Tuesday, August 22, 2017

South Africa to Boycott Upcoming African-Israeli Summit in Togo

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been seeking partners to lobby the AU to grant Israel observer status.

South African Ambassador to Lebanon and Syria, Sean Benfeldt, on Tuesday said South Africa will boycott the upcoming African-Israel Summit to be held in Togo in October.

Benfeldt, who described the event as a step to normalise African relations with what he labelled an “occupation state”, made his remarks during his meeting on Friday in Beirut, Lebanon.

He was meeting with a delegation from the general secretariat of the Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad, the Palestinian Information Centre (PIC) reported.

The South African ambassador highlighted what he believed was Israel’s inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, stressing the need for practical solutions to the humanitarian suffering of the population in the besieged territory.

Benfeldt also adopted the delegation’s proposal to invite ambassadors of African countries in Lebanon to a special meeting soon to talk about the summit with Israel and the need to boycott it.

Israel has been embarking on a major charm offensive in Africa.

Last July, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led a delegation of business executives on a tour of Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

And in June this year, Netanyahu addressed the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit in the Liberia, where he offered water supplies and agriculture technology from Israel to Africa’s leaders, promising to liberate their countries from drought and food scarcity.

However, critics say Israel’s generosity comes at a price.

Israeli technology would solve Africa’s most urgent issues – as long as African nations opposed UN resolutions critical of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Apart from UN votes, Netanyahu is seeking partners to lobby the AU to grant Israel observer status.

Gaining observer status would enhance Israel’s relationship with African states and allow it to influence their voting at multilateral institutions such as the UN.

In July Edna Molewa, SA Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, who also heads the African National Congress (ANC) foreign affairs portfolio, questioned the African-Israel Summit during the ANC Policy Conference at Nasrec as the conference debated the possible downgrading or closure of the South African Embassy in Israel.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to Israeli efforts to galvanise support from Africa and elsewhere, with a view to undermining the Palestinian cause,” the Jewish Report quoted Molewa as saying.

The environment minister said the ANC also planned to “engage progressive forces on the continent on the need to develop a common position and posture in preparation for the upcoming African-Israel Summit scheduled for October 2017 in Togo”.

However, South Africa is now boycotting the African-Israel Summit.

– African News Agency (ANA)
Two Killed in Togo in Protests Against 50-year Ruling Dynasty
By John Zodzi

LOME, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Two protesters were killed and 13 others wounded in Togo on Saturday when security forces opened fire to break up demonstrations against the ruling Gnassingbe family dynasty, the security ministry said.

President Faure Gnassingbe has been in power in the West African country since the death in 2005 of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had been at the helm for 38 years.

Wearing the red colours of the opposition PNP party, chanting and singing "50 years is too long!", thousands of demonstrators in the capital Lome called for the reinstatement of the constitution limiting terms that Eyadema introduced in response to protests in 1992.

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse them.

But in a parallel protest in Sokode, 210 miles (338 km) north of the capital, clashes erupted and Togolese forces used live bullets.

The security ministry said that apart from the casualties among protesters 12 gendarmes had also been wounded.

"We do not understand our little Togo," said demonstrator Ali Boukari. "The father Eyadema was in power for 38 years, his son will soon have done 15 years. All we are demanding is a term limit and they shoot (tear gas) at us."

The 1992 constitution brought in notional multi-party democracy after decades of dictatorship, and limited presidential terms to two, but ten years later lawmakers amended it to enable Eyadema to run for another term - a common pattern in Africa.

Then, when he died, the military effectively tore up the constitution by installing his son as interim president, instead of the head of the national assembly, as was legally required.

The protests that followed Faure Gnassingbe's first election victory in 2005 triggered a violent security crackdown in which around 500 people were killed.

"We are protesting against the arbitrary nature of governance and denial of freedom to assemble," PNP leader Tikpi Atchadam said.

Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Richard Balmforth
Tensions in Togo as Anti-Gnassingbe Rally Turns Deadly
Thousands protesting against 50-year ruling dynasty call for the reinstatement of constitution limiting terms.

Togolese forces used tear gas to disperse protesters in Lome [Photo courtesy Emmanuelle Sodji]

Tensions have erupted in Togo after protests against the ruling Gnassingbe family dynasty over the weekend turned deadly.

Two protesters were killed, and 12 gendarmes were wounded in Sokode, 338km north of the capital, Lome, when security forces opened fire to break up demonstrations, the security ministry said on Saturday.

Tikpi Atchadam, Togo's opposition leader and president of the PNP party, put the death toll at seven on Saturday night.

READ MORE: Life after near-death for Togo's shot footballer

President Faure Gnassingbe has been in power in the West African country since the 2005 death of his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, who had been at the helm for 38 years.

Chanting "50 years is too long!", thousands took to the streets of Lome on Saturday calling for the reinstatement of the constitution limiting terms. Security forces fired tear gas to disperse them.

"We believe this is it," human rights activist Farida Nabourema told Al Jazeera on Sunday, adding that Togo was at a turning point.

"This is the time that this country that has been ruled by the oldest military regime in Africa decided to rise for its freedom."

'Togo on the move'

The hashtag #Togoenmarche, or "Togo on the move" in English, is being used to rally supporters.

There has been no official statement by the government regarding Saturday's violent protest.

Nabourema said: "People are still so motivated and so ready. They showed so much courage. People were pulling out bullets from their bodies. They were daring the regime and the military."

A demonstrator who spoke to Al Jazeera said the protesters were part of a peaceful movement to reinstate a 1992 constitution that brought in notional multi-party democracy after decades of dictatorship.

But 10 years later, legislators amended it to enable Eyadema to run for another term.

Then, when he died, the military effectively tore up the constitution by installing his son as interim president instead of the head of the national assembly, as was legally required.

The protests that followed Faure Gnassingbe's first election victory in 2005 triggered a violent security crackdown in which around 500 people were killed.

"We are protesting against the arbitrary nature of governance and denial of freedom to assemble," PNP leader Tikpi Atchadam told Reuters news agency.

With additional reporting by Leah Harding: @LeahHardingAJE

Reprinted from Al Jazeera
Dr Antwi-Danso Joins Call for Akufo-Addo to Intervene in Togo Crisis
Ghana | Myjoyonline.com
22-08-2017 Time: 02:08:13:am

International Relations expert, Dr. Vladimir Antwi Danso, has urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to use diplomacy to resolve bitter conflicts between President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo and leader of the main opposition party.

There is uneasy calm in Togo following parallel protests in the capital Lome and neighboring town Sokode with residents fleeing their homes.

The protesters want the country to return to the use of the 1992 constitution which imposes limits on presidential terms.

Dr. Antwi-Danso says the approach being used by the opposition party and its supporters will yield little results, suggesting that the agitations may escalate.

“Our intelligence community should be observing the situation to ensure that whatever happens over there is not detrimental to our security, that is the first and foremost.

“Our President should also watch that it doesn’t escalate and what he can do is to talk to both sides. I strongly suspect that he has done it. If he hasn’t done I will be very surprised,” Dr. Antwi-Danso said.

Dr. Antwi-Danso’s call follows a similar suggestion by a ranking member of Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who is Member of Parliament for North Tongu, says if Ghana does not mediate between the government of Togo and its opposition, the country will not be spared the consequences of a full-blown conflict.

Two protesters were killed and 13 others wounded on Saturday when security forces opened fire to break up demonstrations against the ruling Gnassingbe family dynasty, the security ministry said.
Togo: Security Forces Clamp Down on Anti-Gnassingbe Protestors
Sunday, August 20, 2017 3:14 pm

Togo’s Security forces are still trying to quell anti-Gnassingbe protests that erupted in the capital Lome, Saturday, with parallel demonstrations in Sokode in Togo, and Ghana’s capital Accra.

