Sunday, February 19, 2017

Namibian Hero Backs President Mugabe
Morris Mkwate News Editor
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

President Mugabe continues to provide strong leadership to Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe, and only the people can determine his mandate and tenure, Namibia’s Founding Father Dr Sam Nujoma has said. In an interview with Zimpapers Television Network in Windhoek, Namibia last week, Dr Nujoma provided insights into his strong friendship with President Mugabe and how the two iconic figures of
African independence have maintained close contact for decades.

He also revisited his explosive 2002 Earth Summit in South Africa speech in which he openly confronted then British prime minister Tony Blair over his interference in Zimbabwe’s affairs; a meeting still remembered for President Mugabe’s stern warning: “So, Blair, keep your England and let me keep my Zimbabwe.”

Last week, Dr Nujoma said President Mugabe enjoyed expansive support.

“(President Mugabe’s tenure) is the decision of the people of Zimbabwe, and no foreigners should interfere in the internal affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe. We should not listen to foreigners (regarding such matters). We should make our own decisions and maintain that because our unity is very important.

“The leadership of Zanu-PF is strong and has the support of all the people of Zimbabwe, and no foreigners should be allowed to interfere in the internal affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Dr Nujoma went on: “Our friendship (with President Mugabe) is based on unity of purpose and action. We fought together against colonialism and minority white occupation led by Ian Smith in Zimbabwe and John Vorster’s apartheid regime in Namibia. And we succeeded.

“So we have to ensure that there is no neocolonialism and no economic control by other forces outside our region and continent. Those are the days I remember when we assisted each other, and finally we achieved our genuine freedom and independence … I think we are strong.

“Yes, after independence, we continued with our relationship at party as well as government level to ensure unity of purpose and action were maintained; not only between Zimbabwe and Namibia, but across the entire continent of Africa. And yes, we do contact each other from time to time …”

Regarding his confrontation with Mr Blair, he said: “I believe that the people of Zimbabwe make their own decisions and nobody else must interfere.”

At the Earth Summit, Dr Nujoma caught Mr Blair by surprise, openly criticising him for advocating debilitating economic sanctions on Zimbabwe on the back of its revolutionary land reforms.
Nujoma: Reflections of An Icon
HE Dr Sam Nujoma

My maternal grandfather, Kondombolo Ka Kambulua, grew up in Uukuambi during the reign of Chief Nujoma UaHeelu.

Kondombolo was trained as a warrior and a herbalist.  My parents, like my grandfather and many generations before them, were born in Uukuambi and were both from the Royal Family.

My father was Utoni Daniel Nujoma uaMutshimba, Mutshimba guaKandenge, Kandenge ka Negumbo, Negumbo IjaKoongoti.

My mother was Mpingana Helvi ja Kondombolo, Kondombolo ka Nakathingo ja Kambulua ka Hango, Hango ja Ndjuluua ja Kiinge ka Mukongo, Mukongo guaTshijala, Tsha Namundjanga guaNambala.

Of my immediate family with whom I grew up at my parents’ home, I was the first born; born on 12 May 1929 in Ongandjera District.

We were 11 children all in all, but now we are only six – three boys and three girls.

As the eldest son, I had to look after the little ones, even carrying them on my back. I also had to look after the cattle and goats and do other household chores befitting a first-born son.

My father made sure that I was properly trained and prepared both mentally and physically to be self-reliant. I had to go through all rituals and had to journey to the salt pan known as Ekango lyOmongua.

When I grew older, boys of my age were forced to go under the contract labour system.

I departed from Ondangwa through Tsumeb to Grootfontein and caught a train to Swakopmund before continuing our journey to Walvis Bay.

I arrived in Walvis Bay in December 1946 and stayed with my aunt, Julia Gebhardt Nandjule.

In 1946, at the age of 17, I began to work for a monthly salary of 10 shillings at a general store owned by Hugo Ludwig, a German.

When my aunt Julia passed on, I went to Windhoek at the beginning of 1949 and joined my uncle, Hiskia Kondombolo, and started working by day while attending adult school at night.

I was also introduced to St Barnabas Night School by Tate Aron Hamutenya who was working for the South African Railway. We used to live in the old location.

In 1956, I got married to Theopoldine Kovambo Katjimune and had three sons; Utoni Daniel, John Ndeshipanda and Sakaria Nefungo plus one daughter, Nelago, born in 1959.

In 1957, at the age of 29, I resigned from the South African Railways with the purpose of devoting my time to politics.

On August 2, 1957, the Ovamboland People’s Organisation was formed by Namibians working in Cape Town but who were later deported to the north by the boers for petitioning to the United Nations.

As the spirit of Pan-Africanism grew in us with the independence of Ghana in 1957, we formed the Ovamboland People’s Organisation in Windhoek with the aim to end the South African colonial administration and the contract labour system.

It is against this background that we were involved in the Windhoek Uprising against the relocation to Katutura.

After December 10, 1959, I became fully involved in politics.

In February 1966, after constant harassment and incarceration by the apartheid colonial administration, a decision was taken by OPO and the Herero Chiefs’ Council for me to be taken out of the country to reinforce Fanuel Kazonguizi, Mburumba Kerina and Rev Michael Scott in their petitioning at the United Nations.

I left the country on February 29, 1960 and went to Francistown, Botswana; from Francistown to Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia; from Salisbury to Northern Rhodesia; and from there to Mbeya then to Njombe and finally to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania where I met the late Cde Julius Nyerere, the President of Tanu.

He had just arrived from New York where he had been petitioning at the UN.

We discussed at length our plans concerning the liberation of the African continent.

He assisted me with money and arranged for me to travel to Khartoum in the Sudan; Accra, Ghana; Monrovia, Liberia and New York.

When Swapo was formed on April 19, 1960, I was elected President in absentia and continued to appeal to the UN to remove the territory of South West Africa and placed it under the UN Trusteeship System.

I returned from New York in early 1961 to establish Swapo offices in Dar-es-Salaam and the rest is history.

A Pan-African spirit

I have fond memories of the momentous event of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity.

On May 25, 1963, the Founding Fathers of the OAU met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to sign a historic Charter establishing the OAU, the fore-runner of the African Union.

I was honoured to attend this historic occasion, representing Swapo and the struggling people of Namibia together with other representatives of African National Liberation Movements with whom we engaged in a common struggle to defeat colonialism and the apartheid crime against humanity which also manifested itself in our country, Namibia, as a colonial oppressor.

As we carried out that difficult struggle, our peoples drew strength from the victories of each of our fighting forces while the setbacks experienced by any echelon of our struggling masses was correctly viewed as a setback for all of us.

Thus our presence in Addis Ababa emboldened our aspirations to fight for self-determination and national independence when for the first time; we witnessed the meaning of freedom for 32 independent, sovereign African states.

Through conversing with the leaders of these newly independent African states, we, the oppressed peoples, were inspired to tirelessly wage the struggle until the last vestiges of colonialism and minority white regimes were removed from the face of the African continent.

While those of my generation and I remember those early days, it is of utmost importance that our young people are also made aware of the glorious history of both their countries and the continent as we resolutely define the vision for Africa come the year 2063.

In my view, the theme of African Renaissance and Pan-Africanism is most appropriate for us to reflect on the struggle for the decolonisation of the African continent and our resounding victories in the fight against the minority white regimes in Southern Africa while at the same time, taking stock of the progress that we have made and the challenges ahead.

For centuries, the African people on the continent and those in the Diaspora, especially in the Americas and the Caribbean, were subjected to the agonies of slavery and, subsequently, colonial exploitation and subjugation.

However, I can proudly state that the African people did not submit to colonial subjugation and exploitation but rose up in arms to resist colonial occupation through Pan-Africanism.

As a consequence, during the early 1920s, Africans in the Diaspora, through collective efforts, started to intensify the promotion of the ideals of Pan-Africanism which became the philosophy of Africa’s political emancipation, economic recovery and cultural revival and the empowerment of Africans to chart their own future destiny.

I do not want to go into an extensive discussion on the history of Pan-Africanism.

For our purposes today, suffice to note that the birth of Pan-Africanism can be traced to the founding of the African Association in London in 1897 and the convening, in the same city, of the Pan-African Conference three years later by lawyer Henry Sylvester Williams of Trinidad and Tobago and uncle of George Padmore, who coined the term Pan-Africanism.

