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Zimbabwe's "Hanging Tree" falls, revives legends

AP reports:

The felling of Zimbabwe's famed colonial-era "Hanging Tree" is reviving legends and superstitions and has many believing it signals a new era for this troubled southern African nation, whose hardline 87-year-old president is in the winter of his long rule.

The fall of the tree came on the same day that President Robert Mugabe, suffering from ill health, marked the country's national tree planting and reforestation campaign by planting a tree in the second city of Bulawayo.

It also coincided with the annual congress of Mugabe's party, its last major gathering before crucial elections next year. The vote is meant to end a fragile coalition government with the former opposition of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed after disputed elections in 2008 that were plagued by violence and allegations of vote rigging.

"It's got to be a sign something big is going to happen," street vendor Mathias Vinyu told The Associated Press of the tree fall.

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