Recently a few unsavoury words have been exchanged between South Africa and Zimbabwe. While these exchanges have not been at a formal, and government level, the two countries have seen a few remarks by those in power. First it was reported that President Mugabe criticised Nelson Mandela for securing political …Read More »
analysisBy David Everatt, University of the Witwatersrand
There is a famous polling story, commonly attributed to US President Lyndon B. Johnson. Attacking his rival in Texas, where the vote was close, Johnson used the sucker-punch tactic. As re-told by famous American journalist Hunter S Thompson,
The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumour campaign about his opponent's life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his own barnyard sows. "Christ, we can't get a way calling him a pig-fucker," the campaign manager protested. "Nobody's going to believe a thing like that.
I know, Johnson replied. But let's make the sonofabitch deny it.
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa just fell for the same trick, albeit a more mundane: "he sleeps around (with humans)". Whether it was apartheid era "stratkom" style dirty trick at work or the usual dirty game of electioneering, Ramaphosa was forced onto the back foot.
Instead of ignoring or laughing at the claims, he went to court to prevent a Sunday paper from publishing. Then he engaged the issue and revealed a long-past affair of little interest to anyone. How did his advisers think this necessary in the sleazy moral climate created by Jacob Zuma's ANC?
The challenge for voters is that there are multiple election-related battles happening simultaneously within the ANC. There is a fight for the post-Zuma leadership, fairly obviously.
But there is also Zuma's own fight for safety from prosecution for alleged fraud, money laundering, corruption and racketeering once he steps down. His chosen candidate - Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma - isn't attractive to voters, according to polls. The one attribute she can play on is the mantra "we need a woman as president". That explains why Ramaphosa was attacked as a wife-beater, and when that didn't stick, as a sequential blesser (sugar daddy).
What the polls say
Leadership polls in the public domain - of all voters, not just ANC voters - suggest that this election is Ramaphosa's to lose. Among potential voters from all parties, he has overtaken the main opposition Democratic Alliance's Mmusi Maimane, to lead Dlamini-Zuma by a considerable margin. Dlamini-Zuma seems to be on an ineluctably downward spiral, matched only by her ex-husband. Her campaign urgently needs an injection. Becoming an MP and presumably thereafter a minister is part of the attempt to do just that, as will the rumoured appointment as Higher Education Minister and bestower of more or less free education for all, if it occurs.
But the problem is Ramaphosa. If Dlamini-Zuma needs a bounce, he needs his bubble burst. The ANC's mid-year policy conference, which begun with Zuma proxies' braggadocio, gave Ramaphosa a major bounce in the polls to the point where he is on a continued upward trend. The party's December elective conference is suddenly very close. A repeat performance would secure Ramaphosa's position; and leave current president Zuma looking very fragile indeed. Cue the smears.
If Dlamini-Zuma remains burdened by "that" name - and focus groups make it clear that the name is a curse, not a blessing - then attacking Ramaphosa for philandering and beating his wife is meant to take the gloss off his campaign and, crucially, influence women voters. Who wants a(nother) president who cheats on his wife? Who wants a president who apparently beat a former wife (despite her strenuous denials)? These are all intended to dent Ramaphosa's appeal to women voters. Above all, their aim is to reinforce the "we need a woman president" mantra - which is the central and only message of the Dlamini-Zuma campaign.
The 2019 national elections
All this is being fought out in the ANC, even if simultaneously in the full glare of a willing media. But the ANC nowadays is merely a player in the game - a big one, but most certainly not too big to fail.
There is still, in 2019, the real national election where South African citizens go to vote. This may be Zuma's major miscalculation. All evidence suggests that the national leadership have not learned the lesson of the 2016 municipal elections, which is core to all polling: do not take your voters for granted.
