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Huge blow to Ruto as leaders endorsed Gideon candidacy
September 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

DP Ruto

DP Ruto

The deputy president William Ruto’s presidential bid suffered a major blow on Friday, September 7, 2018 after leaders from his backyard resolved to support his nemesis Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.

The leaders drawn from Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu and Baringo counties said the Kenya African National Union (Kanu) chairman is the best candidate to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta on the ground of his development records and good reputation unlike some aspirants whose names are tainted by corruption cases.

“The country accomplished great milestone during former President Daniel Moi’s 24-year rule and that is why Gideon should take power after President Kenyatta. Senator Moi has a clean track record untainted by corruption,” said Paul Kibet, Northern Kenya Kanu coordinator.

Addressing the press during Kanu party retreat at Elgeyo Marakwet County, the leaders agreed to roll out grassroots mobilization countrywide to strengthen Moi’s candidacy. They appealed to President Kenyatta to back Mr. Moi because he shelved his presidential ambition in both 2013 and 2017 to support him.

On fight against graft, the leaders assured President of their support asking him to take war on corruption to the door steps of the lords of corruption if he wants to achieve his Big Four agenda which include universal health, food security, affordable housing and manufacturing.

In August 22, 2018, IPSOS Synovate research revealed that the deputy president is the most corrupt in the country. IPSOS Synovate researcher Tom Wolf said 33% of those interviewed pointed Ruto as a corrupt leader.

Ruto seems to always be a man under siege with countless corruption allegations being leveled against him. Some of the big scandals are Lang’ata Road primary school land grab scandal, Muteshi land grab, Maize scandal in the Grand coalition government, Hustler’s jet scandal and Kenya pipeline land grab.

In the beginning of this month Ruto’s chance of becoming president diminished after elder’s council from Meru community, stronghold of President Kenyatta endorsed the former president’s son. Led by the elders chairman James Merianga, they pledged to rally voters from Mt. Kenya region to support Mr. Moi during 2022 polls.

“As a council, we cannot forget how President Moi was generous to our community and that is why we have decided to pass by in our tour of this region. We also needed to assure him of our support should he require it,” reiterated Merianga.s

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ARIPO to launch a free regional intellectual property database to promote trade in Africa
September 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) is
set to launch a Regional Intellectual Property (IP) database toady
Monday, 10 September 2018. The centralized database with published IP
titles from the ARIPO Member States will not only be accessible online
but will be free for all.

The IP Database is designed to efficiently serve multiple purposes,
including on-line provision of published IP data, encouragement of
regional trade, IP scientific research, IP rights protection and
enforcement in the ARIPO region, as well as sustainable development of
IP.

“Technology is an agent of change, and major technological innovations
have resulted in paradigm shifts in the way business is conducted. As
the ARIPO Office we are utilizing ICT tools to establish our presence
in global intellectual property and to foster creativity and
innovation for economic growth and development in Africa,” says the
ARIPO Director General, Mr. Fernando dos Santos.

“The Office has embarked on a number of ICT projects taking advantage
of the ICT tools available to provide efficiency in IP business
processing, support the availability of IP information, encourage IP
scientific research and IP rights protection and enforcement,” He
adds.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 2016
IP Statistics Report, Africa as a whole accounted for only 0.6% of the
total applications filed internationally. The Database will therefore
contribute significantly to improve the use and uptake of IP in the
ARIPO region thereby increasing the number of local and regional
applications which is still very low.

The IP database will be free and easy to access for searches by IP
Agents and anyone who wishes to find information or register a patent,
industrial design or trademark.

The development of the Regional IP Database was supported by WIPO.
They provided the software for the database and assisted with the
extraction of published IP data from the IPAS system in the Member
States.

The ARIPO Regional IP Database to be launched will have information
from ARIPO, Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique,
Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The launch will be officiated by the Representative of the Director
General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),
Project Manager in the IP Office Business Solutions Division, Mr.
Gregory Sadyalunda and the Representative of the Commissioner of the
Japanese Patent Office, the Deputy Director, Information Technology
and Patent Information Management Office, Japan Patent Office, Mr.
Hiroyuki Nishibori.

The link to the database is http://regionalip.aripo.org

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20 killed in South Sudan plane crash
September 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

This picture shows the wreckage of the light aircraft that crashed into the Yirol River as local fishermen use canoes to help in the rescue and retrieval efforts. (AFP)

This picture shows the wreckage of the light aircraft that crashed into the Yirol River as local fishermen use canoes to help in the rescue and retrieval efforts. (AFP)

Juba. At least 20 people has reported killed in South Sudan a commercial plane crash into a lake on Sunday morning, official said

“The number of people who lost their lives are 20. The number of people who survived are 3,” said Taban Abel Aguek, Eastern Lakes State minister of Information

More than 22 people were aboard the flight from the capital Juba’s international airport to the city of Yirol when it crashed. Yirol is in the central part of the civil war-torn East African country. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

Among the dead, 16 are South Sudanese national, including three children and the Bishop of Yirol Diocese of Epicopical Church, while 4 are foreigners including the pilot and the co-pilot, who are Sudanese nationals. Ugandan and Ethiopian who work on the road repair company assigned on AluakAluak – Mapuordit road.

