HARARE – President CYRIL RAMAPHOSA of SOUTH AFRICA has added his voice to the call for Western powers to lift economic sanctions they imposed on ZIMBABWE about 20 years ago.
Media reports say he has spoken on the side-lines of a meeting of the International Labour Organisation ahead of the just ended World Economic Forum in the SWISS resort town of DAVOS.
President RAMAPHOSA says ZIMBABWE has managed to hold successful general elections after emerging from a very difficult political situation.
However, he says BRITAIN, the EUROPEAN UNION and AMERICA maintain their embargo on the SADC country, chocking all government efforts to revive the battered economy it inherited.
The SOUTH AFRICAN Leader says his country is among the others calling on the world to relax or lift the illegal sanctions altogether, to enable ZIMBABWE to enjoy the economic fruits it is capable to produce.
President RAMAPHOSA says the global community can help the new administration, which is only about SIX months old in office, to correct the unpalatable fiscal situation if the rich countries remove the restrictions currently in place.
However, the sanctions against ZIMBABWE will be difficult to understand unless people get a clear picture of their major reason – which is a Western retaliation to land repossessions the country carried out in 2000 and onwards.
Victims of the massive agrarian reforms are mostly of BRITISH origin, who had hitherto enjoyed lavish lives, generation after generation, for some 110 years.
BRITAIN had sponsored the BRITISH SOUTH AFRICA COMPANY of CECIL JOHN RHODES in 1890, when some 500 white traders and armed thugs crossed the LIMPOPO River to capture the territory stretching to the ZAMBEZI River in the north.
The Company displaced all the indigenous black communities from their homes and crowded them into labour reserves where they had to irk a living by tilling rocky fields or by working for wages on their former land, now in the hands of the invaders.
Former dictator ROBERT MUGABE, ONE of the few AFRICANS to be knighted by the BRITISH Empire at BUCKINGHAM Palace, had dilly-dallied with the resettlement issue for 20 years since independence, protecting white commercial farmers.
Efforts at the end of the 20TH Century to replace the ceasefire agreement then governing the country with a national constitution met with stiff resistance from the farmers, since the proposed law would allow the State to take over their land for black occupation.
The farmers sponsored a group of labour leaders to form the opposition MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE, allegedly with the help of AMERICAN and BRITISH agents, and managed to secure a NO vote in the ballot.
After Mr MUGABE accepted the results, former liberation war fighters in the south-eastern region led a fierce mass movement onto the commercial farms and launched what became known as Hondo ye Minda (War for Farmlands), which later spread countrywide.
The government failed to contain the new revolution and decided to go along with the protestors, a move that BRITAIN immediately described as an abandonment of the rule of law – and it campaigned, successfully, for the global isolation of its former colony.
The UNITED STATES was the harshest super power in response to the appeal, as it went to the extent of coming up with a law – the infamous ZIMBABWE Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, ZIDERA of 2001 – which literary bars trade with ZIMBABWE.
The actions of the powerful nations have seen industry closing down, the national currency disappearing and being replaced by a multi-currency regime, massive unemployment, rise of political unrest, infrastructure falling apart, and poverty levels worsening daily.
The call by the SOUTH AFRICAN President for them to lift the sanctions comes amid opposition calls back in SOUTH AFRICA calling on him to reprimand the ZIMBABWEAN Leader for what they describe as human rights violations.
The DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE reportedly has threatened to approach the International Criminal Court if he fails to intervene directly to stop the ongoing alleged violations by the government of ZIMBABWE.
Media reports say the group has called on President RAMAPHOSA to re-think about what it calls his quiet diplomacy and advise the neighbouring Head of State to stop the military clampdown allegedly on civilians.
The DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE says it strongly believes the human rights crisis currently obtaining in ZIMBABWE is of sufficient gravity to justify a probe by the International Criminal Court.
Its Shadow Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, STEVEN MOKGALAPA, quotes the ZIMBABWE Human Rights NGO Forum as claiming at least 12 people have been killed, 78 shot, and 240 others exposed to assault, torture, plus cruel and shameful treatment.
The ZIMBABWEAN Government, which insists sanctions are its major problem, has denounced the violence; saying everyone in the country has the right to protest, but they should do so lawfully and peacefully./Sabanews/cam
VICTORIA – State officials and civil members in SEYCHELLES have acquired more skills to enable them to negotiate successfully for support in Climate Change matters globally.
The national news agency, SNA, says they have attended a training course covering areas aimed to better equip them for times when they take part in international meetings.