Other visionary Pan-Africanists in the Diaspora such as Paul Robeson, CLR James and Marcus Garvey advocated African self-determination with the motto “Africa for Africans”, which paved the way towards the intensification of political resistance against the colonial occupation of the African continent.

After the death of Williams in 1911, the Pan-Africanist movement was continued by WEB du Bois who ensured that a series of Pan-African conferences were held, with the most important being the 5th Pan-African Conference held in Manchester, England in 1945.

This conference was both the culmination of a historical process of the struggle of the African people on the continent and in the Diaspora, and was, indeed, the pinnacle of Pan-Africanism as it was attended by a large number of activists, including Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana who took an active and prominent part in the conference, serving as Secretary, while WEB du Bois was the Chairman.

The 5th Pan-African Conference underscored, as Nkrumah put it “for the first time the necessity for a well-organised. . .movement, as a primary condition for the success of the national liberation struggle in Africa, was stressed”.

In this regard, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who was a passionate believer in African unity, became a living link with the historic Pan-African Movement on the continent.

Furthermore, the Pan-African Movement was strengthened on the African continent when Ghana became the first African sub-Saharan country to gain its independence from Britain and organised the All-Africa People’s Conference in Accra in 1958 at a time when most African countries were still struggling against colonial rule.

The Accra meeting, for the first time, brought together on African soil, nationalists from all over Africa where the issue of solidarity and unity in the struggle against colonialism was the central theme of the meeting and provided an important psychological, political and practical boost to the nationalist movements within the framework of Pan-African unity.

On the African continent, apart from Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Pan-Africanism was kept alive by African nationalists such as Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria, Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea Conakry, Modibo Keita of Mali, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria, Amilcar Cabral of Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde and Sao Tome et Principe, among many other liberation icons and visionary leaders on the continent and the Diaspora who played a critical role in the process leading to the formation of the OAU and inspired us to embark upon getting rid of all the vestiges of colonialism from Africa.

In this regard, it is with fond memories that I recall when I left the then South West Africa on February 29, 1960, crossing into Botswana and from there travelling to Zimbabwe, and on to the then Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia.

Long walk to freedom

Finally, I arrived in Mbeya in Eastern Tanzania which was still a British colony of Tanganyika, on March 21, 1960.

Little did I know that this would be the same day that our country would achieve its Independence, 30 years later.

On my way to petition the UN Committee on South West Africa in New York, I arrived in independent Ghana in April 1960 where I met for the first time President Dr Kwame Nkrumah, among other African leaders, who left a lasting impression on me and informed my Pan-African outlook.

I also met Frantz Fanon, representing the Algerian National Liberation Front led by Ahmed Ben Bella, the first Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Algeria who provided us with two sub-machine guns and two TT pistols with which we launched our armed liberation struggle on August 26, 1966 at Omugulu-gwoMbashe in northern Namibia when the torch of freedom was lit in our country until we attained our genuine freedom and independence on March 21, 1990.

In 1961, I attended the third All-Africa People’s Conference in Cairo, Egypt where I met with President Gamal Abdel Nasser and requested him to offer the opportunity of military training to our Swapo cadres.

In September 1961, I travelled to Yugoslavia to attend as an observer the launching of the Non-Aligned Movement under President Josip Broz Tito whom I met for the second time after our first meeting in 1960.

It was, therefore, of great historical importance when 32 independent African states came together in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, and signed the Charter which resulted in the establishment of the OAU.
In his address on that day, Dr Kwame Nkrumah stated: “Our objective is African union now. There is no time to waste. We must unite now or perish.”

Thus the OAU was established with the objectives of freeing our continent from the remaining vestiges of colonialism and minority white apartheid regime; to promote unity and solidarity among African states and peoples; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States, and to promote international co-operation within the framework of the UN, among other objectives.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah also stated: “We must unite in order to achieve the full liberation of our continent.”

Through the OAU Co-ordinating Committee for the Liberation of Africa, the continent worked and spoke as one voice with undivided determination in support of the liberation struggle and the fight against colonialism and the minority white regime of apartheid.

The OAU provided all-round political and material support to the national liberation movements through the Co-ordinating Committee for the Liberation of Africa.

When I, on behalf of the struggling people of Namibia, and representatives of other African National Liberation Movements participated as observers at the formation of the OAU, our joint statement was read by Oginga Odinga, the then Vice-President of the Kenya African National Union of Jomo Kenyata who was still in detention.

At a later stage, President Nyerere insisted that the authentic liberation movements be given observer status.

President Nyerere then offered the Co-ordinating Committee operational headquarters in Dar-es-Salaam. In addition, President Nyerere, who was a visionary and fore-sighted revolutionary leader, offered training bases at Kongwa, Morogoro and Nashingweya in Tanzania to our freedom fighters who were fighting against Portuguese colonialism in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde and Sao Tome et Principe and the minority white apartheid colonial settlers in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa.

Furthermore, President Nyerere requested the People’s Republic of China to provide experts to train our freedom fighters in the usage of fire arms, reconnaissance, as well as in scientific guerrilla warfare tactics in order to speed up the total liberation of the African continent.

When Zambia attained its independence in 1964, the Zambian government under the leadership of President Dr David Kenneth Kaunda, offered all-round support to the national liberation movements by providing us with rear bases.

In retaliation, the Portuguese colonial regimes in Mozambique and Angola, the lan Smith white colonial-settler regime in the former Southern Rhodesia, now the Republic of Zimbabwe, as well as the minority white apartheid regime in South Africa, which also colonised the former South West
Africa, now Namibia, militarily attacked and imposed economic sanctions against Zambia.

However, in the true spirit of solidarity and African brotherhood, President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, President Sir Seretse Khama of Botswana, President Dr Antonio Agostinho Neto of Angola, and President Samora Machel of Mozambique in 1975, later joined by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe in 1980, formed the Frontline States against what seemed heavy odds and went beyond encouraging words in supporting our liberation struggle by resisting the machinations of the colonial forces to prevent us from liberating the remaining colonies in Southern Africa.

Equally worth mentioning here, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, under the revolutionary Pan-Africanist General Murtala Mohamed, became fully involved in the liberation struggle in Southern Africa and as a result, the Frontline States, became known as the Frontline States and Nigeria.

We thus also pay homage to the important role played by the fore-sighted and revolutionary leader Dr Antonio Agostinho Neto of Angola who provided us the opportunity to establish rear bases and educational centres in Angola and helped us to relocate Swapo Provisional Headquarters from Lusaka to Luanda.

Indeed, in Namibia, our struggle for freedom and independence was part of the wider and total liberation of the African continent from colonialism and foreign occupation.

Africa’s last colony

Sadly, Africa still faces the unresolved case of colonialism in Western Sahara.

The continent has achieved many milestones, but the question of Western Sahara is a question that every self-respecting Pan-Africanist should champion.

For this reason, I call upon the Kingdom of Morocco, which rejoined the African Union, to support the holding of a free referendum for the people of Western Sahara for self-determination and national independence.

Today, Africa stands tall and its citizens occupy a special place among the people of the world as free and independent peoples charting their own future and common destiny of a continent defined by peace, security, development and prosperity; an African continent whose countries, individually and collectively, are free from poverty, disease, underdevelopment and ignorance; and a continent that would ensure that the 21st does indeed become an African century.

These, as the honourable members are all aware, are the logical outcomes of the dream of Pan-Africanism and an African Renaissance and constitute the objectives of an African agenda, as enunciated in the Constitutive Act of the African Union.

Indeed, after 39 years of its existence, African leaders decided to dissolve the OAU and reconstitute it as a new organisation that will address the numerous challenges facing the continent.

This led to the next stage which saw the establishment of the African Economic Community at the 27th Summit of the OAU in Abuja, Nigeria June 2-6, 1991.

The signed Abuja Treaty laid down detailed stages for economic integration at both regional and continental levels to eventually lead not only to free trade, but also a common currency.

The AEC was prompted by the necessity of collective planning and action to build intra-continental economic relations for the benefit of the African people.

Through it, we agreed, as Africans, that we needed to do more to strengthen existing regional economic communities, create new ones where necessary, and ensure that we achieve intra and inter-regional co-operation in all areas of human endeavour.

