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Zimbabwe takeover leader Chiwenga named Mnangagwa’s deputy
December 25, 2017 | 0 Comments
Mr Chiwenga retired as head of the armed forces this week

Mr Chiwenga retired as head of the armed forces this week

Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed as one of his deputies in the ruling party the leader of the military takeover that led to ex-president Robert Mugabe’s overthrow.

Constantino Chiwenga recently retired as army chief, prompting speculation that he would receive a political post.

The appointment is seen as a first step towards becoming vice-president.

Mr Chiwenga retired this week, more than a month after the army intervened in a row over Mr Mugabe’s succession.

The other deputy Zanu-PF leader is Kembo Mohadi, who was state security minister under the former president.

The 15 November takeover came days after Mr Mnangagwa, then deputy president, was fired by Mr Mugabe and left the country.

That move was seen as an attempt to install Mr Mugabe’s wife Grace as his successor instead of Mr Mnangagwa.

But Mr Mnangagwa had strong ties to the military, and following the intervention he was appointed president and inaugurated on 24 November.

Like Mr Mnangagwa, Mr Chiwenga used to be one of Mr Mugabe’s right-hand men, playing a central role in the seizure of white-owned farms and a brutal crackdown on the opposition after elections in 2008.

But he is said to be committed to rescuing Zimbabwe’s economy, which he believes is in such a dire state that it threatens national security.

Mr Mnangagwa has already appointed two former military men as ministers.

On 30 November former general Sibusiso Moyo, who played a prominent role in the takeover, was made foreign minister and former air force chief Perence Shiri was named minister of agriculture and land affairs.

*Culled from BBC

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The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) sign First-ever Line of Financing agreement
December 25, 2017 | 0 Comments
The USD 100-million line of financing facility will be utilized by Afreximbank to provide Shariah-compliant financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in its member countries in Africa
Afreximbank Executive Vice President Mr. Amr Kamel President (left) and Mr Khaled Al-Aboodi (right), CEO, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector in handshake during the signing ceremony in Jeddah

Afreximbank Executive Vice President Mr. Amr Kamel President (left) and Mr Khaled Al-Aboodi (right), CEO, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector in handshake during the signing ceremony in Jeddah

JEDDAH, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, December 24, 2017/ — The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private sector (ICD) (www.ICD-ps.org) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com) signed a Line of financing agreement for a USD 100-million facility.

The USD 100-million line of financing facility will be utilized by Afreximbank to provide Shariah-compliant financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in its member countries in Africa. Afreximbank has a solid pipeline of projects in the industrial, communication, technology, healthcare, construction and agricultural sectors that would be financed by the ICD Line of financing.

On this occasion Mr. Khaled Al Aboodi, CEO of ICD, commented: “The proposed financing facility is a token of a good partnership between ICD and Afreximbank, with the purpose of supporting private sector businesses with a Shariah compliant facility structure in our common African member countries”.

“This facility will give a boost to our effort to implement our current strategy which prioritizes intra-African trade; intra –African investments and export manufacturing of the labour intensive type,” said Mr Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President at Afreximbank. “It will also promote our knowledge in Islamic finance and provide us with additional manoeuvring capacity in terms of product offerings to our clients.”

We are delighted that ICD has chosen to partner with us in the pursuit of Africa’s trade development. This collaboration will contribute to, the objective of fostering sustainable economic growth in the member countries of our two institutions, leading to job creations, contribution to export and Islamic finance development, among others,” Mr. Kamel added.

The key economic and financial developmental impact will be, but not limited to; developing private sector, especially SMEs, to help expand the real economic growth based on value creation, and promoting Islamic Finance based on the pipeline of AFREXIMBANK projects. The Line of Finance facility is also expected to have an impact on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with ICD’s strategic objectives.

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) (www.ICD-ps.org) is a multilateral organization and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments, which are in accordance with the principles of Shari’ah. ICD also provides advice to governments and private organizations to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises. ICD is rated AA/F1+ by Fitch and Aa3/P1 by Moody’s.

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com) is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organization, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, it has approved more than $51 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about $10.3 billion in 2016. Afreximbank had total assets of $11.7 billion as at 31 December 2016 and is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo.

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ITFC, Afreximbank join Efforts to Support African Trade with $100 Million and €50 Million Murabaha Partnership Agreements
December 25, 2017 | 0 Comments
On the sidelines of the Afro-Arab Trade Finance Forum
DUBAI, UAE, December 24, 2017/ — The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com), a multilateral financial institution established by African governments and institutional investors, have signed a US$100-Million agreement and a EUR 50-Million Murabaha agreement with the aim of facilitating and financing exports amongst African countries and between Africa and the rest of the world.

The agreements were signed by Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, the CEO of ITFC, and Mr. Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President, Business Development & Corporate Banking of Afreximbank, in a ceremony held during the Afro-Arab Trade Finance Forum, which was organized by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) on 21 December 2017 in Dubai under the Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program.

The facilities are intended to be used to support procurement from suppliers from the member and non-member countries, including local purchase, to promote trade across Africa.

On this occasion, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC, stated: “This partnership comes as part of ITFC’s commitment to support the development of the African member countries’ exports as an important lever toward the sustainable growth, job creation and poverty reduction.”

He pointed out that this partnership will be utilized to finance African OIC member countries under the “Arab-Africa Trade Bridges” Program, a regional trade promotion program that aims at addressing some of the challenges faced in promoting trade between the two regions and supporting South-South cooperation.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO ITFC delivered a keynote speech at the opening session of the Forum, that focused on identifying the prospects and opportunities between the Arab countries and Africa, and the best ways to tackle the challenges that hinder the development of the trade flows in these countries.

Mr. Amr Kamel, Executive Vice President at Afreximbank, in his speech at the ceremony, stated that Afreximbank saw the Murabaha partnership agreement as a stepping stone towards greater collaboration in pursuit of the Bank’s shared vision with ITFC. He said that “ITFC has demonstrated that it stands shoulder to shoulder with the African Export-Import Bank as they collaborate to develop the African Continent and promote inter-African trade.”

“I see great prospect for the unfolding Afreximbank-ITFC partnership,” Mr. Kamel added, “but I am mindful that realizing the tremendous opportunities will require determination and hard work. We are committed to invest our resources in that direction.”

The ceremony was attended and witnessed by other participants in the Afro-Arab Trade Finance Forum.

The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation is an autonomous entity within the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. ITFC commenced operations in January 2008 with the purpose of consolidating all the trade finance businesses that used to be handled by various windows within the IsDB Group. The consolidation of IsDB Group’s trade finance activities under a single umbrella enhanced the Corporation’s efficiency in service delivery by enabling rapid responses to customer needs in a market-driven business environment.

As a leader in Shari’ah-compliant trade finance, ITFC deploys its expertise and funds to businesses and governments in its Member Countries. With the vision of being the leading the provider of trade solutions for OIC Member Countries’ needs, the Corporation helps entities in Member Countries gain better access to trade finance and provides them with trade development programmes in order to help them compete successfully in the global market. Operating to world class standards, ITFC promotes IsDB developmental objectives through its two main pillars, Trade Finance and Trade Development, to fulfil its brand promise of ‘Advancing Trade & Improving Lives’.

About Afreximbank:

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) (www.Afreximbank.com) is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organization, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, it has approved more than $51 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about $10.3 billion in 2016. Afreximbank had total assets of $11.7 billion as at 31 December 2016 and is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo.

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Paradigm Initiative Releases 2017 Digital Rights in Africa Report
December 23, 2017 | 0 Comments

Paradigm Initiative on December 19 2017 launched its second Digital Rights in Africa Report at the 12thInternet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland. The IGF, organized by the United Nations, is a multi-stakeholder annual gathering of international stakeholders on Internet Governance and was a perfect platform to launch the comprehensive report on digital rights issues in Africa.

The 2017 Digital Rights in Africa Report, titled Good for Business: Why Private Sector must work with Citizens, Civil Society for Digital Rights, builds on the 2016 Digital Rights in Africa Report titled, Chocking the Pipe: How Governments hurts Internet Freedom on a Continent that needs more access launched at the 11th Internet Governance Forum in Mexico.

The Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, ‘Gbenga Sesan, noted that “Paradigm Initiative will continue to use our Digital Rights in Africa Report to record incidents of digital rights abuses, policies and laws which infringe Digital Rights, and monitor the Telecommunications market across the continent to ensure that the human rights online for Africans are respected”

DIGITAL RIGHTS IN AFRICA REPORT 2017-11

The report provides commentary on digital rights violations, policies and other related development in Africa. The report also features in-depth analysis of the state of digital rights in some 21 African countries. The report says inter alia, “across Africa, a shift was also seen in how citizens responded to violations of their digital rights. In addition to direct recourse and appeal to international agencies, African citizens are exploring alternative options. Citizens across the continent have taken recourse to in-country or regional legal action to defend their digital rights.” The report is available here for free downloadbit.ly/DRAReport

The 2017 report launch featured a panel which included Tolu Ogunlesi, Head of Presidential Office for Digital Engagement, The Presidency, Nigeria, Titi Akinsanmi, Government Relations and Public Policy lead at Google; Juliet Maina, Associate in Telecommunications, Media and Technology law at TripleOKLaw Kenya; and ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative.

