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Harare to host marimba festival
September 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Tambarimba marimba festival is to be hosted in Harare on 22 September, 2018, according to Don Chidavaenzi, organiser. Chidavaenzi said that Tambarimba arts shall be hosting the annual marimba music festival on 22 September 2018 at the Long Chen Plaza in Harare .

He added that the aim of the festival is to promote and protect Zimbabwe’s culture through marimba music, to create a platform for artistically talented students to showcase their talent and to complement the education curriculum that is focusing on skills development.

“We are expecting over 30 groups .Each group will perform a set piece and also another own choice. We aim to ensure that marimba music is recognised and appreciated as it is our own traditional music so we appeal to all stakeholders including schools, government,private sector and media to play a role in promoting our culture throughmarimba music,” Chidavaenzi said.

He added that their vision as Tambarimba Arts is to grow the event into an internationally recognised event attracting foreign participants. He also said that there are prizes that include trophies, cash, hampers, just to mention a few.

The Tambarimba Festival has created opportunities for various schools who have participated in the International Marimba Festival in South Africa.

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Mnangagwa And New Cabinet Gnash Teeth As Zimbabwe Faces Cholera ‘’Pandemic’’.
September 15, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

The cholera outbreak has been a rude awakening for Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo

The cholera outbreak has been a rude awakening for Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo

President Mnangagwa and The newly elected cabinet have been left bare mind trodden, perplexed and without solutions to the chronic health challenge of cholera. A few days ago Mnangagwa urged the nation to practice hygiene, words of Health he has before never uttered.

This comes at a time, 25 people have died with 3 047 new cases diagnosed. With confound news, 1st Line Anti-Biotic drugs have resisted treatment according to World Health Organization Report. This has caused the disaster to be declared an emergency.

In another shameful move Minister of Finance and Economic Development  Muthuli  Ncube is currently begging money from the public through twitter . This move has been vehemently condemned by the Zimbabwe people who are as well tax-payers. People now are really certain that these people who always sing politics are mind boggled.

In his few words to the nation, Mnangagwa urged the nation to remain hygienic. Secondly, he said he is praying for the country to remain, calm, in peace and health as many issues of thorny tragedy hit the Southern African country in economic doldrums.

‘’We need to exercise hygiene during this time. We are really in problems as a nation. I pray, this may come to an end’’.

Dr Obediah Moyo the Minister of Heath and Child Care is face puzzled and mind muddled. He seems to have no solutions to address this .The emergency has been declared in the city of Harare where mountains of dirty garbage used to’’ flood’’ pollution in air, in water and on land.

Harare residents have lived for couple of years without water. If any is there, it is dirty and unsafe to drink. Local Governance has failed because Leaders spend more time dilly dallying on political issues which increase poverty. The Government of Zimbabwe last talked seriously about this in 2008 when the Health challenge was serious. In 2008, about 4 200 people died. A big number was diagnosed, treated and discharged.

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Chinese firm seeks to build new state-of-the-art Victoria Falls Bridge
September 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Chinese construction giant, China Communications Construction Company Government for the construction of a new state-of-the-art bridge in the resort town of Victoria Falls, the Livingstone Biweekly has reported.

The current Victoria Falls Border Bridge, which opened to traffic in 1905, is located at the junction of Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is the only railway link between the two countries and the only corridor across the Zambezi River in the region. But of late it has been unable to meet the increasing traffic demand owing to limited capacity.

In its project proposal, CCCC said “the construction of Victoria Bridge will not only affectively improve capacity across the Zambezi River, facilitate passenger and cargo transportation in the surrounding areas and promote the development of regional tourism, but will also play a significant role in strengthening regional ties and promoting regional economic development.”

CCCC was one of the Chinese companies that met with President Mnangagwa in China last week and expressed interest to invest in Zimbabwe. CCCC Limited is a publicly-traded, multinational engineering and construction company primarily engaged in the design, construction and operation of infrastructure assets, including highways, bridges, tunnels, railways, subways, airports, and marine ports.

The company has come up with at least three models for the proposed bridge; namely, the “Wing Bridge”, the “Flying Bird Bridge” and the “Rainbow Bridge”.The Wing Bridge is a single-tower composite Girder Cable-Stayed bridge, two-lane road standard with sidewalks.The bridge length is 297m and width is 17,5 metres, and
can be transformed into a four-lane bridge.

The Flying Bird Bridge is a twin towers Composite Girder Cable-stayed Bridge, two-lane road standard with sidewalks. The bridge length is 262m and width is 17,5m. It also has capacity to be transformed into four-lane bridge.
The Rainbow Bridge is a Deck Arch Bridge, two-lane road standard with sidewalks.The bridge length is 208m and width is 13,5m and can also be transformed into a four-lane bridge.

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Gambian Lala Touray voted 2018 Africans anti-corruption champion
September 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Lala Touray from The Gambia has been voted as the 2018 Africans Rising Anti-Corruption Champion, according to Africans Rising for Justice, Peace & Dignity.

Lala Touray

Lala Touray

It is reported that 20 years old Lala is an award-winning Gambian Poet and CEO of Kids Community Library Foundation. In 2017, Lala started the “Gambia in-Depth” project which she has used as a platform to sensitize and raise awareness about corruption, unemployment, poor education system, poverty, the culture of silence, and bad governance in The Gambia.

It is reported that in her pursuit to fight corruption, Lala recently created a video which brought to life issues that Gambian brothers and sisters are constantly battling against, namely corruption in leadership and institutions. As the winner of the contest, Lala is officially crowned as Africans Rising for Justice, Peace & Dignity’s 2018 Anti-Corruption Champion. She is the first of 10 African activists to be invited to the 2nd cohort of Activists in Residence, a program that will take place in October 2018.

