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South African President Served with a Suspension Letter from his Party
May 7, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ruling ANC are going through turbulent times

In an ironic turn of events, the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was served with a suspension letter by his party, the African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Ace Magashule who surprisingly is also under a suspension. According to several reports from local media outlets in the country, President Ramaphosa was infuriated with Magashule’s actions.

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule in a letter in which he expressed his desire to appeal his suspension said that using the powers bestowed upon him as the Secretary General of the Party, he was suspending Cyril Ramaphosa who is the party President. In the letter, Magashule said that he was incorrectly suspended by his deputy Jessie Duarte and as such, his suspension was basically a nonentity.

In her statement, the deputy Secretary General of the ANC said that she was suspending Magashule for fanning factionalism in the party and also giving him much needed space to answer to allegations of corruption leveled against him.

The morning after he was served a suspension letter, Cyril Ramaphosa according to local media outlet Mail & Guardian met with the ANC’s parliamentary caucus. According to one of the attendees, “He (Ramaphosa) was shocked by the letter, but he said it has no standing in the ANC, and other NEC members also reflected that the letter would be discussed over the weekend at the national executive committee (NEC) meeting.”

Many ANC stalwarts said they were left puzzled with Magashule’s letter as he in previous national working committee (NWC) meetings never muted anything along the lines of suspending the party President. They are of the view that the suspension letter is part of Magashule’s reaction to his own suspension at the hands of his deputy.

Magashule has since defended his actions saying that he is suspending the party President for the same reasons that he is being suspended for that is, giving the party President time to answer to all corrupt allegations he is implicated in. Magashule said he was using the resolutions made during the last Congress where it was agreed that “all those who are alleged, reported and charged” for corrupt practices “must step aside.”

Several political analysts said the move by Magashule will likely lead to something more permanent either towards Magashule or Ramaphosa. Once the ANC’s national executive committee meets, they are likely going to take a more permanent solution to the squabbles between the party President and the Secretary General – the likely outcome at the moment being the removal of the Secretary General from all party structures. This necessitated by the strong support being offered to the party President including from the ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe who in a statement said, “This (ANC) is an organization. You don’t wake up angry and take a decision and communicate it. This is of no consequence because we were at the NWC yesterday, and this decision was not discussed. He makes a decision at his home alone and writes to the president. This is not how decisions are made in an organization.”

Others have however expressed concern that the squabbles may lead to the formation of strong factions in the ANC something that can ultimately lead to the disintegration of the party in the near future.

At the moment, all eyes are looking ahead to the national executive meeting which is going to be held over the weekend. ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe informed the nation about the meeting stating, “The NEC will be meeting over the weekend and will accordingly respond to the Secretary General. The ANC request(s) that the Secretary General respect the decisions of the NEC and subject himself to the discipline of the organization.”

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Relations Between Rwanda and Uganda Could Take Decades To Repair-Kagame tells RPF NEC
May 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Mohammed M. Mupenda

Relations between Uganda and Rwanda have been tense

While some of us have been thinking that the root of the problem between Rwanda and Uganda is known by  two heads of states, and  they could  take the first step to end the row,  this came as a surprise and discouraging when Rwanda’s Paul Kagame revealed that he does not know the real issue!

Addressing about 700 RPF National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting last week, Kagame made it clear Uganda was Rwanda’s single most worrying security threat.

In his first remarks,  President Kagame sounded diplomatic by calling Rwanda’s neighbours by their names, proclaiming that DR Congo and Tanzania have excellent relations with Rwanda and that Burundi is leading the way in improving relations.

“We have only four neighbours. We are at peace with them. We used to have two enemies – the second of the two is the country to our south, which is Burundi. With Burundi we are on the way to understanding one another. Burundians and ourselves seek to live in harmony. Burundi is showing the will. With Democratic Republic of Congo, we have solved our problems and we are collaborating in sorting out previous issues, unlike in previous years. We have never had any problems with Tanzania. We work with them very well. 

He however told RPF cadres that they have issues with only one neighbour country to the north,  in words that could have sounded, interpreted as a warning or wake up call to prevent any eventuality noting that he has built a strong house which is impenetrable to uninvited guests who will be repulsed with ease. 

A former official in Uganda’s government and a comrade in President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s NRA bush war, lived, studied in Uganda   before waging liberation war on Rwanda

With the neighbouring country to the north, they have a question which I have failed to understand. “I lived there, I worked with them, but if you ask me the root of their problem with us, I can’t really tell the matter;”. 

“In conclusion, about this matter, I will thatch my house properly to protect me from the rain. We will install very strong doors so that nobody can force in to rob my properties. If anyone dares invade my house, I will repulse you without any difficulty.”

*Mohammed M. Mupenda is a news correspondent and freelance reporter, who has written for publications in the United States and abroad. He is also a French and East African language interpreter.