Tolu Ogunlesi said, “Internet Freedom and Digital Rights are best achieved within a multistakeholder model, and this includes respect for the input and ideas of government. Political office holders cannot be ignored in successful Internet Freedom forums”.

Also speaking at the launch, Titi Akinsanmi reflected that “Regulation will never catch up with Innovation. The cause of development is best served when governments policies and law do not restrict freedom of expression and innovation, rather are skillfully and thoughtfully drafted to stimulate development”.

Julie Maina, Associate in Telecommunications, Media and Technology law added, “Taking a Pan-African view of Internet Freedom and Digital Rights helps us to spot trends and work for the best outcome for all Africans”

If you would like a review copy of the Report, please send your mailing address to sodiq.alabi@pinigeria.org. For more information, contact Sodiq Alabi (Communications Officer) sodiq.alabi@pinigeria.org.

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Amnesty International Appoints Kumi Naidoo As Next Secretary General
December 22, 2017 | 0 Comments
Kumi Naidoo      AFP PHOTO / LEHTIKUVA / Milla Takala *** FINLAND OUT ***        (Photo credit should read MILLA TAKALA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kumi Naidoo AFP PHOTO / LEHTIKUVA / Milla Takala *** FINLAND OUT *** (Photo credit should read MILLA TAKALA/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Amnesty International has appointed Kumi Naidoo as the next Secretary General of the global human rights movement. From August 2018 Kumi will succeed Salil Shetty, who served two terms as Secretary General from 2010.

“We are delighted to be welcoming Kumi as our new Secretary General. His vision and passion for a just and peaceful world make him an outstanding leader for our global movement, as we strengthen our resolve for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all,” said Mwikali Muthiani, Chair of the Board of Amnesty International.

The Secretary General is the leader and main spokesperson for Amnesty International and the Chief Executive of its International Secretariat. Amnesty International is the largest human rights movement globally, with a global presence including offices in more than 70 countries, 2,600 staff and seven million members, volunteers and supporters worldwide.

Kumi is an activist and civil society leader. His previous leadership roles include Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Chair of the Global Call for Climate Action, Founding Chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty and Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation.  He currently chairs three start-up organizations in his home country South Africa: Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity; the Campaign for a Just Energy Future; and the Global Climate Finance Campaign. Naidoo holds a BA in Law and Political Science (University of KwaZulu-Natal) and a DPhil in Politics (University of Oxford).

“I have been an activist and campaigner all my life, so I am excited to be joining the world’s largest people movement for human rights at a time when we need to counter increasing attacks on basic freedoms and on civil society around the globe. This means adapting to a fluid fast-changing global environment with urgency, passion and with courage,” said Naidoo.

“Amnesty International’s campaigns for justice and equality today are more urgent than ever, and I am humbled and honored to be leading the organization in these challenging times.”

“The world is at an exciting moment when people are mobilizing in large numbers to fight against injustice and hold leaders in governments and corporations to account for human rights abuses. I can’t think of anybody better than Kumi Naidoo to build on Amnesty International’s mission to become a truly global people’s movement for human rights,” said Salil Shetty.

“I am delighted to hand over the reins when for the first time in Amnesty’s history, we have both the Secretary General and Board Chair from Africa.”

The Secretary General is appointed by the International Board of Amnesty International for an initial four year term. The appointment followed an extensive global search.

*Amnesty International

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South Sudan Government, Rebel Groups Sign Ceasefire
December 21, 2017 | 1 Comments

By Aaron Maasho*

File Picture .South Sudan's President Salva Kiir exchanges signed documents with South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar  following previous peace accords which collapsed spectacularly

File Picture .South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir exchanges signed documents with South Sudanese rebel leader Riek Machar following previous peace accords which collapsed spectacularly.Their representatives were present at signing today

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – South Sudan’s government and rebel groups signed a ceasefire on Thursday in the latest attempt to end a four-year civil war and allow humanitarian groups access to civilians caught in the fighting.

The ceasefire aims to revive a 2015 peace deal that collapsed last year after heavy fighting broke out in South Sudan’s capital Juba. It was agreed after talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa convened by regional bloc IGAD.

A decision by President Salva Kiir to sack his deputy Riek Machar triggered the war in the world’s youngest country. The war has been fought largely along ethnic lines between forces loyal to Kiir, who is Dinka, and Machar, who is Nuer.

Tens of thousands have died and a third of the population of 12 million have fled their homes. The conflict has since mutated from a two-way fight into one involving multiple parties and this has made it harder to find peace.

Representatives of Kiir and Machar were both present at the signing.

“I do hope in signing this agreement, you will try to put an end to this tragedy …. This is an encouraging first phase,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu, also present, said: “There is no longer any excuse for the violations of human rights. All parties are obliged to observe cessation of hostilities agreement.

Diplomats at the talks told Reuters the next phase of the negotiations would now center on thrashing out a revised power-sharing arrangement leading up to a new date for polls.

*Source Reuters

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Next Einstein Forum announces its Ambassadors, champions of science and technology across Africa
December 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

KIGALI, Rwanda, 20 December 2017 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) today announces its second Ambassadors Class, 45 scientists and tech champions across Africa, all under 42 years of age, who are solving Africa’s and the world’s challenges.

An initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the NEF will hold its second global forum for science in Kigali, Rwanda, under the patronage of H.E. President Paul Kagame on 26-28 March 2018.

Central to the NEF’s vision of propelling Africa onto the global scientific stage, the NEF Ambassadors will attend the NEF Global Gathering in Kigali, connect with each other and scientists from across the world. While growing their own careers through mentorship and collaborations offered by a growing network of partners, NEF Ambassadors drive the NEF’s local public engagement activities like the NEF Africa Science Week, and will help craft an exciting and high impact forum.

“Two years ago, it was an honor to announce the inaugural Ambassadors Class in Dakar. Today again, I am excited to announce a brilliant NEF Ambassadors Class. The 45 selected Ambassadors, eighteen of whom are women, are helping transform their local community through national campaigns like GirlsInSTEM, through research in renewable energy, food security, fin-tech etc. Beyond just theoretical research, our Ambassadors have developed impressive technologies from their research. We look forward to shining a light on their initiatives and technologies which we believe are solving local and global challenges,” said Mr. Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of AIMS and Chairman of the NEF.

NEF Ambassadors are selected using a holistic process that reviews academic achievement, entrepreneurial abilities and recent public engagement efforts, particularly online. Ambassadors also have to demonstrate a passion for raising Africa’s scientific profile and inspiring the next generation of scientific leaders.

“I would like to thank the first Ambassadors Class who ran the first ever NEF Africa Science Week and continue to run impactful campaigns to mentor the next generation of scientists and technologists. Together with this new Ambassadors’ class, they join the newly launched NEF Community of Scientists, an exclusive network that offers members research collaborations, networking and speaking opportunities and career mentorship. In return, members will participate in national and continental policy formulation, cross-cutting research and innovation activities, lead public engagement around science and technology in Africa, and provide mentorship to early-career scientists and students,” said Mr. Zomahoun.