Meanwhile, the three survivors are a 6-year-old child, an adult man and an Italian citizen (Doctor) who working with a non-profit who was in surgery and in serious condition, Aguek said.

Taban said the plane crashed into the River Nile on arrival to Yirol Town.

“This terrible situation is a tragedy, the whole area is caught by serious shock. A plane crashed this morning a few hours ago and I went to the site myself it crashed into Lake Yirol,” Taban said.

This is not the first time for the plane crash in South Sudan, in 2015 36 people were killed when a Russian-built cargo plane with passengers crashed shortly after taking off from Juba International airport.

Several crashes have occurred in war-torn South Sudan in recent years. In 2017, four passengers were injured when a plane crashed into a truck trying to land in the city of Wau amid bad weather.

Since the conflict broke out in 2013, between President Kiir and rebel leader Machar, the citizens has resorted use to plane as main of transportation after the roads has become scene of killing and murdering across South Sudan.

The state government has declared three days of mourning and the flag will fly at half-mast.

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Zimbabwe’s Agribank to extend support to floriculture and horticulture targeting the European market
September 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Malaba

Malaba

Agribank, Zimbabwe’s leading bank offering support to the
agriculture sector has announced that it is increasing its support to
the floriculture and horticulture sector to promote exports to the
highly lucrative European market, according to SMT Malaba, Agribank
CEO in a presentation of the bank’s financial statements for the year
ended 30 June, 2018.

According to Malabe, the bank has made significant milestones with
respect to key strategic initiatives such as enhanced support to
agriculture and capital raising initiatives.
The banks is alo expanding support to agriculture and sustaining
business growth initiatives optimising on the critical role of
agriculture in the economy of the country.
Support to agriculture is at the core of the bank’s mandate for food
security and value addition.

“The bank is expanding support to the agriculture sector and is
likely to surpass its initial set target of $105 million and achieve
$125 million agriculture financing, inclusive of both on and off
balance sheet financing,” Malaba said.

He added that to date total lending to agriculture amounted to $80
million. He said that finance is being extended to major subsectors of
the agriculture sector such as tobacco, maize, soya, horticulture as
well as critical fertilizers and chemical industries that support
agriculture with inputs.

Malaba described horticulture and floriculture as low hanging fruits
for the country to boast its foreign exchange incomes. Previously the
sector was dominated by white commercial farmers but declined due to
the 2000 land reform programme. There was a major shift when the new
communal farmers focused on other traditional crops like maize and
cotton with a few focusing on the export crops.
Malaba added that in a bid to raise foreign currency the bank
managed to also support key sectors in agriculture like the
floriculture and horticulture sectors.

He said that the bank is exploring further expanded support in
respect of horticulture crops such as macadamia nuts, mange peas,
Michigan peas, avocados and cut flowers.

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Africa welcomes first ever full-stream oil, gas & energy transformation dais
September 10, 2018 | 0 Comments
The global energy industry has been experiencing a radical transformation in recent years
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, September 6, 2018/ — Speaking on Africa’s hydrocarbon development, Niall Kramer, CEO, South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA) said, “Growing a gas economy in South Africa and regionally is imperative. We need to do this to partner and to enable renewables but fundamentally to provide the catalyst for the sorely needed growth, business activity and jobs that give us the opportunities for inclusive growth.

 

The wherewithal that oil and gas can bring is potentially large, but to know that we must explore for indigenous gas and import LNG. Policy attractiveness is certainty needed, as are regional partnerships. The biggest opportunity I see is the massive proven gas resources in Mozambique alongside South Africa as the largest industrial economy in Africa. My vision is the region becomes like the North Sea. But with good weather.”

 

The global energy industry has been experiencing a radical transformation in recent years. Replacing large-scale nuclear and fossil fuel power stations, the energy supply of the future will be secured by millions of decentralized renewable energy plants in combination with intelligent storage, distribution and consumption solutions for existing oil & gas resources.

 

A new beginning

Africa’s newly launched meeting point, the Future Energy Africa Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference 2018,  propositions a power packed 3-day exhibition and conference, dedicated to advancing future oil, gas and energy solutions for the continent. With far reaching industry collaboration, under the esteemed patronage of the Department of Energy of the Republic of South Africa, the event will provide in-depth analysis and an honest reflection of Africa’s set to revolutionize the future. In addition, the event provides an intensive tour across Africa, revealing insights on the issues confronting Africa’s future commercial, business and socio-economic trajectories.

 

International industry support

The event is supported by numerous international industry associations including South African Oil & Gas Alliance (SAOGA), South African Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SACCI), European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), Association for the Development of Energy in Africa (ADEA), Power Africa (a USAID initiative), Oil & Gas Safety

Council (OGSC), Petroleum club of Romania, Nigerian Gas Association and CEDIGAZ.

