Mozambique deactivates 41,000 “ghost” workers
August 12, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
Mozambique has deactivated during the last 4 years 41,000 ghost employees of the State Apparatus making the civil service to save US $ 49,679,842.73.
According to the Minister of State Administration and Civil Service, Carmelita Namashulua, the nonexistent workers were discovered after the campaign proof of life involving state officials and agents, using biometric data finding 336,117 active state officials and agents. Of these, 330,194 performed the life test, an execution of 98.24 percent.
She argues that the value to be saved will help to improve the delivery of public services to citizens as well as the rights of employees.
“These values fall into the hands of others and we are trying to close the taps of diversions. During this five-year period we were very forceful about the proof of life. Those who didn’t have no salary,” she said.
Another measure taken by the executive as a way to eliminate “ghost” workers, according to the minister, was the attribution of identification cards to all state officials and agents.
“It is important that the employee has his ID card. When the citizen comes to be served, it is good to know that it is Carmelita Namashulua who assisted me and it also helps that the spaces of corruption practice are stopped. That is why the effort is enormous and we are sure that over the next five years the public administration will be getting better and better, closing the windows that allow corruption ”.
Corruption in Mozambique is widespread and there is no concrete program to combat the phenomenon. However, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said in July that if elected in the October 15 elections, fighting agaist corruption will be a priority of his new government.
Cameroon angered by Equatorial Guinea’s Border Wall Plans
August 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
Uneasy calm reigns between Malabo and Yaounde over Equatorial Guinea’s plans to construct a border wall so as to stop Cameroonians and West Africans from illegally entering its territory.
Equatorial Guinea’s announcement comes as officials of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) regional economic bloc, of which Equatorial Guinea is a member, are encouraging the free movement of people and goods to boost economic growth in the region.
Some days ago when news broke that Equatorial Guinea was building the wall and had gone as far as erected milestones on the border near the Cameroon town of Kye-Ossi, Cameroon army chief Lieutenant General Rene Claude Meka visited the border after news spread that the neighboring state was not respecting territorial limits and was encroaching on Cameroon land to erect their wall. He said the Cameroonian army would not tolerate any unlawful intrusion.
Anastasio Asumu Mum Munoz, Equatorial Guinea ambassador to Cameroon, was called up by Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations on Thursday August 8, to respond to the intrusion accusation.
The ambassador, reports hold, said his country plans to build a wall, but that reports that the its military had installed milestones in Cameroon territory are misleading.
Equatorial Guinea has always accused Cameroon of letting its citizens and West Africans enter its territory illegally.
This is not the first time Equatorial Guinea is having problems with Cameroon over border issues. On several occasion, it has often sealed its border with Cameroon, complaining of security threats posed by illegal immigration.
Kenya’s bid to have Al-Shabaab sanctioned objected
August 10, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27
A group of activists and humanitarians have submitted letters to Donald Trump administration, Cabinet members and leading members of Congress seeking to block Kenya’s proposal to have the Somali based militia group Al-Shabaab be included in the global list of terrorist groups under the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1267 of 199.
They warned of the consequences of such move saying it will interfere with life- saving process in Somalia. The rebels have recently launched deadly attacks in Mogadishu among other towns with an aim to destabilize the Federal Government of Somalia, attacks which have caused several deaths and devastation of property worth millions of shillings. They also argued the listing of the group is irrelevant given that they have already in a different UN sanctions programme.
“The proposal would put the lives of hundreds of thousands at risk without discernible impact on the challenge posed by Al-Shabaab,” said the head of the Refugees International NGO Eric Schwartz.
Kenya last week through Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau submitted its initiative to the UN urging the global body to include the militants in the list that contained Al-Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS saying it posed threat to her residents, East African region, African and entire world. Mr. Kamau said Kenya wants the UN to focus its attention in fighting the group which has terrorized her borders and carried a series of attacks in the East African country with the latest being Riverside Complex attack that consumed 21 lives early this year. The Al-Shabaab had pledged allegiance to both Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
“It has caused serious havoc, not just on Kenya but the region and the world in general. It is important that all global efforts now come together to combat this,” said Kamau.
The proposal which US have put on hold until August 29 risks being dismissed in case one member of the 15-nation UN Security Council formally rejects it.