The NEF is currently looking for Ambassadors for the following countries: Angola, Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinee, Central Africa Republic, Djibouti, Lesotho, South Sudan and Tunisia. Interested applicants can download the application at nef.org/ambassadors. Learn more about the NEF Global Gathering 2018 at gg2018.nef.org

Meet the 2017-2019 NEF Ambassadors:

  •  Meriem Benmardi (Algeria) is a Senior Digital Project Manager at TBWA Worldwide and CEO of BETELA Recruiting, an innovative hiring program. She has over 8 years of experience as a HR specialist and IT project management consultant and has been recognized for her leadership, including being chosen a TechWoman by the US State Department.
  •  Donald Semevo Elian Tchaou (Benin) owns TIC Agro Business Center company, which specializes in the development of communication tools, training of producers and dissemination of good agricultural practices. His company uses exclusively the opportunities offered by the Information and Communication Technologies for a better agricultural extension.
  • Yame Nkgowe (Botswana) is a seasoned service manager with 11 years’ business management experience and a social entrepreneur with 3.5 years bootstrapping two startups from concept to pilot stage. He is currently the founder of Sustainable Cities Africa, a social enterprise focused on ensuring a sustainable African Urban Future through Smart City Strategies.
  • Abdrahamane Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and is working as a Girl Generation Program Officer in Burkina Faso to end female genital mutilation in Africa. With over 17 years of activism in youth organizations at national, regional and international levels, he is a founding member of the Network of International Youth Organizations in Africa.
  • Paterne Gahungu (Burundi) is an AIMS alumnus, doing a PhD research on stochastic modelling at the African Centre of Excellence for Mathematics and Applications in Benin. Previously, he has worked as volunteer at Centre de Recherche en Didactique des Sciences au Burundi and together with four other students, established a science club that trains students in use of technology, and conduct scientific debates and presentations among themselves.
  • Sara Baptista (Cape Verde) is a PhD candidate in Life Sciences, in the Parasitology field specifically in the Graduate Program Science for Development (PGCD) and is currently working in Instituto de Medicina Molecular- João Lobo Antunes, Lisbon, Portugal at Dr. Maria Mota Lab, which is interested in studying the Biology & Physiology of Malaria. She is working mostly on understanding how the main liver stage protein of the plasmodium parasite, the circumsporozoite protein is processed by the host hepatocyte.
  • Arielle Kitio Tsamo (Cameroon) is a certified mentor and technology enthusiast, currently pursuing her PhD in software engineering for disease surveillance at the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon. Also, she is the founder of CAYSTI, an initiative that works on innovative technologies and methodologies to promote quality education and ensure effective learning.
  • Francis Mbaibo (Chad) won Digital Innovation Award of Reach for Change, and one of the 50 best African startups chosen by the European Union at the EU Africa Forum. As an entrepreneurial technician, he has created a digital startup that introduces young people to digital entrepreneurship.  Today, Francis is working on an agribusiness application, which he hopes to operationalize in 2018.
  • Mandingha Kosso Etoka-Beka (Republic of Congo) research is on malaria in children carrying the sickle cell trait in a laboratory. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in Molecular Biology and Applied Immunology at Marien Ngouabi University.
  • Raissa Malu (DRC) is a physicist by training, author and editor of “Les Indispensables” textbooks collection. In 2014, Raissa founded with friends a non-profit organization that organizes Science and Technology Week, in Kinshasa DRC. Currently, she is the Head of Technical Support Unit at the Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Professional Education for the Education Project for the Quality and Relevance of Secondary and Higher Education.
  • Ghislain DESSIEH (Ivory Coast) is a consultant in sustainable development and social Innovation, and a lawyer by training. He holds a degree in Business Law from HEC Abidjan and guided by his passion for science and technology, Ghislain is part of Africa 4 Tech’s Young African Innovator Program, which brings together 40 young Africans innovators in the field of technology, health and energy.
  • Dr. Basant Motawi (Egypt) has worked with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland within the Ageing and Life Course Department. Currently doing a joint PhD in Epidemiology between Ain Shams University in Egypt and University of Maryland in USA. Her research focuses on the hidden health and economic burden of gender based violence, and aspires to advance policies that empower women through her work.
  • Mussie Mengistu Habtom (Eritrea) is doing a masters in special needs education (learning disabilities) Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya. His dream of becoming a teacher, inspired him to join a Teacher Training Institution, and is currently a lecturer and MEd candidate in Kenyatta University, Kenya.
  • Binyam Sisay Mendisu’s (Ethiopia) research interests include the descriptive study of Omotic languages and the study of mother tongue education in Africa. He is currently employed as program officer for teacher education and curriculum development by UNESCO’s International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa.
  • Yannick Ovono (Gabon) is Rabi Institute for Development Studies CEO and Mandela Institute for Development Studies Scholar, passionate about education, leadership, media, politics, and youth development in the continent of Africa. He holds an MSc in journalism from the University of Istanbul, and BA degree in economics from the Istanbul academy of science, with 5 years of work experience in various positions both in the media industry and Academia.
  • David Jeng (Gambia) is the Project Manager for Give1 Project Gambia, whose goal is to create leaders in their communities. The project has implemented 8 tech camps in ICT for girls, leadership and entrepreneurship training, implemented the Akon Lighting Africa pilot project in the Gambia. Currently, he is the Business Support Coordinator at Startup Incubator Gambia, which is the first business incubation hub for startups, having incubated 62 startups and created more than 180 jobs since 2015.
  • Peter Asare-Nuamah’s (Ghana) research interest cuts across disaster management, climate change, education, e-governance and Pan-Africanism. He is a PhD candidate at Pan African University, Cameroon and has served in different leadership capacities. Peter aspires to contribute to academia and society through research and teaching, particularly in the African context.
  • Keita Alpha Kabinet’ s (Guinea) work focuses on the study of the epidemiology of Tropheryma whipplei and the Ebola virus in a global study project in humans and wildlife in Guinea. Currently, Keita is a Postdoctoral Researcher within the UMI233, Translational Research on HIV and Infectious Diseases (TransVIHMI) of the Research Institute for Development (IRD).
  • Dr. Rose M Mutiso (Kenya) is co-founder and CEO of the Mawazo Institute, focusing on African energy sector development. She is a materials engineer by training, with technical experience in the fields of nanotechnology and polymer physics, including nano-electronics and next-generation energy technologies.
  • Michael Sonneyboy Gboneh (Liberia) graduated with a BSc degree in Mathematics, and as well holds an MSc in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Stellenbosch on full scholarship by MasterCard foundation and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS, South Africa). Currently, he is serving the position of Chairperson, Department of Mathematics, University of Liberia where he has dedicated his time to academia and using mathematics to help solve Africa’s many problems, to help young people learn and contribute to the growth of Liberia and Africa in general.
  • Kusai Fteita (Libya) is the founder and mentor of Roboticx4004, the Libyan national robotics team, that represented Libya in FIRST Global Challenge 2017, and co- founder of Google Developers Group Tripoli and Blockchain startup. Recently, he founded Tech Impact, a social enterprise that provides hands-on robotics training for youth.
  • Mireille Harimalala’s (Madagascar) research activities focus on the genetics of plague disease vector flea populations and the study of the country’s flea phylogeny, and leads a team that is working on fleas and its associated diseases. She has completed two years of postdoctoral studies at the Medical Entomology Unit of IPM and currently deepening her research on the same themes, in order to elucidate the phylogeography and dispersal mechanisms of these vector flea populations in relation to the persistence of plague in Madagascar.
  • Chikondi Shaba (Malawi) holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry, with a minor in Statistics and a Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry from University of Botswana. She is a Lecturer and Deputy Head of the Chemistry Department at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi and presently, she is responsible for assessing water chemistry of groundwater on a project “Hidden Crisis”.
  • Souleymane Sogoba (Mali) works as a documentarist at the University of Ségou in Mali, as well, he is the Information Manager of the Scientific and Technical Journal of Mali and Member of the IFLA Information Technologies Section, and Ambassador of the Program IPA of IFLA in Mali, taking part in the construction of the building what he calls “a connected Africa, an informed Africa”.
  •  Abdoulaye Sidiki BA (Mauritania) holds a PhD in Mechanics from the University of Bordeaux as well as a Masters in Engineering in Acoustics and Fluid in the specialty Ultrasonic Non Destructive Control from the University of Paris Diderot. His research work focuses on the design, manufacture, and characterization of a new concept of so-called “intelligent” material called metamaterial.
  •  Lakshana Mohee’s (Mauritius) dream was to become a biomaterials scientist in order to develop innovative and more accessible techniques for improved healthcare around the world. Currently doing a PhD at the University of Cambridge in Biomaterials and Medical Devices, she hopes to start a company in Mauritius to develop such devices.
  • Dr. Lahbib LATRACH (Morocco) is a researcher at the National Center for Studies and Research on Water and Energy, with a PhD in Environment and Water Biotechnology from the University of Cadi Ayyad, and a member of the Laboratory Hydrobiology, Ecotoxicology, Sanitation & Global Change at the Faculty of Sciences Semlalia, Marrakech and the Laboratory of Soil Science and Ecological Engineering Shimane University, Japan.
  • Lars Albino Lemos (Mozambique) is the Lead Trainer of Knowledge Sharing Campaign, a community platform that brings together those who have experience and can share their knowledge and those who are eager to learn, but lack opportunities. He is a developer for Health Information Systems at Global Programs for Research & Learning, Co-Founder of Mukheru Express and CEO of MozDevelopment, a company that provides software development training for the community in learning how to program.
  •  Aibate Hatago Sturmann (Namibia) is currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Namibia, investigating polymer science. She holds a Master’s degree in Science with research interest in Ethno-pharmacology, drug discovery and development focusing on non-communicable diseases.
  • Halimatou Hima Moussa Dioula (Niger) is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, where she is a Cambridge-Africa Trust scholar, doing research in Development Studies. Halimatou uses the concept of “ilimi”, often translated as knowledge or education, to challenge, question and reimagine educational systems in African countries. Her “ilimi Afrika” initiative hopes to create oases of innovation, learning and imagination in public schools across Niger and Africa.
  •  Obidi Ezezika (Nigeria) is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough and in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He has a PhD in Microbiology from University of Georgia and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University. Dr Obidi champions a Nutrition Gamification System called “Nutrido” in Abuja, Nigeria.
  •  Bobson Rugambwa (Rwanda) is passionate about affordable and sustainable financial and energy technology solutions for Africa’s most vulnerable. A software engineer, entrepreneur and energy enthusiast, he is co-founder and CEO of MVend Limited, a Fintech company in Rwanda, developing financial inclusion tools for the unbanked.
  •  Paulo Emanuel D’Alva (Sao Tome and Principe) is an Architect and entrepreneur, with a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from DeVry FANOR. He has extensive experience in Sustainable Architecture, having worked at the U.S. Green Building Council, and is the Deputy Director of DALVAGAUP, the largest Architecture firm in Sao Tome and Principe.
  • Khadidatou Sall (Senegal) is the founder of a vocational education space where culture mingles with STEM to innovate and bring Senegalese community together, to learn, make and create in a program called Science Education Exchange for Sustainable Development (SeeSD). Through SeeSD, she has empowered over 200 children, through hands-on workshops related to biology, physics, chemistry, 3D printing, coding and electronics.
  • Jessica D’unienville (Seychelles) holds Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology, from Curtin University of Technology. She is currently a Principal Research Officer for Knowledge Management and Education at NISTI, where she is carrying out the R&D and Innovation Survey, a first for Seychelles.
  •  Salwa Supckie Campbell (Sierra Leone) has several professional training certificates in mentorship, devoting her time to mentor and inspire young girls interested in STEM disciplines. With over 11 years’ experience in data analytics and quality checks, she has worked with one of the leading big data analytics companies in the world – Quid Inc.
  •  Dr. Sadiyo Siad (Somalia) is a founder and Chancellor at Hano Academy and a multi-specialist; Medical diagnostic, lecturer, consultant, entrepreneur and a philanthropist. Her medical education includes a PhD in Tuberculosis specializing in Immunology and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of TB, University of Leicester.
  •  Keabetswe Tebogo Ncube (South Africa) is doing her research in Genetics at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and is currently on a research program in Maryland, USA as part of her doctoral studies, working with the United Stated Department of Agriculture, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.
  •  Mohammed Kamal (Sudan) is a researcher, working and lecturing at University of Medical Science and Technology (UMST) as well, he teaches short courses at the National University, in the field of material science, -Sudan. Currently, he is developing a drug charging and transportations system through the use of nanostructured system that aims to enhance CT and MRI imaging process to effectively deliver drugs to enhance cancer treatments.
  •  Sifiso Musa Nkambule (Swaziland) is a Lecturer of Physics at the University of Swaziland, Physics Department, with a first degree in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Swaziland and masters in Physics at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Currently, he is involved in “THE PHYSICS SHOW” project, which aims to reach Schools, colleges and the Swaziland community, through showcasing most exciting things in Physics.
  •  Dr. Lwidiko Edward Mhamilawa (Tanzania) is a Medical Doctor and Co-founder of ProjeKt Inspire that works towards discovering talents in STEM. He nurtures kids of 3-14 years through the Rising STEAM Stars project that provides one on one mentorship, job shadowing and Boot camps.
  • Aglago Dodzi (Togo) is the founder of MobileLabo, a scientific laboratory which specializes in the design and sale of laboratory equipment, products and services. Through his mobile lab, he has enabled kids in rural areas to access lab materials for science learning which has inspired half a million students in Togo to pursue science.
  •  Joanitah N Nalubega (Uganda) is an industrial chemist, with a deep passion for technology, currently working to deploy solutions for the health sector using technology in Uganda.
  •  Stephen Malunga Manchishi (Zambia) lectured Animal Physiology and other related biological sciences in the department of Biological Sciences at the University of Zambia, briefly before embarking on PhD studies in Reproductive Neuroendocrinology at the University of Cambridge in the UK. He and his colleague Co-founded the Juniors & Seniors’ Institute of Natural Sciences- mentorship network, an initiative that bridges the information gap to help upcoming scientists make informed decisions early in life.
  •  Ian Nyasha Mutamiri (Zimbabwe) is an electrical and software engineer who is very passionate about leveraging quality technology for social benefits. His research focuses on mobile language learning solutions for children. For his work, he was awarded two FIRE (AFRINIC) Grants in 2013 and 2016.
  • Launched in 2013, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The NEF is a platform that connects science, society and policy in Africa and the rest of the world – with the goal to leverage science for human development globally. The NEF believes that Africa’s contributions to the global scientific community are critical for global progress. At the centre of NEF efforts are Africa’s young people, the driving force for Africa’s scientific renaissance. The NEF is a unique youth-driven forum. At our headline biennial scientific events, 50% of participants are 42 or younger. Far from being an ordinary science forum, the NEF Global Gatherings position science at the centre of global development efforts. The next NEF Global Gathering will be held on 26-28 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. In addition, through our Communities of Scientists, we showcase the contributions of Africa’s brilliant youth to Africa’s scientific emergence through its class of NEF Fellows, who are Africa’s top scientists and technologists under the age of 42, and NEF Ambassadors, who are the NEF’s 54 science and technology ambassadors on the ground.

