Friday, September 30, 2016

ZANU-PF Solidly United: President
October 1, 2016
Zimbabwe Herald

President Mugabe confers with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, while Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko and zanu-pf Secretary for the Commissariat Saviour Kasukuwere looks on at the Women's League National Assembly in Harare yesterday. — (Picture by Justin Mutenda)

Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter

Zanu-PF is solidly united and will not allow rumours to divide and destroy its top leadership, including the two Vice Presidents with liberation war credentials, President Mugabe has said. He said factions did not exist in the revolutionary party, which only had distinctive organs. Addressing the zanu-pf Women’s League National Assembly at the party’s headquarters in Harare yesterday, President Mugabe emphasised the need for unity.

The meeting was also attended by Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekhezela Mphoko, Women’s League National Assembly members, National Executive Council members, Politburo and Central Committee members among others. The President warned those spreading rumours of divisions between him and his deputies that they would yield nothing.

“We are united at the top. Whatever people might say, we just continue and continue to do our work. Lots of things have been said about my VPs and we have said let’s do our work and ignore them. Serve the people and that’s it.

“Rumours hatidi, hatidi marumours isusu. Talk to the people using the voice of unity, language of unity and not language of division. Don’t divide. Rumours hatidi, running from one area to another. No that’s not zanu-pf. You may see the information coming to you, fine. But you should not be the rumourmonger yourself nekuti dzimwe nhema dzinotitemesa musoro, dzimwe dzehuroyi dzimwe dzei aah. Unosvika kupi nadzo uchiti pautatu hwedu apa, tinotovareva? Chero mumwe auya oti musapiwa maranjisi navanaMnangagwa anenge azodzwa vanenge vabva kun’anga dzavo. Iro ranjisi rine makoko! Kana! takabvira kupi nerwendo urwu tiri pamwechete?

“This is 2016, takararama jeri tiri tose tikabuda, kunanaMozambique tiri tose, tikaona independence tiri tose. Muroyi azouya nhasi? “Ndingade kuziva anonzi ndiye muroyi wacho, ndonzi ndiye n’anga yacho ndogoionawo ini. “So let’s be united. But unity must recognise others who do not belong to us. Leave them in peace.”

He commended youth secretary, Cde Kudzai Chipanga, for organising the One Million Man march, which he said went on well. President Mugabe said the youths were important in the party as they were the future and heirs of the inheritance.

“Vana Chipanga tinoda kukutendai. I am glad you are here. Mukomana uyu akaorganiser One Million Man March yakavhundutsa. That was a demonstration of what we can do in the future and the party. So we say to you well done congratulations. Ndimi the youths vanotumwa nanamai vanodefender vanamai nababa. Ndimi vagari venhaka and you should be worried about the future of the party much more than the Women’s League.

President Mugabe said factions did not have any place in the ruling party as Zanu-PF operated on organs and not factions. “To hell with factions I would say. The party knows nothing that is a faction. Muconstitution yedu hamuna zvefaction, mune maorgans. Mune maorgans eparty but you will find people wanting to divide the party.

“There had been some instances by outsiders thinking the party is divided, demonstrating and appealing nationally for persons within the party to join and I am glad they have been shown that our party is not that stupid,” he said. He said Pastor Evans Mawarire of the #This Flag, failed to divide the people when he called for demonstrations against the Statutory Instrument 64.

“Vana Mawarire unouya achijamba, kujambira neukoko achiti taita nyaya yekuBeitbridge futi yekuti vanhu vange vachidemonstrator ikoko nekurambidzwa kwavakaitwa kuunza muno munyika zvatinogona kuwana muno nekuti zvinokanganisawo vashandi vedu. Mawarire wakabva nepi. Afunga kuti vanhu vachauya mirwi vachibva mumaparty mese akanyara. Ndobva akatiza hoyo takazonwa kuti ave kuAmerica,” he said.

He dismissed that there were demonstrations against him at the United Nations and said he did not see the demonstrators, but only members of the December 12 movement. “Vakaenda kuUnited Nations ini handina kumbovaona ini. Takangonzwa chete kuti kwanga kuine 19 vakauya kuzodemonstrator but group yedu ye December 12 did well,” he said.

“So let’s remain this tight and not allow these outsiders to penetrate us. Maparty aya, anana Mai (Joice) Mujuru ana Dumiso (Dambengwa), Welshaman Ncube kana vana (Tendai) Biti vanoramba vachingodimbuka dimbuka kudaro vachiita zvipiece zvipiece sechinhu chiya chi amoeba.

“The outsiders will not stop their attempts – their efforts to undermine our unity. They will look at the various ways of dividing us. Madilpomats anotipindira nenyaya yekuda mari yekuorganiser kana mari chaiyo yekushandisa vachiita in-bite.

When diplomats in-bite our people vachivafurira, quite often, we get the stories that so and so and so was invited nemaAmeriacans nemaBritish. You have stood firm. Let’s continue to stand firm as we have done before,” he said.

President Mugabe applauded the support the party got from the Women’s League and said he preferred to attend their meeting than going to Botswana where he was invited for an independence anniversary.
No Plot to Oust Zimbabwe VP: Women’s League
October 1, 2016

Zanu-pf Women’s League Secretary First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe (left) greets Deputy Secretary for Environment and Tourism  Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa at the Women's League National Assembly meeting in Harare yesterday. — Picture by Justin Mutenda

Daniel Nemukuyu
Senior Reporter—
Zimbabwe Herald

Zanu-pf Secretary for Women’s Affairs First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe says the Women’s League is in full support of the party’s two Vice Presidents, Cdes Phelekezela Mphoko and Emmerson Mnangagwa. She dismissed wrong insinuations and misunderstandings drawn from the women’s cry to be represented in the party’s Presidium as implying efforts to remove one of the two VPs. Speaking at a Women’s League National Assembly meeting in Harare yesterday, Dr Mugabe said proposed amendments to a section of the zanu-pf constitution were wrongly misinterpreted as a strategy by women to oust one of the reigning VPs, stressing that the league was solidly behind the VPs’ leadership.

“Your Excellency, just to put the record straight, our resolution was misunderstood and misinterpreted. “The resolution was never meant to dispense with anyone. On this note, I wish to assure ubaba uVice Presidents and Second Secretary, Cdes Mnangagwa and Mphoko that you have our full support,” said Dr Mugabe.

During the 15th National Annual People’s Conference in Victoria Falls last year, the Women’s League resolved to push for the amendment of the revolutionary party’s constitution to allow for the appointment of a female Vice President. They wanted Article 7 (1) (b) of the ruling party’s constitution amended to reinstate the previous provision that one of the two VPs and Second Secretary shall be a woman.

The women gave the party up to the end of this year to effect the amendment ahead of the 2019 Congress. Yesterday, the women hailed Government, under the leadership of President Mugabe, for making great strides in promoting gender equity.

“It is gratifying to note that amongst our National Assembly members are women, whom you elevated to positions of decision-making both in the Party and Government, to promote gender equity as well as to dilute the male-dominated political space.

“In this regard, Cde President, on behalf of members of the Women’s League National Assembly and on my own behalf, I wish to express my sincere gratitude for your invaluable support. Furthermore, we appreciate the initiatives undertaken by Government under your (President Mugabe) wise stewardship in transforming the lives of women in Zimbabwe through progressive policies and legislation enacted since 1980,” said Dr Mugabe. She urged the private sector to play its part in complementing Government efforts to empower women.

“In this regard, we call upon the private sector to take a cue from the initiatives being undertaken by Government towards attaining 50:50 gender representation at all institutional levels as the constitutional obligation equally applies to them. We are hoping that the newly formed Gender Commission will work tirelessly towards the realisation of this constitutional requirement,” she said.

The Women’s League hailed President Mugabe for his stance against child marriages. The First Lady reiterated the women league’s support for the President in in 2018 elections.