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Kenya lifts work permit and visa requirements for Tanzanian investors
May 5, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Tanzanian investors are free to come and do business in Kenya without being required to have business visas or work permits, says President Uhuru Kenyatta told Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has invited Tanzanian investors to do business in Kenya without any fear.

President Kenyatta spoke during the Kenya-Tanzania Business Forum in Nairobi, also attended by the visiting Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu.

Mr. Kenyatta announced a raft of incentive measures aimed at wooing Tanzanian investors to Kenya, saying his administration will eradicate all non-tariff barriers for Tanzanian investors coming to do business in Kenya.

“I want to say this, Tanzanian investors are free to come and do business in Kenya without being required to have business visas or work permits. The only thing you will be required to do is to follow the laid down regulations and the laws that are in place,” said Kenyatta.

Kenya’s Head of State also directed state agencies to clear heavy jam at Namanga and Holili, which barricades free trade flow.

He further ordered health ministers from both countries to move with speed and streamline Covid-19 containment measures required for traders to cross the borders with ease.

“I want to announce two directives and I want them done this week and next week. All concerned ministers please move with speed and unlock the jam in Holili, Taveta and Namanga border points. On Covid-19 certificates, please let the health ministers sit and agree on modalities. If the certificate is issued in Tanzania let those people be allowed to come to Kenya and vice versa,” he added.

He urged the private sector to explore and seize opportunities accorded by bilateral and multilateral agreements available to East Africans, such as the Africa Continental Free Trade Area and the EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), to grow their investments.

“The East African Community, through the East African Customs Union and East African Community Common Market Protocol, has opened our borders and unlocked opportunities for the free movement of goods, services, and investments across the EAC borders. This has paved the way for trade to thrive, new opportunities to emerge and trade to increase,” said President Kenyatta.

Kenyatta further implored Kenyans and Tanzanians to create a conducive environment for business growth instead of competing against each other.

He decried the decrease in trade volume in recent years between the two nations despite having a vibrant and entrepreneurial private sector.

On her side, President Suluhu welcomed the Kenyan private sector to invest in Tanzania.

She said, “The private sector is key to driving growth, that will deliver these jobs, transform labour market, open up opportunities and unleash entrepreneurial spirit.”

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Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu arrives in Nairobi
May 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu on Tuesday morning arrived in Nairobi for a two-day state visit.

The plane carrying her touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport a few minutes to 10 am (local time). She was received by Kenya’s delegates led by the Kenyan Foreign Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.

President Suluhu will proceed to the State House, where she will be received by her Kenyan counterpart President Uhuru Kenyatta. In the State House, she will inspect a guard of honor and receive a 21-gun salute, and after that, she will attend bilateral meetings and consultations.

In the evening, the Kenyan government will hold an official state dinner in the same venue in honor of the only female sitting President in Africa.

She will address a joint sitting of Parliament on Wednesday before holding consultations at a business forum for the Tanzanian and Kenyan business community. She is also expected to address a gathering of executive women in business.

President Suluhu’s visit to Kenya is her second foreign trip since she became President. Last month she met Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala.

She came to power in March this year following the demise of her predecessor John Magufuli.

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UN chief welcomes return to electoral agreement in Somalia
May 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

The United Nations Secretary-General on Saturday welcomed the decision by the Lower House of Somalia’s Federal Parliament to nullify a special law and to return to the 17 September Electoral Agreement that will allow for indirect presidential and parliamentary elections.

NEW YORK, USA, May 04, 2021,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/-In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated his call on all Somali stakeholders to “resume dialogue immediately and forge a consensual agreement on the holding of inclusive elections without further delay”.

“[The Secretary-General] stresses the importance of a broad-based consensus for the country’s stability”, the statement added.

The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) also welcomed the Lower House’s decision to reinstate the electoral agreement.

The “Special Law on Federal Elections” was adopted by the Lower House in April, allowing for the extension of term of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed for a period of two years, after the term officially ended in February.

The extension prompted fighting between pro-Government and opposition supporters in the capital Mogadishu as well as in other parts of the country, amid worries that extremist group al Shabaab could exploit the divisions, according to media reports.

Reports also said that tens of thousands of people fled their homes fearing for their safety following the violence.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of UN News.

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Cameroon: British Gov’t Calls for International, Independent Investigations into Anglophone Crisis
May 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Security forces and non-state armed groups have been accused of carrying out gross human rights violations

The UK government says it is deeply concerned with the ongoing violence in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon as violence continues unabated. The close to five years crisis has led to thousands of persons displaced to neighbouring Nigeria as refugees or in other safe heavens in the country, while others have been killed, maimed or kidnapped for ransom.

In a letter by James Duddridge, MP and Minister for Africa, responding to correspondence from Rt Hon Ed Davey (MP, House of Commons), He said the crisis has continued to have a tragic impact on civilians.

“I will like to assure you that the UK government continues to call for inclusive dialogue that addresses the root causes of the crisis. We have shared our experience of conflict resolution and we call on all parties to remain engaged in Swiss-led efforts to facilitate talks,” the MP said in a statement.