    The NEF is also working together with partners such as the African Academy of Sciences, Ministers’ of Education, Science and Research across Africa, foundations and other global scientific and private sector companies, to build an African scientific identity. By bringing together key stakeholders, the NEF hopes to drive the discussion from policy to implementation by leveraging buy in and best practice results from Africa and the world. Have a look at our benchmark Dakar Declaration.

    Finally, the NEF is telling untold stories of scientific research and innovation across the continent through our various platforms. We want to recalibrate what ‘innovation’ means in Africa. We want to make the link between science and technology, even basic sciences, to everyday life. We want the public involved in science and we have recently concluded the first coordinated Africa Science Week – an annual three to five day celebration of science and technology through coordinated science events across the continent. We believe the next Einstein will be African.

    The NEF has been endorsed by the African Union Commission, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Governments of Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa, the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and a growing number of private sector and civil society partners from across the world who are passionate about positioning Africa’s scientific community as an influential member in the global scientific community, which will ensure sustainable human development in Africa and other parts of the world.

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Zuma vs. Ramaphosa: South Africa now has two centres of power
December 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Cyril Ramaphosa may be the new leader of the ruling party, but Jacob Zuma still controls the state.

BY ROGER SOUTHALL*

South Africa’s president with the ruling African National Congress’ new leader. Credit: GCIS.

South Africa’s president with the ruling African National Congress’ new leader. Credit: GCIS.

Rumours that President Jacob Zuma has instructed the South African National Defence Force to draw up plans for implementing a state of emergency may or may not be true. Nonetheless they are evidence of South Africa’s current febrile political atmosphere.

Any assumption that yesterday’s election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), after winning the race against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will place South Africa on an even keel are misplaced. Indeed, the drama may only be beginning.

It’s useful to look back to 2007 when President Thabo Mbeki unwisely ran for a third term as ANC leader. His unpopularity among large segments of the party provided the platform for his defeat by Zuma at Polokwane. Within a few months, the National Executive Committee of the ANC latched onto an excuse to ask Mbeki to stand down as president of the country before the end of his term. Being committed to the traditions of party loyalty he complied, resigning as president some eight months before the Constitution required him to do so.

The question this raises is whether South Africa should now expect a repeat performance following the election of a new party leader. Will this lead to an instruction to Zuma to stand down as president of the country? And if it does, will he do what Mbeki did and meekly resign?

There’s a big difference between the two scenarios: Mbeki had no reason to fear the consequences of leaving office. Zuma, on the other hand, has numerous reasons to cling to power. This is what makes him, and the immediate future, dangerous for South Africa.

Why Zuma won’t go

It is not out of the question that Zuma may say to himself, and to South Africa, that he is not going anywhere. He is losing court case after court case, and judicial decisions are increasingly narrowing his legal capacity to block official and independent investigations into the extent of state capture by business interests close to him.

With every passing day, the prospects of his finding himself in the dock, facing 783 charges, including of corruption and racketeering, also increase.

Zuma will have every constitutional right to defy an ANC instruction to stand down until his term expires following the next general election in 2019. In terms of the Constitution, his term of office will be brought to an early end only if parliament passes a vote of no confidence or votes that is unfit for office.