“We would also like to congratulate the second runner-up, 25 years old Nelson Komba from Kenya. Nelson has an equally impressive track record of fighting corruption, he wrote a book titled “24 Hours of Equality ” which takes a critical look at corruption and how it can be tackled to ensure a more sustainable economic development in Africa. 24 Hours of Equality highlights the cross-cutting systems if corruption throughout our continent and how the formation of integrity clubs in schools will serve as a project to train leaders about ethics in leadership,”Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity has said.

The organization says that,as Africans Rising, they intend to use the competition to unravel African activists championing the fight against corruption through multidisciplinary forms of expression. “We believe that it has inspired many among us to continue working together to clamp down on corruption,” they add.

“Africans Rising is grateful to all the participants in this competition. We were thrilled to learn about all the creative and innovative tools which many of you have developed to denounce the corruption that has plagued the economic growth of the peoples of Africa,” they said.

“We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the hundreds of voters that helped us select our very first Anti-Corruption Champion and we are looking forward to keeping you updated on the work of our champions,” they added..

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Zimbabwe’s CSO’S hold government accountable for avoidable cholera deaths
September 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

The Civil Society Health Emergency Response Coordinating Committee (CSHERCC) in Zimbabwe reports that it is saddened to learn of the unnecessary deaths of several people across the country, who have recently succumbed to the devastating effects of cholera.

So far, it has been reported that at least 25 people have fallen victim to the cholera outbreak in several parts of the country in particular in Harare, while dozens of people have been hospitalised since 6 September 2018 when the first cases were publicly announced. Several people have also been affected by the outbreak of typhoid.

CSHERCC is saddened that the ongoing deaths, which are a result of official and criminal negligence, have brought despair to the affected families and communities and the nation at large.

“It is alarming and quite unusual for such a medieval and preventable disease to continue to claim such valuable lives in this day and age. The outbreak of cholera is not a new phenomenon with outbreaks
repetitively recorded in past years resulting in unnecessary deaths and serious illnesses of thousands of people at given times”CSHERCC says.

It adds that it is not acceptable that any cases of outbreaks of cholera and other waterborne diseases be recorded anywhere in the country.

“If at least 20 people have died from cholera in just less than a month, many more are at the risk of contracting, this avoidable disease”.

The CSOs say that government must understand that human health and quality of life is at the centre of international efforts to develop sustainable communities and countries.

“Good health throughout the lifetime of every woman, man and child is fundamental to full participation in the social, economic and political processes of the communities and country”.

CSHERCC has reminded government that human rights relating to health are provided in the Constitution and human rights instruments the government is state party to.

Further, the Zimbabwean Constitution places an obligation on the state to guarantee the rights of persons to a clean environment (section 73), the right to healthcare (section 76) and the right to safe, clean and potable water (section 77). Government must uphold its obligations in the Constitution.

Members of the CSHERCC are particularly alarmed, that sewage reticulation, lack of access to potable water, continue to be the cause of outbreak of waterborne diseases.

The Government of Zimbabwe must respect these social rights as provided in regional and international human rights instruments it is state party to such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the United Nations International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Failure by government to guarantee the right to health is a serious violation of both local and international law. Equally, local authorities have a duty to account for all the funds that they charge ratepayers for water and sewerage in order to progressively contribute towards the realisation of the right to health and water.

CSHERCC says that it holds government, and through it the local authorities and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA), accountable for the deaths of people as they have failed to provide basic health services, medical treatment and services, clean running water and sanitary surrounds to people so as to adequately respond to and contain the spread of the waterborne disease.

“The failure by government to swiftly respond to the cholera epidemic is an unacceptable failure of leadership and represents a clear failure on the part of government to uphold its constitutional obligations as provided in the Constitution and other regional and international instruments”.

CSHERCC has therefore recommended in the short term, and more long term, the immediate implementation of a sustainable plan to prevent recurrences in future by Government as follows:

1. The Ministry of Health and Child Care, Ministry of Lands,Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, all Municipal Authorities work collaboratively and swiftly together with communities, non-state actors and take corrective measures to prevent further deaths from cholera, contain the epidemic, and prevent further outbreaks;

2. Ministry of Health and Child Care and Local Authorities urgently provide all affected people with rapid free medical assistance and treatment

3. Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing collaborate with Local Authorities to provide clean running water and sanitary environs to all affected communities and others at risk of infection to halt the spread of the deadly disease.

4. Ministry of Finance increases budget allocation on water, sanitation and hygiene to achieve 15% allocation to health as provided in the Abuja Declaration to enhance the quality of life of citizens. rights obligations in the Constitution and guarantee progressive realisation of the right to a clean environment that is not harmful, the right to healthcare, and the right to safe, clean and potable water for everyone.

6. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission swiftly investigates this flagrant violation of people’s fundamental right to life, health and clean water and ensure that there is substantial compliance by local authorities.

7. Government must set up an inclusive task force that looks into the recurrence of a preventable disease such as Cholera and formulate preventive strategies for non-recurrence in the future including of other water borne diseases like typhoid and ensure adequate sewage reticulation.

Endorsed by:

Citizens Health Watch

Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association

Community Water Alliance

Combined Harare Residents Association

Community Working Group on Health

Harare Residents Trust

Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation

Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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Centurion Law Group and Africa Energy Chamber joins Senegal in ‘Invest in local capacity building’. Senegal tells global oil investors
September 14, 2018 | 0 Comments
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Breastfeeding Programs In Africa Will Lead To Poverty Reduction, Increase Child Survival And Keeping Mothers Alive.
September 14, 2018 | 0 Comments

Nevson Mpofu

The GLOBAL 2018 Theme for Breastfeeding is BREASTFEEDING– FOUNDATION FOR LIFE.  The World is working hard to achieve Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] .To show its commitments. ZIMBABWE is part and parcel of SCALING UP NUTRITION MOVEMENT [SUN] formed in 2010.

