ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA – The AU Commission has made entered into the cyber world by officially launching its online Knowledge Management platform of the AFRICAN Internet Governance Forum.
The Commission says the Knowledge Management platform is in response to overwhelming requests of the Internet stakeholders on the Continent.
It says the requests came especially during the SIXTH AFRICAN and the Global Internet Governance forums held DECEMBER 2017 in EGYPT and SWITZERLAND respectively.
The Head of the AU Commission Information Society in the Department of Infrastructure and Energy Head says the platform is connected to the resources of the AFRICAN Internet Governance Forum: www.afigf.africa.
MOCTAR YEDALY says the facility will be a space for regular exchange of information as well as for better planning and implementation of AFRICAN related Internet Governance programs.
He says the platform is active with multiple Communities and Forums, to help stakeholders address the ICT challenges in general and the Internet policy issues in particular, as well as help establish common AFRICAN positions on many issues.
The AU Commission says Internet Governance is the evolving policies and mechanisms under which main stakeholders like governments, businesses, civil society, and the academia recommend about the development and use of the Web./Sabanews/cam
HARARE – ZIMBABWE will this year see a different kind of General Elections after more than 100 political groups have registered to take part in the historic ballots.
The country is going to the polls for the FIRST time without former President ROBERT MUGABE and under a new system of voter registration that has attracted more than FIVE-MILLION so far.
THE HERALD newspaper quotes the Electoral Commission as saying it has enlisted at least 118 political parties, with more still to come, for the exercise, which is due before AUGUST.
It says Voter Education Director TAURAYI GAVI has addressed journalists at a workshop on election reporting in the central city of GWERU.
He says the Commission is trying to design a ballot paper that accommodates the 118 presidential candidates who will be vying for the top job in the land.
Mr GAVI says the Electoral Commission will not limit any political party wishing to take part in the elections as long as it meets the requirements.
He says their job is to facilitate and oversee the elections, so they have no mandate to stop anyone from contesting as long as they pay the required fee and meet the required standards.
The Commission is also due to float a tender to select a company that will print the ballot papers for the polls in processes that will be made public through the media.
Mr GAVI says the authorities are currently inspecting the voters’ roll, as well as correcting errors and duplications, which will lead to the compilation of a provisional register by next month.
However, he says the Electoral Commission does not have the mandate to audit the voters’ role, but any political party willing to do so should use its own funds.
The 2018 ZIMBABWE General Elections, likely to involve more young voters, come a couple of months after the ouster of Mr MUGABE, who had ruled the country with an iron fist for 37 years./Sabanews/cam
WINDHOEK – President HAGE GEINGOB of NAMIBIA has denied allegations of earning huge sums of illegal money in the sale of a uranium mine some 11 years ago in his country.
His Lawyer, SISA NAMANDJE, has issued a statement dismissing a media story linking the Head of State to an anti-corruption investigation into the deal involving TREKKOPJE Mine, a large open pit in the Western NAMIBIA region of ERONGO.
Authorities in FRANCE have charged former AREVA Mining Branch Head SÉBASTIEN DE MONTESSUS with corruption in relation to the purchase of TREKKOPJE Mine from URANIM Company of CANADA by AREVA, a FRENCH nuclear giant, in 2007.
President GEINGOB has maintained his HG Consultancy firm only offered advisory services to URANIM between 2006 and 2007, but was not involved in the sale of TREKKOPJE Mine to AREVA.
His lawyer has warned RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONALE to retract its story alleging he is also a target in the anti-corruption investigation against Mr DE MONTESSUS, or face legal action.
President GEINGOB says he was a parliamentary back-bencher, and not a Cabinet Minister when he helped the CANADIAN company to obtain a mining licence in NAMIBIA.
NBC News says FRENCH prosecutors are now investigating the acquisition of URAMIN assets in NAMIBIA, SOUTH AFRICA and the CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC.
RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONALE has cited President GEINGOB as a person of interest in the probe, as he reportedly pocketed about 300-THOUSAND US dollars from the TREKKOPJE deal.
President GEINGOB’s lawyer says the Head of State never received any such monies because he had nothing to do with URANIM takeover by AVERA.
The legal expert says no investigator ever approached the President as a party to the matter involving allegations of price inflation in the deal.
Advocate NAMANDJE has dismissed other allegations concerning the alleged payment of EIGHT-MILLION EUROS between 2008 and 2009 to President GEINGOB while he was Trade and Industry Minister.
The lawyer says RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONALE should withdraw what he described as reckless reports against the NAMIBIAN Leader, and has warned failure to do so could result in a lawsuit./Sabanews/cam
HARARE – President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA of ZIMBABWE has not been able to occupy the State House so far because his predecessor is still to remove his belongings.
Unconfirmed media reports say ex-President ROBERT MUGABE and his family have not evacuated ZIMBABWE House, in the capital, HARARE, FOUR months after he left power.
The DAILY NEWS quotes Presidential Spokesperson GEORGE CHARAMBA as saying the former Head of State has all along been still clearing his property from the residence.
Mr MUGABE left power crudely after his ruling ZANU PF Party moved to impeach him following his refusal to obey a Central Committee decision to recall him from government.
The move to remove him from office was as a result of actions by his wife, GRACE, which brought the SADC country to the brink of war,
Ms MUGABE had launched a serious campaign, backed by a number of ministers and members of the ZANU PF officials, to weed out scores of icons of the former liberation movement.
She pushed her husband to dismiss the targeted persons from the party and the government on false accusations of plotting to topple the then 93-year-old man, in power for 37 years.
However, their plot touched nerves when Ms MUGABE openly attacked the then Vice President MNANGAGWA – calling him a gangster – and challenged the military to dare her.
The then Head of State fired his deputy at a mass rally in the commercial capital, BULAWAYO, forcing President MNANGAGWA to flee the country.
The military stepped in and launched what they termed Operation Restore Legacy, after ZANU PF youth leaders repeated the direct challenge by the then FIRST Lady.
Veterans of the ZIMBABWEAN liberation war mobilised masses of people to demonstrate against Mr MUGABE all over the country, forcing him to write his letter of resignation to the Speaker of Parliament, JACOB MUDENDA.
ZANU PF recalled President MNANGAGWA to return and lead the party and government, leading to his inauguration on 24 NOVEMBER at the National Sports Stadium in HARARE.
The DAILY NEWS also says now there are fears among security officials that President MNANGAGWA may not be very safe if he remains in his private residence.
The new ZIMBABWEAN Leader, currently on a crusade to bring his country back onto the global arena, has pledged to do all he can to ensure the safety of the former Head State, with whom he worked for more than 50 years./Sabanews/cam
VICTORIA – AIR SEYCHELLES is laying off 174 workers as it undergoes restructuring, according to the Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports, and Marine.
However, MAURICE LOUSTAU-LALANNE has received opposition in the National Assembly: which has ordered a halt to the exercise, amid complaints from labour unions.
Minister LOUSTAU-LALANNE has tried to defend the move saying will allow the national flag carrier to become a sustainable company in the fiercely competitive aviation industry.
He says the airliner has plans to remain with 202 employees after laying of the other 174 and leaving 28 vacant posts unfilled.
Minister LOUSTAU-LALANNE says AIR SEYCHELLES currently has more than 800 staff members across the 13 departments.
The Cabin crew will be the most affected in the downsizing, which aims to spare only FOUR departments of the company, including the ground handling service.
Minister LOUSTAU-LALANNE, a BRITISH-trained Civil Aviation expert, says they have already meetings with targeted workers to explain the planned exercise.
He says AIR SEYCHELLES regrets the reduction of commercial and operational activities and the many affected jobs, but the move will help to save the national airliner.