“We want to reiterate our first resolution passed during the 15th National Annual People’s Conference that is, ‘to support President Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe as the sole candidate for position of President and First Secretary for Zanu – PF as well as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe for 2018 and beyond’.
Khama: When Glory Quest Exceeds Own Interest
October 1, 2016
Opinion & Analysis
Nathaniel Manheru
Zimbabwe Herald


A BIG thank you and apology are merited. Thank you to The Sunday Mail for hosting me last week. A big apology to the Editor of The Herald and of course my readers for not meeting my commitment last Saturday. What man proposes, God disposes. Matters simply went beyond my control, which is why I could not meet my fixture. And because the issue on hand was time-sensitive, I had to plead for some space in The Sunday Mail. I hope you, my readers, were still able to catch a whiff of my defining pungency, in the process locating the temporary hole which housed the civet cat for the week that went by. Amazingly, the responses were as good and as robust, the hits reaching a staggering 25 000 at the last count. It speaks eminently of the group spirit, the collegiality of this behemoth called Zimpapers. A big thank you to you PD (Pikirayi Deketeke) for the broad, encompassing, group-wide corporate culture you have helped nurture. And of course to the Editors for running seamless editorial propositions.

Resorting to a head count of enemies

Is it not rather strange that the opposition media has obsessed and made so much about Ian Khama’s alleged comments on Robert Mugabe, the elected President of Zimbabwe? Alleged because the Botswana foreign ministry decided on a quiet explanation tendered to the Zimbabwe Government, but without taking the trouble to make a public retraction of the story. To me that said a lot. Still I failed to grasp the rhyme or reason of the excitement in the opposition press, apart from a truculent desire to make cheap pot shots at the President of Zimbabwe. And you get a sense of a defeated lot finding succour in deriving perverse pleasure in whoever throws a missile at Robert Mugabe, however dull and gratuitous the hurled epithets may be.

Far from reflecting on Robert Mugabe, this editorial proclivity says a lot about the desperation of Mugabe’s media detractors, who reason that having lost the argument, the next best thing is a head count of whoever else is displeased with their diffident nemesis. And diffident he has been, what with the loud silence with which he has personally greeted the Khama story. Very much typical of the man. He will not pick a fight with a fellow African leader, however, wayward and stilted that leader’s thinking may be. And there is a lot that was wayward and senseless in what Khama is alleged to have told Reuters, a few days ahead of his country’s national day.

Overly sensitive on what least matters

In the first place he, out of own volition, invited the Zimbabwean leader for his country’s national day, with his solicitous lady chief of protocol pressing the Zimbabwean delegation in Zambia to know if President Mugabe was coming. Khama did not have to invite President Mugabe, all the more so given his weird views on Mugabe’s tenure.

Why slur the dignity of your nation’s commemorative event by having an unfit guest? It is this paradox which seems to give credence to a reading that the invitation was done without any sincerity, and in the hope that the invitee would turn it down. Which the delayed confirmation from Zimbabwe almost did. And the reasons for such expectations were not very hard to find. The Botswana President had invited his “uncles” from the UK, as well as a high-ranking official from the Obama administration. That is Botswana’s prerogative, indeed an expression of its sovereign will. Except both sensitivities did not matter, if only the Tswanas had advised their President properly.

The British royalty has largely stayed clear of the bilateral tiff between Zimbabwe and Britain, with members of the British Royalty even sitting next to the President of Zimbabwe far back at the height of that bilateral tiff between the two nations. Secondly, Mugabe’s foreign minister met with the very same official from the Obama Administration whom the Botswana government invited on the occasion of their 50th Anniversary. And the meeting was at the instance of the Americans. Really, there was little to worry about. To tender this explanation is not to suggest there was a desperation to attend the Botswana event. It is simply to help the Tswanas know that they were overly sensitive on matters which Zimbabwe had long gotten over vis-a-vis the Anglo-Saxon nations in question. And even when it comes to the British Government, there is reasonable level of interaction in spite of the wide differences.

When courage failed a soldier-president

Secondly, President Khama had met his Zimbabwean counterpart on two occasions in the most recent past, including in Zambia, at the inauguration of President-Elect Lungu, barely two weeks before. Fortuitously, the two were the only heads of state who graced the occasion, which is why they wound up seating next to each other in the stadium. If President Khama had issues with his Zimbabwean counterpart — whether national or personal — he should have taken advantage of those encounters to raise them directly with President Mugabe. He would have come across as both courageous and sincere, indeed such a gesture would have expressed the depth of his concern on the politics and fate of Zimbabwe as he saw both from his perspective. This is not to raise issues of pertinence. That he did not raise a whole host of questions about his motives and courage index, when pitted against the veteran nationalist he says he is a problem for him and for the region.

Helping a wilting cause

Thirdly, there is the whole question of timing. Like the Mawarires and other local opposition actors, he elected to express his unsolicited opinion on Mugabe’s leadership and its tenure in the week of the United Nations General Assembly. What impact was being sought and which audiences was he performing to? Was it a matter of coincidence that he picked the anti-Mugabe mantra when the publicity wiles and subterfuges of the local opposition were showing every sign of wilting? Or was this meant to help and shore up a local cause he clearly saw as faltering? And whose cause, and why was it so important to a whole President of a neighbouring country?

When he should have worn the cap

Fourthly, Ian Khama handed over the chairmanship of sadc not too far back to Swaziland, after a whole year at the helm of the sub-regional body. In the context of Southern African politics, it is difficult to think which other time, and what other capacity would have given him the legitimate status to comment on the politics of the region, including those of Zimbabwe, than when he was chairman of sadc. After all, precious little happened on the sadc front during his year-long tenure, meaning the time he was not an activist sub-regional leader was time enough for him to reflect on the whole governance ethos in the region. Again, that chance was not used.

In Swaziland, he tried rather unseemly to raise the issue of Zimbabwe using the pretext of some dubious communication he alleged he had got from a curious group which calls itself “The Elders”. Had any other sadc leader, he asked, received any such communication on Zimbabwe from this group? None had, he learnt. He backed off.

By that time President Mugabe had already left Swaziland for Dubai. Other sadc leaders, correctly sensing the rather impious motive behind the seemingly by-the-by enquiry, decided to send a very clear, unambiguous signal to both the so-called Elders, and of course to Khama himself whose interest in the communication hardly measured up to the disguise. Leader after leader spoke against the so-called Elders, and against the whole notion of seeking to influence sub-regional politics through national political processes of member countries. The message was clear, and looking at his silence on the day, and his eventual courage expressed through Reuters, a character profile of the man begins to show. It is not a very flattering one, less so for a soldier-president who must show courage and conviction.

“This is the Mugabe I know”

But also is it not ironic that he merely elaborated on a theme developed by President Mugabe for sadc when his turn to lead the sub-regional body came? Surely that does not suggest hoary thinking and leadership which the Reuters interview imputed on the Zimbabwean president. By the way, Khama had personally ululated for Mugabe when the Zimbabwean leader confronted South Africa at the sadc Summit in Victoria Falls on the issue of the deleterious de-industrialisation of the rest of the region, thanks to South Africa’s beggar-thy-neighbour industrial philosophy which it has since revised, diplomatically at the very least. “This is the Mugabe I know!” is what Khama said then. It suggested a Mugabe who not only led his nation, but the region as well ideationally. Indeed the unanimous adoption of industrialisation and value-addition as a key sadc regional policy resoundingly demonstrated that leadership. When then did Khama re-classify Mugabe as a regional problem, as he claimed in the interview?

Mapping poverty down South

But there were other developments which unfolded, and which seem to help us contextualise the (mis)behaviour of the Botswana President. Apart from the intrusive Elders — strangely enough a motley crowd by all human measurements — you also had statements from western embassies here concerning local political developments, statements clearly uncalled for and intrusive. Then you had Mboweni, Tito Mboweni, the former Governor of the Central Bank of South Africa and his queer fund meant to help poor “Zimbabweans” begging in “our street corners” in South Africa. It is a fact that there are many Zimbabweans in South Africa, including some who beg or sell their wares at street corners and along the intersections of South Africa’s major roads. That is a fact. But it is also a fact that there are a lot more South African beggars and vendors on South African soil, if truth be told. Above all, there are many other vendors from neighbouring countries and even beyond, which is what makes poverty mapping in South Africa such an intricate process.