“Reports of human rights violations and abuses by security forces and armed separatists are disturbing. As the UK’s International Ambassador for Human Rights set out at the UN Human Rights Council on February 28, 2021, the violence must end and urgent, impartial investigations must hold the perpetrators to account…”

The Anglophone crisis has led to thousand displaced from their homes

He went on to add that: “In September 2020, I announced 4.5 million pounds of additional funding for Cameroon, to bring the total for 2020 to 13.5 million pounds. This has provided tens of thousands of vulnerable people with food packs, sanitation provisions and medical supplies, as well as training for health workers. “As part of my visit, I travelled to South West Region and met international project partners delivering this vital aid, who described to me the challenges of providing humanitarian support. The UK continues to press the importance of unimpeded humanitarian access.”

Like the UK government, the UN Secretary-General, USA, have all been calling for a meaningful solution to the ongoing crisis. Cameroonians, however, want these countries and international bodies to not simply talk more but their actions should show that they want the crisis to come to an end.

James Duddridge, MP and Minister for Africa

In August 2017, Crisis Group sounded an alarm about the risk of an insurrection in Cameroon’s Anglophone Regions unless genuine dialogue, complete with strong measures to defuse tensions, was initiated. Sadly, that was not the case and the violence escalated to where we are now today

The violence has led both security forces and separatist fighters to be killed. The ordinary citizen has not been left out, facing the wrath of both the security forces and the separatist fighters. They have been accused of supporting one faction with the end not good for them. The UN reports that tens of thousands of civilians have died from the crisis, while hundreds have equally been displaced.

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The African Union Commission and the AU Peace and Security Council Undertake a Fact Finding Mission to the Republic of Chad
April 29, 2021 | 0 Comments
AU Chair Moussa Faki served as Foreign Minister of Chad under late President Idris Deby.Photo credit Farouk Batiche/AFP/Getty Images

N’Djamena, 29 April 2021: The African Union Commission, with the participation of the five (5)) Members of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo in its capacity of Chairperson of the AU, arrived in N’Djamena, Chad today on a seven-day Fact-Finding Mission, from 29 April to 6 May 2021. The mission is led by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Bankole Adeoye, along with the PSC Chairperson for the month of April 2021, H.E. Ambassador M. Idriss Farah of the Republic of Djibouti.

The Fact-Finding Mission is taking place pursuant to the PSC Communique [PSC/BR/COMM.2(CMXCIII)],adopted at its 993rd meeting held on 22 April 2021, on the situation in Chad. The PSC had authorized the AU Commission to constitute a Fact-Finding Mission, with the participation of PSC Members, to visit Chad and engage with the Chadian Authorities on all issues relating to the situation in the country, particularly to support the investigation into the killing of Late President Idriss Deby Itno, and ascertain the facts in an effort to restore constitutionalism.

The Fact-Finding Mission will seek first-hand information from the Chadian Authorities and stakeholders, on the unfolding political and security situation, and examine strategies to facilitate a swift return to constitutional order and democratic governance, while concurrently preserving the security and territorial integrity of Chad.

Furthermore, the Fact-Finding Mission is expected to reaffirm the solidarity of the AU with the Government and people of Chad, as well as the unwavering commitment to support its transition process. 

In its engagement with relevant stakeholders, the Mission will consider core issues germane to the durable peace and stability of Chad, especially in countering terrorism and violent extremism, armed rebellion and transnational organized crime.

The Fact-Finding Mission is scheduled to hold consultations with regional and global actors, including the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the G-5 Sahel and the United Nations (UN), on the potential impact of the current developments in Chad for the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin regions.

The Mission is expected to submit its findings to the AU Peace and Security Council on or before 8 May 2021, for due consideration and decision on the situation in Chad. 

*AU

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John ZYOMBO: « Les politiques publiques déclinées dans le programme du gouvernement sont en phase avec le Plan National Stratégique de Développement »
April 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

John ZYOMBO

Le Premier Ministre Sama Lukonde a présenté son programme du gouvernement ce lundi 26 avril 2021 devant la chambre basse du parlement. Après débat, ce programme a été adopté par une large majorité des députés nationaux présents à cette plénière, soit 412 sur 410.

Selon John Zyombo, Expert en finances publiques et fondateur de MAKINI 4 BUDGET, un groupe de travail budgétaire appliqué en RDC, ce programme n’est pas à confondre avec le budget du gouvernement central, encore moins des collectifs budgétaires.

Voici la réflexion de cet expert en finances publiques qui pense que le programme du gouvernement est différent du budget annuel.

Le Gouvernement Sama a été investi à l’assemblée nationale après l’approbation de son programme d’action qui repose sur 4 secteurs, 15 piliers, 65 axes et 340 actions sur une période de 3 ans.