The ANC has failed to find its mythical reset G-spot, and its post-election post-mortem seems to have found nothing needed correcting barring the removal of some peskily ethical ministers. The #Guptaleaks - the thousands of leaked emails exposing the extent of the powerful Gupta family's capture of the state - and the cabinet re-shuffling plus simple cravenness of the entire ANC project, have worsened since 2016.
The ANC is still the "mothership" - the famous liberation party, settled deep in the heart and subconscious of many South Africans. But the same lovers of history are judging the present, and will vote accordingly. They did so in 2016. The warning seems to have passed unheeded.
The cloak and dagger cleverness being unleashed by all sides in the ANC struggle assumes one thing - that the party will win in 2019. Polls suggest that at the moment, the ANC remains the majority party. But that is voter sentiment right now - it does not measure voter intention in 2019. Moreover, winning and being a majority party are very different - just ask the ANC in Johannesburg post-2016, for example. A recent IPSOS poll found the following:
Nice guys don't win
Maimane's coy slip of his own poll - that the ANC was polling below 50% - may represent a 2016-2018 downward trend. If that happens attacks on Ramaphosa will come from the main opposition DA as well. This doesn't mean the DA will win. Maimane neatly said nothing of how his party was faring - but the messy business of bartering their way to provincial power via unshaky coalitions may be the future for an ANC that has truly toppled itself from the moral high ground.
Ramaphosa is clearly trying to chart a more moral and honest path than his predecessor. Where Zuma faced a rape trial and repeated evidence of infidelity, Ramaphosa initially fell for the sucker-punch (hence the failed interdict against The Sunday Independent) and then took the route of quiet dignity.
If Ramaphosa can lose that initial twitchiness, maintain the dignity, but toughen up for far worse muck that will be thrown at him, the country's most famous buffalo farmer may yet prevail.
David Everatt does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.Read More »
Ghanaians celebrate free schooling at the senior high school level.
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured that a key component of the Free Senior High School policy must be the provision of quality education.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “Government is collaborating with various partners to implement major programmes and interventions such as the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP), the expansion of physical infrastructure, and free supply of core subject text books to students.”
Central, too, to the prospects of the Free SHS policy, the President added, is the teacher.
“A well-trained, confident and contented teacher is essential in the delivery of quality education. If we are to succeed as a nation, and if we accept that education is central to national development, then it is clear that quality teacher training is vital to our nation’s development,” he said.
Government, the President indicated, is committed to teacher professional development through schemes such as Transforming Teacher Education and Learning (T-TEL), at a cost of 17 million pounds sterling.
T-Tel is a four-year Government of Ghana programme supported by the UK’s Department for International Department (DFID). It seeks to transform the delivery of pre-service teacher education in Ghana, by improving the quality of teacher education and learning through support to all public Colleges of Education from 2014 to 2018. The programme will enhance quality education delivery in the Colleges of Education, with government looking forward to its continuous implementation after 2018.
“The restoration of the teacher trainee allowance, which also begins today, is part of the comprehensive policy of engendering the production of quality teachers,” the President added.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Tuesday, 12th September, 2017, when he launched the Free SHS policy at the West Africa Senior High School.
Upgrading of infrastructure
As was done under the administration of former President John Agyekum Kufuor, President Akufo-Addo indicated that government intends to pursue the policy of upgrading 42 existing senior high schools to model schools, as was done in the case of West Africa Senior High School.
This, he said, is an important step towards delivery of quality education.
“Technical and vocational skills are crucial to our industrialisation agenda, and we are committed to making them attractive to young people. The Free SHS policy will cover pupils who gain admission to technical, vocational and agricultural institutions,” he said.
With technical and vocational education delivery in Ghana currently fragmented under 18 different Ministries, each with different enabling Acts and mandates, President Akufo-Addo stated that work has commenced to align all public TVET institutions under the Ministry of Education to provide effective policy direction and co-ordination in skills development.
Government, he added, has also reserved 30% of places in the top 82 senior high schools to students from basic public schools, as, currently, these top schools are almost wholly populated by students from junior high private schools with good performance at the BECE, relative to the basic public schools.