We also agreed on such important economic matters as trade liberalisation in each regional economic community; the adoption of a common trade policy and working towards a common external tariff to establish a common African market.

Again, we committed ourselves to a gradual elimination of obstacles to the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital and the right of residence among member states.

In this regard, regional economic communities such as the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and Economic Community for West African States (Ecowas) constitute critical building blocks of the envisaged African integration.

Thus the treaty is expected to lead ultimately to the formation of an Africa-wide monetary union and economic community by 2025.

Accordingly, the vision and programmes of the AU and Nepad are rooted in the long-standing desire, commitment and efforts of the African people to work together for the integration of our economies as well as the creation of a continental socio-political unity that would facilitate the faster development of our countries.

Now, the AU, formally launched in Durban, South Africa on July 9, 2002 to provide new direction to our collective efforts and to face the developmental challenges more effectively has to pursue and hasten the programme laid down in the Abuja Treaty.

As we look forward over the next 50 years to 2063, we need to ask ourselves what we would wish to see for our continent. What are the primary issues we need to focus on during this time?

No unity, no future

In my view, we should vigorously embark upon the second phase of the struggle; namely to bring about total and genuine economic independence.

Ghana’s First President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, in perhaps his greatest speech ever on May 24, 1963, on the eve of the founding of the OAU, put it eloquently when he stated: “Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs; to construct our society according to our aspirations, unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo-colonialist control and interference.”

Therefore, the struggle for economic independence will be long and difficult. It requires embarking upon scientific research, proper planning and hard work.

As we are all aware, the African continent is endowed with abundant natural resources. Therefore, investing in infrastructure is the key to Africa’s growth.

In this regard, the Grand Inga hydro-electric plant in the People’s Democratic Republic of Congo should be developed beyond mere rhetoric in order to provide AU Members with cheap and adequate electricity supply.

Our economic strength depends substantially on our mastery of science and technology. It is this very same mastery that enables any country’s citizens to fully exploit its natural resources and wealth.

For Africa to succeed, we must join hands and work as a team.

It is important that we tap on the expertise of our brothers in the Diaspora and embark upon strategies which promote manufacturing and adding value to our natural resources.

It is only in that manner that we will be able to create wealth, enhance economic growth and improve the competitiveness of our economies in international markets.

Furthermore, I believe that one of the effective strategies to reach our goals is through educating and training our youth, especially in the scientific fields so that we can produce our own agriculturalists, medical doctors, engineers, scientists and other technical personnel who will play an active role in the industrialisation and modernisation of our economies.

Thus our efforts to promote continental integration must place education of our people at the top of our priorities as key elements in addressing development challenges.

It is clear that the renewed geo-political interest in Africa, especially its natural resources and potential markets, is leading to attempts by former colonial powers to reclaim the ground we have gained in terms of African self-determination.

Therefore, the profoundly retrogressive developments on the continent are a direct consequence of the unstable security and political situation such as the one that was created by the forces of imperialists under the membership of Nato who overthrew Colonel Muammar Gaddafi without due consideration of severe repercussions of their actions.

As Africans, we have a responsibility to promote peace and security on the continent because when peace is restored, Africa as a whole stands to benefit.

We must, therefore, consolidate, guard and defend our hard-won freedom, democracy, peace, security and political stability.

Thus it is imperative for our governments to support the efforts of the AU Peace and Security Council in order to maintain peace and stability and enhance economic development on the continent.

As Africans, we must unite because it is only when we are united that we can successfully enhance the total integration of the continent with a single African currency and a single passport.

In this regard, President Mwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania said: “My generation led Africa to political freedom. The current generation of leaders and peoples of Africa must pick up the flickering torch of African freedom, refuel it with their enthusiasm and determination and carry it forward.”

I am also happy to learn that some among us will be honoured with an award in recognition of our efforts in removing the last vestiges of colonialism from Africa as a whole.

In conclusion, I call upon the current generation to dare not fail in their historic mission of building “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by Africans “.

For that to happen, our youth should not allow themselves to be divided through the old tactic of divide and rule, but must unite.

Indeed, as President Nyerere further emphasised, “without unity, there is no future for Africa”.

I, therefore, call on the African youth to prepare themselves to defend the territorial integrity, the territorial waters and the airspace of the African continent against imperialists and foreign aggressors.

I believe a united people striving to achieve common good for all members of the society will always emerge victorious.

His Excellency Dr Sam Nujoma is Namibia’s Founding Father and former President. He was speaking to Zimpapers Television Network in Windhoek, Namibia on February 13, 2017
Memos Signed by DHS Secretary Describe Sweeping New Guidelines for Deporting Illegal Immigrants
 Customs and Border Protection agents Friday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in California. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images)

By David Nakamura February 18 at 7:52 PM

Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has signed sweeping new guidelines that empower federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants inside the United States and at the border.

In a pair of memos, Kelly offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests.

The new directives would supersede nearly all of those issued under previous administrations, Kelly said, including measures from President Barack Obama aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties.

“The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” Kelly stated in the guidelines.

He cited a surge of 10,000 to 15,000 additional apprehensions per month at the southern U.S. border between 2015 and 2016.

A White House official said the memos were drafts and that they are under review by the White House Counsel’s Office, which is seeking some changes. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the process is not complete, declined to offer specifics.

In a series of executive actions in January, President Trump announced plans to make good on his campaign promises to build a wall on the border with Mexico and to ramp up enforcement actions against the nation’s estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants. Kelly’s memos, which have not been released publicly, are intended as an implementation blueprint for DHS, formally establishing the new policies and directing agency employees to begin following them.

However, many specifics of achieving the goals of Trump’s executive orders remain unclear. For example, Kelly’s memos direct federal officials to seek all available funding for the border wall, but most of the funds, estimated at more than $20 billion, must be appropriated by Congress.

Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, was sworn in to oversee the Department of Homeland Security hours after Trump was inaugurated Jan. 20. His memos are copied to officials at Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. A Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman declined to comment on the documents but did not dispute their authenticity.

The memos do not include measures to activate National Guard troops to help apprehend immigrants in 11 states that had been included in a draft document leaked to reporters on Friday.

DHS officials said Kelly, whose signature did not appear on the draft document, had never approved such plans.

Immigrant rights advocates said the two memos signed by Kelly mark a major shift in U.S. immigration policies by dramatically expanding the scope of enforcement operations.

The new procedures would allow authorities to seek expedited deportation proceedings, currently limited to undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for two weeks or less, to anyone who has been in the country for up to two years.

Another new provision would be to immediately return Mexican immigrants who are apprehended at the border back home pending the outcomes of their deportation hearings, rather than house them on U.S. property, an effort that would save detention space and other resources.

The guidelines also aim to deter the arrival of a growing wave of 155,000 unaccompanied minors who have come from Mexico and Central America over the past three years. Under the new policies, their parents in the United States could be prosecuted if they are found to have paid smugglers to bring the children across the border.

“This memo is just breathtaking, the way they really are looking at every part of the entire system,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.

Joanne Lin, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement that “due process, human decency, and common sense are treated as inconvenient obstacles on the path to mass deportation. The Trump administration is intent on inflicting cruelty on millions of immigrant families across the country.”

The memos don’t overturn one important directive from the Obama administration: a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that has provided work permits to more than 750,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally as children.

Trump had promised during his campaign to “immediately terminate” the program, calling it an unconstitutional “executive amnesty,” but he has wavered since then. Last week, he said he would “show great heart” in determining the fate of that program.

The memos instruct agency chiefs to begin hiring 10,000 additional ICE agents and 5,000 more for the Border Patrol, which had been included in Trump’s executive actions.

Kelly also said the agency will try to expand partnerships with municipal law enforcement agencies that deputize local police to act as immigration officers for the purposes of enforcement.

The program, known as 287(g), was signed into law by the Clinton administration and grew markedly under President George W. Bush’s tenure. It fell out of favor under the Obama administration.

Currently 32 jurisdictions in 16 states participate in the program, according to Kelly’s memo.

Kelly called the program a “highly successful force multiplier,” and instructed his deputies to expand it “to the greatest extent practical.”

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents federal agents and officers, had not seen the memos as of Saturday afternoon. In an interview, he said his organization fully supports the Trump administration’s agenda on border security.

