Uproar as Zimbabwe’s Mister Ugly winner deemed ‘too handsome’

Judges crowned Zimbambwe’s 4th annual Mister Ugly last Saturday causing uproar by supporters of the event who claimed the winner was too handsome to be Mr. Ugly.

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42-year old Mison Sere won the contest thanks to his missing numerous front teeth and grotesque facial expressions. His closest competitor William Masvinu who had held the title since 2012 mobbed the judges together with his supporters claiming that Sere wasn’t naturally ugly.

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Zimbabwe’s three-times Mr Ugly winner William Masvinu poses for a photo in Harare

“I am naturally ugly. He is not. He is ugly only when he opens his mouth,” Masvinu, was quoted by The Guardian. “Do we have to lose our teeth to win? This is cheating,” shouted another contestant, Patrick Mupereki.

Sere dismissed the critics as just “sore losers” as he pocketed the $500 in winnings.

Additional Information: Guardian

Zimbabweans get 100 million condoms in HIV battle

More than 100 million condoms were distributed in Zimbabwe last year, a huge increase on previous years, indicating that more people were practising safe sex in the battle against HIV, authorities said Tuesday. According to the National Aids Council, HIV rates in Zimbabwe have declined by 30 percent since 2009.

About 1.3 million Zimbabweans out of a population of 13 million still live with HIV, with 618,980 people on anti-retroviral treatment. “We had 104 million male condoms and 5.2 million female condoms distributed last year alone, up from a total of 28 million the previous year,” said Amon Mpofu, a director at the National Aids Council.

“The distribution of condoms and the corresponding decline in the rate of infection shows people are using protection.” Condoms are freely available in public places including bars, clinics and colleges and they are handed out by community health workers in rural areas.

Shops also sell them at a government-subsidised rate. HIV is one of the leading killers in southern Africa, and health authorities are advocating safe sex to curb the spread of the virus.

-AFP

Mugabe in South Africa for first state visit in 20 years

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe visited South Africa on Wednesday in his first state trip to the country since 1994 as he seeks to drum up foreign investment to revive his nation’s moribund economy.

Mugabe, 91, who was accompanied by his wife Grace, has visited South Africa regularly in the past but his two-day stay will be his first official state visit in 21 years.

Zimbabwe’s economy has been on a downturn for more than a decade due to low growth, low liquidity and high unemployment.

In March, the International Monetary Fund said that the country faced a “difficult” economic outlook with growth set to weaken again this year.

Late last year the Zimbabwean finance minister led a team of officials on a visit to South Africa to try to convince potential investors that the country was finally on the mend.

The Zimbabwean officials said it was in the interest of South Africa to help grow its neighbour’s economy to stop the tide of economic refugees who have crossed the border seeking work.

Zimbabwe’s economy entered a tailspin after the launch of controversial land reforms 14 years ago. By 2008, inflation had officially peaked at 231 million percent before the government stopped counting.

The South African government said President Jacob Zuma and Mugabe would hold talks on Wednesday before a bilateral business forum scheduled for Thursday.

“The economies of the two countries are historically and inextricably linked,” it said in a statement.

“Due to its geographical proximity to South Africa, Zimbabwe’s political and economic situation has a direct impact on South Africa.”

Mugabe’s wife Grace is seen as one possible successor to her husband, who came to power in 1980.

Former vice-president Joice Mujuru was long considered likely to take over, but she fell out with the veteran leader late last year and was sacked in December.

Photo Credits : AFP

Zimbabwe thrown out of 2018 World Cup qualifiers

Zimbabwe have been thrown out of the African qualifying competition for the 2018 World Cup in Russia over an outstanding debt, football’s governing body FIFA announced on Thursday.

The Zimbabwe federation (ZIFA) owe an “exceptional debt” to Brazilian former national coach Valinhos and were ordered by FIFA in 2012 to pay the money owed since 2008.

Disciplinary proceedings against ZIFA were opened and the deadline for paying the debt had now expired, FIFA explained.

“Given ZIFA’s failure to make any payment within the granted periods and the request presented by the creditor, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee … ordered the expulsion of ZIFA from the preliminary competition of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia,” a statement on the FIFA website announced.

“It’s very disappointing, very disappointing and very painful for football lovers and supporters of the national team,” ZIFA spokesman Xolisani Gwesela told AFP in Harare.

He said Valinhos is owed $67,000 (63,000 euros) in salaries and allowances from his stint as national team coach in 2008.

“This happened before the current board came into office. However, the board will meet urgently (to discuss) the way forward.”

He said ZIFA are saddled with a $4 million debt incurred during national team assignments.

“Normally the government should support the national team, but this has not been the case.

“We have presented our budget, but we understand the government is also financially constrained.

“ZIFA has no capacity to support its operations and without government support it will be difficult for us to get out of our current predicament.”

Footballers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary general and former international Paul Gundani said: “It’s a sad development, which is a result of the mediocre type of management by ZIFA.

“The young players are going to miss out as a result of this suspension.