 

Driving the conversation forward

As Sub-Saharan Africa charges towards a low carbon energy future, events such as the Future Energy Africa Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference 2018 provide valuable forums for the international oil, gas and future energy industry to debate the issues directly with Africa’s leaders. Projected to attract over 1,500 trade visitors, 50+ exhibiting companies, 120+ conference and technical speakers and 300+ delegates, the three-day event promises to be a valuable platform for interactive networking and knowledge exchange.

 

For more information, download the event Brochure today! (https://bit.ly/2Q9kWDS)

Who will you meet?

• Government Leaders

• National Oil Companies

• International Oil Companies

• Independent Oil & Gas Operators

• Financiers & Investors

• Gas & LNG Companies

• Integrated Energy Companies

• Technology Providers

• Power Generation

• Transmission & Distribution

• Legal & Industry Analysts

 

4 Reasons to Visit

• Visit the exhibition & technical seminar and network with resource owners looking for partners to help them get the most from their assets through operational excellence, cost effectiveness and profitability

• Register & learn about new technologies and solutions that integrated energy companies are bringing to some of the most complex challenges facing the global oil and gas sector today

• Attend to explore products and services from 50+ exhibiting companies including contractors, service companies and technology providers across the full value chain from more than 20 countries worldwide

• Join hundreds of trade professionals to identify new business opportunities, market trends, and potential business partners. Learn from global experts and benefit from business conducted during the event

 

Why Future Energy Africa?

• Meet with Ministers from across Africa to address the industry on country strategies

• Centre of Technical Excellence Seminar Learn about latest technologies boosting efficiency and lowering costs

• Policy makers discuss confronting challenges of transformation

• Country Market Focus with unrivalled insight from Eastern-Western-Southern Africa regions

• Forge new operating models that will challenge conventional practices

• FEA TV: A dedicated platform for on-stage interviews, “in conversation” dialogues, digitization megatrends, corporate commercials, knowledge sharing and industry insight.

• Renewables in Africa: Tap into development initiatives and solutions supporting the advancement of renewable energy in Africa

• Finance & Investment focus for equitable economic growth and enhanced bi-lateral trade

• On-stage Interview with Africa’s large upstream independent explorers led by CNBC Africa

• Africa’s Natural Gas  inspect how the continent will succeed in it’s role to decrease the carbon footprint

• Increasing & Strengthening Local Content address challenges and opportunities for capacity building

• IOC-NOCs Panel Discussion reinventing strategies for a sustainable energy future

• Prime networking opportunities to facilitate dialogue between senior level executives and decision makers

• Global Exposure to international and domestic oil, gas & energy value chain

• Power Generation meet with Utilities and IPPs, build strategic partnerships to meet Africa’s growing energy demand

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Rise of Gideon Moi sends jitters in Ruto’s camp
September 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

DP Ruto and BGideon Moi

DP Ruto and BGideon Moi

The political supremacy battle between the deputy president Willian Ruto and his antagonist Baringo Senator and former president Daniel Moi’s, son Gideon Moi is at its peak as President Uhuru’s succession gains momentum ahead of 2022 General polls.

Both Moi and Ruto have declared their interests in contesting the country’s highest seat. The two and their allies have engaged in political tussle in the past. Exchange of bitter words has been the common weapon since 2006.

They have been employing different strategies to outdo each other and majority of Kenyans believe it is Gideon Moi who will carry out the day in the succession race. In 2016 during a hotly contested Kericho Senatorial by-election, Moi threw his weight behind the Kenya African National Union (Kanu) party’s flag bearer Paul Sang while the deputy President backed the Jubilee candidate Aaron Cheruiyot.

Gideon Moi, Kanu chairman together with Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader and former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, held several rallies within the county to counter attack Ruto’s strategies but Aaron Cheruiyot of Jubilee emerged the winner. He garnered 109,358 votes, while his closest rival got 56,307 votes.

Kanu, the former ruling party rejected the outcome accusing the electoral commission of rigging in Jubilee party’s candidate. They claimed the poll was marred with irregularities and mass voter bribery.

“We are disappointed with the manner in which the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission conducted the election as they appear to have had a clear working partnership with Jubilee party,” said Chama Cha Mashinani party leader Isaac Ruto.

It was the deputy president turn to revenge during last year’s August poll. He fielded the now water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chulugui to unseat Gideon in Baringo’s senatorial seat, however, his plans did not bear fruits.

In May this year their feud was at play again when Ruto was blocked from meeting Gideon’s father, the former President Daniel Moi. Despite waiting for three hours he was not allowed to see the ailing Moi on ground that he was having a date with his doctors.

Pro-Ruto politicians did not take it easily they bashed the Baringo Senator for barring the former Eldoret North legislator from seeing his father. They asked him to show respect to the deputy President.