Telescopic philanthropy

But to suggest setting up a fund for poor Zimbabweans in a country where there is upward of 40 percent black unemployment, and where, like in Zimbabwe, there is massive informalisation of economic activity for black South Africans, is surely to be at odds with hard facts on the ground. There is no arguing that poverty in South Africa, as indeed in most Southern African countries, is black, and also a combination of local unemployment and migrancy. But to choose to see begging and vending as exclusively Zimbabwean is to indulge in deceitful self-pleasure. It is — Dickensian Mrs Jellyby-like — to indulge in telescopic philanthropy.

For those who did not read Charles Dickens’s forbiddingly fat Bleak House, Mrs Jellyby was a personification of what Dickens saw as the grotesque hypocrisy of Victorian Britain’s loud, empty philanthropy. The lady would heartily weep over some Tuckahookapo Red Indians in some imaginary, newly discovered South American country, natives she weepingly suggested sorely needed redemptive adoption by the Europe’s white philanthropic industry.

Meanwhile, back home, nay meters away from her maudlin sentimentality, her own urchin children — unkempt, unfed, undressed — would dangle dangerously pincered between two iron rails – thoroughly neglected — just next to her fretful person. She personified monumental failure in British parenting demonstrated by a generation which hypocritically sought to parent millions of “heathens” living happily and closely knit in faraway lands. Central Bank governors are supposed to be down-to-earth men, something which the dilettante Tito Mboweni seems to find hard to learn. Except all this is to assume the gesture was meant as a genuine fight against poverty. Of course it was not. It was meant as a show for the notice of the anti-Mugabe western industry. Once one looks at this whole broad external build-up, one then begins to understand why Khama’s act was part of a

longer, richer and wider scene in intrusive politics planned from across the seas, but employing “local” actors to give it a patina of localism. And “local” in this sense is regional.

When Namibia stood tall on principle

Lastly, two developments in the region also help us understand this whole affair even better. One happened in the US, at some American university. The Namibian President was asked a similar question as put to the Tswana President by Reuters, only this time by some character who claimed to be a citizen of Zimbabwe. And the response of the Namibian President — oh my God, what a stark difference with that of Khama! Not only did it show maturity; it exhibited a firm grasp of the length and breadth of his own authority as the leader of Namibia, a country in sadc. Zimbabwe was a sovereign country, he maintained, with its political questions falling exclusively on Zimbabweans whose sole province it was to resolve them. Such was the ethos of sadc, he added. By contrast, Khama tried abortively to be transcendental. Abortively because there is practically nothing he can do about those politics obtaining here, try as hard as he may. In fact, he has tried to be the power behind Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T, but to no avail.

There is not much to suggest that he will fare any better now or in future, however old he thinks Mugabe may be. After all it is not about the age of Zimbabwe’s leadership; it is about Zimbabwe’s sovereignty, something Botswana under Ian’s father, Sir Seretse Khama, heroically struggled towards achieving. One hopes Khama the son has not misinterpreted the motive behind Sir Seretse’s glorious input alongside his Frontline States peers.

The one invite Mugabe will oblige

The second development relates to Lesotho, another sadc country which is also celebrating her 50th Anniversary only this coming week. President Mugabe has been invited and from what I understand, he is likely to honour that invitation. Just by so doing, President Mugabe will finally vividly make his point, relish his day through a damning comparison. He will be able to quietly chastise Khama, while showing the Batswana people how much of a huge cost their leader’s blunderous diplomacy is to the two peoples who are also close neighbours historically and even consanguineously.

But the whole contrast will once more bring to the fore how under Khama, Botswana has pursued a foreign policy which is non-Africa, non-sadc, non-collegial. And that Mugabe gets invited for national days of virtually most Sadc countries, suggests that skipping the national day of Botswana, to which he had been invited, can only be a statement against Khama, never against Mugabe and his rule. And the big question that begs is: if Khama’s Botswana has been non-African, non-sadc, non-collegial, what has it been? Gentle reader, I leave you to reach your own conclusion.

When viewpoints don’t matter

My last point has to do with the rule and tenure of President Robert Mugabe, vis-a-vis Sadc. It is also a point that applies to all Presidents in Sadc, in Africa and in the whole world. And, as the reader will discover, while the point is so obvious as to make its restatement redundant, the sheer ignorance of our clever opposition media make restating it so vital. Democratic leaders are in office because of national elections.

They are not in power because of endorsement by a leader of a neighbouring country, or a sub-region. Quite the contrary, both are forced by national electoral outcomes to recognise the leader of a given country. Secondly, the tenure of a sitting president, whether in sadc, on the African continent, or in any part of the world, is a function of a national constitution. It is not predicated on the whims or predilections of the leader of a neighbour or of a sub-regional organisation. Quite the contrary, both recognise the term as provided for by the constitution of the concerned country.

This holds for Botswana; holds for Zimbabwe, which is why the issue of quality of Khama’s leadership of his country is of no concern to the President of Zimbabwe. We could debate and debate and debate how well Khama has (mis)governed his people. We could debate and debate and debate on who gave Botswana the growth momentum that Khama inherited and, to his credit, has kept going but arguably within structures of persistent social inequities. But all that would be academic, only matters of the seminar room if held here in Zimbabwe and by Zimbabweans. The Tswanas are not expected to pay attention to our views at all, however solicitous we may be, whoever outsider we may seek to please. The trouble is to begin to think that our views on Khama matter to the Tswana nation and its whole governance processes. Simply they don’t, and, by reverse logic, Khama’s views on Mugabe can only be just that: airy views soon to be blown away into the nether.

Lending a thinking hand

The trouble is to accord those views any modicum of importance than they really deserve. As routinely does the opposition and its captive press. Mugabe does not need the endorsement of Khama, and this whole piece has had to be written not because Khama’s views matter, but because he seems to think they do when it comes to Zimbabwean politics. Much worse, because a fringe body of opinion in this country seems to think Khama matters. He does not, except in his own country and among his own people. A Mugabe who viciously fights western colonialism cannot be expected to relate charitably to interference from any other quarter, whatever its complexion, whatever its geographic placement on the world atlas. It is also this strange inclination in the national opposition here to think their cause in opposing and seeking to challenge the electoral dominance of Mugabe and his Zanu-PF can be assisted by a Khama who is losing by-elections in his own country which one finds a bit perplexing, infantile in fact. Or that his biting comments on Mugabe would make them any more legitimate claimants of the throne than what national processes would allow. I just thought I could lend a thinking hand. Just in case.

ICC Prosecutor Opens Initial Probe Into Gabon Unrest
September 30, 2016

THE HAGUE – The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said on Thursday she was opening an initial probe into the deadly unrest in Gabon triggered by disputed elections.

The news came only days after President Ali Bongo, re-elected by a wafer-thin margin in theAugust 27 vote over his rival Jean Ping, vowed to form “an inclusive government” for the oil-rich central African country.

Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Libreville had referred the violence to her office on September 21, asking it “to open an investigation without delay”.

Violence initially erupted on August 31 after Bongo was first declared the winner of the elections. Opposition demonstrators set parliament ablaze and clashed with police, who made hundreds of arrests.

Opposition figures say more than 50 people were killed. The government has given a toll of three dead.

Ping declared himself “president-elect” and asked for a recount in one province.

In the letter of referral to the ICC signed by Gabon’s Justice Minister Denise Mekamne Edzidzie, the government accuses Ping and his supporters of incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity.

It highlights a speech which Ping gave during his electoral campaign, in which he allegedly called on his supporters to “get rid of the cockroaches”.

“These words were an incitement to commit the crime of genocide,” the letter says.

Among the other accusations of crimes against humanity the Gabonese authorities allege the ransacking and torching of government buildings and instructions given to individuals “to fire on the crowds, and take part in creating a climate of violence and terror among the civilian population.”

They also allege acts of torture in Ping’s campaign headquarters where “one person was tied up and the victim of inhumane and degrading treatment, his feet were pierced with nails.”

But Ping’s lawyer Emmanuel Altit told AFP the letter to the ICC from the Gabonese authorities was a “response to our own investigations which show probable cause of crimes against humanity.”

“They only allege preparations to commit crimes. We have been investigating actual crimes. There’s a difference.”