But today’s ANC is so divided that it cannot be assumed that a majority of its MPs would back a motion of no confidence, even following the election of Ramaphosa as the party’s new leader.

In other words, there is a very real prospect that South Africa will see itself ruled for at least another 18 months or so by “two centres of power”, with the authority and the legitimacy of the party (formally backing Ramaphosa) vying against that of the state (headed by Zuma).

Throwing caution to the wind

As if that is not a sufficient condition for political instability, we may expect that Zuma will continue to use his executive power to erect defences against his future prosecution. He will reckon to leave office only with guarantees of immunity. Until he gets them, Zuma will defy all blandishments to go. And if he does not get what he wants, he may throw caution to the wind and go for broke.

Hence, perhaps, the possibility that he is prepared to invoke a state of emergency.

The grounds for Zuma imposing a state of emergency would be specious, summoned up to defend his interests and those backing him. They would be likely to infer foreign interference in affairs of state alongside suggestions of white monopoly capital – that whites as a whole, as well as nefarious others, are conspiring to prevent much-needed radical economic transformation. Present constitutional arrangements would be declared counter-revolutionary and those defending them doing so only to protect their material interests.

After a matter of time, such justifications would probably be declared unconstitutional by the judiciary. It is then that there would be a confrontation between raw power and the Constitution. If such a situation should arise, we cannot be sure which would be the winner.

South Africa’s army

It is remarkable how little the searchlight that has focused on state capture has rested on the Defence Force. Much attention has been given to how the executive has effectively co-opted the intelligence and prosecutorial service, as well as how the top ranks of the police have been selected for political rather than operational reasons.

It seems to have been assumed that South Africa’s military is simply sitting in the background, observing political events from afar. But is it? Where would its loyalties lie in the event of a major constitutional crisis?

The danger of the present situation is that South Africa might be about to find out.

Were the military to throw its weight behind Zuma, the country would be in no-man’s land. Of course, there would be a massive popular reaction with the further danger that the president himself would summon his popular cohorts to “defend the revolution”.

And South Africans should not assume that Zuma would be politically isolated. Those who backed Dlamini-Zuma did so to defend their present positions and capacity to use office for personal gain. If they were to rise up, the army would then be elevated to the status of defender of civil order.

What is certain is that in such a wholly uncertain situation the economy would spiral downwards quickly. Capital would take flight at a faster rate than ever before, employment would collapse even further, poverty would become even further entrenched.

Reasons to be hopeful

Is all this too extreme a scenario? Hopefully yes. There are numerous good reasons why such a fate will be averted.

Zuma’s control over the ANC is waning, as is his control over various state institutions, notably the National Prosecuting Authority. And the country has checks and balances in place: there is a vigorous civil society, the judiciary has proved the Constitution’s main defence, and trade unions and business remain influential.

Even so, it remains the case that what transpires now the ANC’s national conference is over will determine the fate and future of our democracy. South Africa is approaching rough waters, and a Jacob Zuma facing an inglorious and humiliating end to his presidency will be a Jacob Zuma at his most dangerous.

*Roger Southall is a Professor of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand.Courtesy of African Arguments.This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article

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Caf president Ahmad reiterates Cameroon 2019 warning
December 21, 2017 | 0 Comments
Since Ahmad was voted in as Caf president the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon has expanded from 16 to 24 teams

Since Ahmad was voted in as Caf president the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon has expanded from 16 to 24 teams

The president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), Ahmad, has reiterated his warning to Cameroon about their hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations.

In response to a question about Cameroon holding on to the hosting of the tournament in its new expanded 24-team format in 2019 Ahmad wasted few words.

“If the host country is unable to organise it, we will find a country that will organise it,” he said.

“The authorities in the country, up to the head of state, have always confirmed to us that they will be ready.”

Before Caf approved changes to the format and timing of the Nations Cup, Cameroon’s sports minister Ismael Bidoung had been forced to denypreparations were behind schedule.

Cameroon once again insisted it would be ready to host the tournament soon after Caf moved it to June/July and increased it from 16 to 24 teams.

In August Ahmad said: “Cameroon will have to work to convince Caf on its ability to host the event.”

He again clarified that it will be down to an independent company conducting inspections to let Caf know if Cameroon are fit to host the event.

“We will leave it to the host country to work with an independent private firm without any influence from us whatsoever,”

“It is up to them to provide us with the information that will enable us to say that Cameroon will be ready or Cameroon will not be ready. But we won’t negotiate anything.”

Audit firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers was due to conduct an inspection in August but they withdrew at short notice without giving reasons.

An inspection is now due to happen early in 2018.

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Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Has Made Great Shifts from the Mugabe Approach-2018 Presidential Hopeful Gadzamoyo Dewah
December 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

Dr Gadzamoyo  Dewah is looking forward with optimism to the 2018 elections

Dr Gadzamoyo Dewah is looking forward with optimism to the 2018 elections

Dr Gadzamoyo  Dewah President of the Good Peoples Movement/Zimbabwe People’s Party  says while the fight that recent political transition was a fight within the ruling ZANU-PF, current President Emmerson Mnangagwa is pulling the country back from the brink. Dewah, who is planning a Presidential run in 2018 credits President Mnangagwa has cracked the whip on corruption, and the environment is less intimidating that what obtained under President Mugabe.While land reforms embarked upon by former President Robert Mugabe must continue, Dr Dewah believes that better management is needed for the process. He supports the call from President Mnangagwa  for the international community to ease sanctions on Zimbabwe and believes that if elected in 2018, he would transform the country.

Dr Gadzamoyo Dewah , thanks for granting this interview, how is Zimbabwe doing today under President Mnangagwa?

Thank you for affording me to participate in this interview on Zimbabwe after former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe was forced out from being the President of the Republic by the Army Generals to pave way for President Emmerson Mnangagwa. My name is Dr Gadzamoyo Dewah. I am the President of Good People’s Movement: Zimbabwe People’s Party (GPM:ZPP). I am 49 years and I believe I am the right candidate for Zimbabwe’s Presidency in 2018. Today Zimbabwe under Mnangagwa is not charged emotionally as it was during Mugabe’s era. There is no noise in the streets. There is no intimidating environment that used to prevail during Mugabe’s time.

Mnangagwa has made great shifts from Mugabe approach. He cracked the whip on corruption. Those targeted Ignatious Chombo, Jonathan Moyo, Saviour Kasukuwere have become more virulent. Their alignment to Mrs Grace Mugabe was becoming scarier as there was potential for the protagonist to cause blood shed if the situation had not changed the way it did. Zimbabwe with Mnangagwa is more dignified than when it was during Mugabe’s rule. People are hopeful that things will improve. President Mnangagwa, banned out Hero worshiping and he does not want songs composed that hero worship him.

Mr. Mangwana who is among President Mnangagwa’s advisors told me when we met a funeral that, from 2014 all the diamond that was being mined was kept in Reserve Bank Vouch so that it was to be sold towards 2018 elections. I am told Mnangagwa has changed that thinking and has ordered that the diamond which is worth $200 million to be auctioned. However this could be just flattery because there is no meaningful change that ZANU PF can bring. The people are the same. The very people who removed Mugabe today are the very people who forced him to remain there when MDC won 2008 elections.

What is your reading of the movement that brought him to power, was it a military coup, was it a civilian uprising considering the participation of the people, or was it a constitutional transition considering that President Mugabe handed over to his Vice President?

Emmerson Mnangagwa said elections were "nearer than you expect"

The transition that brought Emmerson Mnangagwa t0 power was in ZANU PF,says Dr Gadzamoyo Dewah

The transition that brought Mnangagwa into power was a fight in ZANU PF. It was internal fights in the ZANU PF party that made the soldiers to behave the way they did. The coming in of Grace Mugabe into politics had seen ZANU PF being shaken from within. The shaking was targeting the War Veterans and Joice Mujuru, then Mutsvangwa and others. This time the axe was on Mnangagwa.

Grace went further to denigrate the Army Commander Chiwenga. Chiwenga and other Army Generals are also War Veterans. So Grace was definitely moving towards them. The story is it was feared that if Mnangagwa was to be fired in the Presents of Chiwenga, that might cause commotion. So, Chiwenga was sent to send to China and in his Mnangagwa was fired. Information is coming that the plan was to arrest Chiwenga on his way from China. This information which was picked up military intelligence resulted in the foiled arrest of Chiwenga. In retaliation, the Army Commander did what he did. That was a coup at its face value. However the Army categorically refused that it was not a coup. Looked from the perspective that the top hierarchy of Army are former ZANLA forces, ZANU PF is their natural home. So the Army Generals were correcting a situation in their own Party. Being more analytical I think this type of hand over of power was planned over a number of times and my guess from when Grace entered into politics in 2013.