Burkina Faso: Christians issue SOS over attacks from foreign backed Islamist Groups
August 8, 2019 | 0 Comments
The World was concerned during the month of May 2019 when it seemed that a Church was attacked on a weekly basis in the West African Nation of Burkina Faso. Since January of this year 20 people have been killed and several Churches have been destroyed by Islamist Forces that are operating in the region.
Events in the region remain fluid at best. It does appear that some of these attacks were inspired by a video recording made by the head of IS Al-Baghdadi urging attacks against French interests in the Sahel region of Africa. The incidents in Burkina Faso can be acknowledged as part of an effort to locate a new base of operations for the group.
After a month of relative quiet in Burkina Faso the alarm bells for the country have started ringing yet again. On the first of August 2019 Bishop Laurent Dabire who currently is the President of the Bishops Conference for Niger and Burkina Faso issued a call for the World to step in and stop what he called the massacres against Christians in Burkina Faso by Foreign Backed Islamist Groups. These attacks have been gradually increasing in scope since the ouster of former President Blaise Comparie in 2014. It should be noted that in his remarks that the Bishop claimed that the Islamist Militants are better armed than the Security Forces are.
The Government of Burkina Faso is doing what they can to protect Christians. On July 12th the Vatican signed an accord with the Burkinbe Government which guarantees the legal status of the Church in the country and to collaborate on the moral, spiritual and material well being of the human person and for the promotion of the common good. Currently it is estimated that one out of every five persons of the population of 16.5 million describe themselves as being a member of the Catholic Church.
Also during a Press Conference that was held on July 31st remarks were made by the President of Burkina Faso Marc Christian Kabore that praised the actions of his immediate neighbors in assisting in the efforts to combat terrorism that appears to be running rampant in the region. . However in a more somber statement he did say that Burkina Faso was “paying a heavy tribute” for the attacks which he stated were impeding “efforts at National Construction.” Just like in several other nations in the area Burkina Faso does suffer from High Youth Unemployment lack of Opportunity and other factors that lead to radicalization.
The situation in Burkina Faso has not been ignored by Washington either. Earlier this year the African Country was linked to the National Guard of the District of Columbia under the State Partnership Program to assist in fighting terrorism. The Country already receives assistance from the United States under the auspices of the TSCTI (Trans Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative) program.This move is just another of several steps that are currently being undertaken by the Trump Administration to address the acute security crisis in the region.
During the week of August 6th the White House issued a Press Release stating that the President sent the name of Sandra E Clark to the United States Senate to be nominated for the position of Ambassador to Burkina Faso. Filling this position is a positive signal from the White House showing that it is aware of the situation in the Sahel and will take the necessary steps to show those on the ground that they are not ignoring the situation in the region.
Amos Fofung: Freedom of press starts with the government
August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
Cameroonian journalist Amos Fofung was nominated for our Newcomer of the Year award during Free Press Live 2018. News which only reached him months after because he was in the midst of fleeing Cameroon for his own safety. Now, almost a year later he lives in the United States and shares with us his story and ideas on press freedom in Cameroon and the rest of the world.
Passion for journalism
Amos started his career as a journalist during his second year University in 2014. “I have always been fascinated with journalism because journalists don’t just tell stories, they actually make a difference and have a positive impact by telling these stories.” However practicing a passion for journalism and investigative reporting is far from easy in a country like Cameroon where there are many restrictions and threats to journalists. Amos confirms: “In my country it is common for journalists to deal with threats, intimidation and aggression on a daily basis, I actually consider that as normal here. So I definitely knew what I was getting myself in to but it didn’t scare me away at the time. If you know that what you are fighting for, it is worth it.”
Detained without charges
On February 9, 2017 the situation took a more serious turn when Amos was called down by the police to make a statement together with two other journalists. They were told they could go home after the statements but once they arrived to the station the story changed, “the police just arrested us without any official complaint or explanation” Amos explains. The next day he and the other two journalists were moved to the political capital of Cameroon Yaoundé where they would stay in a high security prison for 6 months. Amos is convinced that his extensive reporting on the Anglophone crisis, which has seen an escalation of violence in the past year, was the reason behind his arrest. “I was kept in prison for 6 months and one day they just let me go like that. No charges, nothing, only a warning to stop my reporting on the Anglophone crisis.”