“Several dozen civilians have been killed”, he said, adding the opposition’s dossier of investigations would be sent to Bensouda “in the near future” and would “complement her own inquiries”.

In what will be a lengthy process, Bensouda said her office will “be conducting a preliminary examination”.

This was “not an investigation,” she cautioned, but would examine all the information to see if there is enough evidence for a full inquiry.

“I must consider issues of jurisdiction, admissibility and the interests of justice in making this determination,” she said in a statement.

Gabon is a signatory to the tribunal’s founding guidelines set out in the Rome Statute. And it acknowledged in its letter that its actions could also be open to investigation.

Bongo was installed for a second time as president on Tuesday, three days after the Constitutional Court dismissed Ping’s claims of fraud.

But his second mandate has received a cool reception from the African Union and the United Nations, while the European Union voiced regret the vote count had not been transparent.

DR Congo Lashes Out at US Over Sanctions
September 30, 2016

KINSHASA – The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo accused the United States in a statement on Thursday of sowing “chaos”, after Washington placed two top allies of President Joseph Kabila on its sanctions blacklist.

The US Treasury on Wednesday said both the men it blacklisted were involved in violently putting down opposition to President Kabila and undermining democratic forces in the country.

“It is clear, if we look back at history, that this pattern is similar to the one that led to chaos in nations like Libya and South Sudan, which now face extinction,” Lambert Mende, the spokesperson of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government, said in a statement.

The US Treasury said on Wednesday that Major General Gabriel Amisi Kumba, a commander of the armed forces, led units that have violently repressed political demonstrations in several provinces including Kinshasha.

Also hit with sanctions was General John Numbi, a former national inspector in the police and a close advisor of Kabila.

“In light of these shameless initiatives… regarding these officers, the government wonders about the US authorities’ logic and motivations,” Mende added.

The sanctions, which ban US individuals and businesses from dealings with the two men, came days after dozens of demonstrators were killed in anti-government protests.

Under a new constitutional regime in 2006, Kabila was elected to the position with a two-term limit, which should expire in December.

However, the government has not yet scheduled new elections, giving rise to fears that he will not step down.

Meanwhile, the United States on Thursday ordered families of government personnel stationed in the Democratic Republic of Congo to leave amid fears about escalating violence, the State Department said.

“The potential for civil unrest is high in parts of Kinshasa and other major cities,” it said, referring to the country’s capital in a travel warning.

“As a result of the deteriorating security situation, family members of US government personnel have been ordered to leave the country beginning September 29. Most official US government travel to the DRC has been halted.”

It noted that violent clashes this month between security forces and opposition protesters over the electoral process had resulted in deaths and the destruction of property.

“Very poor transportation infrastructure throughout the country and poor security conditions make it difficult for the US Embassy to provide consular services anywhere outside of Kinshasa,” it added.

Last week’s clashes left dozens dead in Kinshasa, where opposition groups were demanding the resignation of President Joseph Kabila.

He has ruled since 2001, and the constitution bars him from running for a third term. Although his current term ends on December 20, no date for new elections has been announced and there are fears he plans to stay in power.

The State Department warned travellers that armed groups, bandits and some elements of the Congolese military “kill, rape, kidnap, pillage, steal vehicles, and carry out military or paramilitary operations in which civilians can be indiscriminately targeted.”

The US Treasury on Wednesday said both the men were involved in violently putting down opposition to Kabila and undermining democratic forces in the country.

South Africa: SA, Mozambique to Pay Tribute to Samora Machel
Pretoria — The South African and Mozambique governments will next month commemorate the 30th anniversary of the tragic death of former President of Mozambique, Samora Machel, in Mpumalanga.

Machel was returning from an international meeting with African leaders in 1986, when his plane crashed in the Lebombo Mountains, near Mbuzini.

There were 32 people on board when the plane crashed. Eight people survived the crash.

There were suspicions that the crash was a deliberate act of sabotage masterminded by the apartheid regime of South Africa.

In 1994, after the democratically-elected government took over, an investigation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) found inconclusive evidence pointing to the apartheid government's involvement in the crash.

During his leadership, President Machel supported and allowed revolutionaries fighting the apartheid regime to operate within Mozambique, this included the ANC military wing, uMkhonto weSizwe.

This made the apartheid regime inimical to the frontline states, whom they sought to destabilise at every turn.

Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa said this year, 30 years since the tragedy, Machel's death will be commemorated under the theme: "Commemorating 30 years of selfless service and dedication to the people of Southern Africa, We remember them".

"The theme reminds us to honour and express our gratitude to those who dedicated their lives to ensure that our country achieved freedom and democracy that all of us enjoy today," said Minister Mthethwa.

Legacy Projects

The Minister said the event forms part of the Legacy Projects initiative led by the department, aimed at redressing and transforming the heritage landscape to truly tell the liberation journey from colonial times, during the liberation struggle and the democratic era.

"The mandate of the department is to ensure that our stories, our heritage is preserved, promoted and used as a vehicle to foster nation building and social cohesion, inclusive citizenry participation and economic development.

"South Africa acknowledges the support and solidarity provided by its neighbouring states during the era of oppression.

"We believe that while commemorating the 30th anniversary of Samora Machel's passing, the citizens of both countries should draw lessons from the sacrifices and the significant contribution made by those who came before us in the liberation of African people," said Minister Mthethwa.

The present democratic government of South Africa continues to enjoy a strong relationship with Mozambique based on historic ties and geographical proximity, with Mozambique having played a key role during the liberation struggles against apartheid and colonial oppression.

The integration of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) remains critical for the economic development of the region.

The anniversary of Machel's death will be held on 17 October 2016 at the Samora Machel Museum in Mbuzini, in the Nkomazi Municipality.
South Africa's Zuma Orders Ministers to Tackle University 'Mayhem'
Clashes break out during South African university fee protest

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma has ordered his ministers to tackle student protests that have shut down most universities, a cabinet spokesman said on Thursday, amid concerns over the impact of the disruption on state finances and the economy.

The students' refusal to accept fee hikes is another blow for Africa's most advanced economy, which is at risk of being cut to "junk" by ratings agencies later this year.

"President Jacob Zuma has instructed the justice, crime prevention and security cluster to deal with the mayhem that is destroying our institutions of higher learning," Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency, told a post-cabinet media briefing.

Education is an emotive issue in South Africa, where the black majority was largely excluded from higher learning during white minority rule which ended in 1994.

Last year students demanding free education marched on Zuma's offices in the capital Pretoria, prompting him to freeze fee increases. However last week the government announced fee hikes of up to eight percent, leading to the disruption of classes at most universities.

"Out of 26 universities only nine of them are operational," University of Johannesburg Vice Chancellor Ihron van Rensburg told the ENCA news channel on Thursday.

In a separate statement Zuma's office rejected rumors on social media that he had reshuffled the cabinet.

Investors are highly sensitive to cabinet reshuffles in South Africa after Zuma's decision last December to fire two finance ministers in the space of three days sent the rand currency plummeting.

His actions raised concerns about the ability of the treasury to withstand political meddling and stick to promises to cut spending.

More recently investors have been rattled by a police investigation of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

"... the political turmoil and pressures (around Gordhan) are certainly of concern," Standard & Poor's managing director for sub-Saharan Africa, Konrad Reuss, said on Thursday on the sidelines of a banking conference in Johannesburg.

In June S&P's analysts left South Africa's BBB- rating on a 'negative' outlook. Fitch has an equivalent rating of the country's debt also with a negative outlook.

Zuma, hit by scandals, survived an impeachment vote in parliament earlier this year but led the ruling ANC to its worst ever election result in August, losing three major cities to opposition parties, and bleeding support from urban voters.

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf and Mfuneko Toyana; Writing by TJ Strydom; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Kenya's Economic Growth to Reach 6 % in 2016 -Central Bank
Kenya’s economy is on the right growth trajectory. The country’s central bank governor has said that economic growth in the country will hit the government’s target of 6 % this year, on the back of private sector performance.

While speaking to Reuters, Kenya’s central bank governor Patrick Njoroge said East Africa’s biggest economy is “doing relatively well” and “this is the time for investors to place a long term bet on the economy.”