“Under the Free SHS policy, we will ensure that students from basic public schools have equal opportunity to enrol in any of the top senior high schools in the country,” he said.
The President continued, “We believe this is crucial in ensuring that we do not inadvertently encourage a permanent class divide, where a child from a background, whose parents are unable to afford junior high private school education, is pre-destined to be excluded from the top senior high schools in the country. That is unconscionable, and potentially dangerous for social cohesion.”Read More »
The Zimbabwe MailEconomy tops Mugabe's legislative agendaThe Zimbabwe MailHARARE – President Robert Mugabe today opened the final session of the Eighth Parliament ahead of the 2018 general elections, with the economy topping his legislative agenda. Zimbabwe is pursuing reforms albeit at a slow pace, to try bounce from a ...LIVE: President Mugabe opens the 5th SessionRead More »
At least 6 people died on Sunday after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant just outside a senior official's office in the central Somali city of Beledweyne, police and residents said.
The al Qaida-linked al Shabaab group said it was behind the attack.
"At least six people died and several others were wounded. A suicide bomber blew up himself in a restaurant," major Hussein Osman, a police officer told Reuters from Beledweyne.
The Sunday afternoon blast took place outside the office of the governor of the Hiran region, where he was holding a meeting, police and residents said.
"We are behind the attack at the Hiran governor's headquarters. There are casualties. We targeted the workers of the Hiran administration," said Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operation spokesman.
Beledweyne is about 340 km north of Mogadishu.
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Photo: Jeff Angote/Daily Nation
Raila Odinga celebrates the Supreme Court's decision with other National Super Alliance leaders.
President Kenyatta says he personally disagrees with the decision of the Supreme Court to nullify his re-election but accepts and respects it.
In his address to the nation on Friday, President Kenyatta said his win was a s a result of "the will of the people".
He called on Kenyans to maintain peace and vowed to beat Raila Odinga and his Nasa brigade at the ballot.
The National Super Alliance (Nasa) has declared fresh war on officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries… Read more »Read More »
S Africa News – SAN , BREAKING News : South African minister Motsoaledi blasts African leaders’ ‘health tourism’. ✅ Get FREE subscribe : https://goo.gl/spByth ► Latest news, News headlines : https://goo.gl/pnZJB9 ► Playlist Robert and Grace Mugabe : https://goo.gl/BBLRUi ► Playlist Mzansi Africa : https://goo.gl/vwuaVX ✅ Thank for watching. Please …Read More »
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
President Mugabe has expressed bitterness over African countries that voted in favour of a decision by western countries to invade Libya resulting in the killing of President Muammar Gaddafi.
Officially opening the 67th World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa Summit in Victoria Falls Monday, President Mugabe who was the guest of honour, castigated the killing of "innocent" people by "greedy and envious" world leaders.
He also spoke at length about the killing of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein adding that he (Mugabe) had no respect for former Britain and America leaders Tony Blair and George Bush after they connived to kill him (Hussein) on unfounded claims of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction.
"Because of envy that Iraq has huge deposits of oil underground with one man Saddam Hussein sitting on the massive wealth, they decided to attack him.
"But they said if we just go and attack him like that the world will be on us. Let's contrive something to attack him with, then they thought of saying we are destroying weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction," said President Mugabe speaking off the cuff.
He said it was known that Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, adding that Zimbabwe also had similar problems with the Blair government.
Mugabe said Hussein had managed to usher peace in his country after managing to unite the Suni and Shia muslim groups.
"The weakness of our world system is that when innocent countries are attacked, we fold our arms," he said.
"The man had managed to unite his country but he is killed. When they discovered that there were no weapons of mass destruction, tonnes of oil had been sucked.
"As if that lesson was not headed in Iraq, they came to Libya, to Gaddafi. Yes he may have been a dictator but he was a friend of his people, a lover of his people, one who desired that his people should develop and not live in poverty and had managed to draw water from underneath our world to create a huge massive dam for the benefit of his country which is semi desert.