Press freedom in Cameroon
Unfortunately, Amos’ story is one of many that reflect the decrease of press freedom in Cameroon. According to a report released by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) the Cameroonian government uses an ‘anti-terror’ law installed in 2014 to constantly harass, intimidate and silence the media. If as a journalist you are charged under the 2014 ‘anti-terror’ law you can face up to 10 years or more in prison. “A colleague journalist Thomas Awah was sentenced to 11 years in prison under this law. And unfortunately there are many more who have been arrested, released, threatened and intimidated since” Amos confirms.
Government leads the way
In Cameroon threats to journalists often come but are not limited to the government. Amos believes the problem is that journalists are viewed as anti-government and spreader of fake news instead of a source of unbiased information. But an overall change in attitude towards journalists will only happen if the government leads the way. “In order for journalism to thrive the government needs to openly protect and respect it’s independent media.” Amos explains. “A good example of this we can even see in a developed country like the United States of America, where an executive openly attacked the media creating an environment where people will go as far as creating a bomb scare to media offices.” Journalists are not enemies of the government they are agents of development and “my hope is that one day journalists everywhere will be given the respect and place they deserve in society” Amos concludes.
*Source Free Press Unlimited
Climate Change would cause losses to Agriculture, African Union Official warns
August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
Kagame says dialogue among Africans cannot be imposed from outside
August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Maniraguha Ferdinand
President of Rwanda Paul Kagame said that dialogue and inclusion cannot be imposed from outside because that way cannot bear good results.
He was speaking this Tuesday during a Peace and Reconciliation accord signing ceremony between government of Mozambique and a rebel group Renamo.
The agreement came to end decades of hostility and war between two parties that saw more than million victims.
President Kagame who was among other dignitaries attended the event in Maputo, said this successful agreement shows potentials that lie among Africans themselves.
“This achievement matters to all of us in Africa. It shows that we can find solutions to our problems, no matter how protracted and difficult. Dialogue and inclusion cannot be imposed from outside. And once consensus is reached, it can only be sustained from Within”, he said
It is not the first time that Mozambique had an agreement with Renamo. The agreement was signed in 1992 and led to multi party elections of 1994 in which Renamo participated.
Agreement failed in 2013 when Renamo was accusing government forces to attack its base in central region.
Kagame said though the first agreement didn’t work, there is no loss into trying again.
“For the people of Mozambique, today brings the promise of an end to decades of conflict and uncertainty, and the renewal of national unity and cohesion. Even if previous efforts have not succeeded, it is never a waste to give a shot to peace one more time”, he added
More than five thousands Renamo rebels will be integrated into national Army, Police others will be reintegrated in society.
Talks between two parties come ahead of general elections in October in which Renamo will participate as a political party.
Mozambique seeks co-operation from India to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and radicalisation
August 7, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
Indian Defence Minister Raksha Mantri said on Monday that his country will help Mozambique to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and radicalisation in Cabo Delgado province, where more than 300 people were killed since 2017 by unknown armed group.
Mantri is currently on an official visit to Maputo, Mozambique from July 28-30, 2019. This is Shri Rajnath Singh’s first visit abroad as Raksha Mantri and the first-ever visit of Defence Minister of India to Mozambique.
On Monday, Mantri called on Mr. Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, the Prime Minister of Mozambique. He also held delegation-level talks with his counterpart Mr. Atanasio Salvador M’tumuke. After the talks, two Memoranda of Understanding – agreement on sharing white shipping information and co-operation in the field of Hydrography – were signed between both coutries. The signing of the two MoUs will further strengthen the ongoing Indo-Mozambican Defence co-operation.
The visit witnessed the growing defence co-operation between Mozambique and India, and the potential such collaboration offers for enhancing security in the Indian Ocean Region. Mantri announced assistance of communication equipment and highlighted the importance of working together to prevent non-traditional threats like smuggling, terrorism, piracy, poaching, etc. and overall co-operation in the maritime domain.
The Mozambican Defense Minister, Atanasio Salvador M’tumuke, briefed Mantri on the internal security situation and the ongoing DisaMantriament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) process. Mantri conveyed best wishes for the ongoing peace process.
Mozambique sought co-operation from India to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and radicalisation and Mantri assured co-operation and reiterated commitment to work together in this regard.