“As Chairman of the Rift Valley leaders’ political caucus, I want to lay out everything in black and white. We have tried our level best to visit our beloved former president Moi and wish him all the best but Gideon Moi has blocked our every intention so people would say William does not want to wish him well, which is a total lie,” Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

Gideon’s presence during the opposition chief visit in April 14, 2018 elicited more reactions from Ruto’s lieutenants. They castigated him for playing mischief games to scuttle Ruto’s presidential bid.

“You are fake because you allowed an outsider Raila Odinga who opposed Jubilee during the previous election to great your father yet you turned to lock outside your own brother, “Kapseret legislator Oscar Sudi said.

Political analysts’ revelation that the kanu chairman has a higher chance of becoming president ahead of Ruto, has further worsened the relationship. According to Abraham Talel, political analyst, President Uhuru is likely to elbow his deputy for the Baringo Senator as his preferred successor given the Kenyan political history.

Famous handshake had caused more panic in Ruto’s political-circle. His allies argue that there are some operative forces working day and night to block their leader from becoming the Kenyan firth president. They have demanded President Kenya break the peace deal with Raila Odinga and declared Ruto as his successor.

Gideon Moi had divulged that his political difference with the Deputy President is not personal, but originated from unfulfilled development projects. He also blamed him for hurling insults at those who do not buy his ideas.

Attempts by leaders and elders to reconcile the two leaders who hail from the Northern part of the country have hit a snag. On Saturday, September 8, 2018, a group of elders revealed that their effort to bring the two together has not bear the fruit.

“As elders, we have sought to have them speak in one language as it has been for the community before but our numerous efforts have not brought forth any fruit. Our unity call to them was barely getting to deaf ears,” one of the elders reiterated.

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ICE Africa awakens a multi-billion dollar industry on African soil
September 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
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Yoco Secures Series B Raise of $16M, Led by Partech
September 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

Yoco Founding Team_L-R_Bradley Wattrus (CFO), Katlego Maphai (CEO), Carl Wazen (Chief Business Officer), Lungis (1)

Xx September 2018. Johannesburg, South Africa. Yoco, the South African-based Point of Sale payments provider, has raised a Series B round of US$16M led by Partech, a Venture Capital firm based in Silicon Valley, Europe and Africa, with participation from Orange Digital Ventures, FMO (The Dutch Development Bank) and existing Series A investors Quona Capital and Velocity Capital. Yoco will leverage its Series B to grow its network of small business merchants, invest in product development, operational scalability and attracting top-tier fintech talent. It brings the company’s total investment to US$23M. Cyril Collon, General Partner at Partech and Co-lead of the Partech Africa Fund will join Yoco’s Board.

Yoco builds tools and services to help small businesses accept card payments and manage their day to day activities. Since launching its first product in late 2015, a card reader that connects with a merchant’s smartphone or tablet, the company has grown its base to over 27,000 South African small businesses, 75% of which had never accepted cards previously. The company is adding more than 1,500 new merchants every month, making it South Africa’s largest and fastest growing independent card payments provider by number of merchants, more than tripling in size since raising its Series A in early 2017.

Founded by Katlego Maphai (CEO), Carl Wazen (Chief Business Officer), Bradley Wattrus (CFO) and Lungisa Matshoba (CTO), the fintech company was built to address the pain points that small businesses face when trying to get a card machine. Only 7% of South African small businesses accept card payments, despite South Africa having a card penetration of 75%, with debit cards being the dominant wallet in the country. There are over 1 million small businesses in South Africa ripe for card acceptance. Yoco is closing this acceptance gap by making card payments more accessible through its trusted and secure platform. It lowered the cost of ownership of a card machine by a factor of seven by removing monthly fees and lock-in contracts. Signing up online takes 10 minutes and over 98% of businesses who apply get approved, thanks to its proprietary fraud management system.

“Small businesses, fundamental to sustainable economic growth, are generally underserved in our part of the world due to their size. Running a business is hard enough, we believe accepting money shouldn’t be. We built Yoco on the key pillars of access and trust. Transforming the long and prohibitive process of applying for a card machine into a simple consumer-like product purchase that can happen online or at the store in minutes”, says Katlego Maphai, Yoco Co-founder and CEO. He continues, “Our Series B investment allows us to continue to scale our operations and deliver a world-class product experience that enables small businesses to thrive”

Yoco’s strategy is to partner with small businesses early in their life cycle and actively help them grow. It has been adding services to its payments solution, which now includes point of sale software, business intelligence, accounting integrations, and working capital financing, in its bid to create an operating system for the small business.

Cyril Collon, partner at Partech said: “Yoco has built a product set and quality operations placing it as a top fintech company not only in South Africa but also globally. We are excited to have Yoco as the second investment from our Africa fund. Consumer spending in Africa amounts to over $1.4 trillion, much of which is driven by small businesses. Yoco’s ability to use technology to solve real problems for African small businesses at scale makes it a unique implementation of our investment strategy”.