Currently Zimbabwe Civil Society Organizations scaling up Nutrition Alliance [ZCSOSUNA] are scaling up Nutrition sensitive interventions with a network of its various stakeholders. The ‘hot’ topic is on the 1st 1000 days as African Governments are urged to look more on Breastfeeding than politics.

The First 1000 days of an infant baby’s survival and life are being sustained. They stand crucial as Nutrition security and Food security are to be heightened by Command Agriculture and NUTRITION scaling up programs .How-ever , African Governments needs to increase budget and scale up Nutrition for child survival .

In the 1st 1000 days, great continuum of care, empathy and financial support is no doubt to ignore .There is need to scale up Nutrition as we support Food and Nutrition security to eliminate stunting .Stunting occurs when a child lacks nutritious food . He or she in life becomes shorter than his or her expected age .If given all the necessary food requirements in what is called Balanced Diet, there is no stunting.

An Expert in the field of Nutrition, Kudakwashe Zombe advocates Scaling Up Nutrition as the great way forward in the nourishment of health for babies. They need continuum care as they grow up in well-balanced diet.  It is true since it is needed for growth, body function, metabolism and body health  ,maintenance and improvement.

‘Our voice is to African Governments to put more budgets on Nutrition. A Dollar spent on Nutrition in return comes with a profit of 16 Dollars .Therefore Investments in Nutrition returns more for Economic Growth and community development.

‘’We are Civil Society in Nutrition working on Scaling up Nutrition. We save children as enshrined in Convention on the Rights of the Child articles. Protocols must be followed by all countries in the Scaling up Nutrition Movement.

‘We stand for this cause to push for technical and financial support .We also call for a balanced budget spared on nutrition , to net-work, capacitate knowledge on Nutrition security and to bring advocacy and communication .’’He said.

 

Several diseases and conditions in line with Malnutrition namely kwashiorkor, marasmus, pellagra, anemia, scurvy .rickets and under- growth condition are called stunting.  These are a threat to achievement of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Research must be highly linked to Infant survival; a goal key to Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations .As long Nutrition targets are not met, certain goals of the United Nations won’t be realized. Prevalence rate of absolute poverty, that is lack of 3 basic needs increases.

Although Zimbabwe has done better on Millennium Development Goals 2 Achieving Universal Primary Education and 3 on Gender equality, more was meant to focus on goal 4 on improving Infant Mortality. Also there was need to look at Goal 5 on Maternal mortality and on Goal 6 , HIV and AIDS. Much still need to be improved on Sustainable Development Goals .Such is the focus on Breastfeeding.

On the sideline of Sustainable Development Goals, ZCSUNA Chairperson, Tendai Gunda is much concerned of infants’ survival chances through adequate nutrition .This must be in communities where some people are marginalized.

‘’Zimbabwe must work hard on areas of child mortality and maternal mortality.  Countries must score on Sustainable Development Goals .Millennium ones, Goals 4 and 5 on the 2 areas, child mortality reduction and maternal mortality were not well done with in many developing countries.’’

‘As a nation, the need for scaling up nutrition is no doubt a priority since we are part of the scaling up nutrition Movement. We also need to network, communicate, advocate and capacitate knowledge on Nutrition’, .

There is no perfect food more than breast milk from mothers .In fact policy issues must be dealt with in-order for us to push and succeed on all we need and work towards.’’ ‘she said .

 

 

Breast milk is a universal vital component for babies is essential in combating diarrheal diseases. It increases the baby’s survival chances. Apart from these advantages, there are some outstanding advantages which stand to keep the baby always health of which breast feeding experts have explored. Therefore, a dollar spent on Child Nutrition offers more benefit to humanity than any other form of Investment. A dollar spent in return is 16 US dollars in profit.

On winning a goal for life, it is crucial to understand the past, plan for the future and celebrate 10 years of Global strategies on breastfeeding. In this age we are, breastfeeding developments are growing up at a time we are facing the adversities .These are HIV and AIDS, Climate Change and Variation which cause disasters, natural and man-made, famine, drought and floods.

On grounds of certainty, it is not the fault of the mother alone for the baby to be infected. On the level of fair talk, It is the male parent who infects the female parent. Also fathers might have been infected by some women/woman in sexual concurrent partnerships. HIV TRANSMISSION IS A VICIOUS CIRCLE.

Some men are drug users who use injections; some may be gays, like wise lesbians who are women, but the point is, its more for gays who in USA spread GRIDS [Gay related Immune Deficiency Syndrome]. From homosexual sex point of view, the virus can infect either of the parents.

Heterosexual activities are KEY transmitters in HIV and AIDS in KEY POPULATIONS. This comes later to be an effect to those babies. They become victims because of their parents who got infected during unprotected sexual intercourse and unplanned marriage as the fact might be.

 

The human immune virus is transmitted from the parent (in this respect) the mother) through 3 ways. First, it is during pregnancy Secondly, during birth and lastly during breastfeeding. The baby gets mainly transmitted the virus through the vaginal canal at a time of giving birth followed by breast feeding and lastly while in the womb .