Judd said he thinks the effort to crack down on enforcement is already paying dividends. He said that apprehensions of unauthorized immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, one of the heaviest traveled areas of the border, have fallen by about 1,000 between the first two weeks of January and first two weeks of February.

Those figures could not be independently corroborated by The Washington Post.

Judd attributed the purported decline to fear among immigrants of the new Trump administration policies, including requirements that those who are apprehended will not be released before their immigration court hearings.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.  Follow @davidnakamura
Gordhan Must Be Fired Over Banks, Says ANCYL
17 February 2017, 4:09pm
Getrude Makhafola

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan Photo: Reuters
The Treasury has failed in its oversight role at banks and therefore Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his top management should be fired, the ANC Youth League said on Friday.

The league has, for the first time, come out publicly calling for Gordhan to be replaced. ANCYL Secretary Njabulo Nzuza said financial institutions continued to enjoy protection from the Treasury, which continued to serve the needs of “white monopoly capital”.

“Our government deployee, since arriving at Treasury, has not made sure that that there is restructuring… Now we want a different kind of calibre cadre that would dismantle the approach of protecting banks in South Africa,” said Nzuza.

“It is not Gordhan only, we are coming for the whole Treasury staff… They must change their mindset, those who do not want to shape up must shape out.”

The league’s president, Collen Maine, could, however, not reveal whom his organisation wanted to replace Gordhan.

“The appointment of ministers remains the prerogative of the President (Jacob Zuma). The MEC in Gauteng resigned because death happened under her watch, she resigned. If we had a name, we would have to lobby the president as he is the one who appoints,” Maine said following the ANCYL national executive committee meeting.

The league’s campaign against Barclays-owned Absa continued last week when thousands of supporters marched to the bank’s head office in Johannesburg, demanding that Absa pay back billions of apartheid-era rands it had received from the fiscus.

Nzuza said Absa was a “repeat offender” and its banking licence should be reviewed and revoked.

The country’s Competition Commission this week said it found that at least 17 banks had been involved in price-fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency pairs involving the rand since April 2015.

Implicated banks included Africa’s Absa, Investec and Standard Bank. The commission has referred the matter to a tribunal for prosecution.

African News Agency
The commission says it has evidence 17 banks faked bids to distort supply and demand of the currency.

Currency  Competition Commission  Competition Tribunal of South Africa

Stephen Grootes
Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG – The Competition Commission says it's confident of its case against 17 banks accused of manipulating the currency because it has evidence that they faked bids to distort supply and demand.

It announced on Wednesday that it referred the case against the banks to the Competition Tribunal, but says it does expect settlements to be reached.

The banks include local institutions like Absa Bank, Standard Bank and Investec as well as international banks like JPMorgan Chase, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC.

Competition Commissioner Thembinkosi Bonakele says they're completely sure of their case.

“It would not make sense at all to defend a case like this. It’s very strong and I would expect that a lot of banks would do the right thing and settle it.”

He says they want to make sure this cannot happen again.

“We always like it when we get into the industry that not only do we fine people, but that the conduct is stamped out completely, and this is what we would expect the banks to do.”

The commission says the banks had been co-ordinating their trades, creating false bids, and communicating their intentions through the Bloomberg instant messaging service to distort the market.

The banks named in the case are:

Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited

BNP Paribas

JP Morgan Chase & Co

JP Morgan Chase Bank NA

Investec Ltd

Standard New York Securities Inc

HSBC Bank Plc

Standard Chartered Bank

Credit Suisse Group

Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd

Commerzbank AG

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited

Nomura International Plc

Macquarie Bank Limited

ABSA Bank Limited

Barclays Capital Inc

Barclays Bank plc

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)
Statement on Competition Commission Decision to Refer for Prosecution 17 Banks
The African National Congress has noted the announcement by the Competition Commission that it will take seventeen (17) banks operating in South Africa to the Competitions Tribunal for prosecution on charges of collusion. According to the Commission the banks have, since at least 2007, been fixing prices and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency involving the US Dollar and the Rand; manipulating prices of bids and offers and, amongst others, creating fictitious bids. These acts of corruption have crudely exposed the ethical crisis in the South African banking sector. The act of manipulating the currency is an attack on the constitutional mandate of the South African Reserve Bank to protect the value of the South African currency.

The African National Congress takes an extremely dim view of the activities of the listed banks, understanding the banking sector as being instrumental to our quest for economic growth and development. Repeatedly, the country has called all social partners to a social compact, driven by what we had considered a collective goal of inclusive economic growth; albeit in the face of a depressed global economic climate. The profit-driven assault on the South African rand through such collusion and corruption by the banks flies in the face of efforts by the South African nation to prosperity for all. It is further an indication of how the markets are and can be manipulated by dominant oligopolies to cripple its functioning to suit their nefarious agendas. Without a doubt, further raises a question of the extent to which the currency was manipulated with politically motivated intentions.

The ANC will closely follow the developments in this case and calls for the Competitions Tribunal to level against the banks the harshest possible sanction where they are found guilty; serving as a deterrent to any other players in any other industries involved in similar activities. With the same vigor and zeal directed at public sector corruption, we must be unrelenting in fighting private sector corruption. The ANC commends the the fortitude of the Competition Commission in exposing the unethical operations of established monopolies in different sectors of our economy. This we say in view of the fact that this probe into the Banks follows similar incidents involving the fixing of bread prices and the collusion of big companies in major construction projects.

The ANC calls on government to take to heart the lessons learnt from this expose and move with the greatest urgency to diversify the financial services sector, introduce new players and irreversibly transform this industry in favor of the people and the nation.

Issued by the African National Congress


Zizi Kodwa 082 330 4910
National Spokesperson

Khusela Sangoni 072 854 5707
National Communications Manager
Cuba Vice President Machado Ventura Receives Vietnamese Leader
José Ramón Machado Ventura, Party second secretary and a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, yesterday afternoon, February 16, received Tong Thi Phong, a member of the Communist Party of Vietnam's Central Committee Political Bureau and a vice president of the National Assembly Standing Committee

National news staff |
February 17, 2017 09:02:56
Photo: Jorge Luis González

José Ramón Machado Ventura, Party second secretary and a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, yesterday afternoon, February 16, received Tong Thi Phong, a member of the Communist Party of Vietnam's (PCV) Central Committee Political Bureau and a vice president of the National Assembly Standing Committee, who is leading a delegation invited to our country by the Cuban National Assembly of People's Power.

In a fraternal environment, the leaders exchanged experiences in their party and legislative work, also discussing progress in the implementation of Vietnam's renovation process and the updating of Cuba's economic model of socialist development.

Both leaders reaffirmed their interest in continuing to strengthen the historic relations shared by the two parties, governments, and peoples.

Salvador Valdés Mesa, Political Bureau member and a Council of State vice president, participated in the meeting, as well.

Also present on the Vietnamese side were Nguyen Van Giau, member of the PCV Central Committee and of the National Assembly Standing Committee; Nguyen Trung Thanh, the country's ambassador in Havana; and other members of the delegation.
Raúl Receives Minister of Health and Medical Education of Iran
During the cordial encounter the two dignitaries discussed the excellent state of bilateral relations and their mutual interest in expanding them

Granma |
February 16, 2017 09:02:28
Photo: Estudio Revolución

Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, received on February 15, His Excellency Seyed Hasán Ghazizadeh Hashemi, minister of Health and Medical Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who delivered a message to the Cuban leader on behalf of the Iranian President, Hasán Rouhaní.

During the cordial encounter the two dignitaries discussed the excellent state of bilateral relations and their mutual interest in expanding them. They also highlighted the positive results of the recently concluded 16th session of the Cuba-Iran Intergovernmental Commission for Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation.

The distinguished visitor was accompanied by the honorable Kambiz Sheikh Hassani, Iranian ambassador to Cuba.

Participating on the Cuban side were Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, a Council of Ministers vice president, and minister of Economy and Planning; as well as Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, minister of Foreign Trade and Investment.
Oscar López Rivera Arrives in Puerto Rico
The imprisoned independence fighter, whose unjust sentence was reduced after 35 years and eight months in U.S. penitentiaries, was transferred to his native country yesterday

International news staff |
February 10, 2017 10:02:01

SAN JUAN.– U.S. prison authorities transferred the political prisoner Oscar López Rivera to his native country yesterday, February 9, after spending 35 years and eight months in U.S. penitentiaries, the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día reported.