Partnering ETIHAD AIRWAYS, AIR SEYCHELLES will work to reduce operation costs and make profits; so as to remain the leading airliner in the INDIAN Ocean and improve service with a CREOLE spirit.
Minister LOUSTAU-LALANNE says the company will concentrate on areas where there are advantages for it and where it can make profits.
The areas include ground handling, cargo handling, domestic operations, as well as regional services to ABU DHABI, MUMBAI, MAURITIUS, and SOUTH AFRICA.
Minister LOUSTAU-LALANNE has further tried to convince the lawmakers saying the State has observed all labour laws during the process to downsize the company, and all affected staff will get their dues and compensation.
However, both WAVEL RAMKALAWAN, Leader of the Opposition, and CHARLES DECOMARMOND, Leader of Government Business, have rejected the proposed exercise and ordered its suspension.
They have instructed Ministers LOUSTAU-LALANNE and the Minister of Employment to return to the National Assembly next TUESDAY, when they will submit a copy of the contract signed with ETIHAD AIRWAYS.
SEYCHELLES FEDERATION OF WORKERS UNIONS Official ANTOINE ROBINSON says the labour leaders have suggested voluntary retirements on SIX-month pay packages.
He says they have held a number of meetings with the Minister and AIR SEYCHELLES, who are insisting on a THREE-month pay package for each retrenched worker.
Mr ROBINSON also says the employers did not consult the workers, who they are simply forcing to accept whatever is being given to them.
An AIR SEYCHELLES staffer has told SNA what is happening is sad, considering the number of people losing their as well as their families who will also suffer greatly.
Minister LOUSTAU-LALANNE says the Tourism and Employment Ministries will help workers losing their jobs to find new employment in the hospitality industry.
The Minister says AIR SEYCHELLES, founded in 1977, will now be flying regionally on TWO Airbus A-320s and lease out another TWO Airbus A-330s to FIJI AIRLINES, with ETIHAD AIRWAYS taking ONE Airbus A-330./Sabanews/cam
QUNU – Praises continue to pour in for the late struggle icon, WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA, with people who were close to her describing the liberation fighter as a brilliant, generous, and kind mother.
SABC News says WINNIE came from humble beginnings in the town of BIZANA in EASTERN CAPE Province, to become a global icon.
It says people in the small village of QUNU, in the same region, knew the late WINNIE as a politician and mother, after her connection to them through her marriage to the late Statesman NELSON MANDELA.
SABC News says the MADIBA Clan of the late former President describes her as being true to the character of a decent wife, so respectful, always wearing long dresses, and always with a doek on her head.
It quotes EVELYN MANDELA, MADIBA’s FIRST wife and a cousin of his political mentor, WALTER SISULU, says WINNIE mourned her former husband even when they were no longer married.
She says WINNIE never questioned any instruction by men who are leaders of this family, always respected what they told her to do and made sure she kept all the rules of being a decent and respected rural woman.
MANDELA family neighbour LUCCRITIA NGCEBETSHANA says WINNIE would take her mother-in-law to the commercial capital, JOHANNESBURG, from where she would bring all nice things the late woman bought her.
SABC News says in MPUMALANGA, the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SOUTH AFRICA has also remembered MADIKIZELA-MANDELA as a true leader who also fought for the recognition of customary heads.
The national broadcaster says WINNIE also served as Treasurer of the grouping for SEVEN years, from 1989 to 1995.
It quotes a member of the Congress, KGOSHI LAMARCK MOKOENA, as saying he personally worked with WINNIE for many years in the organisation and in Parliament.
Mr MOKOENA says she was a leader who did a lot to ensure recognition of traditional leaders and their role in society; but he has condemned people who now sing praises for WINNIE after making sure in the past that she was isolated.
WINNIE’s friend and comrade, DR BRIGALIA BAM recalls her fond memories of a young NOMZAMO MADIKIZELA-MANDELA; who she befriended in the 1950s at JAN HOFMEYR School of Social Work in JOHANNESBURG.
