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Zimbabwe highlights for 2018

by Staff reporter
07 Jan 2019 at 09:09hrs | Views

ED visits sick Tsvangirai
Apart from President Emmerson Mnangagwa's visit to the home of the late Morgan Tsvangirai, another highlight for January 2018 was the arrest of several former government mandarins who were loyal to former president Robert Mugabe such as Samuel Undenge and Walter Chidakwa, on allegations of abuse of office.


Tsvangirai dies
The biggest news in February was the death of MDC founding father Morgan Tsvangirai who succumbed to colon cancer at a South African hospital.

Nelson Chamisa reacted swiftly by grabbing power from his two rivals Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri, triggering leadership wrangles that continue to stick out like a sore thumb in the opposition.

Tsvangirai's death united a polarised nation, with government granting him a State assisted funeral. Tsvangirai's burial attracted people from far and wide, including musicians such as Oliver Mtukudzi.

Fight over Tsvangirai estate

The family of the late Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai threw his wife Elizabeth under the bus accusing her of among other things grabbing his Highlands mansion and trying to grab his estate even though he had children.

This comes after Elizabeth registered Tsvangirai's estate, which includes a house in Strathaven, 45 beasts of cattle and six vehicles, to the High Court.

In the same month, tensions were also rising between Mnangagwa and Mugabe after the latter was accused by Zanu-PF supporters of hobnobbing with the opposition, particularly the National Patriotic Front that was led by former Zanu-PF politburo member Ambrose Mutinhiri.

Chiwenga fires nurses

A strike by nurses which started in March and spilled into April saw Vice President Constantino Chiwenga springing into action.

He fired the striking nurses after a standoff that had paralysed the health delivery sector.

During the same month, trouble for the former first lady Grace Mugabe continued to mount as she was dragged to court over her doctorate degree by lecturers at the University of Zimbabwe.

During the same month Grace's properties in Mazowe were also invaded by gold panners. It was also in March when preparations for the July 30 elections started in earnest in Zanu-PF.

Thousands of prospective candidates were disqualified from participating in party primaries while those who were linked to Mugabe were overlooked.

For the first time since the country gained independence, Zimbabwe marked Independence Day without Mugabe as president on April 18, 2018.


Chamisa star rises

In May, the MDC staged its own primary elections, which were marred by chaos.

A number of party bigwigs fell by the wayside amid accusations that Chamisa masterminded the fall of aspiring candidates who were not so loyal to him.

Attempts to mend relations between Chamisa and then deputy party president Thokozani Khupe also broke down.


ED survives bomb explosion

President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was on a campaign trail survived death by a whisker after a bomb exploded at the White City Stadium in Bulawayo. So far police and security departments have remained tight-lipped on what they have found even though Mnangagwa said they would reveal the people behind the explosion after the elections that he went on to win.

In the same month, Zanu-PF and the MDC moved a gear up in their campaigns.

The ruling party spent big on advertising material and vehicles while the opposition had a shoe-string budget that only set them along.


Zimbabwe goes for elections

The biggest news of July was the harmonised elections which were held on July 30.

Zanu-PF went on to win the presidential elections but the MDC contested the outcome at the Constitutional Court.

The election period was for the most part peaceful compared to previous polls.


Soldiers kill six civilians

On August 1, as the nation grew restive awaiting results of the elections, protests broke out in Harare.

After the protestors had overwhelmed the police, government deployed the military. Six people died from gunshot wounds while over 35 were injured.

Mnangagwa later on set up a commission that found the army to be responsible for the deaths. Immediately after this ugly incident, Zimbabwe descended into the dark abyss of political uncertainty.

Soon after Mnangagwa had sworn in his Cabinet whose highlight was the appointment of sportsperson Kirtsy Coventry to the position of minister of Sports and academic Mthuli Ncube to head the Finance ministry, Zimbabwe was bowled over by a cholera outbreak that killed over 50 people, exposing the country's fragile health sector


On October 2, Ncube introduced a two percent tax on electronic transactions that further squeezed hard-pressed Zimbabweans after prices - across the board - zoomed out of control.


State Capture
In November, war veterans' chairperson Chris Mutsvangwa triggered a storm when he claimed that businessman Kuda Tagwirei had captured the State.

Mutsvangwa was aided by controversial activist Acie Lumumba who also claimed that there were shady dealings involving top officials at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.


Zimbabweans queue for everything

Zimbabweans endured a bleak festive season, with no beer to cheer guzzlers, no fuel for travellers, and price hikes for everyone.

The hope that many had when Mugabe was ousted from power vanished and now people are resigned to fate.

Source - dailynews