Quid du programme d’actions

La loi relative aux finances publiques du 13 juillet 2011 qui régit le secteur en RDC, stipule que la politique budgétaire est définie par le Gouvernement central dans un programme approuvé à l’Assemblée Nationale. Ce programme est mis en œuvre par le pouvoir central, la province et l’entité territoriale décentralisée (art. 12 lofip).
En claire, le programme d’actions détermine le contenu des actions, mesures, stratégies arrêtées, mais aussi l’indication de leur coût et de leur financement et enfin, les contraintes et défis majeurs à relever pour atteindre les objectifs de la Nation en fonction de la vision du Chef de l’état.

Les politiques publiques déclinées dans le dit programme sont en phase avec le Plan National Stratégique de Développement (PNSD) qui fait suite au Document de Stratégie de Croissance et de réduction de la pauvreté (DSCRP-2).

En définitif, le Plan d’action du gouvernement regorge l’ensemble des mesures prises par les pouvoirs publics, relatives aux dépenses et aux recettes de l’Etat, qui visent à atteindre certains équilibres et objectifs macroéconomiques

Budget du pouvoir central

La loi de finances de l’année ou budget du pouvoir central, est un acte par lequel sont prévues et autorisées les ressources et les charges du pouvoir central pour un exercice budgétaire donné.
La loi de finances en détermine, dans le respect de l’équilibre budgétaire et financier, la nature, le montant et l’affectation. Elle est la traduction financière annuelle du Programme d’action du Gouvernement de la République.

Le budget traduit donc la politique du Gouvernement exprimée sous forme des crédits ou montants sollicités, devant être convertis en moyens financiers, et à travers les autorisations de prélever les montants des impôts et taxes devant lui permettre de couvrir les dépenses.

Les collectifs budgétaires

La loi de finances rectificative peut, en cours d’année, modifier certaines dispositions de la loi de finances de l’année.
Pour le cas sous étude du Gouvernement Sama, les collectifs budgétaires seront soumis à l’approbation du parlement congolais (autorité budgétaire) pour modifier la loi de finances en cours, en vue d’intégrer les modifications qui tendent à revoir à la hausse le budget du pouvoir central

Jules Ninda

L’article John ZYOMBO: « Les politiques publiques déclinées dans le programme du gouvernement sont en phase avec le Plan National Stratégique de Développement » est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.

Source: Matininfos

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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NESTING FOR TERRORISM IN BENIN
April 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ambassador Omar Arouna*

By eroding the hard earned democratic gains of Benin, President Patrice Talon is opening a new breeding ground for terrorism ,says Ambassador Omar Arouna

It might be the sign of the times or the harbinger of what is to come. For example, in Russia organizations linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny are designated « terrorist and extremist », in Belarus criminal probe against the nation’s top opposition leaders on charge of terrorism are launched. Such charges keep away human rights advocates from raising effective objections, thereby enabling authoritarian regimes to perpetrate crackdown on opposition without due process.  New breeds of autocrats in Africa are using pages from the same playbook.

African’s new autocrats are arbitrary imprisoning opposition leaders on trumped up charges of terrorism and are cracking down on opposition’s strongholds and region favorable to the opposition under the watchful eye of the international community kept at bay in the name of terrorism. Unfortunately, in Africa the danger of that playbook lies in that, it creates breeding ground for real terrorism.  Especially in the west African region where countries, such as Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Mauritania Niger, Nigeria, Chad are already under actual terrorists’ attacks from Boko Haram, ISWAP or Al -Qaeda and extremist organizations are actively recruiting youth in disenfranchises populations.

In Benin for example, having achieved the feat of embarking on the most serious democratic retreat in modern African history, Patrice Talon following the April 11, 2021 exclusive presidential election, in an unprecedented purge of the country’s opposition is taking pages from the terrorism playbook.  Reckya Madougou the first female flag bearer of Benin’s largest opposition party and à former minister of justice has been arrested on a trump up charge of « terrorism and financing of terrorism »; Professor Frederick Joel Aivo a well-known constitutionalist and another opposition candidate is under arrest on similar charges.

Excursions into domicile of former president Boni Yayi the honorary chairman of the country’s largest opposition party are routinely performed by the political police. To date over 150 oppositions members and counting have been arrested on similar trump up charges, without due process. Frustration is high within the political elite and populations of the northern part of the of the country, a traditional stronghold of the opposition. The predominantly Muslim northern region is routinely ransacked by the country’s security apparatus. Young people in the region are massively arrested or simply shot in the name of a pseudo fight against terrorism.

 

Under Patrice Talon Benin has lost its shine as a democratic success story in Africa

Frustration often leads to aggressive behavior and since 2016, Patrice Talon’s Administration created an unprecedented resentment and frustration among the population of Benin and especially in the northern part of country. Within a four year span, following exclusive elections, twice the population of the hunter’s community –“les chasseurs”- in the region has taken arms to defend themselves against the regular army sent to track oppositions members and twice the population by mounting roadblocks on major highways have attempted to isolate the region from the rest of the country in response to what is perceived as 4 years of government exactions and infringement on basic democratic rights and liberties.