DR BAM has described her as brilliant, generous, and kind; saying WINNIE’s contribution in the liberation struggle has been documented by a number of film makers.
Renowned Producer ANANT SINGH has reflected on his personal encounters with the late WINNIE, with who he spent a lot of time in 2013 when producing the film MANDELA: Long Walk to Freedom.
They became close friends for more than 30 years, after being introduced to each other by late the ANC heavyweight FATIMA MEER.
Mr SINGH says WINNIE was a unique individual with a strong presence, and her character in the movie required a special actress.
However, SABC News says ONE of the darkest moments in Mama WINNIE’s marriage must surely have been her divorce from the late former President MANDELA, who went on to marry GRACA, the widow of the late President SAMORA MACHEL of MOZAMBIQUE.
The late SOUTH AFRICAN political and liberation struggle icon will get an official burial on 14 APRIL, after 10 days of activities meant to honour her./Sabanews/cam
HARARE – The Government of ZIMBABWE has dismissed claims by former FIRST Lady GRACE MUGABE, who accuses illegal gold panners of invading her property in the northern region.
Ms MUGABE alleges the suspects raided her farm and a children’s home she runs in the MAZOWE District of MASHONALAND CENTRAL Province, after evicting scores of families who had settled there for years.
She claims they stole 31 laptop computer
s and vandalised farming equipment in incidents she alleges were politically motivated, after the State reduced her family security personnel.
However, Home Affairs Minister OBERT MPOFU says no gold panner invaded the property; but there is a dispute between the former FIRST Family and THREE mining groups before the High Court.
He says the syndicates approached the High Court and won a provisional order stopping the police and GUSHUNGO Holdings, which the MUGABEs own, from interfering with their activities.
Minister MPOFU says Ms MUGABE made a report to the police in MAZOWE on 29 MARCH this year, alleging 400 illegal miners had invaded her lemon plantation where they vandalised the field and irrigation equipment.
He says the police received yet another report on 30 MARCH about illegal miners allegedly seen at the AMAI MUGABE Children’s Home.
However, their investigations on the 30TH and the 31ST of the same month revealed, through interviews and physical checks, there was no illegal miners at the children’s home and at the lemon plantation.
He says further enquiries disclosed there is a mining dispute between the former FIRST Family and three mining syndicates; which she had bullied together with innocent villagers during her reign at State House.
Earlier media reports of OCTOBER last year speak of suspected ZANU PF militia guarding ARNOLD Farm in MAZOWE reportedly assaulting villagers to force them off the property allegedly grabbed by Ms MUGABE.
They say the militia assaulted the people, destroyed homes and vegetable gardens, to force them off the farm to pave way for the expansion of the then FIRST Family’s business empire.
The mining groups that have now taken Ms MUGABE on are MONDO-THREE led by BRIGHT MAONGA, MONDO-FOUR by SHEPHERD NYAZVINGO and XIMAS-159 led by MOHAMMED KHAN.
Minister MPOFU says the EMMERSON MNANGAGWA Administration decided to reduce the number of police officers deployed to for the security of former President ROBERT MUGABE and his family in line with Statutory Instrument 153 of 2017.
He says the Security Committee comprising the Police, the Army, and the President’s Department met and resolved to reduce the deployed personnel to the former FIRST Family to a total of 16 police officers.
Minister MPOFU says Ms MUGABE has also not been honest when she says thieves stole 31 laptop computers from, as only EIGHT went missing; and TWO of her workers have been arrested for their suspected theft.
He says the Caretaker at the AMAI MUGABE School in MAZOWE reported the EIGHT missing laptops to the Administrator before calling in the police, who established there had been no break-in but a spare key was used.
They probed the matter and arrested TWO workers at the school, AMOS MASIMURE, 29, and WILSON POMBA, 32, who have since appeared before the BINDURA Magistrate’s Court.