Since Barack Obama commuted his sentence in January, officials were obliged to remove López Rivera from the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, to a facility where prisoners are prepared to re-enter society.

The Puerto Rican independence fighter requested that he be placed in such a facility in his native country, to complete his sentence which ends this coming May 17.

The mayor of San Juan indicated that she has identified a community service job which the 74-year-old López Rivera can assume. His attorney, Jan Susler,

emphasized that he remains a prisoner, and must abide by strict restrictions, which include not speaking to the press.

"He is overjoyed, super happy," said his daughter Clarissa López Ramos, this past January 28, when she visited him following the commutation of his 70-year sentence.

In 1976, Rivera joined the underground struggle for the independence of his country as a member of the National Liberation Armed Forces (FALN). In 1981, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested him; he was charged and convicted of "seditious conspiracy."
Ecuador Denies End to Latin American Left
On February 14, several Latin American intellectuals refuted claims that the recent defeats of progressive governments on the continent represents the end of the leftist era in the region

Prensa Latina(PL) |
February 15, 2017 10:02:32

Quito.– On February 14, several Latin American intellectuals refuted claims that the recent defeat of progressive governments on the continent represents the end of the leftist era in the region.

The problem is that not enough attention was paid to the fact that the right wing began to launch a counter-offensive as soon as the first progressive leaders came to power, stated academic Isabel Ramos, speaking during an encounter organized by the Network of Intellectuals in Defense of Humanity and Ecuador’s Casa de la Cultura, in the run up to the country’s general elections.

According to Ramos, the media play a key role in attempts by the right-wing to regain power, which Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa described as a conservative restoration.

A defamatory media campaign aimed at undermining the legitimacy of progressive governments, has been ongoing ever they began to gain power in Latin America , starting with the election of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in 1998, she noted.

Meanwhile, Argentine political scientist Atilio Borón highlighted that the success of such governments caused a shift in the United States’ historically hegemonic vision of the continent, suddenly seeing the region as a threat to its interests.

Cuban journalist Katiuska Blanco also spoke during the encounter entitled “For the future of Ecuador and Latin America.” She highlighted the political and social achievements seen across the region in recent years, above all in regards to sovereignty and independence.

Today, it’s impossible to think of Latin America as submissive, stated Blanco, after recalling that the United States no longer has the same power it did 30 years ago.

The meeting between Latin American intellectuals and artists will end today, February 15, with the issuing of a statement in support of the governing Alianza PAÍS party candidate, Lenin Moreno. (PL)
Latin America's Tilt to the Right Facing Fresh Test in Ecuador
Stephan Kueffner and Ben Bartenstein
February 17, 2017, 10:32 AM EST

Continuity candidate has most support in pre-election poll
But a second-round vote could usher in an opposition victory

Latin America’s trend toward more business-friendly governments will get a fresh test in Ecuador, where a president closely aligned with socialism has been in power for more than a decade.

With support from about a third of voters, Lenin Moreno is leading the pack going into the first-round presidential elections Sunday. He was vice president under President Rafael Correa and represents a continuation of policies that critics say have widened deficits to unsustainable levels. Of his seven opponents, Guillermo Lasso and Cynthia Viteri appear best positioned to unseat Correa’s Alianza Pais party, with both polling well into double digits.

Investors and analysts see this year’s elections as the best chance Ecuador has had in years to usher in a government more likely to lure foreign investment, following upset wins for pro-business candidates in Peru and Argentina over the past year-and-a-half and Brazil’s impeachment of the left-leaning Dilma Rousseff. The victor will lead a nation of 16 million mired in recession, with soaring debt and rising unemployment at a time when oil prices, the country’s biggest export, have yet to fully rebound from the commodity boom years.

"The choice is between an approach to the economy that could boost the enthusiasm of households and businesses, attracting more foreign investment, or a continuity of an economic model that maintains high state involvement," said Santiago Mosquera, the head of research at Analytica Investments in Quito.

To win outright, a candidate must receive a majority of all valid votes or win at least 40 percent and finish 10 percentage points ahead of the runner-up. Moreno’s support was at 32.3 percent, according to the final poll by Cedatos published Feb. 8. Moreno has pledged a tripling of a monthly cash transfer to poor households, higher pensions, an expansion of government housing programs and the creation of 40 new technical universities.

Best Opportunity

If Moreno, 63, doesn’t cross the threshold for a first-round win in the Sunday election taking place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., a runoff vote between the two candidates with the most votes would be held April 2. Electoral results are expected from 8 p.m.

A second round would present the best opportunity for an opposition contender, as voters might rally around the anti-Correa candidate. Most polls put Lasso, 61, who embarked on a political career after becoming a self-made multimillionaire in business ventures including banking, in second place. He’s followed closely by a rival conservative, Viteri, a 51-year-old legislator from the Social Christian Party.

Lasso finished a distant second in the 2013 election with 23 percent support to Correa’s 57 percent. His greatest challenge, both then and now, has been Ecuadoreans’ distaste for financiers due to the lingering memory of a wrenching banking crisis in the late 1990s that sent the poverty rate shooting up to 60 percent.


Lasso has pledged to maintain some of the social-welfare programs that made Correa so popular with the poor. He also promises to fight corruption and to slash unpopular taxes by $3 billion to help create a million jobs and attract the foreign direct investment that has been hard to come by after Correa’s nationalizations of some foreign-owned oil assets, and the country’s $3.2 billion debt default in 2008.

“It’s time to make sure there’s a change, so I’m voting for Lasso,” said Yolanda Zambrano, the owner of a small restaurant catering to working-class customers in Quito’s La Floresta neighborhood. “It’s 9-to-1 in favor of Lasso in here now."

That would be the preferred result for most investors, who made the nation’s bonds one of the world’s best performers last year as oil prices surged 45 percent and speculation grew that the next government might be more friendly to business.

Outcome, Bond Prices

Christian DiClementi, who oversees $22 billion in emerging-market debt at AllianceBernstein LP, has pared back his holdings in Ecuador on the view that prices reflect an excessive amount of confidence that an opposition candidate will win the presidency.

He said that on a trip to Quito earlier this month, a mix of local politicians, pollsters and economists he spoke with put Moreno’s chance of winning at 50 percent to 80 percent. He personally gives Moreno at least a 50-50 chance of pulling out a first-round victory.

“This is going to be very close,” he said. “My estimate is bond prices go down.”

Ecuador’s bonds due in 2022 fell 0.1 percent as of 10:26 a.m. in Quito.

The nation’s economy shrunk 2.3 percent last year and is forecast to expand just 0.3 percent this year, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. In 2016, the government used debt to pay for a third of its spending, bogged down by a bureaucracy that employs one of every five people in the country with a steady job. Ecuador is rated B by S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, with a negative outlook according to the latter, and B3 according to Moody’s Investors Service, but has had to offer interest rates around 10 percent to attract buyers.

“Whoever wins will be inheriting a mess,” said Paul Posner, a professor of political science at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, who lectures on Latin American politics with a focus on Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela. “There will be no honeymoon.”
Ecuador: The End of the 'Citizens' Revolution'?

For the first time in ten years the name Rafael Correa will not be on the ballot in this Sunday's presidential election. The 'Citizens' Revolution,' as Correa calls his administration, could nevertheless go on.

Candidate Lenin Moreno is the parting president's presumptive heir, and he leads the latest opinion polls. But it appears unlikely that he will win an outright victory in the first round of voting: Moreno only looks to have about 32 percent of the vote at the moment. Thus, an April runoff is probable.

Political analysts say that the candidate's sinking popularity is the result of corruption scandals involving, among others, Ecuador's state oil company Petroecuador, and the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. Santiago Basabe, an analyst at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLASCO), says that numerous criminal charges against government officials are key. "It is hard to say just how much they have influenced Moreno's candidacy, but I believe that it has cost him a few percentage points. And that could be decisive on Sunday."

Presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso is currently coming second in the polls.

Who can threaten Moreno?

The fact that Correa's "Citizens' Revolution" has brought the country previously unheard of political stability, institutional progress and social success could work to Lenin Moreno's advantage. At the same time, Correa is so omnipresent that many fear he could actually be the one pulling the strings behind the scenes. Analysts like Basabe say that the people have grown weary of the parting president.