In avoiding adherence to human rights obligations and commitments and to camouflage the authoritarian turn of the country, Patrice Talon and his government resorted to lift pages from the playbook of terrorism, sources of instability and conflict and thereby are creating actual recruitment conditions and breeding ground for actual terrorism.

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RDC : Sama Lukonde veut établir une administration militaire dans les zones en proie à l’instabilité
April 26, 2021 | 0 Comments

Palais du peuple

Devant l’Assemblée nationale ce lundi 26 mars, le Premier Ministre a reparti son programme sur 15 piliers dont 62 axes, desquelles sont ressorties 343 actions que son Gouvernement compte mener de 2021 à 2023.

« Initialement évalué à 11 milliards de USD en 2020, le budget dudit programme a été modifié pour intégrer notamment les effets néfastes sur l’économie de la pandémie à corona virus apparue en mars 2020, lesquels effets ont perturbé les prévisions initiales, conduisant à l’adoption à la baisse, à mi-parcours, d’une loi de finances rectificative à concurrence de 8,4 milliards USD », a fait savoir Sama Lukonde.

Le Gouvernement de l’Union Sacrée, a-t-il poursuivi, est engagé à relever le pays et à le remettre « debout » pour le rendre fort. Pour cela, son action dans le secteur politique, justice, défense et sécurité s’articule autour de trois piliers majeurs, à savoir : pacification et promotion de la réconciliation, de la cohésion et de l’unité nationales.

En ce qui concerne la pacification de l’Est du Pays, notamment Beni, Minembwe, Butembo, Ituri, le gouvernement va « établir une administration militaire dans les zones en proie à l’instabilité et aux conflits, proclamer l’état d’urgence sécuritaire dans les zones concernées et décréter un effort de guerre sur l’ensemble du territoire national », promet Sama Lukonde qui annonce, de ce fait, la « création des unités d’élite mieux formées et bien équipées dans l’Armée et dans la Police capables d’opérer dans les zones de conflit ».

A l’en croire, son équipe mettra en place les structures et déployer le personnel militaire et policier conséquent dans ces zones, établir, en soutien à l’Administration militaire, la justice militaire dans les zones en proie à l’instabilité et aux conflits, mettre en place les structures et déployer les magistrats militaires dans les zones concernées et impliquer davantage les autorités coutumières et les communautés des zones concernées par le processus de pacification.

PM

L’article RDC : Sama Lukonde veut établir une administration militaire dans les zones en proie à l’instabilité est apparu en premier sur Matininfos.NET – Information de la RDC en toute impartialité.

Source: Matininfos

Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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Reflections on 60 Years of Sierra Leone’s Independence Between Quest for Nationhood and Dependency.
April 26, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Alhaji U. N’jai*

On April 27th, 2021, Sierra Leone as a nation turns 60. Celebrations across the country to mark Independence Day have become a usual tradition. There is nothing bad with fellow Sierra Leoneans celebrating Independence. After all, our colonial era began with the British Crown Colony establishment in 1808 and annexation of the entire country through establishment of a British Protectorate in 1896. Colonial era was a period of harsh, crude, and inhuman de-culturation of our people. All forms of resistance including Bai Bureh and many others were met and crushed with heavy force. So, in 1961, Sierra Leone gained independence, thanks in part to our deadly mosquitoes that made it unbearable for the British, and in part to the steadfast endeavors of our many ancestor’s nationalists from across the country, who organized themselves under the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). The country was ushered into Independence by Sir Milton Margai of the SLPP, who was considered a “nice person” and a “good leader” at the time. Mr. Margai, though a nice gentleman then, lacked the transformative vision to carve a unique decolonization direction and national agenda for Sierra Leone beyond the British legacy. As a result, the formation of a genuine national agenda was replaced by political party and regional agenda, which up to date continues to plague national development efforts.

 Sixty years later, we are as dependent as ever; dependent mentally, psychologically, socially, economically, politically, scientifically, technologically, and in all things considered. Is it Happy free dependence day? Are we as a country Sierra Leone free, politically, economically, and culturally? The argument could be made that we are free politically, in as much as we are ‘freely electing’ and changing governments. This then brings me to the core of why I chose to merely just reflect on the day, what our ancestors had to go through under colonial rule, and how they must be turning around in their graves from our failures and lack of direction to lead our societies to prosperity. I often reflect on this ancestral curse and our inability to completely decolonize ourselves leading to new forms of colonialism, imperialism, slavery, low self-esteem, and reduction to beggar nations. It was Patrice Lumumba who famously said that “the Belgian’s have granted us (Zaire now Democratic Republic of Congo) political independence on the one hand and the other taken economic independence away from us.” These words hold true to this day, political independence minus economic independence. The question to be asked today is, are we as independent nations politically, culturally, and economically free.? Can we re-write our history with a new paradigm that has Sierra Leone and Africa interests front and center.? If development is modernization minus dependency, can we assert that true development is taking place.?   