Minister MPOFU says MASIMURE has been convicted and sentenced TWO-AND-A-HALF years and ordered to reimburse the complainant ONE-THOUSAND-500 US dollars, while Mr POMBA is out on 50 US dollars’ bail.
He says SIX out of the EIGHT stolen laptops had been sold to some people in the capital, HARARE, and have since been recovered.
Minister MPOFU says the government, guided by the law, and will act swiftly to investigated without fear or favour on reports related to the security and property of the former FIRST Family.
However, political commentators say the government of ZIMBABWE has been too soft with the former FIRST Lady; considering her eviction of scores of families from MAZOWE District and her abuse of Presidential powers./Sabanews/cam
HARARE – CHINA has made deep inroads into the SADC Region and the rest of AFRICA, with governments sending high-powered delegations on business canvassing trips.
The development comes after the re-election of President XI JINPING mid-last month after a Constitutional revision ONE week earlier.
The AFRICA NEWS agency says leaders of the Continent including the Heads of UGANDA, NIGERIA, SOUTH AFRICA, and KENYA congratulated President XI.
It quotes political commentators as saying many AFRICAN countries welcome the life presidency project in CHINA; after the Parliament amended the Constitution to remove presidential term limits, and assured him of indefinite stay in power.
However, the publication also says life presidency schemes are the subject of fierce debates and violent protests in AFRICA, giving examples of KENYA and UGANDA.
Nevertheless, the CHINESE President has this month alone invited and hosted large delegations from NAMIBIA and ZIMBABWE, led by their Heads of State.
The NAMIBIAN national broadcaster says President HAGE GEINGOB will address the media this THURSDAY in the capital, WINDHOEK, to give feedback on his State-visit to the ASIAN country.
NBC News says he has announced the planned briefing at HOSEA KUTAKO International Airport shortly after returning home from the SEVEN-day-long trip.
It says International Relations and Cooperation Minister NETUMBO NANDI-NDAITWAH will host the conference on the trip of President GEINGOB and his 80-member delegation.
The State visit has seen the TWO leaders sealing a number of cooperation deals in areas like housing, infrastructure expansion, beef exports, and tourism.
NBC News says they have further signed an agreement to set up a space tracking, telemetry and command station in NAMIBIA, while the CHINA University of Geo-Sciences has awarded President GEINGOB an Honorary Doctorate.
The NAMIBIAN Leader has also met JACK MA, the founder of ALIBABA Group who visited NAMIBIA last year, and ONE of the wealthiest men in ASIA, on the side-lines of a meeting in SHANGHAI City.
Meanwhile, CHINESE-trained former guerrilla commander and President of ZIMBABWE, EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, is in BEIJING at the invitation of President XI.
THE HERALD says he has toured the COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA School of Ideology in the city, saying his ruling ZANU PF and the host party should intensify their ties.
President MNGANGAGWA is in CHINA for FIVE days until FRIDAY after entering into a number of deals with the ASIAN country of a massive population of ONE-BILLION-379-MILLION.
On the other hand, BEIJING is hosting the Forum for CHINA and AFRICA Cooperation, FOCAC 2018 in SEPTEMBER this year, and SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA is getting ready.
In TANZANIA, the World Wildlife Fund Policy Advisor, LAURENCE MBWAMBO, has told civil society groups to prepare topics of focus for the government to discuss at the gathering.
He has told delegates during a FOCAC Alignment Workshop in the commercial capital, DAR ES SALAAM TANZANIA has a number of chances and investment avenues in environment, gas, oil, and related sectors.
Economic and political relations between CHINA and AFRICA started during the time of MAO ZEDONG, who first led the CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY after the CHINESE Civil War.
The People’s Republic of CHINA has thus been building gradually stronger ties with AFRICA starting in the 21ST Century, and about ONE-MILLION CHINESE reside in AFRICA; while almost 200-THOUSAND AFRICANS work in CHINA./Sabanews/cam