Nonetheless, no polls point to any candidate that could be a threat to Moreno: liberal-conservative candidate Guillermo Lasso can count on about 22 percent of the vote at best; the most optimistic polls only put Christian democrat Cynthia Viteri at about 20 percent; and social democrat Paco Moncayo is predicted to win a maximum of 12 percent.

Although the candidate's numbers vary by several percentage points, in individual polls just days ahead of the vote, one thing was certain: some 13 million voters were still undecided.

Paco Moncayo is the candidate for the Democratic Left, Ecuador's social-democratic party.
Moreno's runoff opponent unknown

Guillermo Lasso and Cynthia Viteri are both running on similar platforms. Both promise to cut taxes and increase respect for individual freedoms. Basabe also sees little foreign policy difference: "Both will certainly seek rapprochement with the USA and push forward with the EU treaty. Moreover, they will seek to strengthen Ecuador's position in the UNASUR alliance, as well as repositioning it at the UN." Basabe thinks it would be an important turn of events should one of the two defeat Moreno in a runoff election.

The analyst says that social democrat Paco Moncayo, a retired military general and former mayor of Quito, ran a weak election campaign. He missed the opportunity to win over left-leaning voters disappointed with the "Citizen's Revolution" but also unwilling to vote for candidates on the right.

Moncayo, says the analyst, failed to distance himself clearly enough from Correa's policies. He added that citizens had expected him to be more of an opposition candidate.

Neck and neck race

It is highly unlikely that any candidate will win the election in the first round of voting, as observers are counting on an even distribution of undecided voters among the candidates. It is, however, seen as a forgone conclusion that Moreno will advance to the second round. But the question is, Who will he face in April?

Another looming question has to do with the future of parting President Rafael Correa. He has declared that he will retire from politics when he steps down, but in December a rule change was put in place that would allow him to run for office again after sitting out one term. Many observers are convinced that Moreno will simply serve as a "placeholder," and that Correa will eventually take the helm again in the near future.  
Leftist Vies With Ex-banker in Nail-biter Ecuador Presidency Vote
A soldier load voting materials into a military truck to transport them to polling stations, ahead of Sunday's presidential election, in Guayaquil, Ecuador February 18, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero

By Alexandra Ulmer and Yury Garcia | QUITO/GUAYAQUIL

Ecuadoreans vote on Sunday in a nail biter presidential election where an ally of leftist President Rafael Correa hopes to clinch enough support to avoid a runoff against a conservative ex-banker.

Lenin Moreno, 63, a disabled former vice-president, needs 40 percent of valid votes and a 10 percentage point difference with his nearest rival to avoid a second round on April 2 and continue a decade of left-wing rule in the Andean country.

He looked close in an early February poll, with an estimated 38.6 percent of valid votes versus 25.7 percent for his nearest challenger Guillermo Lasso, a 61-year-old former president of Banco de Guayaquil, according to top pollster Cedatos.

But should Moreno be forced into a second round, analysts expect Ecuador's fractured opposition to coalesce around Lasso amid an economic downturn and corruption scandals in OPEC's smallest member state.

That would further bolster the right in South America, after Argentina, Brazil and Peru all shifted away from leftist rule in the past 18 months as a commodities boom ended.

Still, Ecuador's ruling Country Alliance party remains popular with many poor in the country that is home to volcano-topped Andean plateaus, lush jungles and the Galapagos Islands.

"This government must continue because it's the best one in all political history. It's built everything: Hospitals, roads, schools," said student Cristopher Gonzalez, 26.

"I don't believe any candidate but Lenin Moreno."

Moreno, who lost use of his legs two decades ago after being shot during a robbery, has a more conciliatory style than the fiery Correa and has promised benefits for the disabled, single mothers, and the elderly.

But the economy is weighing heavily on voters.

Unemployment is running high, the middle class is upset over tax hikes, and corruption scandals at state-run oil company PetroEcuador and Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht have outraged many.

"We've lived 10 years of disgrace, 10 years of theft, corruption, false honesty, a country-wide regression where only a few have benefited," said Angel Mendoza, a 45-year-old architect who was supporting Lasso.

Lasso has campaigned on a platform to revive the economy, which is dependent on exports of oil, flowers, and shrimp, by slashing taxes, fostering foreign investment, and creating 1 million jobs in four years.

He has also vowed a clean break with Correa's foreign policy. He would remove Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the country's embassy in London by late June and take a firm stance against Venezuela's socialist government.


Analysts caution there is still a high number of undecided voters and the fact there are eight candidates in the first round render predictions tricky.

While some voters are disappointed by Correa's governance, they cannot bring themselves to vote for a former banker seen as out of touch with most Ecuadoreans' reality. And another opposition candidate, lawyer and former lawmaker Cynthia Viteri, is seen cutting into Lasso's support.

"It's hard to choose, their proposals are weak," said street seller Justo Aguilera, 46 in the humid coastal city of Guayaquil. "Because they're always fighting, they're not speaking about the economic crisis and we unemployed folk who have to work informally every day to at least eat."

The next president will face an uphill battle to create jobs, reckon with high debt levels, and maintain major social welfare plans amid lower crude prices.

Correa, one of the key figures of Latin America's leftist axis for years, has brought stability to the politically turbulent country but has aggravated many with his confrontational style. He plans to move to Belgium with his Belgian wife after leaving office.

Voters will also be asked to chose 137 members of the National Assembly, where no party is expected to clinch a majority, and vote on a proposed ban on public officials having accounts or assets in tax havens.

The next presidential term starts on May 24 and lasts four years. Polls close at 5 p.m. local time (2200 GMT) and preliminary results are expected to trickle in throughout the evening.

(Additional reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Cyclone Still a Threat: Says Zimbabwe CPU
Snr Asst Comm Charamba

Abigail Mawonde in Harare and Thupeyo Muleya in Beitbridge
Zimbabwe Herald

The Civil Protection Unit (CPU) has warned that the downgrading of cyclone Dineo to a tropical depression has not reduced the risk to human life and infrastructure.Most water bodies and rivers in Matabeleland South Province started flooding yesterday as torrential rains pounded the southern parts of the country.

People living in the low-lying areas around Beitbridge face a high risk of flooding, as most rivers flow through the district on their way to the Limpopo River.

The CPU also urged families to be on the lookout as some homes had succumbed to excess moisture.

The CPU said Umzingwane District had received in excess of 60mm rainfall in 24 hours, while Bulawayo was at 59mm. The rains have resulted in widespread flash flooding is surrounding areas, threatening homes.

“While tropical cyclone Dineo has since degraded to a tropical depression, the remains of this weather system moved over central Zimbabwe on the morning of 17th of February (yesterday) according to Meteorological Services Department (MSD).

“This weather system is expected to give rise to incessant rains resulting in increased risk of flooding and damage to homes and infrastructure,” said CPU in a statement to The Herald.

“Communities in Insiza must maintain vigilance as all the river systems are full and walls of some of the small dams have failed as the district received in excess of 82mm of rainfall over 24 hours and it continues to rain.”

The MSD said it was unclear how the cyclone would move overnight and tomorrow.

“We were thinking that it would move along the Limpopo then into Botswana but it appears it went overland into Zimbabwe, so that is what we are finding a bit challenging to predict now,” said MSD senior forecaster Mr Tich Zinyemba.

Matabeleland South provincial CPU chairperson Mrs Sithandiwe Ncube said the committee had activated all its arms and was ready to deal with any eventualities.

“We are on high alert and are ready to evacuate all those people living in low- lying areas within the province. We are monitoring the situation around the clock so that we are not found wanting and we will continue mobilising resources,” she said.

She said they had sent engineers to assess bridges in Nkakezi area and secondary roads.

Mrs Ncube said dams in Esigodini, Insiza and Matobo had flooded and that Wanezi Dam had already started giving in.

“We have teams at district level which are busy educating people about the impending disaster and how to handle various eventualities,” she said.

She said they were working with several stakeholders from across the province in information dissemination and monitoring of the situation.

The CPU said other areas at risk included Kezi, Nkayi, Tsholotsho, Gokwe and other parts of Matabeleland and Midlands Provinces.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police also urged members of the public to take precautions and be on high alert.

Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said it was advisable to avoid or limit driving errands, avoid seeking shelter under trees, parking vehicles under solid ground shelters and crossing flooded rivers, bridges and other water bodies.