So far two protesters have been reported killed and 13 others wounded after the security forces opened fire to break up demonstrations against the ruling Gnassingbe family dynasty.

The demonstrators are demanding the country’s return to its 1992 Constitution which allowed multi-party democracy with a limited Presidential term of office; as many of them sang and chanted “50 years is too long”.

They also accuse the President of superintending over corruption in the country.

President Faure Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005 when his father, Eyadema Gnassingbe, died. His father had ruled the country for 38 years.

But the demonstrators say they are demanding “good elections with real results”, according to Civil Society member and Coordinator of the National Platform for Social Universities, Prof. David Dosseh.

Though the demonstrations were started by the main opposition PNP, CAP 2015, a coalition of five smaller opposition parties, and another coalition of six other smaller opposition parties, have both expressed support for the demonstrations.
“The military is said to have been deployed with many checkpoints erected following this support in fears that the demonstration may escalate in the coming hours”, Prof Dosseh said.
President Faure Gnassingbe is however yet to speak on the demonstrations and the killings.

By: Sixtus Dong Ullo/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Monday, August 21, 2017

Political Protest in Togo Claims Nine Lives
By A.B. Kafui Kanyi/Dominic Adoboli, GNA

Ho, Aug. 20, GNA - Nine persons, two civilians and seven security personnel are reported to have lost their lives in fresh political protests at Atakpame-Sokode in the Republic of Togo on Saturday.

The security clashed with hundreds of civilians demonstrating against changes in the Togolese Constitution, which they claim allowed presidents to remain in power 'forever' until voted out.

Two civilians were earlier shot dead allegedly in an attempt by the security to dispel the demonstrators.

The civilians reacted by burning security vehicles and killing seven security men.

Sources close to the Border Security Committee (BODSEC) told the Ghana News Agency that some demonstrators were picked by the police for questioning.

Similar protests took place worldwide, with demonstrators calling for the country to go back to its 1992 Constitution, which gave presidents two terms of four years to be in office.

Meanwhile, the country's main frontier, Lome-Aflao Border remains opened with no disruption in socioeconomic activities.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Charlottesville Clashes Typify Racial Turbulence in the United States
Durham socialists take direct action while ruling class seeks to reposition itself for a renewed political struggle

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Friday August 18, 2017

Thousands of people filled the streets in downtown Durham on August 18 after rumors circulated that the Ku Klux Klan had been granted a permit to march in the city.

Soon a standoff between anti-racist demonstrators and the police threatened to erupt into a rebellion. As the marchers moved to the Durham County old courthouse, four white men were confronted after making racist comments directed towards African Americans. Two arrests among the white men later followed. Another arrest was made after protesters refused a command by the police to disperse.

The events of August 18 reflect the rising tension in Durham and across the United States involving the continued existence of institutional racism. Reports from the demonstration indicate that some people were armed with axes and carbine rifles in an obviously open carry state in the South.

On the same day, August 18, Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist was relieved of his duties within the administration of President Donald Trump. Bannon had given a number of what was described as “unauthorized interviews” to media outlets where he drew the ire of chief of staff Gen. John Kelly.

Trump’s apologist view of the neo-fascist and racist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 11 and 12, went up against the standard view of the American elites in regard to issues of race and political culture. Although the U.S. political and economic structures are permeated with racial and national oppression which remain the order of the day as it relates to the social status of African Americans, the posture of Wall Street and the Washington establishment is not to acknowledge this reality.

The display of neo-fascist sentiments on the campus of the University of Virginia and in downtown Charlottesville was far too much for anti-racist and social justice activists to contemplate without a response. Thousands came out into the streets to oppose the “Unite the Right” rally designed to preserve the Southern Confederate heritage.

Police units withdrew when the alt-right operatives went on the offensive attacking the anti-racists and anti-fascist contingents. Eventually the racist mob was not able to hold its event at the location of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. In retaliation, one of their numbers plowed his vehicle into a crowd of anti-racist demonstrators, killing one young woman, Heather Heyer, and injuring 20 others, including five critically and four seriously.

People across the U.S. were outraged at this blatant act of right-wing terror.  Demonstrations flourished spontaneously in various cities and towns from the east coast to the west.

What added further fuel to the crisis was the response of Trump to the developments in Charlottesville. He appeared to be blaming “both sides” for the disturbances and consequently the death of Heyer. The following Monday, August 14,  the president then made a statement which seemed to be scripted condemning the neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members who marched through Charlottesville with burning torches chanting “we will not be replaced.”

A former KKK Grand Wizard told the corporate media that Trump must remember who put him in office. It was the white people and not the radical Left who voted for him in large numbers last November.

On August 15, Trump sought to add some luster to his non-existent “infrastructural program” through a press conference from Trump Towers where he was said to be on a “working vacation.” After a brief statement, he took questions which inevitably asked him about his views on white nationalists who have claimed that they are his supporters.

The president resurrected the “both sides are responsible” argument going even further insisting that not all of those present in the neo-fascist demonstrations were white nationalists, that some were “good people.” Taking to twitter on the morning of August 17, he reiterated this view while condemning what he called the “alt-Left.”

By the previous day, the White House manufacturing and business councils had been disbanded. Since the events in Charlottesville and Trump’s utterances on racism and neo-fascism, many leading council members from some of the largest multi-national corporations had resigned. All during the week of August 14-18, the stock market in New York experienced a precipitous decline, revealing the uncertainty over the direction of the current administration in Washington.

Durham Socialists Take Direct Action on Confederate Symbol

During an anti-racist rally on August 15, members of Workers World Party Durham branch led a political operation which took down a statue commemorating Confederate soldiers. Assisted by activists from other local organizations, those present sought to emphasize the necessity of anti-racists and anti-fascists to take matters into their own hands: to immediately remove symbols of the slave system independent of the official policies of the state.

Taqiyah Thompson, 22, a student at the Historical Black North Carolina Central University, climbed the statue and placed a rope around the neck of the soldier while others brought it tumbling down to destruction. No arrests were made at the time since Durham police claimed they had no jurisdiction due to the fact that the statue was on County property.

At a press conference called by WWP on Wednesday August 16, the activists relayed why they resorted to direct action. Thompson was quoted as saying: “I did the right thing. Everyone who was there—the people did the right thing. The people will continue to keep making the right choices until every Confederate statue is gone, until white supremacy is gone. That statue is where it belongs. It needs to be in the garbage.”

Chronicling the direct line from the Confederate withdrawal from the U.S. in 1861, the four year battle they waged to preserve slavery as an economic system and today’s lethal force utilized by law-enforcement against the African American people, Thompson emphasized that racism and national oppression remain as vestiges of the historical legacy of America. Over the last four years there has been an upsurge in anti-racist demonstrations in response to the police killings of Black and Brown people.

Thompson went on to say at the WWP Durham press conference on August 16: “The statue in Durham, North Carolina, said ‘to the boys who wore the gray.’ If we understand history, we know that those boys who wore the gray, today they wear blue, and they wear sheets over their heads.”

Soon after the press conference concluded Thompson was accosted and taken into custody by Durham County sheriff deputies. It was announced that other arrests would take place and they did. Leading WWP members’ homes were raided and personal property confiscated by the sheriff deputies. They have been charged with both felonies and misdemeanors.

By Thursday August 17, eight people had been arrested, charged and then released on $10,000 bond. All of them remain committed to direct action against racist monuments throughout the South and the country.

National Campaign Launched to Defend Durham Activists

Immediately a nationwide effort to raise legal defense funds for the activists began. On August 17, when four other activists who were informed that warrants were issued for their arrests turned themselves in at the Durham County Courthouse, dozens of people in solidarity attempted to solicit arrest as well. Those without warrants were turned away by the County.