"He became friends with us, he wanted to democratise the African Union to be better politically and economically united," lamented President Mugabe.
He was referring to the 2011 United Nations Security Council Resolution, which authorised the imposition of a no-fly zone on Libya in response to that country's civil war.
The UNSC had initially failed to garner the necessary two-thirds majority, but African countries were later persuaded to vote in favour of the resolution.
South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon were among the non-permanent members who voted in support of the resolution.
President Mugabe said Africa sought the support of Russia and China.
"Yes, the matter came to the UNSC. The whites said he must be attacked and China and Russia said no. The matter could not have proceeded any further because of the necessary two-thirds majority, with Russia and China abstaining.
"Then it came to us the poor Africans. The poor Africans, sometimes not thinking well about the consequences of those attacks. So, what did we have? Quite disgraceful and shameful thing," added the Africa's longest serving President.
He said African countries, including Zimbabwe, pleaded with China and Russia to exercise their veto, but the two said the best they could do was to abstain in light of the three African members and the Arab contingent's support of NATO.
President Mugabe, who is a former African Union chair, lamented lack of humanitarianism among some leaders who he said kill their own people for having different religious and political views.
He appealed to WHO's new director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is Ethiopian, to represent Africa with African values.
"It's the pride that Africa has and we know he will not let us down but will try to make Africa meet giant steps in health because we are dying possibly the most.
"Mothers and children are dying because of us leaders sometimes, because of our ambition, because of certain concepts we have, maybe religious and because of selfishness, we have the drive to kill.
"I am a Catholic and Catholicism is not different form the other religions Methodist, Anglican, the beliefs are the same, commandments are the same. Where is that humanitarianism that we were taught in our religion to love one another?"
He said Africans should live in harmony and show love to each other.
He said he was worried that Nigeria, a great nation with grand status, failed to trace the 200 school children abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.Read More »
Image copyright AFP Image caption Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari returned to office in August after three months' medical leave in the UK
A South African minister has criticised African leaders who seek medical treatment abroad.
Aaron Motsoaledi condemned "health tourism" while speaking in Zimbabwe.
President Robert Mugabe, who frequently receives treatment in Singapore, had left the meeting of health ministers when Dr Motsoaledi made the comments.
Mr Mugabe's spokesman has said that the president's doctor "is not only Zimbabwean, he is actually black… He is very, very, very black".
George Charamba made those comments to Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper in May, insisting that President Mugabe was not turning his back on Zimbabwean medical help.
Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari and Angola's José Eduardo dos Santos have also been criticised for seeking medical treatment abroad this year.
At this week's conference Dr Motsoaledi said:
"We are the only continent that has its leaders seeking medical services outside the continent, outside our territory. We must be ashamed of that."
"This is called health tourism. We must promote our own," he added.Image copyright AFP Image caption Zimbabwe's long-serving President Robert Mugabe is 93 years old
Dr Motsoaledi also urged governments to increase funding to local facilities.
He has been praised by South Africans for using public hospitals instead of private facilities.
Analysis: Shingai Nyoka, BBC Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
It was the elephant in the room as over 30 of Africa's health ministers met to discuss strategies to tackle the continent's public health problems.
The list of African heads of state who have recently sought medical treatment abroad includes President Muhammadu Buhari, Angola's outgoing President José Eduardo dos Santos, Zimbabwe's 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, Benin's President Patrice Talon and 80-year-old Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
When Dr Motsoale made the comments in a plenary session, his remarks were met with silence from the other member states represented.
Dr Motsoaledi admitted his position is a controversial one, but added that it needed to be said.