Also an elaborate ceremony was held on Monday at Mozambican Naval Headquarters to hand over two India-made Fast Interceptor Boats (FIBs) to Mozambique. The handing over certificate was signed by the Director General, Coast Guards of India and Chief of Mozambican Navy. A four-member ICGS team is also assisting with training and support for maintenance and operation of the two boats. Mozambican Defence Minister expressed gratitude for India’s support for Mozambican Defence Forces, in particular, for the boats being used for coastal surveillance.
India shares close, warm and friendly relations with Mozambique which is cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian Diaspora. The visit of Mantri is expected to further strengthen relations with Mozambique.
Kigali: 14 African scholars teams win Mastercard Foundation support
August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Jean d’Amour Mugabo
Africa’s 14 scholars teams and one Lebanese team have emerged winners of the 2019 Mastercard Foundation Social Venture Challenge.
The 15 teams are from 10 countries as Uganda shines with three winning teams. Each of Ghana, Kenya and Zimbabwe won with two teams while Cameroon, Gambia, Lebanon, Malawi, Rwanda and Senegal got one winning team each.
The winners were announced at the closing of Mastercard Foundation Scholars Baobab Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, on Saturday. The three-day annual summit brought together more than 250 undergraduate scholars pursuing their studies at different universities around the world under the Mastercard Foundation’s scholarships.
Each team will receive seed funding to scale their projects and a lifetime membership to the Resolution Fellowship that will help them continue getting guidance and membership to grow their projects.
The Mastercard Foundation and The Resolution Project received 125 applications for the 2019 competition but 31 teams bringing together 65 scholars reached the semi-final, according to Ashley Collier, Manager of Youth Engagement and Networks at Mastercard Foundation.
Winners speak out
Many Scholars are developing projects inspired by challenges they have observed first-hand in their communities. With modest resources, Scholars are activating their ideas for change to make a difference in their societies.
Some of the 2019 winners told media that the scooped Mastercard Foundation’s support will enable them to implement their projects and bring change in their communities.
Nadine Iradukunda, who owns “Healthy Us” project, said she aims to increase the wellbeing of orphans in Kigali through a nutritional awareness program.
“The program will create a kitchen garden in a local orphanage in Masaka, Kicukiro District, to grow fruit and vegetables, especially mushrooms, which are rich in protein and easy to cultivate. The income from the mushroom sales will provide orphaned children with food, toiletries, and school materials,” she said.
Iradukunda co-owns the project with Marie Aimée Nirere, both pursuing their bachelor studies at Ashesi University in Ghana.
Other Ashesi University’s scholars, Edith Naisubi and Amanuel Eshete, scooped an award thanks to their “AgriSan” project which aims to establish a community market garden for underprivileged rural women in the Pallisa District of Uganda.
“Women will grow vegetables as a source of income and use the leftover vegetables to make manure. In addition, the venture will teach the women savings strategies and other financial management skills to ensure their economic security,” said Ms Naisubi.
The Mastercard Foundation collaborates with The Resolution Project to host a Resolution Social Venture Challenge, a competition that provides a pathway to action for socially responsible young leaders who want to create change that matters in their communities. In 2016, six teams won the challenge, followed by 10 and 15 winning teams in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The Canada-based Mastercard Foundation is one of the world’s largest foundations which strives to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty and operates almost exclusively in Africa. The Foundation was established in 2006 by Mastercard International.
Mozambican parliament approves Amnesty law for government-Renamo clashes
August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
The Assembly of the Republic, the Mozambican parliament, approved on Monday the Criminal Responsibility Amnesty Law for acts committed during the political-military crisis in the country involving the Government Forces and the rebels of Renamo, the largest opposition party in Mozambique.
“This law is intended to amnesty citizens who, in the context of military hostilities, have committed crimes against state security, related military offenses and crimes against persons and property” said Verónica Macamo, President of the Assembly of the Republic.
Amnesty crimes must have occurred in the Mozambican territory from 14 August 2014 until the date of the signing of the peace agreement scheduled for August.
The draft law was submitted by Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi in the context of peace negotiations between the Mozambican executive and Renamo, with the aim of promoting political stability, guaranteeing effective and lasting peace.
The Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, Joaquim Veríssimo, who presented the document to the plenary of the Assembly of the Republic, said that the materialization of this aim will only be possible with the interest and involvement of all parties.
Also on Monday at least 50 former Renamo guerrillas registered in the Satunjira region, Gorongosa district, Sofala province, in an act marking the official launch of the Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration process.
Four of these elements also surrendered their respective weapons.
AU, African Development Bank sign $4.8 million grant earmarked for continental free trade secretariat
August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 06 July 19 – The African Development Bank Group on Monday signed a $4.8 million institutional support grant to the African Union (AU) for implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The grant, approved by the Group’s Board of Directors on 01 April 2019, forms part of a series of interventions by the Bank in its lead role to accelerate implementation of the Free Trade Agreement, seen as a major force for integrating the 55-nation continent and transforming its economy.
Albert Muchanga, AU’s Commissioner for Trade and Industry, initialed for the continental body, and Obed Andoh Mensah, representing the Bank’s Director of the Industrial and Trade Development Department (PITD), signed on behalf of the Bank, signaling the startup of implementation.
African leaders meeting in Niamey, Niger in early July launched the implementation phase of the free trade area agreement established in March 2018 after it became operational at the end of May this year. Currently, 54 states have signed the deal and are set to begin formal trading next July.
“The AfCFTA is going to work and we are confident that by the 1st of July next year, all the 55 countries would have been state parties – meaning, they would have signed and ratified the agreement and intra-African will start,” Muchanga said and urged countries to use this period to complete the parliamentary processes.
Muchanga commended the Bank’s strong and consistent support to ensure smooth implementation of the Agreement, saying the grant would be used judiciously for the rollout of various protocols relating to the structure and mandate of the AfCFTA secretariat.
The AU currently has an interim secretariat, tasked to provide the organizational structure for the permanent administrative body, its work program and related issues including its budget. The Niamey summit announced the siting of the AfCFTA secretariat in Accra, Ghana.
The Continental Free Trade deal has the potential to create the largest free-trade area in the world. – uniting 55 African countries with a combined gross domestic product of more than $2.5 trillion. It is a major force for continental integration and expansion of intra African trade, currently estimated at around 16%.
The trade agreement is expected to expand intra-African trade by up to $35 billion per year, ease movement of goods, services and people across the continent’s borders and cut imports by $10 billion, while boosting agriculture and industrial exports by 7% and 5% respectively.
In his remarks, Andoh Mensah stressed that the deal will help stabilize African countries, allow small and medium sized enterprises to flourish, promote industrialization and lift millions out of poverty.
“If the AfCFTA is complemented by trade facilitation reforms, reduction in non-tariff barriers, improved infrastructure and policy measures to encourage employment and private sector investments, it will stimulate poverty reduction and socio-economic development across Africa,” he said, noting that the goals of AfCFTA are aligned to the Bank’s flagship High 5s.
Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe reinforce strategies to combat crimes
July 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe want to adopt better strategies for combating cross-border crime to maintain security along the borders of the three countries.
At a meeting in Maputo City, attended especially by police representatives from the three countries, namely, Paulo Chachine (Mozambique), Thulane Phala (South Africa) and Rangarirai Nshucharua (Zimbabwe), it was agreed that the current strategies need to be updated taking into account the modus operandis of the bandits.
“We have situations of wrongdoers who commit crimes in South Africa and then flee to Mozambique, commit in Mozambique and go to Zimbabwe or South Africa from a
routinely ” denounced Chachine adding that” with this our essential objective is to study how to identify criminals and combat because they affect us“
Mozambique borders Zimbabwe through the provinces of Tete and Manica and with South Africa through Maputo and Gaza.
The three countries were unanimous in explaining that the most notable crimes along the border line to be fought are cattle theft, organ and human trafficking, drug and firearm trafficking, car and motor vehicle theft, illegal immigration as well as poaching.
Cattle theft has been proliferating along the border, largely at grazing sites, Chachine said calling for community involvement in the fight.
“The Police-Community link is the key, because criminals live in the communities and neighborhoods we live in, in the restaurants we go to, whether in Mozambique, South Africa or Zimbabwe.
“Therefore, through the Police-Community link we can be able to identify and fight offenders because, in general, the population does not want to live with them,” he added.
The next meeting is scheduled for September, October or November in South Africa.