Let us revisit the case for political independence with regards to the nation state and political dispensation in Sierra Leone. In 1884, 14 European Countries gathered in Berlin to partition Africa among themselves. No African or country was invited. Today European Union (EU) is sending observers to Sierra Leone and other African Elections to make sure that the colonial hegemony continues in the great disguise of democracy. In the psycho-affective realm of funding our elections, economic and cultural emancipation are never the consideration. It simply ensures the colonialists unfettered access and control of the colony’s natural resources and political economy. What we simply have in the last 60 years in Sierra Leone is a kind of old wine in new bottles paradigm and a welcome to neocolonialism, the British Sovereign Club aka Commonwealth club. All aspects of our lives have been and continues to be “Britishmanism” with colonial acculturation to the highest degree.

The same colonial education with limited connections to our cultural experience; same old colonial laws and legal systems for a different cultural experience; same economic systems that are largely extractive, exploitative, and geared towards supporting our British Colonial or western societies. There is no emphasis or attempts at economic emancipation from the colonial master or creating opportunities and the conditions for local economic stimulation or boom that creates wealth and thriving healthy society. Rather we have become perennially dependent on donors, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), or World Bank loans, and a whole host of non-governmental organizations, and foreign nations helping us run our country. This foreign domination syndrome is aptly captured by Dr. Y.K. Amoako of the UN Commission for Africa Executive Secretary “Africa is the only region in the world where foreign development paradigms dominate her development process.” Not only does this indicate that Africa’s development process is not “culturally close” to Africans, but also a revelation that African elites are mediocre in both their intellectualizing and their direction of the continent’s progress.”

Indeed, that intellectual mediocrity along with a heavy affinity and taste for the colonial lifestyle has become endemic, permeating all facets of our cultural space. In fact, the nature of westernization and acculturation in Sierra Leone and many other African countries surpasses all regions of the world. Prof. Ali A. Mazrui succinctly describes the nature of westernization in Africa as compared to the Japanese experience, “the nature of westernization in Africa has been very different. Far from emphasizing western productive technology and reducing western lifestyles and verbal culture, Africa has reversed the Japanese order of emphasis. Among the factors which have facilitated this reversal has been the role of the African university as a vehicle of Western influence on African culture.” Yes, the African University and systems of education that emphasizes western culture and lifestyles as superior to the African way has played a huge role. There has been limited emphasis on indigenization or domestication of modernization based on our habits, norms, and value systems. In fact, we have simply handed our colonial masters or the west ownership of knowledge and any form of intellectualization process. 

Our knowledgebase systems are insufficient, archaic and does not meet modern standards. For any African knowledgebase in Science, Arts, Engineering, Literature, History, Humanities, and the like to be accepted, it must have a colonial master or western validation or seal of approval. We “the colonized” have now been reduced to accepting this as our fate, a kind of status quo that we cannot change. Hence, we remain impotent, disable and unable to effectively change the course of the colonial master. You cannot blame our current leaders for being retrogressive since their minds are still heavily colonized. Colonization has clouded their minds to the extent that they lack the knowhow and wherewithal for true sustainable development that requires as in Japan domestication of modernization and indigenization. Hence, the only way out for many is continuous dependence on western nations and ties such as the commonwealth, UN, or Francophone.

We are so colonized that we celebrate our Sierra Leone or African leaders meeting and dining with the Queen of London. African leaders attending Commonwealth summit and dining with Queen is a sucker punch in the face for all Africans, specifically our African ancestors who suffered the wreath of British colonial rule. A colonial loot, the Queen continues to enjoy at the expense of us Africans. The commonwealth has never been common, and it is wealth stolen from Africa, India and others. This is our wealth and must be given back to Africa, India, and all where it was forcibly looted. The relationship should no longer be one of master and colonized. It should be based on equal partnership and not “Laybelleh” relationship. If that relationship must continue, we must take on the leadership.

This is no longer time for Queen/royal family and colonial subjects. It’s about complete decolonization and forging our own paths as well as destiny. And decolonization means complete decolonization and not replacing one colonist with another aka China, India or others. Frantz Fanon must be turning around in his grave from the realization that the complete decolonization from the colonizer has not occurred since Wretched of the Earth came out in 1961. Indeed, if Frantz Fanon was alive today, he will have seen an Africa that is largely independent from the colonizer but an Africa still at war with itself captured beautifully in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. The colonizer may be gone but the colonized mind is still with us and we are at war with ourselves. The totality of being a Sierra Leonean and an African will come with decolonization of the mind. This process of decolonization is liberating and aligns the mind to the body physique. We breathe again as Sierra Leoneans with a renewed vigor and sense of purpose to effectively utilize our resources for social good. 