Mugabe's medical leave in 2017
17 Jan: President Robert Mugabe leaves Zimbabwe on an official trip then, according to the Standard, takes a detour to Singapore for routine checks
8 May: State media report that Mr Mugabe has left for Singapore on another routine medical check-up
9 July: Mr Mugabe leaves again for Singapore - a youth rally is postponed as a result and the main opposition accuse him of "ruling from a hospital bed"Read More »
Zimbabwean first lady Grace Mugabe returned home Sunday from South Africa where she was accused of assaulting a model with an electric cable, public broadcaster ZBC reported.Read More »
Rome — The top United Nations human rights official hailed the repeal of laws in Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan that used to allow rapists to avoid criminal prosecution by marrying their victims.
"To punish a rape victim by making her marry the perpetrator of a horrible crime against her - there is no place in today's world for such hideous laws," on 22 August said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
He welcomed the stand that lawmakers in Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan have taken towards eliminating violence against women and ensuring that perpetrators of such violence are held to account.
"To punish a rape victim by making her marry the perpetrator of a horrible crime against her - there is no place in today's world for such hideous laws," UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
According to the UN High Commissioner's Office (OHCHR), on 16 August, Lebanon voted to repeal article 522 of its penal code, a law that exempted from criminal prosecution a person accused of rape who agreed to marry the victim.
Two weeks earlier, Jordanian lawmakers also voted to abolish a similar provision - article 308 of its penal code.
In Tunisia, on 26 July, the Parliament adopted a law on eliminating violence against women and eliminating impunity for perpetrators, recognising that violence against women includes economic, sexual, political and psychological violence.
The Tunisian law will come into effect next year. Tunisia has also established two human rights institutions this year dealing with human trafficking and improving the enjoyment of individual liberties and equality.
"These are hard-won victories, thanks to the tireless campaigns over the years by human rights defenders - in particular women human rights defenders - in Tunisia, Lebanon and Jordan," underscored High Commissioner Zeid.
He noted, however, that in Lebanon, article 505 of the Penal Code continues to allow those accused of having sex with a minor to go free if they marry their victims, while article 508 allows for marital rape, and called for the article to be repealed and for marital rape to be criminalised.
In the case of Jordan, the law until now allowed a rapist to avoid prosecution by marrying his victim for a minimum period of five years. However, the Parliament of Jordan on 4 August voted to abolish the so-called "rape law" of the Penal Code, UN Women, informed.
"The abolishing of article 308 is an important victory for the women's movement in Jordan," said Wafa Saed Bani Mustafa, a lawyer and Member of the Parliament (MP), currently serving as head of the Women's Caucus and Chairperson of the Coalition of Women MPs to Combat Violence against Women the UN specialised entity reported.
The law eliminates impunity for perpetrators of violence, for example, by amending the article 227 of the penal code, which pardoned a perpetrator of a sexual act with a minor when the perpetrator married his victim. The passing of the law follows several years of advocacy efforts led by Tunisian civil society and national institutions, in collaboration with international organisations, including UN Women.
"My engagement began in 2013, when I started advocating for the abolishment of this article, along with a group of other parliamentarians while serving in Jordan's 17th Parliament. I started this action because of my strong belief in the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women in our national laws, as I believe that Jordanian women are citizens with equal rights and duties."
"Continued Drama, Fear and Abuse"
Emphasising the "continued trauma, fear and abuse that rape survivors endure when forced to marry their rapists," civil society, parliamentarians and other actors formed a dedicated coalition in 2015. Together, they demanded the adoption of better legal measures to protect survivors of rape, sexual assault and harassment, and to punish the perpetrators to end impunity, adds UN Women.
"It is important to introduce the concept that marriage is not the only option for rape survivors," added Mustafa. "Survivors should know that they can receive adequate physical and psychological support, that they can become financially independent and be reintegrated into the society."
More than 200 activists and representatives of the civil society attended the discussion in Parliament on 2 August and circulated an online petition, which gathered 5,000 signatures from the public in one day, in support of this legislative reform, according to UN Women.
