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The Africa Report: 22 July

EWN’s Africa correspondent Jean-Jacques Cornish reports on the day’s top African news

2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome. Picture: AFP

KENYA CELEBRATE WITH FROOME

Celebrating his win before the actual victory, proud Kenyans took the streets on Sunday to celebrate Chris Froome clinching the 100th edition of the Tour de France.

There was a procession of cyclists all clad in yellow jerseys with their fists held high in triumph.

Froome is the first African-born cyclist to win the race.

Born in Nairobi, Froome was under the mentorship of prolific Kenyan cyclist, David Kinjah, who joined in on celebrations.

Kenyans are known to be masters of long-distance and endurance events and are claiming "Froomey" as they call him, is their own.

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DRAMA IN RUN-UP TO MALI ELECTIONS

On Sunday, four election workers and a deputy mayor were released a day after being kidnapped in Mali's northern town of Tessalit.

The kidnappings come a week before Election Day, on the 28th July, highlighting the continuing instability in one of Africa's fallen democracies.

The hostages were picked up by French soldiers outside of Tessalit and it is not yet known why they were released.

French troops have been in Mali since early May on an operation to drive out al Qaeda forces in the north.

A bomb was also found in another northern town, Kidal, that had not yet gone off.

These elections follow the Islamic uprising and coup in the north by the Tuareg, who will contest elections, which was then followed by the takeover of the region by Islamic terrorists.

Only one female will be contesting elections, Sidibe Aminata Diallo, the former Minister of Education.

She will take on 27 males including the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jamille Bittar, President of Microsoft Africa Cheick Modibo Diarra, and former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

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ZIMBABWE'S WORRISOME ELECTIONS

Zimbabwe will take to the polls on the 31st July for their worrisome presidential elections.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has warned the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) - the body overseeing the presidential election - he will be closely monitoring to ensure a fair vote and said that vote rigging could only occur if the ZEC allowed for it.

Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe is using whatever means he can to deter Zimbabweans from voting for Tsvangirai, attacking his love life which includes his fiancé Elizabeth Macheka, a former lover Locardia Karimatsenga, and, allegedly, South African woman.

Mugabe will play on the high moral standards Zimbabweans are perceived to uphold.

The mediator for the elections, South African President Jacob Zuma, has said that it is unfortunate his mediation team made unauthorised is unfortunate remarks about Mugabe.

It is reported that International Relations advisor to Zuma, Lindiwe Zulu, commented on apparent irregularities in the run-up to the elections which Mugabe responded to, calling Zulu "a stupid, idiotic woman in South Africa".