“Taking extra care to monitor children when playing, herding cattle, going to and from school and to move property and livestock from low-lying areas to high ground, are some of the precautions,” she said.

“The cyclone is expected to hit the mentioned areas between February 16, 2017 and Monday the 20th of February 2017. Please take these warnings seriously to avoid unnecessary loss of lives or damage to property,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.

The CPU advised residents in cities and towns to seek assistance of councils and local fire brigades when disaster looms.

Residents in the rural areas were advised to report to their local authorities.

“In case your home is damaged or destroyed, in rural areas – report to your local councillor or police and seek shelter elsewhere,” said CPU.

“Assistance with tarpaulins for those left homeless will be made available at the shortest possible time depending on accessibility.”

The CPU also advised people to stay on high ground and continuously monitor water levels to move swiftly to safety when the need arose.

In case of emergency:
The department advised people to make use of the following numbers in case of emergency. Bulawayo Province 09 – 885479; Harare Province 04 – 748836; Manicaland Province 020 – 64288; Mashonaland Central Province 0271 – 6891, Mashonaland East Province 0279 – 24145; Mashonaland West 067 – 29047; Masvingo Province 039 – 262627; Matabeleland North 0281 – 30333; Matabeleland South 0284 – 20139; Midlands Province 054 – 228636; and the National Traffic 04 788434.
The CPU also urged people to use 112 for Econet lines; 114 for NetOne lines as well as the Zimbabwe Republic Police hotlines.
Zimbabwe President Mugabe Challenges Scientists
President Mugabe greets Munashe Munzwadi of Chigwedere Primary School, Hwedza, during the official opening of the 11th Zimbabwe Research Symposium in Harare yesterday. Looking on are Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko. - Picture by John Manzongo

Farirai Machivenyika
Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

President Mugabe yesterday urged scientists to come up with new technologies and innovations that are essential to the country’s industrialisation and development thrust.

He said this while officially opening the 11th Zimbabwe International Research Symposium at Harare International Conference Centre.

“Society looks up to you, as the scientific community, to come up with the technological breakthroughs and innovations that will drive and underpin our national and regional industrialisation programmes,” President Mugabe said.

“Advances in the relatively new knowledge disciplines such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, geo-informatics and remote sensing, should be applied to create new improved and diversified industrial processes that will add value to our competitiveness, whilst tackling the practical challenges that are faced by our society,” President Mugabe said.

The symposium was held under the theme “Research for unlocking entrepreneurship bridging the gap,” and the President said this was in line with the country’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset that seeks to promote private sector investment by unlocking the potential of SMEs.

“The contribution of entrepreneurs to employment creation, poverty reduction and socio-economic transformation, is indeed critical. Entrepreneurs increasingly need to acquire new knowledge and skills to innovate,” he said.

“This symposium provides an appropriate platform for the uptake of research findings that will enable entrepreneurs to produce world class goods and services that are competitive, both in the regional and global market place,” President Mugabe said.

He also commended the Scientific, Industrial and Research Development Centre for developing a drought resistant maize seed variety, SIRDA 113, that has begun contributing to the country’s food security initiatives.

President Mugabe thanked the Indian Government for its contribution towards the growth of the country’s SMEs sector.

“With regard to the Zim-Indo projects, the Hi-Technology Centre at the Harare Institute of Technology was set up through a grant provided by the Indian Government. The Housing Centre at the Harare Institute of Technology cements the link between research, innovation and technology, particularly for entrepreneurs and is promotive of demand-driven impact-oriented research and knowledge,” he said.

“The Computer Numerically Controlled Machines at the Centre not only increase production levels, but also reduce costs of production, thereby improving product competitiveness,” President Mugabe said.

He added that the Zimbabwe and Indian Governments were in the process of setting up the India-Africa Incubation Centre in Waterfalls, Harare to offer trainees both technical and business management skills.

“We are most appreciative of the continued support from India. The presence of the big delegation of high ranking persons from India today (yesterday) is evidence indeed of the strong ties that exist between our two Governments,” he said.

He also commended the Research Council of Zimbabwe for its achievements, saying the Government was committed to funding the institution as stated in the Science Technology and Innovation Policy of Zimbabwe.

Speaking at the same occasion, the chairman of India’s National Small Industries Corporation Mr Ravindra Narth said SMEs were critical for the development of any country as shown by their performance in his country.

“In any country, it’s the SMEs which are the backbone of the economy and our deliberations in the past two days have shown the impact SMEs in Zimbabwe have.

“There is a lot that can be done between India SMEs and SMEs in Zimbabwe,” Mr Narth said.

The two-day symposium ended yesterday and had exhibitions from primary and secondary schools, universities and other tertiary institutions.
ZimPF Fallout Confirms Mujuru’s Incompetence, Says First Lady
Zanu-PF secretary for Women’s Affairs, Amai Grace Mugabe

Tendai Mugabe
Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

Embattled Zimbabwe People First leader and former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru was fired from Zanu-PF for gross incompetence and corruption among other charges, First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe has said.Dr Mugabe said, given recent developments and unsolicited testimonies from ZimPF founding members, she was vindicated on her revelations that Dr Mujuru was inept and incompetent.

Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters at St John’s Primary School in Buhera North yesterday, Dr Mugabe said the self-proclaimed “queen bee” of ZimPF was also the mastermind of the infamous “Bhora musango” strategy that saw President Mugabe losing to MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai in the first round of elections in 2008.

ZimPF founders Messrs Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo last week revealed that after leaving Zanu-PF, they discovered that Dr Mujuru was endemically incompetent and her shallowness was for a long time shielded by President Mugabe.

“In fact, she was fired ‘queen bee’ (Dr Mujuru). A letter was written and signed, highlighting that we have fired you because you are incompetent,” said Dr Mugabe.

“I told you that she is incompetent and people said Mai Mugabe, you are mad. You journalists now you can see for yourselves that who is mad between Mai Mugabe and ‘queen bee’.

“Since 1980, she was a minister and for 10 years she was a Vice President but if you ask her what is the meaning of ideology, she doesn’t know. You all know it. I said it. Ask for forgiveness and President Mugabe is an accommodative person. He understands that a person can err and he can forgive you.

“I said kuna VaMutasa zvino mungakungurutsana naro zi’queen bee’ mukarigona? We read about it. It’s you (journalists who wrote that for us, telling us what we did not know. But what it shows is that it’s cold out there when you leave Zanu-PF.”

Added Dr Mugabe: “Queen bee, I once challenged her that you are corrupt and she said she is not. She is corrupt. I will tell her what I know. I have the intelligence. She cannot challenge me on that one. At times it’s a blessing in disguise that some people leave the party because they can spread corruption.”

Dr Mugabe said Dr Mujuru’s shallowness in her last days in Zanu-PF was distorting the essence of Zim-Asset economic blueprint to the people.

“We have Zim-Asset, which other people just parrot about without understanding it. This is one of the issues that ‘queen bee’ was partying about, and I said to her, Stop it! Haikona kungonokuma zvausingazive. Zvausingazive siya vanoziva vataure. Period. Some were just taking the Zim-Asset booklet and read it out to the people. Do you think that people eat that booklet when they go back home?”

Dr Mujuru is embroiled in a bitter wrangle with her fellow Zanu-PF rejects to control her fractious ZimPF party.

The fallout in the party reached a crescendo and this week Dr Mujuru claimed that some ZimPF founders wanted to bed her.

She accused Messrs Mutasa and Gumbo of personalising foreign donor funds, a claim which the Mutasa/Gumbo camp vehemently denied.

Turning to food security, Dr Mugabe said it was pleasing that this year the country received good rains.

She assured people that no one would die because of hunger.

Dr Mugabe donated various items and foodstuffs to the people of Buhera, including clothes, shoes and fertiliser, cooking oil, washing and bath soap, stockings and maize, among others.

She said some of the donations came from Government ministries.