In August, president Uhuru Kenya signed into law a bill limiting how much interest banks can charge for loans ,which was often above 18 percent.

The law caps commercial bank lending at 4 percentage points above the central bank’s benchmark rate of 10. %

Industry players including the central bank were against the move that sent shockwaves through the market with banks shares tumbling.

Now, governor Njoroge says the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) faces the challenge of determining how the new changes will feed through the wider economy.

He however was quick to add that building a strong financial sector was vital to Kenya’s goal of becoming an international financial hub.

The Emancipation of Women: A Fundamental Necessity of the Mozambique Revolution
Samora Machel with Prime Minister of Grenada Maurice
Bishop during African Liberation Day in St. George in 1982.
by Samora Machel (March 4, 1973)

Editor's Note: This historic address is being reprinted in honor of the 83rd anniversary of the birth of FRELIMO leader Samora Machel.

Excerpts from the Opening Speech of the First Conference of Mozambican Women by Samora Moises Machel, president of FRELIMO, on March 4, 1973.

Translated from Portuguese.

The main objective of the Conference lies in the study of questions dealing with women's emancipation, and in the search for the types of action which will bring about her liberation. But a question arises: Why the concern for woman's liberation? And still another question arises: What is the reason for the holding of this Conference?

Samora Machel There are among us - the organization is well aware of this fact - people who believe that we must consecrate all our efforts to the struggle against colonialism, and that the task of women's liberation, in this case, is purely secondary since it is a useless and strength-consuming task. And further, they add that the present situation in which we live, with its lack of schools, few educated women, tradition-bound women, does not provide us with the basis for any significant action; for this reason, we must await independence, the construction of an economic, social and educational base before undertaking the battle.

Some others, interpreting the Statutes tendentiously, state that it is necessary to respect certain traditional local particularisms, since attacking them at this stage makes us risk loss of support by the masses. These people ask: What is the relevance of a women's liberation movement when the majority of the women are totally indifferent to the question? Their conclusion is that it is an artificial liberation, imposed on the women by FRELIMO. This is a very serious question. It requires study and clear ideas.

The liberation of women is not an act of charity. It is not the result of a humanitarian or compassionate position. It is a fundamental necessity for the Revolution, a guarantee of its continuity, and a condition for its success.

The Revolution's main objective is to destroy the system of the exploitation of man by man, the construction of a new society which will free human potentialities and reconcile work and nature. It is within this context that the question of women's liberation arises.

In general, the women are the most oppressed, the most exploited beings in our society. She is exploited even by him who is exploited himself, beaten by him who is tortured by the palmatorio, humiliated by him who is trod underfoot by the boss or the settler. How may our Revolution succeed without liberating women? Is it possible to liquidate a system of exploitation and still leave a part of society exploited? Can we get rid of only one part of exploitation and oppression? Can we clear away half the weeds without the risk that the surviving half will grow even stronger? Can we then make the Revolution without the mobilization of women? If women compose over half of the exploited and oppressed population, can we leave them on the fringes of the struggle?

In order for the Revolution to succeed, we must mobilize all of the exploited and oppressed, and consequently the women also. In order for the Revolution to triumph, it must liquidate the totality of the exploitative and oppressive system, it must liberate all the exploited and oppressed people, and thus it must liquidate women's exploitation and oppression. It is obliged to liberate women.

Considering that the fundamental necessity of Revolution is its continuance by future generations, how may we assure their revolutionary training if the mother, as the first educator, is marginal in the revolutionary process? How can we make of the home of the exploited and oppressed a centre of revolution and militancy, a transmitter of our views, a stimulus of commitment for the family, if the woman is apathetic to this process, indifferent to the society which is being created, and deaf to the people's appeal?

To say that women do not feel the necessity to defend their liberation is an argument that holds no water when looked at carefully.

Women do feel the impact of domination and the necessity of changing their situation. What happens is that the domination of society upon them, by choking their initiative, frequently prevents them from expressing their aspirations, and from conceiving of the appropriate methods for their struggle.

It is at this stage that FRELIMO intervenes, as a vanguard aware of the men and women of Mozambique, of the oppressed people. FRELIMO formulates the line to be followed and indicates the methods of struggle. We must understand this phenomenon in order to avoid useless and dishonest discussions.

The question, therefore, is which is the most suitable moment to launch the struggle for women's liberation. We cannot limit the revolutionary process to certain aspects only and neglect others, because the Revolution is a global process. Otherwise, the Revolution will be blocked and destroyed. The evil roots which we neglect to remove or whose removal is postponed until later will become cancerous roots before that 'later' ever arrives.

Under present conditions FRELIMO can no longer undertake an armed struggle without the making of the Revolution itself. The condition for the development of the armed struggle is striking at the roots of exploitation. It is erroneous to believe that we must postpone the liberation of women until later, for that would mean that we allow reactionary ideas to gain ground and to combat us when they are strong. It is not sensible not to fight the crocodile when it is still on the banks of the river, but to wait and fight it when it is in the middle of the river.

Our armed struggle, acting as an incubator, creates the necessary conditions for receptivity by the masses to ideas of progress and revolution. Not to undertake a battle when conditions are ripe shows a lack of political vision, i.e. a strategic error...

It is obvious that if we speak of the liberation of women we must mean that we consider her oppressed and exploited. One must understand the bases of such oppression and exploitation.

Let us begin by saying that women's oppression is a consequence of her exploitation, since oppression in a society is always the result of an imposed exploitation. Colonialism did not come to occupy our lands in order to arrest us, to whip us or beat us on the palms. It invaded us in order to exploit our riches and our labour. It has introduced the system of oppression in order the better to exploit us, to overcome our resistance and to prevent a rebellion against exploitation. Physical oppression with courts, police, armed forces, prisons, torture, and massacres. Moral oppression with its obscurantism, superstition, and ignorance, whose purpose is to destroy the spirit of creative initiative, to eliminate the sense of justice and criticism, to reduce a person to passivity, and to the acceptance of the normality of a condition of exploitation and oppression. Humiliation and contempt become part of this process since the person who exploits and oppresses has a tendency to humiliate and to scorn his victim, and to consider him an inferior being. Racism thus appears as the ultimate form of humiliation and contempt.

The mechanism of the alienation of women is identical to the mechanism of alienation of the colonized man in a colonial society, or to that of the worker in capitalist society.

From the moment that primitive humanity began to produce more than it was able to consume, the material bases were created for the creation of a social stratum which would from then on appropriate the results of the work of the majority.

It is this appropriation of the work of the masses by a handful of elements of a society which is at the basis of the system of man's exploitation of man and at the heart of the antagonistic contradiction which has been dividing society for centuries.

Ever since the appearance of this process of exploitation, women as a group, like men, have been submitted to the domination of the privileged classes.

The woman is also a producer and a worker, but with certain special' qualities. To possess women is to possess workers, unpaid workers, workers the totality of whose labour power may be appropriated without resistance by her husband, i.e. her boss and sovereign.

To marry women in an agrarian society is a sure means of accumulating much wealth. The husband has at his disposal unpaid manpower, which makes no claims, which does not rebel against exploitation. We can see the importance of polygamy in the rural areas of an agrarian economy. And since society understands that the woman is a source of wealth, it demands that a price be paid. The parents thus require from the future son-in-law a price - lobolo - in exchange for their daughter. The woman is bought, inherited, as if she were a material good, a source of wealth.

But still more important, and quite different from the slave, for example, who is also a source of wealth and an unpaid worker, the women offers two other advantages to her owner; she is a source of pleasure; and above all she is a producer of other workers, a producer of new sources of wealth.

This last aspect is particularly significant. Thus the husband has the right, in such a society, to repudiate the woman or to demand the return of his lobolo if she is sterile or if he thinks she is. We thus observe that, in many societies where there is a consciousness of the value of the labour of the children borne by the women, the principle is established that the children belong to the mother's family, or clan. In our society, this is also the practice until the husband pays the totality of the lobolo, i.e. the price for the purchase of his wealth. It is in this context that we find the over-emphasis on the fertility of women, the transformation of the man-woman relation ship into a mere act of procreation.