According to the Herald Sun: “Peter Gull Gilbert, 36, Dante Emmanuel Strobino, 35, and Ngoc Loan Tran, 24, all of Durham, walked into the courtroom with their lawyer Scott Holmes, a private attorney and law professor at N.C. Central University…. Taylor Alexander Jun Cook, 24, turned himself in Thursday (August 17) afternoon. Three others – Raul Mauro Arce Jimenez, 26, of Durham; Elena Everett, 37, of Durham; and Aaron Caldwell, 24, of Raleigh surrendered at the Durham County magistrate’s office Thursday morning. All four faced warrants charging them with three misdemeanors – disorderly conduct by injury of a statue, damage to real property valued at more than $200, and damage to real property – and two counts of felony inciting a riot to cause property damage in excess of $1,500.”

Supporters of those charged are asking concerned people to demand that all of the felony and misdemeanor counts be dismissed. A statement released in the aftermath of the arrests says that people should call the DA (919-808-3010, press 4) – to insist the charges be dropped and for the sheriff and county prosecutors to halt all attempts to harass, detain or charge anti-racist activists.

A community petition requesting withdrawal of charges against all the defendants has been posted online for activists to sign and to also donate to a bond fund. It can be reached at:

In addition, the activists and their supporters are asking for people around the country and the world to call the following officials in Durham County: Sheriff: Michael D. Andrews (919)-560-0853; Wendy Jacobs: (919) 418-3169; Brenda Howerton: (919) 544-4160 : James Hill: (919) 536-8820; Ellen Reckhow: (919) 383-3883; Heidi Carter: (919) 225-4268, to demand that all charges against the Durham defendants be dropped.
Electoral Politics and the Crises of Governance in Africa
From Kenya, Rwanda to Angola and South Africa, parties struggle to control state apparatuses amid continuing dominance of regional economies by western states

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Saturday August 12, 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared victorious in his bid for a second term as leader of the largest economy in East Africa. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati made the announcement after presenting the tallied votes to the public on August 11 in Nairobi.

Kenyatta, 55, the son of the former British colony’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta, repositioned himself politically during 2016 when he formed the Jubilee Party. His campaign was run on emphasizing the need to restructure the Kenyan political system by turning over more authority to people within the counties and elected members of parliament.

The incumbent leader championed the annual five percent rate of growth in Kenya and held out the promise of sustainable development through the vast discoveries of oil and prospects for natural gas exploitation. Within a regional framework, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique as well as Kenya have been the source of substantial investments in the energy sector.

With specific reference to petroleum resources in Kenya, the Oxford Business Group reported in 2013 that: “Tullow and Africa Oil, which are joint partners in the exploration of the East Africa Rift Basin, announced in late September that drilling revealed oil in the Auwerwer and Upper Lokone sandstone reservoirs, bringing their total discoveries in Kenya to an estimated 300m barrels. The companies had previously announced a major discovery in Turkana after beginning exploration in late 2012. Tullow and Africa Oil have exploration licenses for 12 blocks and have identified 10 additional leads and prospects. They plan to drill 12 wells over the next year.” (oxfordbusinessgroup.com, Nov. 4, 2013)

This same article went on to say: “The Turkana discovery has led to major international interest in Kenya's remaining oil exploration licenses, including from France's Total, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, ExxonMobil and Chevron, though no other companies have yet announced commercially viable discoveries. Kenya has 46 blocks, of which 44 are licensed to 23 exploration companies. The government plans to create and offer seven new blocks in the near future.”

Despite these much lauded advances in economic potential, the Kenyan political scene is sharply divided between supporters of the president and his archrival Raila Odinga. Following the lead of Kenyatta, Odinga formed the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition bringing together several parties into an umbrella with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) which the politician leads.

Raila, the son of another prominent independence-era political figure and vice-president in the First Republic formed in 1964 by Jomo Kenyatta, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, often projects an air of entitlement to the presidency of Kenya. President Kenyatta and Vice-President Odinga split in 1966 after disagreements over Kenya’s relationship with the United States. At this time in the 1960s, Odinga was considered to the left of Kenyatta favoring a closer alliance with the socialist countries of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.

In 2007, a contested election sparked violent reprisals leaving over 1,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands dislocated. Mediation efforts by the African Union (AU) and other state entities on the continent brought about the formation of a unity government in 2008 with Mwai Kibaki as president and Odinga taking the position of prime minister.

 Later in 2013, Odinga attempted once again to win the presidency by claiming that he would improve relations with the West. This time Kenyatta ran a formidable race coming out on top in defiance of the wishes of the U.S. and Britain. Odinga rejected the election outcome in 2013 taking his claims of massive voter fraud to the Kenyan Supreme Court where it failed to overturn the popular vote.

Washington and London warned of grave consequences if Kenyans voted for Kenyatta four years ago. Both the president and Vice-President William Ruto were under investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands for ostensibly playing a role in the internecine conflict during 2007-2008. The deadly clashes pitting supporters of Kibaki against Odinga voters appeared to reveal an inter-nationality oppositional character since each candidate was associated with the Kikiyu (Kenyatta) and Luo (Odinga) groups.

The ICC pursuit of both Kenyatta and Ruto were dropped under the weight of the absurdity of the charges brought against these sitting leaders. This desire to detain, prosecute and imprison Kenyatta and Ruto further alienated many African leaders from the ICC which has demonstrated their pre-occupation with the continent. During the 50th anniversary summit of the AU held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2013, discussions began over whether member-states would unilaterally withdraw from the Rome Statue which established the ICC. These plans have not materialized due to the political and economic pressures exerted by the western imperialist states and their allies in Africa.

One glaring progressive trend which emerged from the Kenyan elections was the victories of 22 women members of parliament along with 3 female governors, the first in the country’s history.

An article published in the Daily Nation on August 11, noted: “A record 22 women had by Thursday (August 10) decisively won constituency seats in Tuesday’s (August 8) General Election, an increase from the 2013 number. And in some areas, a woman as being elected to a seat that has been the domain of men. But although the women set for the 12th Parliament are still few, they increased by six from the 16 elected in the last elections. The Jubilee Party has the majority of the women MPs-elect with 13, followed by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) with five and one each from Kanu, Party of Reforms and Democracy, as well as Wiper Democratic Movement and an independent candidate.”  

As it relates to the county governors, the Evening Standard emphasized on August 10 that: “It is history in the making for Kenya as we are set for our first female governors. Previously, all the 47 governors were male. The three strong women fought tooth and nail to secure the county’s top job. This is also good news for gender equality. Kenya is set to have its first female county bosses. It indeed is a milestone for equality considering we had no female governor(s) in the last government.”

Rwanda: The Ruling Party Wins in a Landslide

President Paul Kagame of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) won over 98 percent of the vote in the August 4 national elections. The only party certified to challenge the president who has ruled the Central and East African state since it seized power in 1994 after the genocidal war, was the Democratic Greens led by Frank Habineza coming in a far distant second.

An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered over a period of three months as the-then Rwandan military backed by a militia known as the Interahamwe sought to eliminate their opponents. The RPF began as an armed movement with close ties to neighboring Uganda in 1987. Kagame served in the Ugandan National Resistance Movement led by the current President Yoweri Museveni who has been in power for more than three decades. The Rwandan leader received training in U.S. military colleges and maintained close ties to the Pentagon serving as an ally in Washington’s foreign policy imperatives in East and Central Africa.

Rwanda is known for having the largest participation of women internationally within its parliamentary structure, some 61 percent. In addition, 50 percent of the Supreme Court justices are women as well as a significant number of cabinet ministers.

Nonetheless, the legacy of collaboration with the U.S. hampers its ability to exercise genuine sovereignty and an independent foreign policy. However, in recent years, Kigali’s relationships with nations it was previously at war against in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during its occupation in partnership with Uganda between 1998-2003, seems to have improved. In 1998, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) military commission headed then by the Republic of Zimbabwe authorized the deployment of troops from Harare, Angola and Namibia in defense of the government of the late former DRC President Laurent Kabila halting this Washington-backed attempt to seize control of the enormous mineral-rich central African state.