"Also invaluable was the contribution of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, the national women's agency, headed by Princess Basma bint Talal, who is as well the UN Women's National Goodwill Ambassador in Jordan."
"The unfailing advocacy efforts of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, the joint action of the civil society and the continuous commitment of the women's movement at all levels in the past years have paved the way for this historic reform, and continue to sustain the advancement of the women's empowerment in Jordan," said Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Representative in Jordan.
For its part, Tunisia made new strides by passing its first national law to combat violence against women, on 26 July this year.
The long-awaited legislation, which passed with 146 votes out of 217 and zero abstentions, takes a comprehensive approach by combining measures for prevention of violence and support for survivors, UN Women reports.
"As a Tunisian woman, I am very proud that this law has been adopted. This is the climax of the steps that began through the adoption of the Code of Personal Status in 1956,"said Naziha Labidi, Minister of Women, Family and Childhood.
The new violence against women law adopts a broad definition of violence. In addition to physical violence, the law recognises other forms of violence against women and girls, including economic, sexual, political and psychological.
It also provides for new protection mechanisms that will enable survivors to access the necessary services and legal and psychological assistance.
Furthermore, the law eliminates impunity for perpetrators of violence, for example, by amending the article 227 of the penal code, which pardoned a perpetrator of a sexual act with a minor when the perpetrator married his victim.
The passing of the law follows several years of advocacy efforts led by Tunisian civil society and national institutions, in collaboration with international organisations, including UN Women.
"Prior to this law, the only progressive legislation that promoted gender equality was the Code of Personal Status, which abolished polygamy, established the minimal age for marriage, introduced the requirement of mutual consent of both parties for a marriage, and created a judicial procedure for divorce."
50% of Tunisian Women Experienced Violence
Pointing to several recent studies, including the national survey on violence against women in 2010, which estimated that nearly 50 per cent of Tunisian women have experienced violence in their lifetime, Member of Parliament, Bochra Belhaj Hmida said: "This is why the establishment of a legal framework against violence was needed."
She also stressed on the importance of education within the family and from an early age to prevent such violence, adds UN Women.
This story updates Jordan Abolishes Law Allowing Rapists to Avoid ProsecutionRead More »
Gulf TimesGrace Mugabe makes her first public appearance since South Africa caseGulf TimesZimbabwe's first lady, Grace Mugabe, made her first public appearance yesterday since leaving South Africa where she was charged with assault. The wife of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, a potential successor to the president, was granted diplomatic ...Reasons for Grace Mugabe's diplomatic immunity in letter toRead More »
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Zimbabwean first lady, Grace Mugabe is summoned to court after assaulting a 20-year-old model, Gabriella Engels. sourceRead More »
Zimbabwe’s First Lady Grace Mugabe appears to have been granted diplomatic immunity by South Africa. Grace Mugabe was facing assault charges in South Africa, but had applied for diplomatic immunity. Meanwhile, the close of the SADC Heads of State summit close has been moved forward to eleven o’clock on Sunday …Read More »
Thursday, Advocate Gerrie Nel announced that he will be representing 20-year-old Gabriella Engels. Engels was allegedly severely assaulted by Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe with an extension cord at a Sandton hotel on Sunday. Mugabe is now exploring diplomatic immunity in the matter. To talk more on this and what …Read More »
The Ministry of Police has confirmed that Zimbabwean First Lady Grace Mugabe is still in South Africa. And that she is seeking diplomatic immunity in her bid to stave off a charge of assaulting a 20-year-old Johannesburg woman on Sunday. Harare has already dispatched a diplomatic note to Pretoria. The …Read More »
SOUTH AFRICAN GOVT SAYS GRACE MUGABE CAN BE ARRESTED, DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT IS USELESS sourceRead More »
Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe returned home on Tuesday from South Africa after failing to turn herself in to police in Johannesburg to face accusations of assaulting a model in a hotel room World is One News, WION examines global issues with in-depth analysis. We provide much more than the …Read More »