“These qualifiers are a platform for the players to showcase their skills and draw the attention of international scouts. As the footballers’ union, we are very disappointed.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Mugabe turns 91 with million-dollar birthday bash

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday will celebrate his 91st birthday with a million-dollar bash attended by thousands of faithful party supporters.

As elephants are slaughtered for the feast at a luxury hotel in Zimbabwe’s famed Victoria Falls, critics are questioning the scale of the festivities, calling them “obscene” in a country where millions live in poverty.

Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980, is the world’s oldest leader.

While he is hailed by many of his African peers as a liberation hero, critics say that over the following decades he turned the “breadbasket of southern Africa” into a basket case, trampling human rights, justice and democracy.

Mugabe’s violent seizure of white-owned farms triggered food shortages and hyper-inflation, while Europe and the United States imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe over elections seen as rigged.

In an interview marking his birthday, Mugabe admitted he blundered by giving ill-equipped black farmers vast tracts of farmland under his controversial land reforms.

“I think the farms we gave to people are too large. They can’t manage them,” Mugabe said.

He also shrugged off questions over an incident earlier this month in which he missed a step and stumbled from a podium.

“I have yet to come across to a person who has not fallen. It was a slight fall, missing a step,” Mugabe told state-controlled television.

Photo Credits : AFP

Robert Mugabe is a senile president, says Tsvangirai

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday described longtime leader Robert Mugabe as “a senile president with a vituperative wife”.

In an end-of-year statement, Tsvangirai urged Zimbabweans to pray for Mugabe, 90, “so that he understands the enormity of the national plight”.

The Movement for Democratic Change leader said that Zimbabweans were “living under a heavy cloud of despondency” as job losses and company closures mounted.

He offered an apology for his party’s underachievement during the four years of the previous coalition government, claiming that Mugabe’s Zanu-PF “stood in the way of everything progressive”.

Tsvangirai has had a difficult 2014 following his loss to Mugabe in elections last year.

The former trade unionist’s MDC has split once again, with the former secretary general Tendai Biti alleging Tsvangirai had “dictatorial tendencies”.

 

Mugabe sacks vice president Mujuru

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has fired his deputy Joice Mujuru along with eight ministers aligned to her, days after she lost her post in the ruling party, officials said.

Mugabe sacked Mujuru, 59, on Tuesday after weeks of accusations that she had led a “treacherous cabal” to try to unseat Mugabe.

The sacked officials received their dismissal letters on Monday night, reported the Reuters news agency, citing two government sources it said declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Mugabe endorsed as Zanu-PF leader

Ninety-year-old Robert Mugabe Saturday was endorsed as president of his ruling ZANU-PF party by a party congress in the Zimbabwean capital Harare.

Thousands of supporters chanted “Gushungo”, the president’s clan name, a Sapa correspondent reported. Others sang “VaMugabe”.

Mugabe, who looked grim-faced earlier in the proceedings, responded by rising to his feet inside a massive tent in central Harare and waving his

black cap. There were no challenges to the president’s position.

“Thank you so much for showing that massive…” shouted ZANU-PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo before the shouting crowds drowned him out.

There has been widespread speculation that vice president Joice Mujuru will be pushed out of her post at this congress. Analysts said that Mugabe feared she had become so popular that she could replace him at the congress.

Some of us have attractive bodies but don’t show our thighs: Grace Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s Grace Mugabe has once again blasted Vice President Joice Mujuru for her dress sense. Mugabe took the opportunity to talk about Mujuru’s ‘inappropriate’ dress sense again while addressing cross border traders who gathered at her Mazowe Children’s Home.

“I said her dressing in front of a young man was inappropriate. I was not impressed especially for someone of her stature…That’s when I said she was inappropriately dressed, inappropriately attired. Displaying the thighs,” she said.

“In Parliament women approached me about her dressing, saying they had talked to her but she persisted… As for suggestions that she might be a woman of loose morals, I don’t think so. She seems like a chaste woman. We don’t want people who spread lies.”

“She wears mini skirts. She must change her style of dressing. Even some of us who have attractive bodies don’t wear mini skirts that show our thighs, especially in front of children. As mothers who have young growing daughters what lessons do we pass on to them? That is all I was unhappy about,” said Mugabe.

 

 

Malawi diplomat who called Mugabe ‘idiot’ refuses Zimbabwe post

A Malawian diplomat who once reportedly described Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as an “idiot” said he had turned down a posting as his country’s top envoy to Harare.

“I am sure there are other Malawians more amenable to serving at that particular post at this particular time,” Thoko Banda said in a statement seen by AFP.

Banda’s scathing insult to neighbouring Zimbabwe’s long-serving head of state was recalled by social media, shortly after he was named as Malawi’s high commissioner (ambassador) to Zimbabwe.

Banda was widely quoted as telling Germany’s The Foreigner magazine in 2006 that “Zimbabwe has an idiot — I am sorry, I know you are recording — but they have an idiot for president.

“This guy Robert Mugabe, I hope that he lives a long time, so that one day he can go before an international tribunal. He is a horrible man.”