 

Mothers upon arrival at Ante-Natal clinics according to HIV Testing Services and Maternal policies, they get tested.  HIV POSITIVE pregnant mothers are – medically advised to use ARVs like Nevirapine which suppresses the virus. This is advised with their infants. Blood testing is very important to be taken regularly when mothers are pregnant. Exclusive Breastfeeding is recommended for the 1st six weeks even if the mother is positive to HIV .

The PPTCT – Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission program was first introduced in 1999 initially by ZVITAMBO PROJECT until it spreads into clinics and hospitals and taken up by some Civil Society. Up to now it has rose to greater heights. One organization at International level is Elizabeth Glacier Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

From a baby care initiative point of view, it is the right of the baby for him/her to be protected and prevented from the virus spread which causes AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is when CD4 count goes down to below 250 cells / ml of blood . Despite the threat of the virus, mothers are advised to breastfeed the first hour of birth. After that there is advice for mothers to continue breastfeeding taking into consideration the first 1000 days.

The first six months are biologically important, this infancy stage. Mothers are advised to breastfeed exclusively although positive. Exclusive breastfeeding is important because breast milk is completely perfect for babies. It provides all nutrients and water babies need during the first six months. Colostrum, the first milk is essential because it protects the baby from many diseases, boosting immunity and strengthening the body.

A senior Nutritionist Monica Muti from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, contacted for a vibrant comment pointed out that it is important to practice breastfeeding because it protects babies from diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia. She even gave a deep meaning of Exclusive Breastfeeding.

“It means giving milk only and nothing else, not even water sips, except for prescribed medicines by doctors. This goes on in hot or cold weather for about 6 months .After 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, 70 to 100% must be mother’s milk.”

“Breast milk can contain HIV if the mother is infected.  The virus can pass through breast milk. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces chances of a baby becoming infected and it increases chances of survival of babies” she stressed out clearly.

Mother to baby empathy binds the two such that their relationship moulds time and gain. During this time mothers breasts are fully solid with milk. They first produce maternal oxytocin which stimulate milk and attracts baby attention.

The Nutritionist further pointed out that after six months of birth, babies can feed on soft baby prepared food like porridge. This is called supplementary feeding. This may include bottled milk, mealie-meal, porridge mixed with peanut butter or margarine. Despite this 70%-100% must be breast milk.

In 1998 World health Organisation (WHO) concluded, “When children born to women living with HIV can be ensured  uninterrupted access to nutritionally adequate breast milk substitutes that are safely prepared and fed to them, they are at less risk of illness and death. However if these conditions are not nullified, in particular in an environment where infectious diseases and malnutrition are primary causes of death during infancy, artificial feeding substantially increases children’s risk of illness and death.’’

According to research findings since time immemorial, infants who do not get adequate nutrition suffer from marasmus and kwashiorkor. Infantile marasmus is often caused by premature weaning from breast milk. Supplements from other sources deprive infants of necessary calories and proteins.

Kwashiorkor affects a child who is weaned to a diet sufficient in calories but deficient in proteins and nitrogen .This condition comes under diseases related to malnutrition which are common in many developing countries .These fall under banana republic’s South of America, Southern and Eastern Africa, Central Europe and Asia and some Island parts of the world.

Depriving infants mother’s milk is an unhealthy situation because the milk contains docosahexia aenoic and acidonic acid which energises, strengthens muscles, activates brains and improves sight. Also present is calcium which moulds bones and strengthens teeth.

Breastfeeding extends post partum infertility by delaying ovulation and reducing menstruation and normally women do not menstruate during breastfeeding. Women who have breast fed have lower chances of suffering from breast cancer @ the same time their babies have more chances of survival.

Breastfeeding gives mothers spacing time thereby reducing fertility leading to planned ways of giving birth.

Experts of sundry dimensions had a lot to say, a Medical Doctor, Portia Manangazira pointed out.

“Breastfeeding increases an infant’s survival chances. Infants’ breastfed during the first two months of birth have only 37% risk of death. It is important in countries with high mortality rates especially in Africa, south of the Sahara”, she said.

Some experts have viewed breastfed infants as more boxum and smarter than any other infants. However, in this era of HIV and AIDS inspite of its presence, women being positive or not are highly advised to breastfeed exclusively especially the first six months after birth and look beyond 1000 days, that is the first 3 years of life. .

On a higher note concerning women health, it is a fact that women who lose blood during child birth suffer anemia. It  is defined as red blood cells or oxygen carrying capacity insufficient to meet psychological needs which vary by age, sex attitude ,smoking and pregnancy status. According to this journalist’s qualitative research, women of age 15 to 49 years are 28% anemic.

When mothers are said to be anemic, it means they lack iron which is important in mostly breast feeding mothers .Iron deficiency in lactating mothers leads to reduction in immunity to certain extent that they give room to HIV, that is if they engage in unprotected sex when they are pregnant or before it.. This is called Iron Deficiency Anemia.

 

 

The other type of anemia is vitamin B12 Foliate Deficient Anemia. Foliate is from folic acid which helps tissues grow and cells work. Symptoms of anemia are energy loss, rapid heartbeat, difficult breath, headache, dizziness, pale skin, leg cramps and insomnia which is lack of sleep. Lactating women who suspect these symptoms must immediately visit the Medical Doctor for diagnosis of anemia.

 

Mothers are recommended to get straight advice from doctors and nutritionists for more information on nutrition guidelines. However the code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes and Infant Regulation recommends breastfeeding mothers not to use bottled milk the first six months. Even if it is to be used there are particular guidelines to be followed.

Author can be contacted via emai;nmnevsonmpofu755@gmail.com

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D.R.Congo:What Do Our Cenco Bishops Finally Want?
September 13, 2018 | 0 Comments
FILE - Archbishop Marcel Utembi, second left, president of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), and other Catholic bishops arrive for the signing of an accord at the interdiocesan center in Kinshasa, Jan. 1, 2017 following talks launched by the Roman Catholic Church between the government and opposition.