 

Yoco has long-term ambitions to be a pan-African player. The company believes the convergence of digital payments and software driven value-added services is inevitable in Africa. It has explored various Sub-Saharan markets in the past year, including running pilots in two markets.

 

“We envision that millions of small businesses across the continent will one day use a connected, digital platform to run their businesses and we want to be that platform. The model and approach will differ per market and we are playing a long game. Our new investors are global with strong African footprints and will be great partners in this journey,” says Carl Wazen, Co-founder and Chief Business Officer.

 

-ENDS-

 

For additional information or interview requests with Yoco CEO Katlego Maphai or Chief Business Officer Carl Wazen, please contact Maria Adediran | maria@wimbart.com or Lerato Chiyangwa | lerato@wimbart.com of Wimbart

 

Full media pack including images, logos and video content can be found here

 

About Yoco

Yoco (www.yoco.com) is committed to empowering the growth of entrepreneurs in South Africa through smart technology. Yoco launched its first product in late 2015, a mobile card reader that connects to a merchant’s smartphone or tablet. Today, over 27,000 South African small businesses use Yoco’s card readers and point of sale software to get paid and manage their businesses.

 

About Partech

Partech is a global investment firm with offices in San Francisco, Paris, Berlin and Dakar. We bring together capital, operational experience and strategic support for entrepreneurs at seed, venture and growth stages across multiple continents, with over $1.2B investment capacity. Investments range from $200K to $50M in a wide range of technologies and businesses for enterprises and consumers, from software, digital brands and services, to hardware and deep tech across all major industries. Companies backed by Partech have completed more than 20 initial public offerings and more than 50 strategic exits above $100M.

Our current portfolio: https://partechpartners.com/companies/

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Zimbabwe’s newly elected President urged to place women’s rights on the agenda
September 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) has urge the President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa and his administration to ensure women’s rights are at the centre in the implementation of commitments they have made.

WCOZ said that of critical importance is ensuring that gender
sensitive and gender responsive structures are strengthened and
adequately resourced.

“The Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ), representing nonpartisan
women’s rights organizations and activists in all 10 provinces of
Zimbabwe wishes to join the rest of Zimbabwe in congratulating His
Excellence, Emmerson Mnangagwa on his election and inauguration as the
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe” WCOZ said.

WCoZ said that it acknowledges and takes cognisance of the commitments
that his Excellence made in his speech during his inauguration which
include the need for Zimbabwe’s renewal in all socio economic sectors,
to position the country in readiness for economic growth,
industrialization, modernization and mechanization, employment
creation, democracy, delivery of efficient and quality social services
and equally important, the advancement and empowerment of women, youth
and the disabled.

Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe said it called upon the President to,
appoint a gender balanced executive,appoint women in the portfolios of
Health, Finance, Education, Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministries, to
which men have been perennially appointed,extend the women quotas
beyond 2023 and this to be applicable to local government as
well,ensure the State puts in place incentives and punitive measures
through the review of the Political Parties Finance Act for political
parties that fail the 50 percent gender representation,ensure full
domestication of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities, underpinned by women’s rights,allocate 15%
of the total 2018 budget to the Health sector in line with the Abuja
Declaration, and a return to the prioritization of the primary health
care model in Zimbabwe.

The new President has also been called upon to implement laws that
significantly improve the state’s response to eradicating gender based
violence.

“We want marriage law reform to be accelerated, in particular the
finalization of the marriage Bill which will put to rest the
contradictions on the age of consent to marriage and set it to 18
years. We also need implementation of laws ensuring the prosecution of
offenders that are marrying young girls,’ WCOZ said.

The Presidum has also been called upon to take all measures to end
violence against women in public and private spaces and further ensure
that women are represented in the independent commission investigating
cases of political violence that occurred on the 1st of August 2018,to
demonstrate the respect of the right to freedom of expression by the
removal of laws that erode these rights, including AIPPA and POSA,
whilst ensuring that hate speech is not tolerated and that public
political affairs are promoting women voices, dignity and influence to
positively shape public opinion,ensure that all laws that relate to
allocation of land such as the Rural Lands Act, Agricultural land
Settlement Act and land Acquisition Act have gender equality
provisions and reserved quotas, ensuring that Statutory Instrument 53
of 2014 on Land is made into an Act of Parliament to enable women to
have secure land rights upon divorce and death of the permit
holder,ensure that the Zimbabwe open for business mantra is gender
inclusive.

Government has also been urged to commit to improving quality and
quantity of care-related infrastructure and services that is well
targeted at those doing substantial UCW, e.g, water supply, community
health services, electricity supply. “Government should also dedicate
adequate resources to achieve this”.

“We therefore expect that the office of the president, all duty
bearers with a mandate to advance Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
will be alive to the demands we have expressed in this statement”,
said Ronika Mumbire (Chairperson), Sally Ncube (National Coordinator)
of the WCOZ.