Mugabe with his pride would not have wanted to face defeat.  To save himself he created a situation that would make everyone justify the move taken by the Army Generals. In his plan Mugabe should have planned that if creates confusion in the party, his own party was definitely going to deal with him. It that fail to happen, the plan was to leave his wife running the show. I am sure Mugabe, the Army Generals and Mnangagwa could have been part of this big plan, but their followers such as Chombo, Jonathan Moyo and Kasukuwere were not aware. These thought the plan “Vanhu kuna Mai muna 2018” (people to go to the Mother in 2018) was a perfect plan and they were busy looting to amass money for the 2018 elections. Chombo was even moved to the Finance Ministry so that access to money would be automatic. So the skirmish was to make Mugabe’s removal appear as if it was a forced step down when this thing can be construed as planned thing. For the Civilian this was a jubilation that the soldiers have removed Mugabe. The civilians wanted Mugabe to go. Not that they were welcoming the coming of Mnangagwa. They were just happy with the move taken by soldiers. Zimbabweans are afraid of bodily injuries so it is a nation that does not favour uprising as an option. The presence of soldiers brought the security the civilians wanted so that they would joyfully go and tell Mugabe to pack his bags and go. Yes we participated in all our political divide. There was unity of purpose.

The movement that brought Mnangagwa to power can also be construed as ZANU PF’s caricature to achieve its long cherished One-Party-State. In 1988/89 Jonathan Moyo wrote “ZANU PF is going to achieve One-Party-State, through brainwashing, mass propaganda, and emotional manipulation of people’s minds”. What happened was an emotional manipulation of people’s minds with the effect of sprucing the image of ZANU PF and making ZANU PF perceived as the only party to follow in 2018. So this was a ZANU PF way of passing the button. This however makes us wary of the role of military in politics.  Looking again in the Constitution, the Army has the role to protect the civilians from any danger including political risk. Yes we understand that the top hierarchy of the Army is made up of War Veterans who sympathizes with fellow War Veterans who are ruling the country, but we may run the risk of having a military government as ZANU PF itself is a military Party.

For all he did for Zimbabwe, what do you think the impact of the recent power transition will have on the legacy of President Robert Mugabe?

Mugabe destroyed his own legacy by clinging on power. He lost many more opportunities in other world missions which he could have participated had he left power earlier. He constructed schools and Hospitals and destroyed them. Today schools are dilapidating, no roads, no industry except vending. If Mnangagwa follows the foot steps of Mugabe, then people will remember some of the good that Mugabe did. Indeed this is what Mnangagwa will do. He will not be hard on all criminals but only targets those who were on the G40 that supports Grace. If Mnanangagwa follow some of the reports that we give him, for example as an opposition leader, I was dismissed from City of Harare because I discovered corruption involving over $1,4 million. These people were protected by Chombo and some of them are MDC-T Councilors. I know these people and we have written reports to President Mnangagwa to critically look into those things.

Members of my Party expect that Mnangagwa will deal with such issues which were perpetrated by people who supported Mugabe and his wife Grace. Since this issue involve both MDC-T and ZANU PF members, the two parties may choose to ignore such issues and that will make Mnangagwa equal to Mugabe. In that instance Mnangagwa’s work will not overshadow Mugabe’s legacy.

For all the criticisms against Mugabe, Zimbabweans have a very high literacy rate compared to the rest of Africa, and to his own political peril, he undertook land reform in the country, should your compatriots not view this as part of his lasting legacy?

Its true, education and land Reform is a lasting legacy for Mugabe. However as I get into power there is need to further redistribute the land and ensure everyone who want the land gets it. My party will develop the farming communities and ensure that there are roads, clinics and schools. This will to some extent demise land reform legacy of Mugabe. My Party supports the land reform. So the land needs redistribution. Development should take place in the farming community with the state even ensuring the standard of houses in the farming community is improved as well. Yes land reform is Mugabe’s lasting legacy though it created social injustice.

What is your take on the first government of President Mnangagwa and do you think it would have been a good thing to have some opposition figures in the government?

Mnangagwa’s government is small. That is cost cutting. Even his motorcade has a smaller fleet. The removal of deputy Ministers was also a good move as that reduced expenditure on the fiscus. However I think Mnangagwa’s government is docile. These are the same old people with the same ZANU PF philosophy of sweet talking and never doing what they preach. Yes I think it was going to bring some credibility on Mnangagwa if he had included some opposition in his government. This is the inclusivity the people of Zimbabwe require. Just like myself as I win 2018 elections, I am going to have an inclusive government. I will consider all the parties and ensure we work together for the good of Zimbabwe. What Mnangagwa did, to exclude opposition in his government is what causes partisan politics instead of nation building politics. Politics remains at Kindergatten level instead of developing further to be a civilized modern political democracy where tolerance, respect of different views, acceptance of others exist. The government of exclusion brings a combative move by the political parties. This is not good for the ordinary people as this is where these non-inclusion strategies manifest themselves as community members beat each other for supporting a certain political party and where food distribution by government is targeted to members of the people in one party. However if all political parties are considered in forming a government, these community fissures are cured.

President Mnangagwa has called for international sanctions against Zimbabwe to be lifted, what is the position of your party?

Good People’s Movement does not support sanctions. GPM:ZPP is the largest Green Political Party in Zimbabwe. We believe in co-existence. We believe in conserving our nature. Sanctions target or not targeted are ruinous to the ordinary man we want to help. Those on sanctions are controlling the resources of the country. The ripple effect of sanctions is that those on sanctions if they are still targeted are the ZANU PF officials including President Mnangagwa himself. This will make it difficult for him to close developmental deals with investors out there, be it in USA, Britain or EU. For MDC-T that will be alright because they want to win through arm strung not through articulating their manifesto. GPM:ZPP has a different perspective altogether now more than ever, Zimbabwe needs a faithful leadership, strong and stable government to get the best deal for Zimbabwe and its people. We are the Future and we have to protect the future and empower the Future and posterity. Now more than ever, Zimbabwe needs strong and stable leadership to make the most of the opportunities for hardworking families. Now more than ever, Zimbabwe needs a clear plan. Our Manifesto Forward Together Zimbabwe Massive Economic Projects Approach (ZIMEPA) is what my government will deliver. So what would sanctions bring? It will have the effect of slowing the takeoff of our economy. We want people to have US Dollars. Whether that money comes to help President Emmerson Mnangagwa to stabilize the economy or if it comes as political funding so that we are able to work with precision of the cutting edge penetration in the popularity of our party that we need. Good People’s Movement is a concept that in itself compels good values. So we can not propagate for sanctions. Rather we support the President of Zimbabwe Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa in his bid to have the sanctions lifted. It is good for everyone. Elections must be a free and fair so its not time to put screws but time to be generous with that political democracy. Its time GPM:ZPP should get resources. How do we get the resources? Through working and getting a rewards for your work. How do we work in a country under sanctions? It is us who are targeted by sanctions not ZANU PF or MDC-T. These two parties are the only political parties which are funded. The rest of us we have to work as individuals first supporting the party. As people increase in the party we expect use of personal money to do party business. That is our sacrifice because our families will be suffering. So lifting the sanctions is a mitigating measure meant to stabilize the economy as the Country move towards the election due in August 2018. So sanctions will hit hard on us but will work well with MDC-T as it has unfished business with ZANU PF, but we want both parties to go and the stabilization of the economy should pave way for GPM:ZPP leadership as , Dr Gadzamoyo Dewah defeat both ZANU PF and MDC-T. The lifting of sanction is paramount so that people get access to their cash, so that people can choose their leaders with a free mind which is not affected by stress. When there are sanctions communities are put in great danger and risk of being manipulated by those in financial based rigging strategies. The looters even target the same vulnerable people as was happening with the former President Cde RG Mugabe’s economy. That model of sanctions is not in our support.

On the issue of land reform, what is your position and that of your party, there was a recent story about the President returning land back to a white evicted farmer, what is your take?