There is a further problem. The exploiter, due to his control of the masses, acquired great wealth, large fields, cattle, gold, jewelery, etc. In spite of these riches, as any man, he was still mortal. The problem thus arose as to the future of that wealth; in other words, the question of inheritance came to the fore. The woman is the producer of heirs. We can thus understand how the point of departure for the exploitation of women and her consequent oppression is to be located in the system of private property, in the system of man's exploitation of men.

It is important to understand correctly the nature of the contradiction, or contradictions, which are at play, since it is only in the light of such under standing that we shall be in a condition to define the objects of our attack, and to conceive of an adequate strategy and tactics.

We have seen that the basis of the domination of women was to be found in the system of organization of the economic life in society: in private property of the means of production, which necessarily leads to the exploitation of man by man.

This means that the essential contradiction between women and the social order, over and above the specific conditions of her situation, is the contradiction between herself and the exploitation of man by man, between woman and private property over the means of production. In other words, the contradiction is the same as that which exists between the popular working masses and the exploitative social order.

Let us be clear on this point: the antagonistic contradiction is not found between man and woman, but rather between woman and the social order, between all exploited women and men, and the social order. It is her condition of exploitation which explains her absence from all tasks of thought and decision in society, which causes her to be excluded from the elaboration of the thought and decisions which organize economic, social, cultural and political life, even when her interests are directly at stake. This is the main aspect of the contradiction: her exclusion from the decision-making sphere of society.

This contradiction may only be resolved by means of the Revolution, since it is only the Revolution which can destroy the pillars of an exploitative society, and reconstruct society on a new basis which may liberate woman's initiative, integrate her as a responsible agent in society, include her in the taking of decisions. Consequently, in the same way as there cannot be a Revolution without the liberation of women, the struggle for the liberation of women cannot succeed without the victory of the Revolution itself.

We must add that the ideological and cultural bases of the exploitative society which keep women under control are destroyed by the ideological and cultural processes of Revolution which impose new values, methods, new content in education and culture onto society.

Besides this antagonistic contradiction between the woman and social order, there arise also other contradictions which, even if secondary, oppose women to men. The marriage system, the marital authority based exclusively on sex, the frequent brutality of the husband, his systematic refusal to consider women his equal, are all sources of friction and contradiction.

There are even times, in certain extreme cases, when secondary contradictions, because they are not correctly solved, become severe enough to result in serious consequences, such as divorce. But it is not such happenings, serious as they may be, that will alter the nature of contradiction.

We must emphasize this aspect, since we witness at present, mainly in the capitalist world, an ideological offensive which, under the aegis of women's liberation, pretends to transform into an antagonistic relationship the contradiction with man, thus dividing men and women - exploited beings who ought to combat together the exploitative society. In reality, beyond the demagogy which masks the real nature of this ideological offensive, it is an offensive by capitalist society in order to confuse women and to divert their attention from the real aim.

In our ranks there occur small manifestations of this ideological offensive. We hear, here and there, women murmuring against men as if it were the sex difference that was the cause of their exploitation, as if men were sadistic monsters who take pleasure in women's oppression.

Both men and women are the products and victims of the exploitative society which has given birth to them and educated them. It is essentially against this society that both women and men must together struggle. Our practical experience has proved that the progress that has been obtained in the liberation of women is the result of the successes achieved in the common struggle against colonialism and imperialism, against the exploitation of man by man, and for the building of the new society. 
A Year On, and Still No Justice for Daughter Mozambique Independence Leader
Poloko Tau
South African City Press
2016-09-27 16:25

Former first lady Graça Machel and her daughter Josina are highlighting the scourge of gender-based violence. Picture: Leon Sadiki

After Nelson Mandela died, his widow, Graça Machel, had hoped for a time of peace and healing, but last year another tragedy struck. On October 17 – her 70th birthday – Machel received news from her home country, Mozambique, that her daughter Josina (40) had sustained serious injuries to her eye after she was allegedly battered by her partner, a Mozambican businessman.

Machel later learnt that her first-born child had lost vision permanently in her right eye.

“I have seen Madiba lying there suffering, going slowly ... and [after he died] I thought it was time for me to lick my wounds and be in peace, but this happened. I asked myself, ‘Why does it have to be us?’ There has to be a reason.”

South Africa’s former first lady and her daughter recounted their horrific experience to City Press this week. Giving Josina’s hand a gentle squeeze, Machel said: “I treasure and cherish my child. She is a precious gift ... She made me experience what motherhood is all about and I brought her up mostly on my own after her father [former president of Mozambique Samora Machel] died when she was only 10. Now someone thinks he can just raise a hand to her.

“Raising a hand against my child is one offence I do not think I can forgive anyone for,” Machel said.

She watched with great admiration as Josina told City Press that after the trauma she suffered, she was motivated to take action against gender-based violence by initiating an advocacy organisation, Kuhluka Movement.

“The organisation focuses on building and improving shelters for survivors of domestic violence,” said Josina, adding that despite her ordeal, she thought that what happened to her was probably meant to help her “understand exactly what other women are going through and do something about it”.

Josina’s approach to life has brought some comfort to her mother. “I am very proud of her. This whole thing is much bigger than her. It is good that she took the decision to talk about it,” she said.

“She could have just kept it to herself, but she summoned up the courage to say, ‘It happened to me.’ She has chosen to share her pain with millions of other women and say, ‘We have a life to live.’

“There are those who are keeping quiet, but Zina [as Machel fondly calls her] went out and said, ‘Let us talk about our pain and fight this scourge of gender violence.’”

Machel said she had not met the man who allegedly assaulted her daughter.

“Zina was very cautious and kept postponing every opportunity to introduce him to me ... I caught a glimpse of him once,” Machel said, adding that the attitude displayed by the alleged assailant was hurtful.

“He denies everything. He claims that Zina got injured after she fell, but even a doctor in Barcelona looked at her eye and said this was from a massive blow.

“I do not want to say he is a monster, but he is,” she said.

Josina said almost a year later, the man was yet to be tried in a Mozambican court, calling this “justice delayed”.

To add to her stress, she approached the Randburg Magistrates’ Court in Gauteng earlier this month, seeking a protection order after her alleged attacker started calling her.

“I felt as if I was being stalked and became fearful for my safety and that of my children,” said Josina.

“The only thing that can keep him away is the protection order. Three weeks later, I am still waiting without having received it.

“I have been to court three times already, and on Monday I spent at least four hours there with my mother, only to be told that the court was not convinced enough to grant me the protection order,” she said.

Machel reiterated her daughter’s disappointment. “Courts are failing women who are victims of gender violence. These cases are not treated with the sensitivity they deserve. The court told us there is not enough evidence and that he is a first-time offender.

“For us it sounds like the court is saying, ‘She has to get more beatings from this man before she can get any protection.’ It seems as if the justice system is saying, ‘Go back for more; get maimed and only then we can talk.’

“We are not doing all this in pursuit of special attention because Josina is Samora Machel’s daughter and Mandela’s stepdaughter; it is about many other women out there who are going through the same experience,” said Machel.

“I understand now why some women die while waiting for justice. They are sent back home without protection,” she said.

After undergoing this ordeal with her daughter, Machel said she understood why the unfortunate incident had “fallen on my family’s lap”.

“I am speaking for all daughters who have been through this ... It had to hit me in such a way that I had to reach all other daughters out there,” she said, adding that she would use every platform available to her to raise awareness of the challenges faced by victims of gender violence.

Machel is part of The Elders, a group of independent and venerable world leaders brought together by her late husband, Madiba. They include former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, former US president Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

Former First Lady of Two African Nations, Graça Machel Launches New Women’s Network

Digital Editor  Sep 26, 2016
By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor)

In an effort to transform the narrative and negative perceptions of African women and children, Graça Machel, the former first lady of two African nations, recently established a first of its kind Pan African Women in Media Network(WIMN).

The network of women journalists will work in conjunction with the Graça Machel Trust.

“The Graça Machel Trust’s women’s rights program is based on our aim to multiply the faces and amplify the voices of women, especially in areas where they are underrepresented,” said Machel, who is also the founder of the Foundation for Community Development in Mozambique. “Through our women’s networks in agribusiness, finance and ‘Women Creating Wealth,’ we foster links and build a critical mass of highly-qualified and active women across sectors and professions who can work collectively to influence, shape and drive the socio-economic policies to ensure that they achieve economic prosperity and social change.”