RPF rule has stabilized the country to the extent that the United Nations recently announced that Rwandan nationals living in other African states should return home. Zimbabwe, which played a central role in halting the takeover of the DRC nearly two decades ago, recently requested that Rwandans living in this Southern African nation return to their country.

Angolan President to Step Down Amid Oil Glut

The former Portuguese colony of Angola will elect a new head-of-state after President Jose Eduardo dos Santos leaves office. President Dos Santos inherited the position when the founder of modern-day Angola, Dr. Agostino Neto, died in office during 1979. Neto was a co-founder of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which won and consolidated independence for the country with the assistance of fraternal African governments along with hundreds of thousands of volunteers from the Republic of Cuba during 1975-1989.

Angolan independence was achieved through a protracted armed struggle from 1961 to 1975 when the U.S. and the-then racist apartheid regime in South Africa funded and coordinated two counter-revolutionary organizations in a failed attempt to create a neo-colonial outpost in this oil-rich state, one of the leading producers of petroleum on the continent. Since 2014, the U.S.-engineered overproduction of oil has created burgeoning economic crises in Angola as well as many other states around Africa and the world.

Angolan Defense Minister Joao Lourenco is designated to run for the presidency on behalf of the MPLA on August 23. The MPLA dominates the legislative body inside the country with 175 seats far outstripping its closest competitor UNITA which occupies only 32. UNITA, supported by the U.S. and the apartheid regime, waged a decades-long civil war against the MPLA government.

In 2002, UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi was killed by the Angolan military effectively ending the war leaving the opposition party with its only option of returning to electoral politics.

The challenges facing Angola are symptomatic of Africa as a whole. Continuing dependency on the viability and accessibility of western capitalist markets for the distribution of its most lucrative resources comes with an automatic degree of vulnerability. Africa’s only real option for sustainability is the development of an intra-continental trade policy which will not be realized absent of economic and political integration.

South Africa and the Obstructionist Opposition Fuels Economic Uncertainty

Since the fall of the settler-colonial regime of the National Party from power in the first multi-party non-racial democratic elections of April 1994, the African National Congress (ANC) has dominated South African politics. As the most industrialized state on the continent, the Republic of South Africa is undergoing a severe economic recession.

The situation in South Africa must be viewed within the broader political and economic context of the plight of the emerging nation-states across the region and globally. Rising unemployment, the persistence of poverty and the failure to redistribute national wealth provides the opposition forces with a mechanism to destabilize the government.

President Jacob Zuma, the outgoing leader of the ANC who is winding down his tenure as head-of-state, has been subjected to numerous attempts aimed at removing him from office. Another no-confidence vote against Zuma did not succeed on August 8 as the overwhelming majority of ANC MPs rejected the obvious regime-change scheme.

In December, the ANC will hold its 54th National Conference to choose a new leader to both head the party and the ticket for the presidency and national assembly seats in 2019. However, not satisfied with its failure to remove the president, the two largest opposition parties, the right-wing Democratic Alliance (DA) and the putative ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are now seeking to introduce a legislative motion to dissolve parliament and hold snap elections.

What is striking about these efforts is that neither of these two parties advances any real alternative policy orientation to the rule of the ANC. Although the EFF claims to advocate the nationalization of land and mineral resources, its principal objective is the bringing down of the ANC government making it a natural ally of the pro-colonial DA.

Perhaps the gravest danger to the National Democratic Revolution (NDR) is the worsening divisions within the ANC and the strained relations between the leadership of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the ruling party. Complicating the situation even further are differences inside the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) over its posture towards Zuma and his staunch supporters inside the ruling party. Memberships in all three of these entities overlap which does not facilitate the efficient operations of any of them.

At the recently-held SACP 14th National Congress in July, the party decided to remain as a key component of the Tripartite Alliance, being the ANC, COSATU, the South African National Civic Organizations (SANCO) and the Communist Party. Although pressure from provincial structures of the SACP to run candidates in their own name in 2019, it is not clear how much success would be achieved in light of the still vast majority support for the ANC throughout the country.

Conclusion: Multi-party Politics and the Need for African Unification

These four states discussed in this essay: Kenya, Rwanda, Angola and South Africa, typify the crises of governance and political economy within AU member-states. As long as internal divisions plague African governments and political parties, the overall struggle against imperialist domination will be thwarted.

The social aspirations of African workers, farmers and youth cannot be fully achieved absent of the merging of states, political parties, trade unions, peasant and mass organizations. Although there has been significant economic growth in Africa since the beginning of the present century, the recent period marked by the decline in commodity prices, the drop in currency values and the reemergence of the debt crisis which enhanced dependency on the world capitalist system during the post-independence period, could easily overwhelm the continent stifling the capacity to realize genuine development and regional sovereignty.

As thousands of Africans flee their countries every month seeking refuge as migrants in the European Union (EU) states, along with the inability to halt internecine conflict in nations such as South Sudan, the DRC, Egypt, Nigeria and Somalia, provides avenues for intervention by the Pentagon, various western intelligence agencies and NATO. The presence of untold numbers of troops from the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) across the continent under such conditions of social instability, economic uncertainty and political divisions, will only serve to maintain neo-colonialism.

African leaders both within and outside of state structures should place continental unity and socialist economic planning at the top of their agendas. The broader deployment of U.S. troops can only further reverse the historical movement towards Pan-Africanism and Socialism in the 21st century.     
Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Delivers Statement to Press TV: 'US Needs Mass Movement to Eliminate Racism': Analyst
Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:31PM

To hear the podcast of this statement just click on the website below:

The deadly clashes incited by US white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and President Donald Trump’s initial reluctance to condemn it underscores that the country urgently needs a mass movement to eliminate racism, an African American journalist in Detroit says.

Trump “refused to come out and specifically name a racist and fascist as a cause of this incident in Charlottesville,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire.

“Of course, yesterday he was forced to come out and make a statement, but people question how genuine his statement actually was,” Azikiwe said in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

Far-right officials like White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon are embedded in the Trump administration, making it impossible for Trump to disavow the loyalty of white nationalists, Azikiwe said.

“Therefore, what’s needed in this country is a mass movement of the progressive forces against racism, against neo-fascism to bring about the type of changes that are really needed in this country so racism and fascism can be totally eliminated from the United States,” he noted.

Thousands of people across the US took part in protests against Trump and hate groups on Monday following the bloody demonstration over the weekend in Charlottesville.

The white supremacists and neo-Nazis participating at the "Unite the Right" event were protesting against the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials from public spaces, specifically the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville.

Officials in states and cities across the United States said they would step up efforts to pull Confederate monuments from public spaces, despite the violence in Charlottesville.

Supporters of Confederate memorials argue they represent an important part of US history, while opponents view them as symbols of hate and racism as well as an affront to African-Americans.

The Confederate States of America was an unrecognized confederation of secessionist US states whose regional economy was mostly dependent upon agriculture, which in turn largely relied upon the labor of black slaves.
Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sun. Aug. 13, 2017--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
Listen to the Sun. Aug. 13, 2017 special edition of the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear this podcast for the program just go to the following URL:

The program features our regular PANW report with dispatches on the aftermath of the racist attacks on demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia where one person was killed and 20 injured when a neo-fascist drove his vehicle into anti-racist demonstrators; four people were killed by gunmen at a restaurant in Burkina Faso; South African President Jacob Zuma has indicated that disciplinary measures may be taken against ANC members who supported a parliamentary vote of no-confidence last week in Cape Town; and two United States troops were killed in a gun battle in northern Iraq.

In the second hour we will honor the 91st birthday of the late Cuban President Fidel Castro Ruz.