FILE – Archbishop Marcel Utembi, second left, president of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), and other Catholic bishops arrive for the signing of an accord at the interdiocesan center in Kinshasa, Jan. 1, 2017 following talks launched by the Roman Catholic Church between the government and opposition.

Since President Joseph Kabila’s unprecedented historic decision to scrupulously respect the Constitution by not running for a third consecutive term, it had been believed that the quarteron of the Catholic Church’s crowned heads who were auctioning off the alleged project of violation of the Basic Law by the Head of State, had come to their senses.

No, I don’t think so. The temptation of clericalism, which is the clergy’s claim to dominate political life, even though it was criticized by Pope Francis, was clearly too strong in some of them.

Since Monday, they have returned with a heavy burden against the Congolese electoral process, yet until recently they were passionate defenders through an advocacy document addressed to the President of Zambia in his capacity as President of SADC.

Certainly, the Bishops of CENCO who signed this memorandum underline some significant progress in the process. But the concerns and worries they express embrace point by point the most far-fetched theses of a certain radicalized opposition at the same time as they tend to destroy the work of appropriation of the said process by the Congolese themselves.

Whether it is the insecurity in the East that they pretend to suddenly discover whereas they were clamouring for elections despite this insecurity, which is also in the process of being reduced;

Whether it is a question of some deficiencies in the electoral register already settled or in the process of being settled by the CENI in accordance with the Electoral Law or the exclusion of some candidates for the presidential election for reasons of ineligibility based on the Law, such as the prohibition of a third consecutive term of office for President Kabila, which they had made themselves the spokespersons;

And finally, the use of the voting machine, which responds to the need to rationalize the electoral process advocated by the entire political class in December 2016, under their auspices;

In view of the recommendations made by the Bishops, which are nothing less than an attempt to dispossess Congo’s sovereignty in favour of foreign actors such as the SADC, to which they demand that the subcontracting of Congolese elections be entrusted, one may wonder whether these prelates do not relapse into their historical role as foreign intermediaries opposed to the total independence of the DRC as their Belgian precursors were in the aftermath of independence in 1960.

Their apocalyptic alarm bell sounds in this respect, resemble a call for the Congo to be placed under guardianship, and an early encouragement to undermine the credibility of any idea of national sovereignty. This is an attitude that is unacceptable to all Congolese patriots, who lay  claim  to their full rights of  self-determination acquired 58 years ago, as well as peace and respect for the rule of law.

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South Sudanese president, rebel leader sign final peace deal without reservations
September 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

President Kiir and opposition leader Machar shake hands during the peace talks

President Kiir and opposition leader Machar shake hands during the peace talks

Juba – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir signed a final revitalized peace agreement with rebel factions in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in the latest an attempt to end almost fifth year’s civil war.

The event that took place on Wednesday evening was under the auspices of the regional political bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD.

The signing in Ethiopia came after months of negotiations and preliminary pacts. It seeks to draw a line under the conflict that began in December 2013, has caused near-economic collapse and forced more than a third of the country’s estimated 12 million citizens from their homes, fueling the world’s third-largest refugee crisis after Syria and Afghanistan.

South Sudan plunged into warfare two years after independence from Sudan in 2011 when a political dispute between Kiir and then vice-president Riek Machar erupted into armed confrontation. The civil war has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced two million and held up the country’s progress since it gained independence seven years ago.

Machar, leader of the main rebel group, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition, and other insurgent factions, includes South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), Gabriel Chang Changson, and SPLM- FDs leading member Deng Alor signed the new agreement with the Juba government after assurances that a power-sharing accord would be honored.

The deal, which has international and regional backing, grants rebels and other opposition figures major positions in an expanded South Sudanese government, with Machar returning as first vice president. It won’t be enacted until May at the earliest and is the second attempt to form a transitional administration with the rebel leader after the first collapsed weeks into its implementation in 2016.

A previous peace deal signed in 2015 fell apart a year later after clashes broke out between government forces and rebels in July 2016, followed a months of the formation of TGONU.

The deal was signed by leaders of the different factions and by representatives of the IGADregion and the body’s secretariat. IGAD is currently led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, he delivered a stern warning to the parties to ensure that the current deal does not fail.

“The eyes of the world are upon us as the South Sudan leaders commit today to press for reconciliation and lasting peace in their country,” Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed said ahead of the signing.

In statements after the signing ceremony, the information minister Michael Makuei welcomed the signing of the revitalized peace agreement by all the parties, said that his government from now on wards will start the implementation process.

 “Nobody abstained from the agreement and from now onward we will start with the implementation. My appeal to the people of South Sudan is that let us forgive ourselves, let’s work together for the whole interest of our people,” Makuei said.

For his part, a member of the opposition group, Dr Lam Akol describes the signing as big step forward:

“I must say it is a big step forward, meaning it is a bright day for South Sudan that the parties have finally put their signature on a peace agreement that we hope will last,” Dr. Akol said, who is due to take over vice president post.

On other hand, the head of the United Nations mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, welcomed the agreement while warning the “greatest challenges are yet to come during the implementation phase.”

“The United Nations and the international community will be expected to play their role in assisting with genuine reconciliation and peacebuilding activities. However, we need to be persuaded by the demonstration of collective political will of the parties to implement an agreed and realistic implementation plan,” said David Shearer, at signing ceremony. “The key ingredient still lacking is trust. Those signing the agreement are former friends and foes. From my discussions with the parties, suspicion is widespread. It is beholden on all of us to encourage trust between parties,” he added.