The Graça Machel Trust works across the African continent to amplify women’s movements, influence governance, and advocate for the protection of children’s rights and dignity.

The Trust consolidates the work of Machel and seeks to build on her legacy by inspiring the younger generation to take up new challenges and create societies that value and care about social justice.

Machel noted that the primary mission is to amplify the voices of women’s movements, influence governance and promote women’s leadership and contributions in the economic, social, and political development of Africa.

The Trust also advocates for the protection of children’s rights and dignity.

Recognizing the crucial role that media plays in shaping societal attitudes, Machel said it’s important that women are at the center of transformation within the media landscape.

The new network has also gained the support of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the Black Press that’s comprised of approximately 208 African-American owned newspapers across the United States.

“The National Newspaper Publishers Association supports and salutes the Graça Machel Trust that effectively empowers African women. When African women are empowered, it results in advancing all African people throughout the world,” said Dr. Benjamin Chavis, the president and CEO of the NNPA.

“The Diamond Empowerment Fund, co-founded by Russell Simmons, me and others also recognizes the extraordinary global leadership of Graca Machel and the Graca Machel Trust. I vividly remember meeting Graça Machel at her home in Maputo, Mozambique along with her husband South Africa President Nelson Mandela and my colleague Russell Simmons in 2006.”

Chavis continued: “We discussed the ongoing struggle and movement to transform Africa for progress and the liberation of all who stand for freedom and equality.”

Prior to her marriage to Mandela, Machel was the wife of Mozambique President Samora Machel. She also served for more than a decade as that country’s minister of education and culture.

Machel said that WIMN will drive coordinated messaging and build awareness on issues related to health, education, and women’s economic empowerment, which will have a positive effect on women and children.

“Given the influential role that media plays in shaping societal attitudes, the network seeks to change the present narrative of women that presents them as powerless victims and ignores the many positive stories and successes,” Machel added. “When economically empowered, women take control of their lives, set their own agendas, provide solutions to their problems and challenges, and develop self-reliance.”

Machal added: “To build a strong and equitable future for all Africans, we acknowledge the fundamental contribution of women and ensure that we create a supportive and enabling environment where they are able to fully participate and benefit.”

The network will also create an inter-generational platform to allow young talented female journalists to participate and work alongside the continent’s more seasoned veterans. WIMN will comprise an initial group of about 30 to 40 women journalists, bloggers and influencers, officials said in a statement.

“Women and children’s issues have tended to make headlines more as victims that are helpless, abused and exploited yet women and children have, over time, been capable of so much more, having overcome many obstacles and excelled in many sectors of the economy and society,” said WIMN board co-chair Susan Makore. “The amazing stories need to find more expression in our media. Therefore, I hope to do my part in ensuring that key stories that highlight and celebrate the various facets of children and women’s activities across all sectors are given prominence in the media by working with my colleagues that run media houses, especially in Zimbabwe where I hail from.”

Bronwyn Nielsen, the co-chair of the WIMN advisory board, said that Africa’s youth and female dividends are at the core of the continent’s future and, with the right support.

“It is a fact the women and children who can positively impact the future from an economic growth and development perspective,” said Nielsen. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members and all the members of this privileged network to jointly leverage our circles of influence under the esteemed guidance of Mrs. Machel to drive this agenda deep across the continent with both speed and passion.”

Nielsen continued: “Together we can create a new narrative when it comes to Africa’s women and children.”
IMF Staff Concludes Visit to Mozambique
September 29, 2016

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. This mission will not result in a Board discussion.

The mission initiated discussions on the terms of reference for an international and independent audit of the companies EMATUM, Proindicus and MAM, with the objective of strengthening transparency, governance, and accountability to avoid recurrence of past debt problems

With inflation still rising and the metical depreciating, further policy tightening is needed to safeguard macroeconomic stability.

An IMF staff team headed by Michel Lazare visited Mozambique from September 22-29, 2016 to assess recent economic developments and discuss government policies to restore confidence and underpin economic stability. The mission also initiated discussions on the terms of reference for an international and independent audit of the companies EMATUM, Proindicus and MAM, with the objective of strengthening transparency, governance, and accountability to avoid recurrence of past debt problems. The mission met with Prime Minister do Rosario, Minister of the Economy and Finance Maleiane, Governor Zandamela of Bank of Mozambique, the Attorney General, other sectoral ministers, senior government officials, civil society, private sector representatives, and the donor community.

At the end of the mission, Mr. Lazare issued the following statement:

“Mozambique is facing a challenging economic environment. Growth has been on a declining path and is currently expected to be 3.7 percent in 2016 (down from 6.6 percent in 2015), which is significantly below levels observed in recent years. Inflation has risen sharply, reaching 21 percent on a year on year basis in August, fueled by a significant depreciation of the metical (about 40 percent since the start of the year). At the same time, a significant decline in imports has been more than offset by a weakening of exports, foreign direct investment, and donor financing. This has maintained pressure on international reserves, which have continued to decline. The discovery in April 2016 of previously undisclosed debt worth $1.4 billion (10.7 percent of GDP), combined with the impact of the exchange rate depreciation, has led to a substantial increase in debt ratios and the debt service burden.

“Against the backdrop of these challenging circumstances, and continued significant downside risks to the economy, the mission welcomed the economic policy measures adopted by the government since the last staff visit in June. On the fiscal front, a revised 2016 budget was approved by Parliament in July including measures to contain non-essential spending. On the monetary front, the central bank raised reserve requirements and its benchmark interest rate by 300 basis points to reduce excess liquidity. In addition, it has appropriately allowed the exchange rate to fluctuate to help restore balance between supply and demand for foreign exchange and support the needed ongoing balance of payments’ adjustment, while limiting the loss of international reserves.

“Nonetheless, with inflation still rising and the metical depreciating, further policy tightening is needed to safeguard macroeconomic stability. Notably, the 2017 draft budget is set to further consolidate the state of public finances while preserving critical social programs. On the monetary side, the mission welcomed the central bank’s intent to continue adjusting its monetary stance to help reduce inflationary pressures.

“Following the meeting between President Nyusi and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Washington on September 15, 2016, the mission made considerable progress with the Attorney General’s Office on the drafting of detailed terms of reference (TOR) for an international and independent audit of EMATUM, Proindicus and MAM. Drafting of the TOR is ongoing, and is expected to be completed soon.

“The authorities have requested the Fund to resume discussions on financial support as soon as possible. A solid track record of implementation of sound macroeconomic policies and an effective initiation of the audit process in the near term would help to create the conditions for a possible resumption of program discussions with the IMF.

“The mission thanks the authorities for their hospitality and close cooperation.”

IMF Communications Department
PHONE: +1 202 623-7100EMAIL: MEDIA@IMF.ORG
Mozambique Energy Minister Sacked Ahead of Huge Gas Deals
Mozambique Energy Minister Pedro Couto has been sacked, the presidency said on Thursday, a month before Italy's Eni is due to finalise an offshore gas project worth tens of billions of dollars.

No reason was given for the dismissal of Couto, who had held the energy portfolio since January 2015. A separate statement said he had been appointed as president of Mozambique's Cahora Bassa hydroelectric power company.

The southern African state discovered offshore gas reserves six years ago amounting to some 85 trillion cubic feet, one of the largest finds in a decade and enough to supply Germany, Britain, France and Italy for nearly two decades.

The gas offers Mozambique an opportunity to transform itself from one of the world's poorest countries into a middle-income state and a major global liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter.

Negotiations with operators Eni and U.S. firm Anadarko have dragged on for years due to disputes over terms and concerns about falling energy prices. However, there have been several signs of significant progress in recent months.

Eni met with bankers in London last week about project financing to develop the Coral field, a significant step in getting the first of a series of long-delayed LNG projects off the ground.

Eni struck a deal in July with Samsung Heavy as part of a consortium with France's Technip and Japan's JGC to build a floating LNG platform in a deal worth around $5.4 billion.