Finally, the legacy of Black August continues with an examination of the U.S. government's counter-intelligence program (COINTELPRO) directed against the African American liberation movement.
Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast for Sat. Aug. 12, 2017--Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
Listen to the Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire.

To hear the podcast of this episode just click on the website below:

The program features our regular PANW report with dispatches on the upcoming 91st birthday of the late Cuban President Fidel Castro Ruz; Bolivia President Evo Morales paid tribute to the indigenous population in this South American state; Venezuela has received support from throughout the region in the aftermath of threats leveled against its national security by United States President Donald Trump; and one person was killed in an anti-racist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In the second hour we look at the Kenyan national elections which returned President Uhuru Kenyatta to office for a second term.

The final hour continues our monthlong commemoration of Black August highlighting the contributions of former SNCC leader H. Rap Brown (Jamil Abdullah al-Amin), a political prisoner in the U.S.
Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Featured on China Global Television Network (CGTN): 'Aftermath of Kenya Elections Marked Allegations of Fraud by Opposition Party'
Watch this China Global Television Network (CGTN) interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, on the results and aftermath of the Kenya presidential, parliamentary and county elections.

To view this interview just click on the website below:

The interview aired live on Aug. 9, 2017 over The World Today news program. Azikiwe analyzes charges made by opposition coalition NASA party leader Raila Odinga claiming that the elections were rigged to favor incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee party along with the prospects for maintaining stability inside East Africa's largest economy.

According to its website: "China Global Television Network, or CGTN, is China’s new international media organization. It was launched by the national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) on December 31, 2016. By launching CGTN, we want to re-brand our product to the world, to cope with the global trend in media convergence.

"CGTN English is the flagship channel. The strategy, 'Mobile first', aims to fulfill the demands of global viewers and users for easier access to content on different platforms. With an international team of professionals from more than 70 countries and regions, CGTN is an investment in the future of news media. CGTN is a multi-language, multi-platform media grouping.

"It consists of six TV channels – including a 24-hour English-language news channel – a video content provider and a digital media division. Our new official website is www.CGTN.com .

"Headquartered at the landmark CCTV building in Beijing, CGTN brings together an international professional team, with production centers in Washington and Nairobi, and a European production center on the way."
Pan-African News Wire Editor, Abayomi Azikiwe, Interviewed Over Press TV Top Five: 'Kenyatta Declared Winner in Kenya Elections'
Watch this Press TV Top Five world news segment featuring an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, discussing the announcement by the Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) confirming the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the national poll.

To look at this world news segment just click on the following URL:

The report aired live during the evening of Fri. Aug. 11, 2017. Azikiwe notes the results for Kenyatta, the Jubilee Party as a whole and the historical gains made by women in the parliament and county governmental structures.

Unrest has taken place in at least two districts located in the capital of Nairobi and in the southwest area of Kisumu among supporters of the NASA coalition headed by Raila Odinga.

NASA has rejected the declaration by IBEC saying the process was fraudulent despite the presence of hundreds of observers from the African Union, the UN, COMESA, EU, the Carter Center, etc.
Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Featured on Press TV Top Five: 'Tensions High During Kenya Elections'
Watch this Press TV Top Five world news interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, on the unfolding post-election developments in the East African state of Kenya.

View this world news segment at the following URL:

This segment aired live on Wed. Aug. 9, 2017. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party is said to be 10 percentage points ahead of his rival former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is the candidate for the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition.

Azikiwe notes that this is not the first time that Odinga has claimed that Kenyan elections were rigged.

The ruling Jubilee Party asked all political parties to remain calm until official results are announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IBEC) on Fri. Aug. 11.
Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Featured on Press TV The Debate: 'Viewing Kenya Elections Within Geo-Political Context'
Watch this Press TV 'The Debate' program aired live on Tues. Aug. 8, 2017 featuring Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, along with George Shire of London, discussing the Kenyan national elections which were held on the same day.

To view this program just click on the website below:

Aspects of Kenya's relationship with regional states in East Africa in contrast to the western imperialist countries was reviewed.

Constitutional revisions in 2010 were designed to at least theoretically provide greater participation for people at the county and municipal levels.

Initial results indicate that incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party has emerged with a substantial lead.
President Mugabe in South Africa for SADC Summit
By Cletus Mushanawani

PRESIDENT Mugabe is in South Africa for the 37th Sadc Heads of State and Government Summit. He flew to Pretoria yesterday evening. The President was seen off at Harare International Airport by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Chris Mushohwe, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Joram Gumbo, State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi and service chiefs.

VP Mphoko is the Acting President.

The summit runs from August 19 to 20.

It will be preceded by a Double Troika meeting tomorrow (Friday).

Meetings of senior officials and Council of Ministers were also held as a build-up to the main summit.

The summit is running under the theme: "Partnering with the private sector in developing industry and regional value-chains".

South African President Jacob Zuma will assume the Sadc chair.

He takes over from King Mswati III of Swaziland.

The 37th Sadc Summit will focus on how Public-Private Partnerships can be harnessed to drive forward the industrialisation agenda of southern Africa.

It is also expected to consider a report by the Secretariat on the development of an implementation plan and roadmap on the conclusions of the Strategic Ministerial Retreat on the "Sadc We Want" that was held in Swaziland in March.

Among other things, the retreat directed the Secretariat to develop an effective mechanism for tracking progress in the implementation of regional programmes as well as compliance to protocols and legal instruments.

The summit is also expected to consider progress on the development of the Sadc Resource Mobilisation Framework.

The framework is expected to explore alternative sources of funding to determine how fiscal space could be created to enable Sadc member States to finance regional programmes, projects and activities.

President Mugabe is on record urging Africa to fund its programmes.

Donor funding comes with strings attached.

In July, President Mugabe donated US$1 million to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Speaking at the handover of the cheque, President Mugabe said: "To develop and realise the vision set out in agenda 2063, Africa needs to finance its own programmes. Institutions like the AU cannot rely on donor funding as the model is not sustainable.

"This humble gesture on Zimbabwe's part has no universal application but it demonstrates what is possible when people apply their minds to tasks before them."

The Sadc summit is also expected to focus on measures to improve food security in the region, in particular how to strengthen implementation of the Regional Agricultural Policy that aims to improve production, productivity, competitiveness and trade in the agricultural sector, natural resources and environment.

Another topical issue expected to be discussed by summit would be the proposed new structure of the Sadc Secretariat.

President Mugabe was welcomed at the Waterkloof Airport by South African ICT Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, who was already here, and Zimbabwe's Ambassador to South Africa Isiaah Moyo.
Further Your Education Like Chiwenga, Zimbabwe Soldiers Urged
By Felex Share

President Mugabe yesterday urged members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to take a cue from their Commander, General Constantino Chiwenga, and further their education to achieve academic excellence.

Gen Chiwenga is a holder of a doctorate degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.

Speaking during the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day commemorations at the National Sports Stadium in Harare, President Mugabe said Gen Chiwenga came up with a good thesis for his doctorate.

"Kareko vaiita shungu vaingoitawo dzokuita madegree pawo vega asi kune vakabudirira," he said. "Commander wepamusorosoro vaChiwenga ava ndiDr Chiwenga.

"Vakaita doctorate yakaisvonaka yekuti munoverenga vanenge vachienda kumauniversity. Ndozvazvinoitwa kana waita research yakadaro kumauniversities vanenge vanayowo. Unokwanisa kukumbira kuti chimbotipai tione, ini ndinenge ndirikuita zvakafanana nezvakaitwa nangana. Wokumbira unopihwa.

"Ndomaitirwo anoita research. Kana ivowo pachavo dzimwe nguva vangade kuti research yakadaro izova book chairo rinoprintwa richiverengwa nevazhinji, saka manga musina kumbovati makorokoto. Atova makore ndofunga maviri vaine degree iroro. Tinovimba nazvo izvi zvikuru. Let others follow the example, kudzidza hakupere."

