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Mugabe backs 100pc black ownership of Zimbabwe firms GWERU: President Robert Mugabe on Friday demanded Zimbabwean firms be 100 percent black owned, in a pre-election gambit that looks sure to spook foreign investors.   Addressing the ZANU-PF party faithful, Mugabe said the government would press ahead with controversial indigenisation policies, despite protests from foreign investors.   Mugabe lambasted any notion that economic priorities take precedence over others as "dirty, filthy" and "criminal," telling the 5,000 delegates in the central city of Gweru that the current mandatory black ownership rate of 51 percent should be increased.   Mugabe's government passed a controversial indigenisation law two years ago, arguing it would reverse imbalances created during colonial rule.   "I think now we have done enough of 51 percent. Let it be a 100 percent," he told the last party conference before 2013 polls, which could well see the 88-year-old's name on the ballot for the last time.   "Even our Chinese friends, we are saying no, in your country we ...

Ghanaians endure long waits to vote in high stakes poll ACCRA: Ghanaians endured long waits and delays in some areas to vote in a tight presidential election on Friday as the country sought to make good on its reputation as an example of stable democracy in West Africa.   At stake is control of a nation that is reaping the benefits of a booming economy fuelled in part by a new but expanding oil industry.   Long lines formed in many areas and a number of voters said they ...
US urges Mali neighbours to up border patrols ALGIERS: US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns called on Mali's neighbours on Thursday to step up border patrols to prevent the flow of arms and fighters to the country's north.   "We call on all of Mali's neighbouring countries to increase their border patrols to curb the flow of arms, drugs, fuel and fighters into Mali," Burns said on a visit to the country's northern neighbour Algeria.   "We applaud Algeria's resolve to stem the proliferation of weapons, ...
One dead in Kenya bomb blast NAIROBI: One person has died hours after a bomb blast in the Kenyan capital that wounded eight others, the latest in a string of attacks, police said on Thursday.   The attack, a "roadside bomb which had been placed in a hole in the ground", according to Nairobi police chief Moses Nyakwama, was detonated during rush hour on Wednesday evening as people returned home from work.   "One person died in hospital and another is still admitted," Nyakwama said, ...
African Union appeals for UN funding for Mali force  UNITED NATIONS: The African Union appealed on Wednesday for UN funding for a military operation to combat Islamist extremists in northern Mali after UN chief Ban Ki-moon cautiously recommended the Security Council approve the force without UN financing.   Mali descended into chaos in March when soldiers toppled the president, leaving a power vacuum that enabled Tuareg rebels to seize two-thirds of the country. But Islamist extremists, some allied with al Qaeda, have hijacked the revolt.   The AU ...
DR Congo rebels, government prepare for peace talks GOMA: Rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo were preparing for peace talks with government officials in Uganda, officials said Wednesday, as the pope urged the warring sides to reconcile.   Rebel group M23's political leader Jean-Marie Runiga said his guerrillas were "ready" for talks, which are expected to include a raft of potential demands, including major political reform for the war-weary region.   The rebels' lightning capture of the mining hub of Goma on November 20, eight months ...
Sudan presents new budget that KHARTOUM: Sudan has overcome the loss of South Sudanese oil, the finance minister said in presenting a new budget to parliament on Wednesday, despite 45 percent inflation and a currency at record black-market lows.   Finance Minister Ali Mahmud al-Rasul said growth will reach 1.4 percent this year and will rise to 3.6 percent in 2013 figures which contradict International Monetary Fund estimates for a contraction in 2012 with the economy holding roughly steady next year.   IMF sees ...


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