The SRSG particularly acknowledged the efforts of the IGAD, the Governments of Sudan and Ethiopia who have patiently championed negotiations over the past few months and shown true leadership in bringing the parties together to sign a new agreement.

“A genuine commitment to peace and concrete actions to implement the agreement will encourage the people of South Sudan to move back to their homes to lead lives that are safe and self-reliant. And, enable the country to transition from its current dire economic state to an environment that attracts investment and development,” Shearer said.

Troika countries’ concerns

While the government and UNMISS is optimistic about the new deal that aim to end the bloody shed in East Africa’s youngest nation, the Troika countries remain skeptical over the latest deal.

“We remain concerned about the parties’ level of commitment to this agreement and to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement,” said a statement on Wednesday by the UK, the U.S. and Norway, the troika that worked to bring South Sudan to independence in 2011. To be convinced of both sides’ the commitment to peace, they need to see a significant change in approach, the statement read in part.

The troika countries want to see an end to the violence, full humanitarian access given to aid workers, the release of political prisoners and see checks on executive and majority power and the transparent use of resources.

“This must include, but not be limited to: an end to violence and full humanitarian access; the release of political prisoners; and a real commitment to effective and accountable implementation, demonstrated by supporting robust security and enforcement mechanisms, checks on executive and majority power, and the transparent use of resources for the benefit of all South Sudanese,” they said. “Without progress in these critical areas, we remain concerned the agreement will not deliver the peace that the people of South Sudan deserve,” they further added.

Of recently, the Troika and the European Union threatened to stop their support for the activities and institutions tasked with the implementation of the South Sudan peace agreement.

Revitalized transitional government draft

According to the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (RARCSS), a pre-transitional period of eight months shall come into force within two weeks of the signing revitalized agreement. At this period, the parties are expected to commit to their people and the international community that they will not return to war.

However, the IGAD’s information program manager shared details of the 128 – page document which chiefly among others was expected to lead to the formation of a revitalized transitional government of national unity, RTGoNU.

The RTGoNU is to be based in the capital Juba and will be expected to steer affairs of Africa’s youngest nation for a period of thirty-six months. The transitional period is expected to commence eight months after the signing of today’s agreement.

The term and mandate of the RTGoNU shall be for the duration of the Transitional Period, until such time that elections are held, except as provided for in this Agreement.

The RTGoNU is expected to last for three years. The RTGoNU shall hold elections sixty (60) days before the end of the Transitional Period in order to establish a democratically elected government.

The revitalized deal maintained incumbent president Kiir to lead the transitional period with opposition leader Dr. Machar, deputizing him as the first vice president. Machar would also lead the governance cluster.

The mediators also maintained the four vice presidents, with the incumbent TGoNU nominating two, and then the SSOA, and the SPLM – FD nominating one each.

At this period, there will be 35 ministers with the incumbent TGoNU nominating 20, the SPLM – IO 9 ministers, the SSOA 3 ministers, the SPLM-FD 2 and other opposition parties 1 minister. Up to ten deputy ministers will also be nominated.

The TNLA will be composed of 550 members, with the incumbent TGONU nominating 332 Mps, the SPLM-IO 128 Mps, the SSOA 50 Mps, the OPP 35 Mps and the SPLM-FD 5 Mps. The speaker of the TNLA will be nominated by the incumbent TGoNU and one deputy speaker to be nominated by OPP and the other, a woman, to be nominated by the incumbent TGoNU.

In the deal, Sudan and Uganda troops will be deploy in South Sudan to ensure the full commitment of the parties to the agreement.

For the deployment of Ethiopian and Kenyan troops, the deal provides issue of deployment of the RPF shall be handled through the engagement of IGAD and the UN Security Council.

Ethiopia is already present in South Sudan as the peacekeeping operation which is part of the monitoring mechanism. Kenya was part of the UN mission but withdrew its troops after a UN reporting blaming the UNMISS force commander, a Kenyan general for not taking the necessary measure to protect civilians in July 2016.

This latest peace deal brings to an end the talks on the revitalization of the 2015 peace accord, which was violated in July 2016 when the bodyguards of Kiir and Riek clashed at the presidential palace in Juba.

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African Innovation Foundation (AIF)’s top 10 nominees announced for the prestigious US$185 000 Innovation Prize for Africa 2018 awards
September 13, 2018 | 0 Comments
The top 10 nominees reflect Pan African flavour of Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) with representation from north, west, east, central and southern Africa, including Madagascar
ZURICH, Switzerland, September 13, 2018/ — IPA 2018 keenly contested with 3 000+ applicants from over 52 countries; This year’s innovations address critical challenges in ICT, agri-business, public health and the environment/ energy sectors; The top 10 nominees reflect Pan African flavour of IPA with representation from north, west, east, central and southern Africa, including Madagascar.

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) (www.AfricanInnovation.org) today announced its top 10 nominees for its prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) (InnovationpPizeforAfrica.org) 2018 awards. This year’s Call for Applications with its theme “African innovation: Investing in Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems” attracted more than 3 000 applications from 52 African countries. Building on the AIF mandate, submissions this year demonstrate significant breakthroughs in ICT, agri-business, public health and the environment/ energy sectors to improve the lives and economic prospects of Africans.

Says Walter Fust, AIF Chairman: “Now in its seventh year running, we have witnessed multi-million-dollar businesses emerging from the IPA initiative, with health, environment/energy and agricultural innovations leaving imprints across the African continent and beyond. Our theme this year prompts the need for increased collaboration between government, business, industry, innovation enablers and the community to further realise African prosperity and economic freedom.”