The remarks by President Mugabe fly in the face of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, who, without any shred of evidence, has been claiming on social media that Gen Chiwenga did not write the thesis for his doctorate.

President Mugabe, who is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, commended the ZDF for turning the National Defence College into a university.

The university, known as the Zimbabwe National Defence University, had its first graduation last week where President Mugabe officiated.

Said the President: "Asi ndisati ndagara pasi, iro gore rino tapembedzwa navo (ZDF) nechiito chikurukuru chandakavhura musi uno uyu cheuniversity," he said.

"Vakati havangangorambe chete tava nemakore akawanda kudai ekuzvitonga vasati vava neuniversity yavo yeDefence Forces kwavanodzidzisa zvedefence izvozvo nesecurity pamusorosoro nepfungwa dzakadzama dzimwe dzatinopihwawo nedzimwe nyika dzokuti tive nekubudirira.

"Kuchazobuda vane madoctorare vakawanda, vane madegree epamusoro ekuDefence Forces. Ndakatovamba kare kuvapa mamwe madegree asi vaive vashoma vekuvamba navo chete. Vakanga vasiri voga vana vedu aewa, vakatenge vajoinwawo nevamwe vanobva kunana Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa zvichidaro. So, tinoti makorokoto kwavari."

The university is inculcating excellence in research, innovation, geopolitical economies, training and leadership developments and inputs into the Zimbabwe National Security Council outcomes of research on issues of national defence and security.
Zimbabwe President Commends Defense Forces
By Felex Share

President Mugabe yesterday highly commended Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) for being equal to the task of thwarting conspiracies by Western countries, which are aimed at frustrating development in the country.

As such, the Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said Government would work hard to improve the conditions of service for ZDF members who have demonstrated unquestionable loyalty to the country.

President Mugabe made the remarks yesterday while addressing tens of thousands of Zimbabweans and foreign dignitaries who gathered at the National Sports Stadium in Harare for the 37th Defence Forces Day celebrations.

The commemorations allow Zimbabweans to reflect and celebrate the key role played by the armed forces since the attainment of independence in 1980.

Said President Mugabe: "The secure environment that we have enjoyed as a country has not been a walk in the park for the Defence Forces. While our detractors work

round the clock to frustrate our development, the ZDF has always been alert to these manoeuvres and being equal to the task, they have succeeded in overcoming any such challenges.

"The ZDF have gone beyond just fulfilling their constitutional obligation of defending Zimbabwe's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Together with other arms of security, they have ensured that at all times peace prevails."

On improving conditions of service for ZDF members, President Mugabe said the Military Salary Concept should be considered for re-instatement.

The concept, which was stopped following the dollarisation of the economy, sought to reward general duty soldiers.

"In an effort to improve conditions of service for ZDF, Government has provided staff with vehicles and other equipment," President Mugabe said.

"However, a lot is still to be done to provide the forces with medical support, housing, salaries and allowances. Ndozvimwe zvavanochemawo nazvo izvi. Mari inotambirwa yakadzikira, ndinofunga kuti nekusimukira kurikuita nyika yedu vanhu vachazenge vachibhadharwawo zvakakodzera.

"But hatingati nekuti tiri kupihwa tumari twushoma hatichaita basa renyika, kwete. Basa renyika rinoramba richienderera mberi tinoruzivo rwekuti nyika yedu icharamba ine runyararo pasina bishi nemheremhere. Ichasvika kwekuperera, mari inenge yawanikwa and hurumende yakugona kupa vanhu masalaries akati kwire.

"It is also strongly recommended that the housing projects in Dzivarasekwa, Khumalo and Zimbabwe Military Academy, aimed at improving housing provision for the ZDF, be resuscitated."

President Mugabe said together with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, the ZDF had curbed illegal border crossing activities and smuggling of contraband.

The two establishments, he said, had also partnered in the Operation Hakudzokwi in the Chiadzwa diamond fields.

"The ZDF corps of engineers conducted de-mining operations on the south eastern Mozambique border in the Dumisa and Gwaivhi areas," the President said.

"The ZDF, in de-mining the country's borders of ant-personnel landmines received invaluable assistance from two cooperating non-governmental de-mining organisations, the HALO Trust and Norwegian People's Aid (NPA)."

The HALO Trust is working on the Mukumbura, Chisecha and Rushinga areas, while NPA is in the Cecil Kopje and Forbes Border Post minefields.

President Mugabe said de-mining was a risky task.

"Izvizvi zvimbambaira zvaidyarwa zvinoputika zviya ukazvitsika," he said. "Zvakangosara munzvimbo dzakawanda munyika, saka kunotova nebasa rinoitwa guru guru.

"Asika tinenge tisingazivi kuti maRhodesia aya ndepapi chaipo pazvakaiswa nepazvichiri. Ndozvinotambudza izvozvo. Dai zvaimera sembambaira taiona pazviri. Iyezvino kuatsvaga munotosevenzesa chimushina chinofema pazviri.

"Zvino chimushina chacho ndechekutobata zvishoma nezvishoma ndokusaka basa racho risati rapera. Kune nzvimbo dzinofungirwa kuti vangange vakacherera zvimbambaira izvozvo."

President Mugabe said to meet the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personal Landmines 2025 deadline, concerted efforts were needed.

He said the ZDF had also enlisted the services of two other de-mining NGOs, Mines Advisory Group and Apopo.

The two organisations were expected to begin operations before the end of the year.

He hailed the ZDF for embarking on several community assistance projects.

"During the Cyclone Dineo induced floods, ZDF deployed health personnel and helicopters to search and rescue marooned villagers in Tsholotsho, Gwanda, Masvingo, Zvimba and Mt Darwin," President Mugabe said.

"In 2015 to 2016, the ZDF were also active in the movement of drought relief maize to needy areas."

On the international scene, President Mugabe said, the ZDF continued deploying officers to regional and international peace support operations under the auspices of Sadc, African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN).

He said in light of this, six ZDF officers were in Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan (Darfur) and South Sudan.

"At the regional level, members of the ZDF participate in regional training exercises and other military exchange programmes, as part of their commitment to the operationalisation of the Sadc Standby Brigade," President Mugabe said.

"A contingent of ZDF members is currently deployed in Tanzania participating in a Sadc Special Forces exercise code named Exercise Matumbamwe, taking place this month.

"Field training exercise of this nature equip our troops with the much needed exposure and experience that are critical in the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the region."

This year's commemorations were held under the theme: "Zimbabwe Defence Forces: Resolute in Defence of National Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity for Socio-economic Development."
20 000 Throng Sakubva for Zimbabwe Defense Forces Celebrations
Over 20 000 people from all walks of life thronged Sakubva Stadium in Mutare yesterday to mark the country's 37th Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day celebrations.

The stadium started filling up as early 7am and by mid-morning the atmosphere was just electric as almost all the available sitting space had been taken up.

Members of 3 Infantry Brigade junior cadets, the army band and drum majorettes took turns to entertain the huge crowd.

Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Mandi Chimene, who was the guest of honour, inspected the guard of honour before she read President Mugabe's speech.

In his speech, President Mugabe challenged Government to improve the social welfare of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, saying the Military Salary Concept should be reinstated to motivate the officers.

"In an effort to improve conditions of service for ZDF, Government has provided staff with vehicles and other equipment," he said. "However, a lot is still to be done to provide the forces with medical support, housing, salaries and allowances.

"In this regard, the Military Salary Concept, which was stopped following the dollarisation, should be considered for reinstatement."

President Mugabe said housing projects for ZDF, which were initiated across the country, should be resuscitated.

The Zimbabwe Military Academy, he added, should also receive the attention it deserves.

President Mugabe hailed the ZDF for undertaking community development projects across the country.