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Zimbabwe’s reliance on coal described as tragic and no longer sustainable
September 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

…..Its time for country to tap on the abundant sunshine; many
proponents say

By Wallace Mawire

Various stakeholders in the sustainable development sector in
Zimbabwe have highlighted that its now time Zimbabwe should begin to
seriously consider using other renewable forms of energy like the
abundant solar energy, instead of continued use of dirty fossil fuels
like coal and diesel.

The calls for the transition to renewable energy forms like solar,
wind and biogas are coming amid reports that Zimbabwe under the Hwange
Colliery company has planned the building of 15 new coal plants, of
which six are reported to be in the pre-permit stage. This is also
happening at a time the country is grappling with the effects of
climate change and the use of coal fired plants reportedly
exacerbates carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Tendayi Marowa, Vice Chairman of the Business Council on Sustainable
Development Zimbabwe (BCSDZ) technical committee on energy and climate
change said that the biggest emitter in the country was Hwange power
station.

Marowa said the deforestation rate was very high and
afforestation was very low. Trees are very essential to remove carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere. Carbon emissions contribute to climate
change.

He emphasised the need for Zimbabwe to now focus on available and
cheap forms of renewable energies like solar power which are readily
available and to now start minimising use of coal fired thermal
power.

“We have 16 mega megajoules daily of solar power in Zimbabwe,
which is three times the global average which offers us the
opportunity to minimise our energy poverty in the country. This also
offers an opportunity for our industries to consider using solar and
not put too much reliance on the national grid. The energy mix should
now consider use of solar enegry,” Marowa said.

Isaiah Nyakusendwa, Chairperson on the Renewable Energy Association
of Zimbabwe (REAZ) also highlighted that Zimbabwe had 16 to 20
megajoules per square metre per day of solar and there was a lot of
unexploited solar energy in the country.

He gave the example of a solar plant at Mutoko which he said was now
feeding into the national grid. He also added that the Zimbabwe
Defence Forces (ZDF) was working on completing a 100MW solar project
to boost power supply in the country.

Tawanda Muzamwese, Director of the Business Council on Sustainable
Development Zimbabwe said that solar technologies were now being
encouraged at companies in Zimbabwe to supplement energy. He said that
it was time to unleash solar power potential.

Ronan Bescond, Managing Director of Total Zimbabwe (PVT) LTD said
that his company had recently completed a solar power plant project in
Burkina Faso at a gold milling plant. He also said that the company
was planning on bringing the same initiatives to Zimbabwe. According
to Bescond, Total Zimbabwe has plans to solarise at least 75 of its
fuel stations in the country.

Dr Joseph Kuhudzai, Group Sales Manager for Distributed Power Africa
(DPA) company, a member of the Econet Group said that his company
which is a subsidiary of the Econet mobile communications company
was working on installing solar-powered generators to reduce the use
of diesel powered generators which increase more carbon emissions into
the atmosphere. Kuhudzai said that it was no longer sustainable to add
more coal plants at Hwange power station. He said that there was now
need to drive solar and other forms of renewable energy to meet energy
demands in Africa at large.

He added that renewable energy projects were quicker to role out and
cheaper. His company had installed a 100KW plant at Econet in Msasa,
Harare which was powering commercial ovens at the company kitchen.
“There is now need to cut the dirty production from coal at Hwange
and accelerate the adoption of solar energy,” Dr Kuhudzai said.

His company was also planning to install a 100KW solar plant at
Hwange. He added that the national power grid in Zimbabwe was now
very old with very low voltages and solar systems would balance the
grid.

Coal increases greenhouse gas emissions and that is the reason why
more proponents are calling for the quicker and cheaper way of tapping
on the abundant sunshine in the country. In Zimbabwe, the private
sector and other energy associations are beginning to appreciate the
need to shift to other forms of renewable energy. However, there seems
to be a slow pace from government’s side in stopping new fossil fuel
projects. There is now hope form the proposed Renewable Energy
policy on the stable which is giving new hope that there could be
regulatory framework to intensify the use of reliable and clean forms
of energy unlike coal.

Dr Christopher Mabezah, a Climate Expert in Zimbabwe said it was
rather tragic that Zimbabwe was still relying on coal when it has
abundant solar energy. He said that it was now necessary and possible
to advance the rural electrification project using solar energy. He
said it was also very expensive to use thermal power. In Zimbabwe he
also said that Hwange and Munyati power stations were the biggest
emitters. However, he lamented the fact that he was not seeing the
authorities in Zimbabwe discarding the use of coal any time soon and
described it as tragic especially with the abundance of solar energy
at the country’s disposal.

Mabezah also said that in neighbouring South Africa, the coal-fired
Eskom utility was the worst polluter.
South Africa has abundant coal reserves. South Africa’s
infrastructure to generate electricity from coal is well established.

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Over 3000 displaced people relocated amid sporadic fighting
September 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – The UNMISS says it has relocated 3500 internally displaced people from the UN Protection of Civilians site in Juba to a new site within the community in Juba.