By over staying in power, former President Mugabe hurt his own legacy says Dr Gadzamoyo Dewah

By over staying in power, former President Mugabe hurt his own legacy says Dr Gadzamoyo Dewah

Land Reform is irreversible. I support land reform, I do not support the racial retribution that was done. I did not like the greediness that was displayed. We however don’t support the greediness that the political leadership in ZANU PF. Zimbabwe has 39 million hectares, 33 million for farming and 6 million hectare for national parks. Majority of A1 resettled farmers were given 6 hectares and A2 farmers were given 15 hectares. President Mugabe took 15804 hectares and his top Party Members including those in Mnangagwa’s Present ZANU PF had an average 2000 ha. The magnitude of inequality prepared is to large to be accepted. The former President alone has 15804 ha. Mr Mugabe’s Ministers, Army Generals, Lawyers and Relatives have farms ranging from 100 ha to 6956 ha, the average being 2028 ha. The distribution of the land was partisan and some citizens because of color were totally denied their right to the land that they inherited from their fathers. Yes these people did not acquire that land but forcibly taken it from the blacks; – that in itself warrants land reform but it was not supposed to be done in a retributive way. In allocation of land those people “whose land” was compulsorily acquired should have been consider in the allocation either in their farms or elsewhere among the rest of the people. This is nation building and we don’t build a nation based of racial, class, color, or language difference. As long someone is a citizen of Zimbabwe he or she is entitled to land despite of race, color, creed, or political affiliation. Even my Government shall always identify people with bigger land and subdivide it accordingly to accommodate those citizens without land. Most of this land is lying idle. Viewed from that perspective, Mugabe created land barons. Some of them would end subdividing the land selling it for personal benefit when they obtained it free and when it is supposed to be used for national development

You have been critical of the ruling party, you have been critical of the opposition MDC, what is your party offering Zimbabweans and how is that different from what the ruling party and opposition parties are offering?

ZANU PF and MDC-T depend on rhetoric GPM is practical. The 2018 election is the most important Zimbabwe has faced in my lifetime and since 1980, independence. Our future prosperity, our place in the world, our standard of living, and the opportunities we want for our children – and our children’s children – all depend on getting the next five years right. If we fail, the consequences for the economic security of ordinary, working people across this country will be significant. If we succeed, the opportunities ahead of us are great. You will not find this in MDC-T or ZANU PF. This is Good People stuff.

GPM Manifesto identifies five Giant Challenges that we need to tackle. You will not find a well-articulated challenges that are facing Zimbabwe from ZANU PF and MDC except rhetoric.

Five giant challenges

  1. The need for a strong economy.

We need to make the most of our existing strengths, invest in infrastructure and people, and ensure that the whole of our economy across the whole of our country can grow. Without a strong economy, we cannot guarantee our security, our personal prosperity, our public services, or contented and sustainable communities.

 

  1. Zimbabwe and a changing world.

We need to deliver a smooth and orderly departure from the disenfranchisement from the World Economic Order and forge a deep and special partnership with our friends and allies across the World. Technology has provided us the tools we need and we have the capabilities use these tools. Skills training to use the tools is easy to do since we have many would be trainers who are already using these and everyone has the potential and capability to use internet tools. As there is increasingly little distinction between domestic and international affairs in matters of migration, national security and the economy, Zimbabwe must stay strong and united – and take a lead in the world to defend our interests in the World Economic Order by providing solutions that work for everybody.

  1. Enduring social divisions.

For too many people, where you end up in life is still determined by where you were born and to whom. GPM:ZPP does not believe in that predestination. The Party is anchored on Massive Livelihoods Approach and believe in Unity, Prayer, Love and Hope. The Construction of a New City will wipe all unemployment and make sure that everyone has the opportunity to make the most of their talents and hard work, whoever you are and wherever you are from. This opportunity extent to equal opportunity to political office. Do not negate yourself. Your value no one can measure except God who even knows the strand of your hair. The party has no limitation of color, creed or language. Are you a Zimbabwean Citizen?, if you are, You Should Be Here Zimbabwe People’s Party beyond Color bar.

  1. An ageing society.

This is a great challenge especially when those going into the ageing society have never had any formal job and have no source of old age income. It my belief that these people have done a lot for the country. They supported the rural agricultural activity and the informal mining activities which plays an important role in our society. We need to respond to the reality of an ageing society, giving people security in old age and caring for those with long-term health conditions, whilst making sure we are fair to younger generations, mothers and children. To that effect there shall be an Old Age Pension Allowance for everyone who attains 60 years and above.

  1. Fast-changing technology.

For the sake of our economy and our society, we need to harness the power of fast-changing technology, while ensuring that our security and personal privacy – and the welfare of children and younger people – are protected. This will have phenomenal growth for. Zimbabwe must move forward and be a producer and participant in the fast changing technology. By 2023, Zimbabwe must be able to launch its satellite in the sky by the year 2030. Zimbabwe must produce some of the components that are used by the fast changing technology

So when we can identify our challenges we can offer the solutions. ZANU PF and MDC do not know our challenges. To them unemployment is a challenge. I say no, unemployment is a manifestation of a challenge. So when we deal with the challenges we bring full employment. We are a practical party. We are a party beyond color bar, we are original not puppets of any system. I believe we can – and must – take this opportunity to build a Great Meritocracy. This is not found in MDC-T and ZANU PF. These believe in Partisan. We believe in Green Politics. We are the largest Green Political Party in Zimbabwe.

How  is your party preparing for the next elections is, are you going to be a candidate and what needs to be done for the elections to be free and fair?

Good People’s Movement is preparing for elections for next year. I, Dr Gadzamoyo Dewah will be contesting for the  Presidency to win. The Party has already produced its manifesto whose implementation will peg Zimbabwe among the Fastest Growing Economies in the World. Within 40 days after my inauguration as President, the country will be back into the World Economic Order as the Fastest Growing Economies in the World.  International Construction are being invited to take up Construction of the New City (the City of Trade and Diplomacy) that GPM want to build in Zimbabwe. We would want to have investors who can put up some tallest building in this New City. There should be magnificent roads connecting this City. If Zimbabwe is opened up as a country where construction is happening, that wipes out all unemployed brick layers, carpenters, engineers, architectures and all those professions that are for the construction industry. This has ripple effects of creating many more other service jobs and it will fire up the cement industry as well as resuscitating Zimbabwe Steel Company (ZISCO) and many more industries. For our campaign we use cost effective methods such as whatsapp, facebook, linkedin, referrals, own websites and internet addresses such ashttps://gadzamoyo.futurenet.clubwww.gadzamoyo.tkwww.gadzamoyo_office.tk info@gadzamoyo.tk. Interaction with other people is done through personal business and hard working atwww.gadzamoyo.worldventures.biz . At World Ventures I meet with a lot of friends who provides motivational speeches. Thank you World Ventures. I also assist people to get on line jobs such as atwww.empowr.com/gadzamoyo . Here people will also meet my campaign materials. This  is what I am doing, I am able to reach fans around the country at a very low cost. Not everyone has a phone that goes on whatsapp. This presents a challenge that require face to face contact through a rally. A challenge that require printed voter education material be they flyers, posters, or t/shirts. Getting resources to manage to do these is our greatest challenge. In some parts of the country, there are increasing demands by people who want me to hold a rallies.

There is need for capacity building which includes some cash and some vehicle. Resources is the greatest challenge for starting parties. As a proposal to the world it would be good initiate “Global Political Parties Funding Bill” like the one that was done by USA for sanctions so as to help the growing democracies. This initiative will make sure that all political parties are equally and well-funded. Political Parties will compete on the basis of their manifesto. The electorate will vote for candidates on the basis of their manifesto and promises to the people. But if other political Parties like here in Zimbabwe only MDC-T and ZANU PF are getting money, that bring vote buying and Zimbabwe remains the same. If all political parties are funded, GPM will have a sweeping victory. But without funding, yes I, Dr Gadzamoyo Dewah will win as President, but not with the margin I would get if there is funding. This is the Opportunity for the World to influence Zimbabwe the growth of Zimbabwe Democracy; to implement long term decision that are right for our future through funding all political parties equally. This will bring a real completion and a true, credible, free and fair elections.

To have free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, the elections must be conducted by United Nations. This is a critical transition. At the moment person who was running the Zimbabwe Election Commission Justice Rita Makarawu resigned. This means that new leadership will go through some learning curve before gaining the confidence and experience of managing an electoral systems. United Nations must therefore run Zimbabwe 2018 elections. As part of that arrangement, United Nations should have a budget to fund all political parties equally. This will ensure there is a fair race.

Soldiers must stop assisting ZANU PF during elections. The assistance of ZANU PF to remove Mugabe should not be extended to have soldiers as campaigning agents of ZANU PF because that will intimidate people and free and fair elections will not be achieved. With the appointment of some of the soldiers as ministers the common man views a soldier and ZANU PF as one thing. There is need for money for voter education to rub this misconception in the minds of the people. Participation of soldiers as voting officials will intimidate the communities to vote for ZANU PF. This will not bring a free and fair elections.

Election observers and monitors should be deployed four months before the elections. All interested stakeholders must be accredited to observe the election. Also ZEC laws with regard to conduct of candidates must be enforceable so that those who bend the rules are brought to book.

With the Mugabe era now over, what are your expectations from the Mnangagwa administration and looking at the future, what are your fears and hopes for the country?