"The secure environment that we have enjoyed as a country has not been a walk in the park for the Defence Forces," he said. "While our detractors work round the clock to frustrate our developments, the ZDF have always been alert to their manoeuvres and being equal to the task, they have succeeded in overcoming any such challenges.

"The ZDF have gone beyond just fulfilling their constitutional obligations of defending Zimbabwe's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Together with other arms of security, they have ensured that all times, peace prevails."

President Mugabe commended the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for complementing the ZDF in curbing illegal activities along the country's borders.

Additionally, President Mugabe called for unity between the army and police forces.

"With the Zimbabwe Republic Police, they have curbed illegal border crossing activities and the smuggling of contraband into and out of the country," he said.

"The two have also partnered in projects such as Operation Hakudzokwi in Chiadzwa Diamond Fields and guarding of key government establishments.

"The ZDF corps of engineers conducted demining operations on the South Eastern Mozambique border in the Dumisa and Gwaivhi areas. In their drive to demine the country's borders of anti-personnel landmines, ZDF have received invaluable assistance from two cooperating non-governmental demining organisation- the HALO Trust and the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA)."

President Mugabe said the ZDF had since enlisted the services of two non-governmental organisations to assist in demining in order to meet the 2025 deadline to clear all mined areas.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of Anti-Personnel Landmines.

Government representatives, Members of Parliament and traditional leaders were among the thousands that attended the ZDF Day commemorations.
Zimbabwe: Mahofa Heroine Status Announced

Minister Senator Shuvai Ben Mahofa, who died early Sunday morning, is expected to be announced today, Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial chairman Cde Ezra Chadzamira said yesterday.

The Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial executive wrote to the national party leadership requesting that Sen Mahofa be declared a national heroine. "We are still waiting for the Zanu-PF national leadership to make a decision on our application for her to be declared a national heroine," said Cde Chadzamira. "We expect an announcement on her status to be made tomorrow (today)."

Cde Chadzamira hailed Sen Mahofa for initiating various developmental projects in the province. "Masvingo will never be the same again," he said. "Minister Mahofa's death is a big loss to our party Zanu-PF and the province of Masvingo at large.

"We will always remember her for her unyielding desire to make sure the people of Masvingo prospered. She defied her ill health and worked tirelessly for the development of the province."

People from all walks of life yesterday converged at Sen Mahofa's home in the city, as the whole province was plunged into mourning following her sudden death.

Sen Mahofa, who was a Zanu-PF Politburo member and former Gutu South legislator, passed on at Makurira private hospital having battled poor health for many months.

She was also the secretary for security in the Zanu-PF Women's League national executive. A church service was held at her home in Masvingo that was attended by top Government and Zanu-PF officials.

Speakers paid glowing tribute to the late minister, with Cabinet ministers and senior Zanu-PF officials taking turns to salute her and her good works.

Zanu-PF Chief Whip and Gutu Central MP Cde Lovemore Matuke said Minister Mahofa's death robbed Masvingo and Zanu-PF of a leader, who was committed to the development of the province and the nation at large.

Zanu-PF secretary for Education in the Politburo Cde Joram Gumbo lauded Sen Mahofa for her dedication and commitment to duty.

Politburo member Cde Josaya Hungwe, also paid homage to Minister Mahofa, describing her death as a huge blow to the province and the ruling party.
National Heroes Acre - Zimbabwe's 37th Heroes Day Celebrations
August 14

President Mugabe this afternoon leads the nation in celebrating the country's 37th Heroes Day anniversary, remembering supreme sacrifices made by gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who fought to liberate the country from colonial rule.

Zimpapers Online gives you updates of the proceedings, live from the National Heroes Acre in Harare. Ministers of State will lead proceedings in each province and deliver the keynote speech on behalf of President Mugabe.

10:56 - Zimbabweans from all walks of life have thronged the National Heroes Acre to celebrate and honour the sacrifices made by the living and fallen Heroes of the liberation struggle. Senior Government officials and service chiefs have already arrived here and are preparing for the grand arrival of President Mugabe.

11:00 - Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has arrived. His colleague, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not able to attend today's function due to health reasons.

11:05- President Mugabe arrives at the national shrine amid wild cheers and the crowd shouts Gushungo! Gushungo! As the national Anthem is being sung, eight helicopters fly past in two diamond shapes.

11:07 - President Mugabe is now inspecting the guard of honour mounted by the Presidential Guard.

11:09 - The National Heroes shrine is a revered symbol of bravery and selflesness exuded by young boys and girls who participated in the liberation and development of the country.

11:10 - Two gun salutes in honour of the fallen Heroes. Towering high at the national shrine is the tomb of the unknown soldier which signifies tens of thousands of daughters and sons of the country who perished in the struggle and were never accorded decent burials due to the insensitivity of the colonialists.

11:14- According to the National Heroes Act, designation of national heroes is done by the President "where the President considers that any deceased person who was a citizen of Zimbabwe has deserved well of his country on account of outstanding, distinctive and distinguished service."

11:19 - Some of the heroes interred here at the national shrine include Comrades Leopold Takawira, Herbert Chitepo, Josiah Tongogara, Robson Manyika, Joshua Nkomo, Joseph Msika, Masotsha Ndlovu, Zororo Duri, Albert Nxele, George Nyandoro, William Ndangana, Sydney Malinga among others.

11:21 - A minister of religion has just given today's Bible reading to the gathering.

11:23 - This year's Heroes Day celebrations are happening at a time when tragedy struck the country this morning following the sudden death of Cde Shuvai Mahofa, a respected war collaborator who was also Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs.

11:27 - Vabvuwi Methodist Church choir takes to the stage to sing Vanouya Jesu

11:35 - The Director of Ceremonies for the day is Minister of Home Affairs Dr Ignatius Chombo and he has just invited The Head of State and Government, President Mugabe to deliver his keynote speech.

11:36 - President Mugabe takes to the podium and starts with salutations. He recognises the presence of Service Chiefs, mentioning them all by name. He welcomes all gathered here to commemorate the sacrifices made by fallen and living Heroes who delivered independence.

"We are gathered here to pay tribute to all our Heroes, where ever they are. On this solemn occasion, we remember the men and women who sacrificed for our freedom and independence," says President Mugabe.

11:38 - "These men and women should live forever in our memories and across generations.

11:40- "This national shrine and many others dotted across and beyond our country, are our own way of institutionalisation our heroes' lives. Beyond time and successive generations. In celebrating them, we affirm the ideals for which they laid down their lives.

"While, as a nation, every year we set aside the second Monday in August to commemorate and celebrate the lives of our heroes, we should in fact remember them everyday of our lives.

11:43 - President Mugabe says the nation shall certainly remember thousands who perished in the battle fronts and those massacred at Nyadzonia, Tembwe Freedom and Chimoio bases.

"As Father Mukonori eluded, even the masses endured torture and harassment at the hands of the colonialists", President Mugabe says. He says, fed up with the inhumane treatment they were subjected to by the settlers, a lot of young boys and girls skipped the border to fight for their independence.

11:46 - "Some of them were so young that we had to take them to school. We had to find out from among ourselves who the teachers were. We set up schools for them. We also needed doctors but they were not there. They later came after finishing training, the likes of Dr Sekeramayi, he says.

11:49 - Referring to Father Mukonori's Bible reading which spoke of a woman who committed adultery, President Mugabe jokingly asks what of the man with whom the woman committed adultery with, and the crowd bursts in laughter.

11:55 - President Mugabe has urged Zimbabweans to jealously guard the gains of the liberation struggle of which land is one of them.


11:58 - "Let us keep this land to ourselves and not bring back the whites because they are already talking, asking why we took back the land if we are failing to utilize it.

"There are some who are coming back clandestinely saying we left farming equipment and are entering into agreements with black farmers, we do not want that.