The IDPs were relocated to an existing site at Mangateen residential area in the central city. The relocation comes after the UNMISS negotiated with communities in an effort to end sporadic fighting between the Nuer various clans within the UN protection site in Juba over the past weeks that seem threatened vulnerable civilians inside.

This comes after fighting erupted between two groups at the POC site in which almost 200 people were wounded and five reportedly killed. The clashes prompted the UNMISS to close the gates of the POC to separate the two groups. Humanitarian organizations also were not been able to deliver services to vulnerable IDPs and schools were also forced to close down.

“This is the first movement of displaced people of this magnitude out of the UN Juba protection site. Almost all of those relocated were women and children,” said David Shearer, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS.

This also comes after the IDPs had expressed a robust aspiration to leave the UN protection site and to reunite with their relatives.

“They had expressed a strong desire to leave the UN site and to be reunited with their husbands and other family members. Early indications and, in my discussions with those who moved, is that they are pleased to be back in the wider community,” Shearer said in the press release.

Once a resolution was reached and people expressed a desire to leave, humanitarian agencies and UNMISS worked quickly and cooperatively to establish temporary housing at Mangateen along with clean water, sanitation and health services.

“All those involved in the relocation process realized the seriousness of the situation given the large number of vulnerable women and children being moved. It was a true team effort to carry out the massive logistical task of transporting and supporting these families in a new location within just a few days,” Shearer said.

However, the Mangateen residential site, hosted thousands of IDPs who abandoned UN protection site earlier, has traditionally been managed by the South Sudan Government’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission.

“I am particularly grateful for the Government’s rapid response to this situation which ensured that people were able to be safely moved and accommodated back in the community,” Shearer.

The almost five years conflict, which broke out in 2013 over power struggle and resources control between president Kiir and his former vice president Machar, has killed ten thousands of people and displaced 2.5 million people from their homes. Hundreds of thousands of people are seeking protection at UN sites across South Sudan, such as Juba, Bor, Malakal, Wau, Bentiu and so forth.

“Hundreds of thousands of people fled to UN protection sites across South Sudan out of fear for their lives during the ongoing conflict. But these camps are not a good long-term option for families,” said Shearer. “If people have the trust and confidence that the environment is safe enough for them to voluntarily return home, UNMISS is poised to assist them. But providing that confidence in the security situation very much lies with the Government.”

The relocation was voluntary and assisted by humanitarian partners and the South Sudan government.

Of recently, president Kiir and rebel leader Machar signed power – sharing peace deal in Khartoum, in an attempt to end the conflict. This was followed the warring parties initialed revitalized peace deal and they are now discussion matrix of peace deal.

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South Sudanese military court convicts 10 soldiers for 2016 rape, murder
September 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

South Sudanese SPLA soldiers are pictured in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015. Photographer: Samir Bol/AFP/Getty Images

South Sudanese SPLA soldiers are pictured in Pageri in Eastern Equatoria state on August 20, 2015. Photographer: Samir Bol/AFP/Getty Images

Juba – South Sudanese military judge on Thursday sentenced 10 soldiers to jail for a 2016 rampage in which a local journalist was killed and five international aid workers were gang-raped in Terrain Hotel.

This case was widely seen as the first test of South Sudan’s ability to hold its soldiers to account during the five-year civil war. The verdict brings an end to a trial which commenced on May 30, 2017, and had somewhere stalled due to lack of witnesses who fled the country during the renewed violence between government troops and rebels allied to former First Vice President Riek Machar.

According to military prosecutors, the court invited and interviewed some of the witnesses and survivors from foreign countries to finally conclude the widely publicized trial which has been closely followed by diplomats amid criticism on delays in expediting justice by the UN human rights division and other international NGOs.

Other survivors of the attack testified by video, rather than returning to South Sudan for the trial. It was the first time that South Sudan courts accepted testimony by video.

 “The military court found that the accused here are guilty of their direct responsibility in committing crimes,” said the head of the military court, Brigadier General Neath Almaz Juma, when reading the verdict.

Brig. Gen. Knight Briano, was convicted and sentenced two soldiers to life imprisonment for committing murder and rape. While the judge found three other soldiers guilty of raping foreign aid workers, four guilty of sexual harassment and one guilty of theft and armed robbery. They received sentences ranging from seven to 10 years in prison.

Describing the incident, the manager of the Terrain Hotel, Mike Woodward, told the court that “between 50 and 100” soldiers arrived in the hotel in the afternoon of July 11 and began looting an hour later.

Woodward said he is satisfied with verdicts, while he is optimistic to renovate his [Terrain] hotel in due time

They were accused of looting, murder, rape, sexual harassment, and robbery. Other charges include the destruction of the hotel and criminal trespass.

12 soldiers were on trial, one soldier was acquitted for lack of evidence, but another accused soldier died in jail during the trial. The convicted soldiers were stripped of their uniforms before being transported by truck to prison.

