Top Africa stories: Zim's new planes, Algeria plane crash

PICS: Mugabe's daughter Bona at airport to welcome new plane with dad's initials

Robert Mugabe's daughter Bona was at Harare’s international airport on Wednesday to see the arrival of a newly-acquired passenger plane bearing her father’s initials.

The Boeing 777, with the registration code Z-RGM, made a low fly past over Harare’s main Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport before it touched down early afternoon from Malaysia.

Pictures from the runway showed Bona Mugabe with her husband, Simba Chikore, who was aboard the plane and dressed in a pilot’s uniform. It was unclear if Chikore, a trained airline pilot, had been at the controls.

Bona Mugabe

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Mugabe party 'used $70m diamond money to buy poll T-shirts': former minister

A former cabinet minister in Zimbabwe claims the ruling party used revenue from diamond fields in the east of the country to pay for $70 million worth of T-shirts and caps for the 2013 elections.

Jonathan Moyo, who is one of the most bitter and outspoken of former president Robert Mugabe's allies, claimed that the campaign material was organised by then defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and then defence forces chief, Constantino Chiwenga. Mugabe was ousted in November and replaced by Mnangagwa. 

"In 2013 Zanu-PF used diamond revenues and state funds to buy and ship campaign regalia from DRC and China worth over $70 million," Moyo wrote on Twitter.

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Mugabe yet to move out of official residential wing

Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe has yet to move out of an official residence in Harare five months after he was ousted from power, an official said on Thursday.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said Mugabe had still not removed his belongings from Zimbabwe House, a residential wing next to the presidential offices at State House.

"We are already using State House, but what he failed to do since November (is move out of Zimbabwe House)," Charamba told AFP, confirming that Mugabe had kept his books, computers and other belongings at the premises.

Robert Mugabe

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Zimbabwe play smashes taboo, mocks ousted Mugabes

"The president is in charge and that means me too," says Zimbabwe's "former first lady Grace Mugabe" to howls of laughter from the theatre audience.

"Everyone must rally behind me, the mother of the nation. I am the wife of the president."

"Grace" was on the stage of Harare's Theatre in the Park, brought to life by actress Carol Magenga in a recent three-day run of a production called "Operation Restore Regasi".

Robert, Grace Mugabe

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Egypt, Russia resume flights halted after 2015 attack

Egypt and Russia resumed direct flights on Thursday, more than two-and-a-half years after they were suspended in the wake of a bombing that brought down a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai Peninsula.

EgyptAir said in a statement its Moscow-bound flight took off from Cairo on Thursday and that it will operate three such flights a week. Earlier, an Aeroflot flight from Moscow carrying 124 passengers arrived in Cairo.

The move comes after prolonged negotiations, multiple Egyptian airport inspections and inking of security agreements to bring Russian tourists back to Egypt to revive the country's reeling industry.

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'He dies a martyr,' says father of co-pilot killed in Algeria's worst aviation disaster

The body of the co-pilot of the Algerian military transport plane that crashed, killing 257 people, has arrived in a flag-draped coffin at his family's home, a day after the nation's worst aviation disaster.

Private TV station En Nahar showed firefighters on Thursday carrying the casket of Rabia Seddiki to the home where he was born 41 years ago in a working-class suburb east of Algiers.

Seddiki's father said his son had been a pilot for 15 years, beginning his training at military aviation school, and "he dies a martyr."


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