SEYCHELLES’ Permanent Representative to the UNITED NATIONS, RONNY JUMEAU, says the impact of Climate Change is becoming more obvious on the western INDIAN archipelago.
As a small country, SEYCHELLES continuously needs support and has to make its voice heard internationally.
Mr JUMEAU says the task requires people dealing with issues of Climate Change to be skilled in a variety of areas such as advocacy and negotiation.
He says ONE vital factor such negotiators need to take into account when they attend global Climate Change meetings is how to get access to financing.
SEYCHELLES has become a high-income country now, which makes it more difficult to get access to financial support for local Climate Change Adaptation projects.
Climate Change Adaptation is a response to global warming effects like hurricanes, droughts, floods, and other disasters such as disease outbreaks; and it aims to reduce the vulnerability of social and biological systems to the relatively sudden changes.
Island nations also under threat from rising sea levels (Pic. UNDP)Mr JUMEAU says because of the status of a high-income country, which makes potential funders reluctant to open their wallets, negotiators need to be skilful and know what they are talking about to lure the donors.
His comments come as Climate Change is adversely affecting the economic development of SEYCHELLES, and impacting directly on the livelihoods of the islanders; and access to funds is vital to the survival of the island country.
SNA says the workshop comes right after the GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE ALLIANCE PLUS INITIATIVE has completed a Capacity Needs Assessment recently.
The national news agency says participants in the program have identified the need for strengthening the knowledge and skills of SEYCHELLOIS Climate Change negotiators.
Project Facilitator ANGELIQUE POUPONNEAU says SEYCHELLOIS negotiators have been eager to know about Climate Change Diplomacy; and how to engage in discussions on the subject.
Some delegates to the workshop have already been to the UNITED NATIONS Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties, and others scheduled to take part in the next meeting wanted to be better prepared.
Ms POUPONNEAU also says after attending the EUROPEAN UNION funded training, they now have basic skills to engage in negotiations on the global arena.
ONE of the delegates, Senior Policy Analyst ELISSA LALANDE, has described the workshop as very enriching, saying she is now ready to represent the country at any international meeting on the subject.
Researchers say the SEYCHELLES, being a small island state, with small land areas, high population densities on the coast, and a sensitive economy, is among regions of the world that will suffer the worst effects of Climate Change impacts./Sabanews/cam
HARARE – The authorities in NAMIBIA seem to be nursing a potentially volatile situation by delaying the long awaited equitable distribution of land to suffering citizens.
Like all the surrounding sister nations in the SADC Region, the former GERMAN colony lost millions of its people during colonisation and throughout the liberation war – all in the name of self-determination.
This process, by which a country clarifies its own statehood and forms its own government, cannot end until the people access the primary means of production – which in this case is land.
Thus, the major grievance that forced thousands of young men and women to leave their homes to join the liberation struggle was land; but 29 years after independence, the issue remains unresolved.
Thousands of NAMIBIANS have been without proper homes for generations and have been patient all along, but some are becoming more and more agitated under the situation.
More than 100 residents of OTJIWARONGO, a city of 28-THOUSAND inhabitants in the OTJOZONDJUPA Region, have recently invaded idle land at the new OMBILI informal settlement of the municipality.
NBC News says the people descended on the area with rakes, shovels, axes and hoes; started clearing and demarcating the land, before the police and municipal authorities and politicians stopped them.
The officials included OTJIWARONGO Mayor BENNES HAIMBONDI, Management Committee Chairperson HILDA JESAJA, and ruling SWAPO Party OTJOZONDJUPA Regional Co-ordinator SUSAN HIKOPUA.
The broadcaster says the residents have told the news agency, NAMPA, they have taken matters into their own hands because the town council rejects their applications for land, charges them exorbitant prices, and councillors give no priority to land delivery.
NBC News says Mayor HAIMBONDI has asked the group to write down their names and allow the municipality to verify them in its database, to see if they had not yet been given land already, as well as whether or not they are listed as new applicants for land.
It says he called for patience, emphasising the town council will service about FOUR-THOUSAND plots in the invaded area; although the total number of the needy is not clear yet.
The aggrieved residents have agreed to write down their names, but they have also called on the municipality to speed up the exercise of servicing land at the OMBILI informal settlement.
Records show land reform, which has been a vital political and economic topic in NAMIBIA, comprises TWO different strategies: resettlement, and transfer of commercially viable agricultural land.
They say resettlement aims to improve the lives of displaced or dispossessed previously disadvantaged NAMIBIANS.
The farms the government obtains for resettlement are usually in a number of sections, with scores of families resettling on what had previously been ONE farm.