Dr Mugabe said some people were fighting her and had written to donors dissuading them from giving her donations that would be passed on to the people.
Zimbabwe First Lady Hits Out at Power-hungry Bigwigs
First Lady and zanu-pf Women’s League secretary Dr Grace Mugabe, flanked by Acting Manicaland zanu-pf provincial chairman Cde Samuel Undenge and Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Mandi Chimene (partially obscured), salutes the revolutionary party’s supporters on arrival for a rally at St John’s Primary School in Buhera yesterday. — (Picture by Wilson Kakurira)

Tendai Mugabe in BUHERA
Zimbabwe Herald

Zanu-PF Women’s Affairs secretary Dr Grace Mugabe has castigated power-hungry bigwigs fomenting divisions in the party, saying they should retire together with President Mugabe if they want him to leave office.

Dr Mugabe said she had no power to tell the President to retire as was being called for by elements in the ruling party.

The First Lady was speaking to thousands of Zanu-PF supporters who attended a Women’s League mobilisation rally here yesterday.

She said the President was given a mandate by the people of Zimbabwe in 2013, adding that people should be content with positions they were given by the appointing authority, both in Government and in the party.

Dr Mugabe was making her first meet-the-people rally for 2017 at St John’s Primary School.

The rallies also seek to unite party members ahead of next year’s elections.

“Some are saying President Mugabe is now old and should retire. No! At least myself, I can say that because I did not start with him in 1980,” said Dr Mugabe.

“I don’t want to be told that by a person who started with the President in 1980. You started together in 1980 and now you want to tell someone that you are old. No! That is unfair,” she said.

“If you want President Mugabe to retire, you go together with him and we take over. We were not there in 1980. Hatidi kudyiwa takasvinura sematemba. Hove chete ndiyo inodyiwa yakasvinura. I hear people saying that you still want to continue as First Lady of this country and that is why you are not telling (President) Mugabe to retire. Simply because I stay with him so I should tell him that you should retire? Did I vote for President Mugabe alone? Never. Don’t expect that from me. You can only say that to a fool, not to me.

“President Mugabe was voted into office by the masses. In 2018, the numbers are going to increase.”

Dr Mugabe said whoever was harbouring ambition without the blessings of President Mugabe was doomed. She said President Mugabe was the face of the Zanu-PF struggle.

She said some of the factional kingpins had no leadership qualities and should do self-introspection.

“Others are just spoilers. You may think that they are engaging in factionalism because they want leadership positions yet they know that they are spoilers who don’t qualify for leadership positions,” she said.

“Some people have a huge burden and we don’t want people with burdens. Let them carry their burdens – burdens of factionalism, burdens of causing divisions in the party and burdens of fighting others.”

Dr Mugabe said malcontents tarnished President Mugabe’s name.

She said Zanu-PF was privileged to have President Mugabe as its leader and that he was irreplaceable.

Instead of engaging in factional fights, Dr Mugabe said Zanu-PF should take advantage of divisions in the opposition to asset its dominance in all parts of the country.

Said Dr Mugabe: “We are not in control of our destiny. When growing up, no one knows that I will become a minister. I also never thought of standing in front of you addressing you like this. Wait for the people to say, ‘we support you and we want to work with you’. It’s not only about leading but also working with the people. There is something that people have to see in you to say you have all what it takes to be a leader.”

She continued: “I said that I am a whistle blower. (Sarah) Mahoka (Women’s League secretary for finance) bought me some whistles. They are there on my table and I will blow them when the time comes. I gave an example of a soccer match that all our objective in the match is to score.

“A soccer referee blows his whistle when there is a foul but the tone of the whistle is what determines the gravity of the foul. Time will come when we will blow these whistles. If we see that things are going out of hand, tinodziridza pembe zvekuti vanhu vanovharika nzeve.”

She said Zanu-PF should check on its strengths and weaknesses, saying factionalism was working against the party.

“If we are not serious about fighting factionalism, we can destroy all what we have built,” she said.

“You cannot destroy what others have built. Are we good at breaking? We are not. We must do better than that. Whoever is doing things that destroy the party should be ashamed. Whoever is engaging in factionalism should stop. You cannot go anywhere when you are divided,” said the First Lady.

“First look at yourself and see if you deserve a leadership post. Secondly, do you have leadership qualities? Are you a magnanimous leaders yourself? Are you able to do what President Mugabe was doing? If you are capable of doing that and list everything to us, well and fine. I said it before that we lie to each other. Leadership, we know each other. We know that you are capable of this and you are incapable of this. We know your level of ability. Let’s be patient.

“We have a leader who was chosen by the people. Let’s not cause divisions deliberately because maybe you know that you do not have chances in Zanu-PF and you just want to cause confusion.”

Dr Mugabe said the ruling party had a well defined structure and people know their positions adding that there was no vacancy at State House.

She said Zanu-PF was calling the shots as the ruling party and querried where challenges were coming from.

Dr Mugabe said Zanu-PF was voted into power and should do everything to deliver on promises it made to the electorate.

“Tiri kutonga ngatichibatisisai zvatapiwa,” said Dr Mugabe.

Dr Mugabe’s rally was attended my Zanu-PF Politburo and Cabinet members including Cdes Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Edna Madzingwe, Chris Mushohwe, Saviour Kasukuwere, Joseph Made and other senior Government officials.
Zimbabwe Minister of State for Manicaland Chimene Blasts ‘Lazy’ MPs
February 18, 2017
Cletus Mushanawani in Buhera
Zimbabwe Herald

MINISTER of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Cde Mandi Chimene has called on the electorate to elect Members of National Assembly who deliver on promises as some of them are now a liability to Zanu-PF.

Giving her welcome remarks during the First Lady, Dr Amai Grace Mugabe’s rally in Buhera yesterday, Cde Chimene said it was sad that some Members of National Assembly had deserted their constituencies in Manicaland.

“We are all volunteers in Zanu-PF. We are not in the party for monetary gain. When we go out to the electorate we should have programmes that change people’s lives. Some MPs here are not working for the people and they are letting the party down. Amai, you are the mother of the nation, but some of your children who were voted into office are not user-friendly and they are doing a disservice to the parry. It should be made clear that those who do not want to work for the people should step aside. We do not want liabilities in Zanu-PF,” said Cde Chimene.

“I want to urge the electorate to elect people who are easily approachable and not those who abandon their constituencies and give flimsy excuses of being busy. We should also not be ambitious in the party. You should not use your ambitions to create chaos in the party,” said Cde Chimene.

She said despite its richness, Manicaland had nothing to show for it.

“The province is endowed with gold, diamonds, vermiculate, phosphate, tantalite and copper. Illegal panning is rampant especially in Chimanimani at Tarka Estate where timber is being destroyed. Our mineral resources should not benefit a few individuals, but Zimbabwe as a whole. Corruption is rampant and panners are wreaking havoc. The country is losing a lot through these illegal activities.

“There is no diamond cutting and polishing in the province, yet most of the diamonds are being mined in Chiadzwa and Chimanimani. The merging of diamond companies is highly appreciated, however, the process should move with speed to ensure that our communities benefit from the diamonds. Furthermore, efforts should be made to acquire equipment relevant for deep mining of diamonds,” she said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Zanu-PF provincial chairman, Dr Samuel Undenge, thanked Dr Amai Mugabe for choosing Manicaland as her first port of call for 2017.

“We are honoured to be the first province to host Dr Amai Mugabe this year. The last time she was here, she empowered the Chimanimani community by donating tractors which have helped in changing lives there. She has continued with her generous donations as she recently donated chicks for income generating projects for women in Manicaland. We want to thank our mother for being an exemplary mother,” said Dr Undenge.

He said Zanu-PF was growing in Manicaland, and come 2018 it would sweep all the seats in the province.

“Zanu-PF is strong in Manicaland. The restructuring exercise went on very well and we now have more districts. We are witnessing defections from parties like Zimbabwe People First and all the MDCs. People are coming back to Zanu-PF in their numbers.

“I also want to reiterate that our candidate for 2018 is President Mugabe,” said Dr Undenge.

In her vote of thanks, Zanu-PF national secretary for transport and welfare Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said there was unity of purpose in Manicaland.

“We want to thank the First Lady, Dr Amai Mugabe for coming to Manicaland where she continued with her gospel of unity.

“Manicaland is a problem province as most of the opposition leaders are from Manicaland, the likes of the late Bishop Abel Muzorewa, Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, Edgar Tekere, Simba Makoni, Morgan Tsvangirai, Margret Dongo and now Didymus Mutasa.

“We will continue working hard to consolidate our position as the people’s party in Manicaland. We should put aside all our personal differences for the good of the party,” she said.