The IPA initiative has grown from strengthen to strength mobilizing, rewarding and honoring top African innovators whilst also building strategic partnerships with innovation enablers to strengthen innovation ecosystems in Africa. To date, AIF has supported 55 IPA winners/nominees with US$ 1 million+ and mobilized 9 400+ innovators from all 55 African countries. AIF endorsement and exposure generated through IPA have seen past winners securing over US$135 million worth of investments to grow and scale their businesses. IPA past winners and nominee company valuations amount to US$200 million+.

Managing Director of AIF, Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl who has steered the IPA program since its establishment in 2011, said: “We are proud of the impressive innovations that made it to the top 10 this year. They are evident examples of African ingenuity and each innovation is solving a real challenge in a key sector. Africa, and indeed the rest of the world, must keep an eye out – these innovations are ready to propel our continent’s global competitiveness in the market! Furthermore, these top 10 nominees are a great reminder that if given access to capital, Africans are capable of solving African challenges whilst also contributing to the rest of the world.”

Meet the top 10 IPA nominees whose innovations are in the sectors of agri-business, public health and well-being, ICT, energy, environment and water as follows:

Biodegradable seed tray for rice farming (Madagascar) – Juslain Nomenjanahary Raharinaivo: Rice is a staple food in many African countries, constituting a major part of the diet. With an ongoing demand for increased rice production, some African countries are not self-sufficient. In Madagascar, seeds are therefore sowed in innovative pots made of paper, called BG or biodegradable germinators. Growers transplant seedlings into easy-to-transplant clumps with very high tilling capacity which also increases rice yields and allow possibilities to expand the area under cultivation.

Buried Diffuser (Tunisia) – Mr. Wassim Chahbani: Irrigated systems play a major role in sustaining livelihoods in Africa and the world over. Water in agricultural use is critical for crop yields, and reducing consumption is necessary to increase the amount of available water for other uses. The Buried Diffuser saves irrigation water, energy, and use of fertilizers, reducing zero water waste through evaporation. Water is injected directly to the roots, radically reducing water consumption levels used for irrigation.

Efficient detection of TB and Hepatitis C (Morocco) – Professor Abdeladim Moumen and Dr. Hassan Ait Benhassou: Hepatitis C and Tuberculosis (TB) are critical health burdens in Africa. Besides lack of available treatment, access to accurate and cost-effective diagnostic tests remain a challenge across the continent. This innovation comprises two molecular tests for the rapid, accurate and effective detection and load quantification of both diseases. The technology allows specific detection of the hepatitis C or TB genome in blood or sputum samples; tests are clinically validated, simple, accurate and low cost.

eNose sensor for tea processing (Uganda) – Abraham Natukunda: This innovation applies an “eNose” and analytics platform to supplement current tea processing procedures using low power sensor devices to determine optimum levels of tea fermentation. An analytics platform receives and analyses the sensor data, providing real-time monitoring of key reactive elements and compounds during the tea-processing period, ensuring efficient traceability, prediction, and motion. This innovation will lead to improved control results in better tea quality, boosting marketability and increased revenue for tea processors from each bushel of tea harvested.

Incas Vaginal Discharge Kit (Ghana) – Dr. Laud Anthony Basing: Incas Vagkit is a 3-in-1 urine-based test kit that examines vaginal infections. Linked to a mobile application, it offers a convenient and fast solution for women experiencing vaginal infections. The Vagkit simply requires a urine sample and can be used at home; results are available within 10 minutes. This innovation drastically reduces testing time for vaginal infections in Africa, leading to the efficient and quick detection and management of vaginitis.

“iThrone” portable toilet (Egypt) – Dr. Diana Yousef: “We shrink it” is a revolutionary approach to removing un-piped sewage. This technology innovation is a disruptive yet low-cost composite polymer membrane that essentially “shrink-wraps crap” aggressively evaporating or “flushing” away the full water content of daily sewage output without need for added heat, energy or flush water. This innovation responds to the problem of poor sanitation and health conditions, as well as pollution caused by sewerage. iThrone cuts off a significant amount of methane emissions that are generated by unmanaged/uncollected sewage.

Mobile Shiriki Network (Rwanda) – Henri Nyakarundi: The Shiriki Hub is a Smart Solar Kiosk, powered by strong solar panels and equipped with large capacity batteries, Internet of things (IoT) sensors, and a custom designed router, offering device charging, virtual top-ups, and low-cost connectivity. Designed as a business-in-a-box and distributed on a micro-franchise basis, this is an ideal solution for digital connectivity to rural populations and temporal settlements such as refugee camps.

Natural solutions for skeletal regeneration and repair (South Africa) – Prof. Keolebogile Shirley Motaung: A multi-method approach using natural products for skeletal regeneration and repair. La-Africa Soother (LAS) is a topical paste ointment for sportspeople as a natural anti-inflammatory cream to treat pain and inflammation. The second product which is Plant-Based Morphogenetic Factor Implant (PBMF) induces bone and cartilage formation. Treatment of fractures has been a continuous challenge for orthopaedic surgeons. The latter product differs from knee replacement, autografts and allografts, offering quick results with no waiting period and no harvesting of tissue, with relief and safety for patients.

Reducing pollution in an eco-friendly way using GKSORB! (Benin) – Dr Fohla Mouftaou: Water hyacinth is an environmental threat in many African countries, invading lakes, rivers, and agricultural fields. The threat affects agriculture, the fishing industry, health and livelihoods. GKSORB is 100% organic and biodegradable fiber with the potential to absorb up to 17 times its weight. Made from water hyacinth, it can be used as a separator for hydrocarbons or as a cleaning agent for surfaces contaminated by various pollutants such as hydrocarbons, acids and paints.

