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The Africa Report: 29 July

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

FILE: Zimbabwe Prime Minister and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Picture: AFP

THE BATTLE OF THE PM AND THE PRESIDENT IN ZIMBABWE

With Zimbabwe's presidential and parliamentary vote set for Wednesday, the race has intensified between the age-old rivals, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe.

The Movement for Democratic Change's chief election agent, Morgan Komichi, was arrested by Zimbabwean police after he handed over an envelope containing ballots in favour of Tsvangirai he claims were thrown in a dustbin following the votes by thousands of soldiers and police officers.

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai has accused his rival of planning to cheat in the upcoming elections with Mugabe labelling him a "political cry baby", reports Reuters.

The Prime Minister ( @mrtsvangirai) has also taken to social media platform Twitter, claiming Mugabe is unable to provide anything meaningful to the country and says the 31 July elections provides Zimbabweans with the only opportunity "to pluck ourselves out of poverty and tyranny".

Wednesday's elections will mark Tsvangirai's third attempt at ousting the 89-year-old from his 33-year-long incumbency.

PEACEFUL ELECTIONS IN VOLATILE MALI

On Sunday, Mali's much-anticipated presidential elections proceeded peacefully, adding hope that the troubled nation was on track to rebuilding its state of affairs following a tumultuous era of instability and military coups.

More than six million Malians registered to vote with a high turnout at the 21,000 polling stations which were protected by Malian, French and United Nations military.

The year leading up to Sunday's elections was one marked by the Tuareg's coup in the north, the takeover of that region by al-Qaeda forces, and the subsequent French military operation that saw the Islamic forces driven out of Mali's borders.

France's president, Francois Hollande, has congratulated Mali for the smooth running of the election.

Former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is currently the frontrunner and his supporters have already begun celebrating.

LIBYA REMAINS ON THE BRINK

The situation in Libya remains troubled, increased by infighting, intimidation, and uncontrollable militias following the murder of a prominent political activist, Abdelsalam al-Mosmary.

The eastern city of Benghazi - home to the 2011 uprising against Brotherly Leader Muammar Gaddafi - is increasingly a cradle of instability and violence with explosions set off at judiciary buildings, killing at least 10 people.

Escalating the crisis was Saturday's escape of more than 1,000 prisoners from the Benghazi prison and the storming of Muslim Brotherhood buildings by protestors claiming the Islamic hardliners were to blame for al-Mosmary's murder.

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