Exxon Mobil is close to buying into Eni's Mozambique's assets, sources told Reuters last month. (Reporting by Manuel Mucari, writing by Joe Brock, editing by Mark Heinrich)
Eni Asks Banks for Billions to Finance Mozambique Gas Project
* Banks to respond with loan terms in 3-4 weeks

* Gas reserves are one of biggest finds in a decade

* Multi-billion dollar contracts agreed in recent months

* Projects could transform war-torn Mozambique

By Joe Brock and Ed Cropley

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 27 Italian oil firm Eni has approached banks for billions of dollars to finance a huge offshore gas development in Mozambique, a significant step in getting a long-delayed project off the ground, the company and sources said.

Eni confirmed it met bankers in London last week about project financing to develop the Coral field, part of the huge reserves discovered six years ago in the Area 4 concession off the Mozambican coast.

"It's running into billions of dollars," one source familiar with the financing told Reuters, adding banks were also looking for credit guarantees from foreign governments, including Britain and China.

Banks are likely to respond within three to four weeks with terms of loans they are willing to provide, one of the last stages before Eni can make a final investment decision (FID) on the project, two sources close to the deal said.

Eni said it hoped to announce a FID by the end of this year.

Some lenders may be concerned about involvement in a project in Mozambique, given recent clashes between opposition guerrillas and government forces and financial scandals.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is in Mozambique this week to try to restore trust between President Filipe Nyusi's government and international lenders after more than $2 billion in secret loans came to light this year.

The IMF has suspended its own lending to the southeast African country, insisting on external scrutiny as a precursor to resuming financial aid.

"The biggest challenge is Mozambique country risk," one of the sources said.

Reserves discovered in Mozambique's Rovuma Basin in recent years amount to some 85 trillion cubic feet, one of the largest finds in a decade and enough to supply Germany, Britain, France and Italy for nearly two decades.

The gas offers Mozambique an opportunity to transform itself from one of the world's poorest countries into a middle-income state and a major global liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter.

Negotiations with operators Eni and U.S. firm Anadarko have dragged on for years due to disputes over terms and concerns about falling energy prices.

However, there have been several signs of significant progress in recent months.

Eni has struck a deal with Samsung Heavy to provide a floating LNG platform to process the gas from the Coral field, which will be sold to BP.

Eni has also wrapped up long-running talks to sell a multi-billion dollar stake in other fields in Area 4 to Exxon Mobil, sources told Reuters last month.

In 2013, Eni sold 20 percent of its Area 4 licence to China's CNPC for $4.2 billion but since then oil and gas prices have come down by more than half.

Anadarko's $24 billion onshore LNG project is expected to lag Eni's and its FID is unlikely this year. (Additional reporting by Stephen Jewkes in Milan; Editing by Mark Potter)
9/28/16 AT 7:02 AM

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has sacked two top officials for allegedly funneling donated funds intended for the victims of a deadly earthquake into a bogus bank account.

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the northwestern region of Kagera on September 10, killing 19 people and injuring hundreds. The incident caused significant damage, particularly in Bukoba—a city with a population of more than 70,000 people—and the government set up a bank account to raise funds for the victims and their families.

A statement from the presidency also confirmed that, alongside the two sackings, the chief accountant on Bukoba’s municipal council had also been suspended for alleged conspiracy to facilitate the fraud, Tanzanian daily The Citizen reported Wednesday.

Damaged houses following an earthquake in Bukoba region, Tanzania, September 10. The magnitude 5.7 earthquake killed at least 19 people and injured hundreds.

Foreign governments have made donations to assist Tanzania in recovering from the quake. The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, made a donation of 545 million Tanzanian shillings ($250,000). Other countries in the region—including Kenya, Uganda and Burundi—have helped out by donating money, food and supplies for victims, according to The Citizen.

The three officials are alleged to have opened a bank account with identical details as the government account used to receive donations on behalf of the earthquake victims. The named suspects are Kagera’s regional administrative secretary Amantius Msole; Bukoba municipal council director Steven Makonda; and accountant Simbaufoo Swai. They have not yet commented on the allegations.

Magufuli has led a crackdown against corruption since his election in October 2015, including forcing public officials to sign an integrity pledge before assuming office and firing dozens of port officials in December 2015 after discovering thousands of containers had entered the port without taxes being paid on them.
Op-Ed: Zambia Must Protect Women’s Right to Make Free Sexual and Reproductive Choices
Daily Maverick

Photo: Woman Shelling maize in Chipata, Zambia. Swathi Sridharan (ICRISAT) via Flickr
As Zambians took to the polls last month they voted not only for their choice of president, but also in a constitutional referendum proposing changes to the bill of rights. While President Edgar Lungu was declared the winner of the election, political figures lamented the outcome of the failed referendum as a missed opportunity for Zambians to advance protection for social and economic rights after it didn’t meet the 50% voter turnout threshold required to make it a supreme law of the country.

For many women’s rights advocates, Zambia’s failed referendum is a welcome reprieve. The draft included problematic clauses that could have seriously undermined the human rights of women and girls in Zambia.

Specifically, the draft defined life as beginning at conception, which would have gravely limited women’s access to abortion, unnecessarily endangering many lives and restricting women’s right to bodily autonomy and reproductive health.

Abortion is currently legal in Zambia under the Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1972, when necessary to save a woman’s life or due to social and economic circumstances. This makes Zambia one of only a few countries on the continent to respect human rights obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa as declared in the Maputo Protocol.

The Protocol recognises the importance of sexual and reproductive rights, and is the first human rights treaty to explicitly recognise the right to access safe abortion. The proposed changes in the current Bill clearly undermine Zambia’s obligations under the Maputo Protocol and other United Nations Treaties, to create and maintain legal conditions to enable women to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights.

Most worryingly, the referendum came at a time when unsafe abortions continue to be a major driving factor of maternal mortality and morbidity. The World Health Organization highlights that the impact of unsafe abortion, including maternal deaths, are disproportionately higher for women in Africa than in any other developing region. Under the Millennium Development Goals, the Zambian government committed to achieving a maternal mortality rate of 162 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015.

While there has been a significant improvement in reducing the number of women and girls who die in pregnancy and childbirth over the last decade, the rate today stands at 398. The Zambian Ministry of Health estimates that approximately 30% of maternal deaths are as a result of unsafe abortions.

These figures reflect the many barriers to accessing safe abortion services, such as poor public knowledge of existing laws and the sheer difficulty of accessing three medical doctors legally required to approve an abortion. If Zambia has any hope of reaching its new commitments under the new Sustainable Development Goal’s target of 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030, the dangerous clauses in the draft bill must be reconsidered.

In January this year the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights launched a vital Campaign for the “Decriminalisation of Abortion in Africa”. The ACHPR has emphasised the fact that making abortion illegal does not reduce abortion rates, and neither does it deter women from seeking abortions. Rather, criminalisation leads to more unsafe abortions, with women and girls under 25, in poor and rural communities, most often at risk.

Zambia’s current law saves lives, and should be reinforced, not hindered. United Nations human rights experts have urged Zambia to progressively make abortion more accessible, not more difficult. This includes a duty to avoid creating additional legal barriers to access sexual and reproductive rights. The “reverse gear” proposals in the Bill of rights stand in stark contrast to Zambia’s international commitments, and the growing recognition across Africa of the importance of ensuring that women and girls have access to safe abortion care.

The African Union has dedicated 2016 to “human rights with a focus on women”. The global and regional development agendas cannot be achieved without ensuring that women and girls are able to make free choices about their own sexual and reproductive lives. The failed referendum offers an opportunity to redraft the contentious clauses in the Bill and ensure Zambia upholds its human rights obligations and does not destabilize the gains of the last decade.

It is time to move forward to ensure the realisation of sexual and reproductive rights and gender equality in Zambia. This will be a step towards seizing the opportunities for social and economic development that all Zambians deserve. DM

Louise Carmody is Amnesty International’s Thematic Researcher on Sexual and Reproductive Rights in southern Africa. Bob Mwiinga Munyati is a Researcher at Aids Accountability International and project manages the Global and Regional Commitments on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights section of AAI’s work. The two organisations campaign for gender equality and universal access to sexual and reproductive rights.