Waxy II Technology (Tanzania) – Christian Mwijage: His company recycles and transforms post-consumer waste plastic into durable and environmentally friendly plastic lumber using a chemical-free and energy conserving technology called “Waxy ӀӀ technology” for building, construction and furniture production. Every year, more than nine million tonnes of plastic garbage ends up in the ocean causing a major threat to marine life and people. Plastic timber is an affordable alternative to wood timber and reduces the need for building material manufactured from wood, preserving forests, cutting down on deforestation and mitigating the effects of climate change

IPA (InnovationpPizeforAfrica.org) brings together 450+ movers and shakers representing African innovation ecosystems annually through this award. Six successful IPA editions have been hosted in every region in Africa in partnership with host country Governments as follows: 2012: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 2013: Cape Town, South Africa; 2014: Abuja, Nigeria; 2015: Skhirat, Morocco; 2016: Gaborone, Botswana; and 2017: Accra, Ghana. Follow this link (InnovationPrizeforAfrica.org/#2018) to learn more about IPA and IPA 2018 nominees.

Do you want to get involved in IPA 2018 as a sponsor or partner? Contact us for an outstanding opportunity to position yourself as a key player in the African innovation landscape through collaborating and networking opportunities; new partnerships; brand awareness and marketplace alignment; and media, PR and online publicity on local and international platforms.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, AIF would like to inform its partners, stakeholders and the innovation community that the IPA 2018 Awards event is postponed and the new date will be communicated in due course. Keep watching this space for updates!

About African Innovation Foundation: 

Our purpose is to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalysing the innovation spirit in Africa. Our innovation-led programs showcase innovators and foster an innovation culture across the continent through the Innovation Prize for Africa (InnovationpPizeforAfrica.org) and we support legal business ecosystems through innovative access to law through the African Law Library .

Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) (InnovationpPizeforAfrica.org) is a landmark initiative of the AIF . Its goal is to strengthen African innovation ecosystems through supporting a culture of innovation and competitiveness, whilst spurring growth of innovative, market-driven African solutions to African challenges.

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How Djibouti like Zambia is about to loose its port to China
September 13, 2018 | 0 Comments
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Zimbabwe:Temba Mliswa On Hiv And Aids Campaign To Stamp Down Social Media Allegations..
September 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Nevsion Mpofu..

Temba Mliswa

Temba Mliswa

The good work done by USA PEPFAR ORGANIZATION on HIV and AIDS TESTING CAMPAIGN has prompted prominent Legislator Themba Mliswa to take the facsimile to the general public. Themba Mliswa has vehemently advocated for ‘’Early detection, know your status and act responsibly ‘’ HIV Awareness .The campaign is to be carried out at New Start Centre in Harare. The Public HIV TEST is in response to recent unfounded social media allegations that he is getting in love with young girls at the expense of their Health in terms of HIV and AIDS .

The straight forward speaking Legislator for Norton constituency has been peddled in social media allegations and tattles that he is in the habit of consorting with underage girls. Mliswa denies this with a snarl as he says ,

‘’I categorically deny such frivolous claims with the contempt they deserve. I am aware that I can deny it until I am blue in the face, yet they will be the tattlers that insist otherwise. Such is the depravity of society. I have young daughters. It boggles the mind to think that I could ever fathom to engage in such perverted acts’

‘’My campaign is to lead the people to New Start Center where the exercise will be carried at New Africa House 40 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue in Harare . It is in the protection of those who may be voiceless but who feel the pain .It is to encourage early detection. It is to urge everyone to know their status. It is also to impress upon everybody to act responsibly ‘’

Social Media, Mliswa says it snaps a bad portrait of its ugly face as he angrily speaks volumes of its careless whispers in the dark of those pictured.

‘’Social media is being abused. This is affecting some other people who are just quiet. Many people become gullible to every word or story told without proof,

‘’This is morally wrong. In these peddled stories, let us separate fact from fiction. Sensationalism does not signify authenticity. We are always to be alert to hinge news to evidence just as court of justice’’, he said .

HIV and AIDS Experts also condemn social media that takes bad, wrong stories to denigrate others. An HIV and AIDS Activist Maud Chirisa of Harare said such acts are immoral. This with the social media creates stigma and discrimination.

‘’Social media creates room for stigma and discrimination in society. Many people end up failing to access Testing, counseling and treatment, this leading to the perpetuity of HIV and AIDS in society ‘’,she said .

A Lawyer by profession Enock Marevo said the laws of the country in relation to social media must be looked at critically because many people are submerged their human rights.

‘’Many people are being submerged their human rights. As a Legal person I feel it bad to leave all the scalding fingers of those who are clean and perfect. Mliswa this is time to act responsibly’’, he shouted.

Currently there are 4 million people estimated living with HIV which progresses to AIDS in Zimbabwe. Around the world there are over 45 to 50 billion people infected. However a big number is not aware of their status. Among these are key populations spreading the virus which if not well managed progresses to AIDS.

Zimbabwe has done many interventions and programs. Secondly there are many policies and strategies put in place to curb the spread of the virus. HIV prevalence and incidence rate has decreased as a result of the interventions and holistic approaches. Guidelines in line with adherence and proper use of

Anti- Retroviral therapy directs people into a life that is HIV FREE.

PEPFAR is working in the country to push on the success of the 95 , 95 , 95 targets  which looks towards complete eradication and total elimination of HIV and AIDS . The targets looks at 95% of people to get tested and know their status , 95% to get in Anti-Retrovirals and 95% suppression of the viral .

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