Commercial farms transfer is not directly under State control, since aspiring farmers with a previously disadvantaged background obtain the properties privately or through affirmative action loans – both under the notorious Willing-Buyer, Willing Seller principle.
NAMIBIA has about FOUR-THOUSAND commercial farms, with about ONE-THOUSAND of them now in the hands of previously disadvantaged nationals since independence in 1990./Sabanews/cam
HARARE – The authorities in ZIMBABWE say they have deployed security forces to ensure public safety following threats of another round of violent opposition protests in the country.
The announcement comes from Home Affairs Minister CAIN MATHEMA and Information Minister MONICA MUTSVANGWA, after angry demonstrators shut down most major cities and towns for the whole of last week.
The ZIMBABWE CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS this month teamed up with social groups like the TAJAMUKA and the #THISFLAG to organise nationwide labour protests to pressure the government.
Their move comes amid worsening economic conditions that have seen prices of most basic goods rising to out of the reach of the majority, although incomes have remained stagnant and unemployment remains high.
However, what was supposed to have been a peaceful work stoppage for THREE days to force the State to solve the worsening economic situation in the country turned very violent, with mobs blocking roads with large rocks and burning tyres.
The government has blamed the opposition MDC ALLIANCE, which it claims is working with the labour movement and the other groups – with sponsorship from Western powers – to force a regime change in the SADC nation.
Alliance Leader NELSON CHAMISA has dismissed the accusation, saying the demos are a result of mismanagement by the authorities and the announcement of fuel prices increases by the Head of State.
Mr CHAMISA claims the soldiers who the State deployed shot and killed more innocent civilians than the SIX victims of the AUGUST 2018 post-election violence his supporters provoked in the capital, HARARE.
He has told mourners at the funeral of ONE victim of the violence in the corridor city of CHITUNGWIZA his party is going to engage regional and continental authorities, as well as the UNITED NATIONS, for intervention.
THE HERALD says Home Affairs Minister MATHEMA and Information Minister MUTSVANGWA have pledged the government will deal firmly with lawbreakers focussed on property destruction and loss of life.
The State run newspaper says the Cabinet message comes after the alliance of political parties under the MDC flag, the trade unions’ federation and the social groups have threatened to carry out continuous violent demonstrations – beginning today, MONDAY.
It quotes ONE of the suspected organisers of the disturbances of last week, an official of the #TAJAMUKA outfit, as saying he has gone into hiding but is planning more protests.
PROMISE MKWANANZI allegedly says his team is mapping out their next move to force President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, currently hunting for capital in EURASIA, to solve the national economic issues and remove bond notes.
Nevertheless, Information Minister MUTSVANGWA says the protests are not actions of demonstrations but machinations by people who are pushing for a violent regime change in the country.
She says the people who destroyed the property worth more than 300-MILLION US dollars across the country are hooligans, some of whom are in custody and face heavy punishment if convicted.
Minister MUTSVANGWA says there is what she calls a THIRD force in the operations, in which mobs reportedly set fire to more than 30 cars and buses, destroyed and looted shops, clinics, private homes, and even police stations across the country.
The authorities have since arrested more than 700 suspects, among them the leader of the #THISFLAG, EVAN MAWARIRE, for their alleged involvement in the violence and they are still looking for others.
They say they have also established security checkpoints to search people who may attempt to move their loot to rural areas, amid reports saying some of the suspects are dumping the stolen goods wherever they can in order to avoid arrest.
Meanwhile, there are reports saying the violence of last week also involved members of a notorious group that has terrorised people every election time in the western HARARE suburbs of WARREN PARK ONE and D as well as other surrounding areas.
Its leader, only named as VOYAGE, allegedly a well-known youth leader of the ruling ZANU PF, which has since disowned him, has reportedly been arrested after commanding teams that attacked residents with machetes, iron bars and an assortment of other weapons.
The groups, using unmarked FOUR-wheel-drive vehicles with no number plates, would pounce on anyone, beat them up brutally, grab phones, as well as smashing windows of parked motor vehicles and houses as they went.
Calm only written to WARREN PARK after armed police officers and soldiers deployed to clear the roads and hunt down the gangsters.
President MNANGAGWA says he has cancelled his trip to DAVOS, SWITZERLAND where he was due to attend the 2019 World Economic Forum so he can attend to the situation back home.
The ZIMBABWEAN Leader has made the statement from ASTANA in KAZAKHSTAN, describing his tour of RUSSIA, BELARUS, AZERBAIJAN and KAZAKHSTAN as fruitful./Sabanews/cam