closely as possible, but without the possibility of a conviction,” it added.

Kabuga who was arrested in Paris where he had been in hiding under a false identity for several years, was one of the most wanted suspects of the Rwandan genocide, and was charged at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda with genocide and crimes against humanity.

At his initial arraignment in September last year, the ICC heard that Kabuga was alleged to have been the main financier of the ethnic Hutu militias who slaughtered over 800,000 minority Tutsis as well as political opponents during the genocide in 1994.

According to the UN, Kabuga, a wealthy businessman from the Hutu ethnic group, had established and financed an infamous media outfit, Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM), which was notorious for inciting violence and promoting the targeting and elimination of individuals from the Tutsi ethnic group who were referred to as “Cockroaches”.

Kabuga was arrested in Paris in 2020 after decades on the run and sent for trial in The Hague where he pleaded not guilty to charges of sponsoring the infamous Hutu radical radio station urging people to kill Tutsi “cockroaches”.

He also denied supplying machetes and supporting the murderous Interahamwe Hutu militia.

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