11:59 - President Mugabe says it is not true that Zimbabwe chased away white settlers saying only land was repossessed. "We did not touch any industry. They fled on their own," he says.


12:04 - President Mugabe has urged unity among Zimbabweans. "Unity, means we have to share the same ideology. But there are some who are still crawling by night going to Britain and her allies pleading for sanctions."

"We are appealing to those individuals to drop that kind of behaviour. Zimbabwe belongs to all of us.

"We say Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe belongs to all of us. We say Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans.

12:14 - President Mugabe says at the end of the struggle, Zimbabweans reconciled with the colonisers and even South Africa copied the model at their independence.
Kim Jong Un Inspects Command of KPA Strategic Force
Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the DPRK State Affairs Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, inspected the Command of the KPA Strategic Force on August 14.

He was accompanied by KPA Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong So, director of the KPA General Political Bureau, and Kim Jong Sik, deputy department director of the WPK Central Committee.

Arriving at the command, he waved back to the cheering service personnel before posing for a photograph with them.

He looked round the revolutionary relics and data displayed in the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist study room.

At the command centre, he heard a report of General Kim Rak Gyom on the Strategic Force’s plan for the enveloping fire at Guam, examined it in detail for a long while and had a serious consultation with the commanding officers.

He praised them for making such an elaborate and careful plan true to the Party’s intention and checked the readiness for the demonstration fire.

Hearing the report of the commander of the Strategic Force that they have completed the preparations for the enveloping fire and are waiting for the Party Central Committee’s order, he expressed his satisfaction with the immensely high spirits of the Hwasong artillerymen. He said that the US’ reckless moves towards military confrontation have virtually put its neck into the noose and that he would keep an eye some more on the behaviour of the foolish and stupid Americans who are spending a wearisome time as tragic doom stares them in the face.

He advised the US, which is driving the Korean peninsula situation to the brink of explosion, carried away by irremediable rashness, to ponder clear-headedly to which side the current situation is more disadvantageous.

In order to ease the tension and prevent dangerous military conflicts in the peninsula, he said, the US will have to make a right choice and show its attitude by action first as it has caused trouble by shipping lots of nuclear assets in and around the peninsula, and it should quit insolent provocations and unilateral coercion against the DPRK at once and get on the latter’s nerves no longer.

If the Americans keep trying out its patience and behaving in a dangerous and reckless way around the peninsula, the DPRK will make a crucial decision as it already clarified, he noted, adding the US should think reasonably and judge correctly if it does not want to bring shame on itself in the face of the world by taking another blow from the DPRK.

If the US rashness goes beyond the limit and the planned demonstration fire is carried out, he said, it will be a most thrilling historic moment when the Hwasong artillerymen wring the neck of the US or point a dagger at it. He ordered the Strategic Force to be always on standby for launch so that it can launch into action anytime the Party makes the decision.

As he made the rounds of the military training centre and gymnasium, the Supreme Leader stressed the need to thoroughly establish Juche in education and constantly improve the quality of military training course and to set up a refresher training system for commanding and technical officers of the Strategic Force without fail.

He looked round the mess hall of a unit and other supply facilities at the headquarters of the large combined unit and saw a performance given by the artistic motivational team of the large combined unit at the hall of soldiers.

By PT staff reporter

Friday, August 18, 2017

Meeting Marks Publication Anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s Work
A Pyongyang municipal meeting took place at the Central Hall of Workers on August 3 to mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of Chairman Kim Jong Il’s work Let Us Carry Out the Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung's Instructions for National Reunification.

“Chairman Kim Jong Il published the immortal work on August 4 1997 to provide guidelines for accomplishing the cause of national reunification,” said Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country.

In the work the Chairman formulated President Kim Il Sung’s three principles of national reunification, the 10-point programme for overall national unity and the proposal for founding a Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo as the Three Charters of National Reunification and clarified tasks, ways and principled matters to complete the cause of national reunification, he stated in his keynote speech.

He described the work as a library which gives scientific answers to all the problems arising in crystallizing the President’s idea and line of independent reunification and great exploits in an all-round way and accomplishing the long-cherished cause of national reunification.

The Chairman wisely led the effort to carry out the President’s instructions to the letter, consistently holding fast to the Juche-oriented reunification line and policy, he said.

Thanks to the Chairman’s noble yet patriotic will and courageous decision to reunify the country, he noted, the June 15 2000 Joint Declaration whose gist is the By-Our-Nation-Itself idea and the October 4 2007 Declaration, its action programme, were adopted, setting up a historic milestone for independent reunification in the new century.

Today the great leaders’ Juche-based reunification ideas and lines and their undying feats are successfully being carried forward by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, he added.

He called for working harder to complete the cause of the Juche revolution and achieve the independent reunification following the Supreme Leader, the lodestar of national reunification.

Political System of the State
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is an independent socialist State representing the interests of all the Korean people.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a revolutionary State which has inherited the brilliant traditions formed during the glorious revolutionary struggle to fight against the imperialist aggressors and to achieve the liberation of the country and the freedom and well-being of the people.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is guided in its activities by the Juche idea and the Songun idea, a world outlook centred on people and a revolutionary ideology for achieving the independence of the masses of the people.

The sovereignty of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea resides in the workers, peasants, soldiers, working intellectuals and all other working people.

The working people exercise State power through their representative organs–the Supreme People’s Assembly and local People’s Assemblies at all levels.

All State organs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are formed and function on the principle of democratic centralism.

The organs of State power at all levels, from the county People’s Assembly to the Supreme People’s Assembly, are elected on the principle of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

Deputies to the organs of State power at all levels have close ties with their constituents and are accountable to them for their work.

The electors may recall at any time the deputies they have elected if the latter lose the trust of the former.

The social system of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a people-centred system under which the working people are the masters of everything and everything in society serves them.

The State shall defend the interests of the workers, peasants, soldiers, working intellectuals and all other working people who have been freed from exploitation and oppression and become the masters of the State and society, and respect and protect human rights.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall strive to achieve the complete victory of socialism in the northern half of Korea by strengthening the people’s power and vigorously performing the three revolutions–ideological, technological and cultural–and reunify the country on the principle of independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is underpinned by the politico-ideological unity of all the people based on the worker-peasant alliance led by the working class.

The State shall revolutionize all the members of society and assimilate them to the working class by intensifying the ideological revolution, and shall turn the whole of society into a collective, united in a comradely way.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall conduct all activities under the leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

The State shall adhere to the class line and strengthen the dictatorship of the people’s democracy so as to firmly defend the people’s power and socialist system against all subversive acts of hostile elements at home and abroad.

The State shall implement the mass line and apply the Chongsanri spirit and Chongsanri method to all its activities, the spirit and method by which superiors assist their subordinates, mix with the masses to find solutions to problems and rouse them to conscious enthusiasm by giving precedence to political work, work with people.

The State shall determinedly conduct the Three-Revolution Red Flag Movement and other mass movements so as to accelerate the building of socialism to the maximum.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall champion the democratic national rights of Koreans overseas and their rights recognized by international law as well as their interests.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall guarantee the legal rights and interests of foreigners in its territory.

Independence, peace and friendship are the basic ideals of the foreign policy and the principles of the external activities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The State shall establish diplomatic as well as political, economic and cultural relations with all friendly countries, on the principles of complete equality, independence, mutual respect, non-interference in each other’s affairs and mutual benefit.

The State shall promote unity with people all over the world who defend their independence, and resolutely support and encourage the struggles of all people who oppose all forms of aggression and interference and fight for their countries’ independence and national and class emancipation.

The law of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea reflects the wishes and interests of the working people and is a basic instrument for State administration.

Respect for the law and strict adherence to and execution of it is the duty of all institutions, enterprises, organizations and citizens.

The State shall perfect the system of socialist law and promote the socialist law-abiding life.