The acquitted Akol Aken – was found not guilty by the military court, groomed by happiness and smiling after the court ruling. He was happily desired to resume his military duties.

“They have not charged and I am now released. I will just go back to my military unit, Tiger and work. I am very happy,” Aken said.

In July 2016, dozens of soldiers broke into the Terrain Hotel compound in Juba and began their rampage, while U.N. peacekeepers nearby did not respond to pleas for help. The military head of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, Kenyan Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki, was fired over the incident.

The attack, one of the worst on aid workers in South Sudan’s civil war, took place on July 11, 2016, as President Salva Kiir’s troops won a three-day battle in the capital over opposition forces loyal to ex-Vice President Riek Machar.

Witness accounts said that armed men attacked the Terrain Hotel for several hours, during which victims phoned U.N. peacekeepers stationed a mile away and begged for help, in vain.

The judge ordered more than $2 million to be paid to the Terrain Hotel for damages, $4,000 to each of five rape victims, $1,000 to an aid worker who was shot in the leg and 51 cattle to the family of the journalist who was killed (each cattle is worth roughly $600).

“The victims are not relieved by the verdict,” said Issa Muzamil Sebit, who represented the five rape victims. “The amount that was put as a compensation of 4,000 dollars to each victim is very embarrassing and this is an insult to the victims, based on the horrible atrocities committed against them,” he said.

“When I say that we are dissatisfied with the amount of compensation, it includes that journalist because you can’t just kill somebody and think of giving to the family 51 heads of cows. That will promote more sort of impunity or criminal behavior.”

Muzamil went on further to say that they would sue the government in the regional courts.

“We are going to seek other means, whether suing the government again in other regional courts or even making an appeal about this decision,” he said.

South Sudanese army has been accused of a great deal of rape, sexual harassment and all forms of violations since the conflict broke out in 2013, following a political disagreement between Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar.

As the violence intensified and spread, both local and international aid workers trying to deliver relief to the displaced faced increasingly deadly risks. Nearly 100 aid workers have been killed in the conflict since it started.

Army spokesperson Col. Dominic Chol Santo said the trial will be a lesson to other soldiers and will act as a deterrent to other soldiers while reassuring civilians that anyone who commits a crime will be punished

A lawyer for the five rape victims said the verdict was not harsh enough, while rights group Amnesty International called it a first step towards fighting impunity in the war-torn country.

Thought, the diplomats and activists have welcomed the outcome, they continue said many other victims of violations have yet to see justice and urged the government to hold more trials.

Amnesty International said South Sudanese authorities must now go further and create a court to try people accused of atrocities under a now-defunct peace deal signed in 2015.

“South Sudanese leaders must keep up the momentum towards ending the climate of impunity in the country,” Amnesty said.

However, analyst praised the ruling as a first positive step toward ending chronic impunity in South Sudan, where both government forces and the armed opposition have committed human rights violations and atrocities.

Some observers had criticized the fact that only low-ranked soldiers were tried, but their commanders were not held accountable.

International Reaction

The UNMISS said the victims and survivors of this horrific attack in July 2016 deserved justice.

“While the guilty verdicts handed down will not take away the pain and suffering caused by the appalling acts of violence carried out by these criminals, it is important that they have finally been held publicly accountable. The outcome of the trial also sends a powerful message to other would-be offenders, including members of the armed forces, that they will be prosecuted and punished for such violence,” UNMISS said in the statement.

However, the UNMISS says there remains the broader problem of widespread sexual and gender-based violence against South Sudanese women and children. Most cases go unreported and there remains widespread impunity.

“UNMISS is committed to working with authorities in South Sudan to address some of the challenges observed during this trial and support efforts to improve the independence and effectiveness of the justice system so that many more victims of sexual and other violence can also have their day in court,” it added.

Meanwhile, The US embassy in Juba has described as a “step toward justice.”  The US said it hopes that the trial will precipitate additional action to hold those responsible accountable for the violations and abuses.

Among the victims who testified the incident before a military court through a video link, five were from Virginia in the United States.

“We urge the government of South Sudan to continue to pursue accountability for all violent acts committed by its military against international assistance workers and journalists,” US said in the statement.

Despite that, the US called on the government to move immediately to conclude the MoU with the African Union on the establishment of the Hybrid Court.

“While today’s verdict is a sign that justice is possible, the United States strongly urges that other violent individuals and groups who have operated with the impunity throughout this manmade conflict be brought to justice as well.” “The United States strongly supports international efforts to hold these individuals to account and will continue to utilize tools, including targeted sanctions, to take action against those who attempt to sow chaos, work against peace, and commit serious human rights abuses in South Sudan,” the statement read in part.

President Kiir and Machar, leader of SPLA-in opposition rebel group, signed the Aug. 5 peace agreement in the Sudanese capital in an attempt to end five years of conflict which started in December 2013 that leading to the killing of thousands of people. Millions are displaced internally and externally.

 

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