The nation state of Sierra Leone still suffers from the residual effects of colonialism and systemic racism that now interestingly intersect with ethnic polarization. Over 130 years of colonialism and systemic racism in Sierra Leone sowed the seeds of self-hate and self-doubt. We all have been conditioned to hate ourselves; to hate our dark skins; to hate ourselves based on imaginary national boundaries of colonial construct. We are Sierra Leoneans, Guineans, Liberians, Gambians, Senegalese, Malians divided by a colonial construct despite strong family and ethnic ties. The Ebola virus disease taught us the hard lesson that we are all connected as a people, but we continue to work in silos and in line with our colonial masters (Sierra Leone with Britain, Liberia with US, and Guinea with France). We cannot get ECOWAS or Mano River Union to work for us and address common issues simply because of colonial allegiances.

As a nation state, we practice democracy based on ethnic numbers and self-hate; we elect our political leaders, hire and fire people based on ethnic sentiments and differences; we care less whether our actions hurt others or communities, if we perceive them to be different. We have in effect tied resource allocation to ethnicity or political tribes and at some point, weaponized tribalism as a mechanism of oppressing progressive voices, which have in effect held us as national hostages. As Frantz Fanon, notes “there is always a danger of the nation states in Africa to disintegrate along ethnic lines”. National Consciousness and a National Agenda should be borne out of the concerted action of the people, which embodies the actual aspirations of the people and transforms the state, which depends on exceptionally inventive cultural manifestations for its very existence.

In the post-colonial African states, all aspects of our traditional African value systems have been replaced by the values and even vices of the colonizer and their neo-liberal allies.

 First, Greed and individual material self-interests replaces the traditional communal sharing systems; Britishmanism, Frenchmanism, and Europeamanisms have become the order of the day. Second, African education systems replaced by a colonial western formal education that has enhanced both academic (Science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, and humanities) and cultural dependency, therefore everything African has to be evaluated and validated from a Eurocentric lens, the culture of dominance and power; Third, long-sighted visionary and transformational Panafrican Independence leaders replaced by mediocre leaders, whose shortsightedness are enjoyed by the western donors or colonialists as it ensures the chain of dependency and unfettered access to Africa’s resources is maintained. Fourth, African traditional pluralistic religions replaced by monotheism and strong tendencies for dichotomy; you are either Christian or not, Muslim or not, and no tendency to combine them.

By contrast, African traditional religions are less dichotomous, less monotheistic, and are readily accepting of other religions, which allows for greater plurality and acceptance of diversity.  Fifth, African ingenuity, self-reliance, and economic activity replaced by donor funding, foreign investments (world bank, IMF), International NGOs, foreign aid, multinational investments, and variety of half-sighted neoliberal foreign economic models that are unsustainable, inimical to the African needs, and ensures economic dependency.

Therefore, continental Africans continue to be trapped in some form of neo-colonialism, systemic racism, mediocre leaderships, ethnic polarization, and dependency, respectively. In the same vein, the vicious cycle of poverty, despair, violence, wars, and underdevelopment has taken hold in communities and countries. The divide and rule actions of the oppressor also makes it impossible for unity of the oppressed African people; many of whom are caught up in self-hate, ethnic rivalries, disunity, and distorted views of their own histories provided by the same oppressors bent on keeping them apart.

So, at 60 years of independence, Sierra Leone is somewhat of a paradox. A nation with tremendous natural and human resource potentials that has shown deep resilience through war, deadly Ebola epidemic, landslide, and Covid19; and we could also give ourselves just a little pat on the back for some progress made in education, health facilities, anti-graft fight, and a few more. But, sadly as a nation, we are as dependent as ever, we are as hungry (food poor and insecure) as ever, we are as corrupt as ever, and we are ranked among lowest in human development index across Africa despite being one of the most naturally endowed in the continent.

  In the last 30 years of the 60 years of “Independence”, we have become the land of survivors or rather the bland simulacrum of desolate living standards. Yes oh, War Survivors, Ebola Survivors, Landslide Survivors, Hajjgate Survivors, Tollgate Survivors, Austerity Survivors, Deforestation and Timber logging Survivors, Okada Survivors, WASSCE Exam Survivors, No Job Survivors, Job with no pay Survivors, Trafficking or Kuwait Survivors, Suck Air Survivors, Beggar Beggar Survivors, Moneygram/Western Union Survivors, Political Rally Survivors, Police Brutality Survivors, Foreign Debt Survivors, Temple Run Survivors, Inflation Survivors and All Things Considered Survivors. The Temple Run Survivors just simply re-iterates the lack of hope in Sierra Leone for young people.