Mnangagwa is just there to complete the term of the former President Robert Mugabe. With his will to deal with corruption, Mnangagwa is able to bring a political environment that can bring confidence to bring elections. My expectation from Mnangagwa’s Administration is that it will continue tracking down criminals and correcting banking sector confidence. My fears with Mnangagwa administration is that he is flanked with soldiers which may degenerate into a military government. My hope for Zimbabwe is that 2018 elections will be held as scheduled. This will give GPM opportunity to get in and form a government that will implement Zimbabwe Massive Economic Projects Approach (ZIMEPA). GPM Manifesto Forward Together. Construction of a New City, Mandatory Old Age Pension, Child welfare allowance to mothers with children less than 5 years, Over 3 million on line jobs, Full employment, massive water body development, tarred road connectivity. My hope is to have a happy Zimbabwe. A Zimbabwe in which every area is able to prosper. A Zimbabwe with a modern industrial strategy to spread opportunity across the whole country. A Zimbabwe in which work pays, with a higher national living wage and proper rights and protection at work. A Zimbabwe in which the economy is strong to support world-class public services, with the most ambitious programme of investment in people, technology and buildings the National Health Service has ever seen; record – and fair – funding for schools; and the first ever proper plan to pay for – and provide – social care. And a Zimbabwe in which burning injustices are tackled and overcome, with the first new Mental Health Bill after thirty years to put parity of esteem at the heart of treatment and end the stigma of mental illness once and for all. This is my plan for a stronger Zimbabwe and a prosperous future. It is a declaration of intent: a commitment to get to grips with the great challenges of our time and to take the big, difficult decisions that are right for Zimbabwe in the long-term. That is our greatest hope

 

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Zimbabwe’s top security chefs retire
December 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

General Constantino Chiwenga

General Constantino Chiwenga

It has been an eventful few months in Zimbabwe’s political landscape and it looks like the interesting events that culminated in the fall of long-time leader Robert Mugabe are not ending anytime soon. Yesterday evening, a statement from the government released to the public indicated that several top security chefs in the country had retired.

The statement released indicated that Air Marshall Perrance Shiri is promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshall on retirement; Major General Sibanda is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General on retirement. Major General Engelbert Rugeje is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General on retirement. Lieutenant General Philip Valerio Sibanda is promoted to the rank of a full General and becomes the Commander Defence Forces. Ambassador Major General Edzai Chanyoka is promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and becomes Commander Zimbabwe National Army. Air Vice-Marshall is promoted to the rank of Air Marshall and becomes Commander Airforce of Zimbabwe.

The top two security chefs who previously held the positions of Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantino Chiwenga and the Commissioner General of Police, Augustine Chihuri have been retired from the force, the former retired pending redeployment while the latter retired permanently.

These security sector reforms come less than a month after a change was also made at the helm of the Central Intelligence Organisation. The new President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, overlooked presidential appointee to the position during the Mugabe tenure, Happyton Bonyongwe. Mnangagwa chose to appoint a former ambassador to South Africa, Issac Moyo to the position. By omitting Happyton Bonyongwe from his Cabinet, Mnangagwa effectively fired him from the government.

The timing of these security sector reforms raises many questions among concerned citizens and the world at large. The first thing is that they were announced the very same day that the military gave a presser saying they have ended Operation Restore Legacy, the operation that led to the resignation of Robert Mugabe and led to the arrest of many Mugabe aides in government.

The question therefore many people are asking is, is this the start of the militarisation of the state or it’s a case of the President rewarding the army for helping him ascend to the throne.

On the part of militarisation of the state, it seems reasonably clear that to a larger extent the army is now involved in government operations and they now occupy some of the most important and strategic offices in government. Retired Air Marshall Perrance Shiri is leaving the forces to become the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement on a full-time basis. This ministry is responsible for overseeing the Command Agriculture Program that was successful last year and resulted in the country producing surplus maize. The Command Agriculture Program did have some military personnel last year so the President decided to give the military another shot at the program in the hope the results will be the same this year.

Major General S.B Sibanda famous for being the face of the military takeover after announcing the news on Live TV becomes the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He becomes Zimbabwe’s top diplomatic responsible for re-engaging with the West after years of toxic relations. Major General Engelbert Rugeje becomes the ZANU (PF) political commissar. He becomes the chief mobiliser for the ruling party. This means the ruling party gets a military man as a mobiliser, roughly 9 months before elections. Time will tell if he will not use his influence in the military in his mobilisation drive towards the 2018 harmonised elections.

Of the top two security chefs retired, it looks like the Commissioner General of Police; Augustine Chihuri has been effectively fired from the government. According to the statement released yesterday announcing the new changes, the Commissioner-general “started his leave on 15th December 2017 pending retirement from the service.” On the other hand, the Commander Defence Forces, General Constantino Chiwenga “is set to retire pending redeployment.”

Various sources inside the government claim that Chiwenga is set to be named as Zimbabwe’s Vice President. This however too many comes as a surprise as they view that his position as the Commander Defence Forces that he is departing is more important and powerful than the position of the Vice President. The Vice President position is more of a ceremonial position, a Vice President does not wield many powers, even if left in an acting capacity during a President’s absence there is only so much he or she can do according to the country’s constitution.

Despite all these changes, there is still one position that the President has not decided on and that position is very important more so as the country warms up to an election year, the position of Chairperson, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is responsible for conducting elections but with the recent resignation of its Chairperson, Rita Makarau, the post needs to be filled urgently for the body to continue its voter registration exercise effectively and smoothly. All eyes are on this position, the constitution says only a judge or a person qualifying as a High Court judge can become ZEC Chairperson. From the army, the President can find such a person but will it go down well with the public and opposition considering they are already calling for electoral reforms, it’s a wait and see game.

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Zimbabwean government begins talks with former white farmers
December 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

The new political dispensation in Zimbabwe is ushering in a new era of political, economic and social reforms aimed at restoring the country’s ‘Jewel of Africa’ tag that had been made redundant by years of poor leadership under the Robert Mugabe era.

One of the keys factors for Zimbabwe’s declining stock both locally and internationally came as a result of the controversial Land Reform Program of the early 2000s that led to the death, torture, and displacement of many White Zimbabwean farmers. The Land Reform Program in its wake led to a myriad of other factors that rapidly led to Zimbabwe’s economic downfall including the start of toxic relations between the country and the West, which at the time had been Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner and the biggest providers of foreign capital.

Recognising that broad-based growth and development is only possible if the country engages and has cordial relations with all states in the world, the new Zimbabwean leadership has initiated a drive that will see the government embarking on foreign trips to countries where former Zimbabwean white farmers have sought refuge. The aim is to show them that the country is now on a path of recovery, they are very important in this new journey as their skills, and experience will make the journey smoother and faster.

The government has identified several countries to visit seeking re-engagement with the former white farmers. To date, the government has visited neighbouring Zambia.

Last week a delegation led by the Deputy Minister of Finance, Terrence Mukupe met with some former white farmers in Zambia. Speaking after the meeting, Mukupe said that he had a fruitful discussion with the farmers. He said he told them the message from the President, Emmerson Mnangagwa that there are many opportunities for them back at home. He said they were crucial in the development of the country and the economy needs them, as they were responsible for making Zimbabwe the breadbasket of Africa in the early years after independence.

Mukupe said the former white farmers have to be treated like any other Zimbabwean and they need to have the same opportunities as any other Zimbabwean. Mukupe said the President’s message of letting bygones be bygones that he said in his inauguration speech applies to ‘all’ Zimbabweans.

Mukupe also stated that there are some fields such as in horticultural products, macadamias, and growing of bananas where the experience of former white farmers is crucially needed if the country is to develop in these areas.

At the turn of the century, hundreds of thousands of white farmers fled the country after the violent land seizures mostly to South Africa, Zambia, Britain, and Australia. After the Land Reform Program, agricultural production plummeted and millions of farmworkers were left homeless and destitute.

The President has already shown that he is not uttering empty words as he recently ordered that a white farmer who had lost his land this month receive it back. This marks a major shift from the controversial Land Reform Policy of the Mugabe era.

Since crossing the border into neighbouring Zambia, former Zimbabwean white farmers have transformed Zambia’s agriculture sector from small-scale production. Land that previously produced half a tonne per hectare is now producing 4 to 5 tonnes per hectare. The result is that Zambia is now self-reliant and produces more than it can consume. In recent years, Zambia has been exporting surplus maize to Zimbabwe.

The first trip to Zambia raises a lot of optimism to the country as the former Zimbabwean white farmers living in Zambia said they were homesick and willing to move back to Zimbabwe and take part in the new dispensation.

The next port of call for the delegation include trips to Nigeria, USA, Australia, and the UK. The delegation hopes farmers in these countries will express the same sentiments as those expressed by former Zimbabwean white farmers residing in Zambia.

 

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