How can we as a nation celebrate independence when a significant proportion will rather die in the Mediterranean seas off Libya than live here. People are risking it all, including been sold as slaves in Libya or other countries just to leave. Migration in the independent state should be about choice and hope. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres nicely states that “migration should be an active hope, and not despair.” Yet, in Sierra Leone these hopes have now been replaced by despair and act of survivorship aka “we dae manage” has become normalized. Survivorship and hardships brought on by greed, corruption, power intoxication by politicians and leadership that is as narcissistic and vainglorious as ever.  Hence, clouded by the narcissism and desire for public praise where there is none, Politicians want the poor ignorant victims of their loot to thank them for making roads, hospitals, and providing basic services for which they are elected to make happen. It’s often as if they are doing the populace a favor and of course it works well because they have succeeded in keeping the populace ignorant through a failed educational system.

True sustainable development in Sierra Leone requires political, economic, and cultural independence. In other words, a complete decolonization of our minds, institutions, structures, and functions. It requires a paradigm shift that puts our Sierra Leone/African values front and center “an inward thinking and outward outlook approach.” Thinking first from within African values, national agendas and matching African values with the enabling aspects of their colonial legacies and the global values. In addition, intellectually linking our Sierra Leonean and African values to the wider world of scholarship, science, engineering, and technology.

To break the cycle of dependency in Sierra Leone and across Africa, may require nothing short of a revolution, a break with current capitalist structures that ensures western hegemonic dominance. The series of revolutions that won’t be televised, should at the very least include; a Blue Intellectual revolution from which new sources of knowledge should emerge; a green revolution for food security, greater control of Sierra Leone/Africa’s natural resources; a black revolution that culturally empowers Sierra Leoneans; a red revolution that creates strong sense of national consciousness, unity, identity, and cohesion, that links young and old through mentorship, service, volunteerism, projects, and cultural education; a yellow revolution that ushers industrialization and wealth creation; and a white, pink, purple, orange, and so revolutions that ensues all aspects of self-reliance and sustainability are attained. Ultimately, Sierra Leone requires development that is closely aligned with our cultural space, economic emancipation and taking ownership of our resources at all stages of the value chain. It requires imagination, vision and building capacity at all levels, functions, and disciplines in the country.

This ultimately requires building a strong University system and domesticating modern systems to suit local needs or modernizing from local systems and architecture.  However, it ultimately requires a unique African leadership and governance that is devoid of corruption, greed and can put forward bold, transformational, phenomenal vision for the country to make a difference in lives at all ages and the build resilient thriving population and communities.

Finally, as Fanon put its aptly in The Wretched of the Earth, “Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.” Therefore, to achieve full and total liberation of the African people will require unification of thoughts, economic freedom, self-reliance, and politically powerful Africa. An economically and politically powerful federated Africa (including the Diaspora) will restore the dignity of its people and ensure that it resources are utilized to the benefits of its people and preserve the diverse cultures of its people. We must work towards a collective national and continental agenda for Sierra Leone and Africa, decolonize our systems, de-link resource allocation along party or ethnic lines and refrain from utilizing tribalism as a weapon of mass oppression that favors the bourgeoisie class elites strangle hold of power. We must now as individual citizens of Sierra Leone and as a government retrospect on what is our National Agenda. We must strive for a national identity and oneness borne out of patriotism and culture that is seen and felt by everyone.

*Alhaji Umar N’jai is a Senior Scientist, Professor, Panafrican Scholar, Founder & Chief Strategist of Project 1808, Inc., and Freelance writer ‘Roaming in the Mountains of Kabala Republic’. #Jata #Meejoh #ThePeoplesScientist

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President Kagame promotes top Police, correctional services officers
April 25, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean Amour Mbonyinshuti

Photo KT Press

The President Paul Kagame on Saturday promoted senior officials from Rwanda National Police and Rwanda Correction Services.

The promotion was announced was made by Johnstone Busingye, the Minister for Justice and the attorney general whose ministry oversees both institutions.  

“HE Paul Kagame, President of the Republic, has promoted Officers of the Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rwanda Correctional Service as follows: Deputy Commissioner General (DCG RNP) Daniel Munyuza is promoted to Commissioner-General RNP,”

“Deputy Commissioner-General (DCG RNP) Juvenal Malizamunda is promoted to Commissioner-General Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS), DCG RCS Chantal Ujeneza to Deputy Commissioner General, Rwanda National Police. Commissioner of Police Felix Namuhoranye is promoted to Deputy Commissioner General, Rwanda National Police,” Minister Busingye tweeted on Saturday.

Rwanda National Police (RNP) and Rwanda Correctional Services (RCS) officers were promoted almost 10 days after the cabinet made changes.

The cabinet appointed Malizamunda as Commissioner General of RCS, replacing outgoing Commissioner General George Rwigamba who was not re-appointed.

Previously Malizamunda  was serving as the Deputy Inspector General in charge of Administration and Finance at RNP and was replaced by Ujeneza who previously served as Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons.

CG Munyuza has been IGP since October 2018 after taking over from CG Emmanuel Gasana, whom he had deputized since 2013. Ntamuhoranye retained his position but got promoted in rank from Commissioner of Police (CP) to Deputy Commissioner General (DCG).

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