Policy Brief- May 2018- Addressing high-levels of gender-based violence and violence against LGBTI individuals in Soweto

On the 26th of February and 26th of March, SALO held two community dialogues on “How can Government address the extraordinarily high-levels of gender-based violence in general, and violence against LGBTI individuals in particular, that persist in Soweto?”. The keynote speakers for the two dialogues were Liam MacGabhann, Ambassador of Ireland, and Hon. John Jeffrey, Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development respectively. The aim of these dialogues was to engage with community members to create a community-based approach in tackling the problem of gender-based violence (GBV), violence against lesbians and members of the LGBTI community in Soweto and the rest of South Africa. Both engagements were constructive and robust while recognising the deeply entrenched issues of the violence as well as the difficulty in implementing protections that are enshrined in the constitution. The concept of these dialogues came to fruition with the rising violence against LGBTI people in Soweto, particularly against a lesbian activist named Lerato Tambai Moloi who was raped and murdered in Naledi, Soweto in 2017.

Download PDF here: SALO – LGBTI Policy Brief – final

One step forward, two steps back? Zimbabwean opposition’s self-created dilemma By Zenzo Moyo- 28 May 2018

It is up to the MDC Alliance to make it difficult for Zanu-PF to rig the upcoming elections. This can be achieved by uniting the opposition.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to hold harmonised elections between 21 July and 21 August. If all goes well, and the military-led government does not take forever to release election results as was the case in 2008, the country will have a new administration by September.

Will this new administration be a reconfigured Zimbabwe African People’s Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), or one made up of an opposition alliance led by the Movement for Democratic Change – Morgan Tsvangirai’s (MDC-T) Nelson Chamisa? The answer to this question depends on two interrelated issues. If opposition parties succeed in setting up a solid grand coalition before the plebiscite, and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) organises free, fair and credible elections, then opposition will win. The inverse also holds true.

In November 2017, long serving leader, then president Robert Mugabe, was forced to retire through a military-led coup, and was replaced by his protégé, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mugabe’s forced retirement resulted in a temporary resolution of succession issues within the ruling party, but did not resolve problems of factionalism. In mid-February, Zimbabwe witnessed the demise of Morgan Tsvangirai, the long serving leader of the MDC-T. His death brought to the fore succession problems within his opposition party. Consequently, one of the party’s three vice-presidents, Nelson Chamisa, quickly took control of the party in what some commentators have described as a “coup”. These two events present serious challenges for opposition politics in Zimbabwe. I will discuss these challenges after a short theoretical detour, which is necessary to locate Zimbabwean opposition parties’ value proposition.

What is expected of opposition parties in Zimbabwe?

The exercise of opposition politics is about deepening and strengthening democracy. It also affords citizens the space to actively participate in their own governance. If indeed democracy is about opening up closed political systems, then opposition parties are avenues by which participation and inclusivity can be achieved. Above all, opposition parties should seek to provide an alternative hegemony to that which is provided by the incumbent. This requires of opposition parties to model themselves as politically, economically, socially and morally superior than the incumbent.

Many countries in Southern Africa have been, and still are led by nationalist parties that won them independence. Such arrangements, no doubt have provided stability, but most have not resulted in democracy. Nationalist parties by their nature were created to be liberation movements, not democratic organisations. Being liberation leaders, Mugabe and Mnangagwa have their background rooted in the military, and that linkage can never be severed. Their continued incestuous relationship with military commanders, and the way Zanu-PF succession problems were dealt with in November 2017 attests to the difficulty of transforming liberation movements into democratic parties. This presents challenges for future political developments in Zimbabwe. Most notable is that it impedes the organic growth of strong opposition parties with a possibility of winning state power through constitutional means. Opposition is forced to develop in an asphyxiated environment where it is overwhelmed by coercion and suppression, and is always characterised not only as mere political opponents, but also as enemies of the state.

Because of this asphyxiated development, opposition parties that survive state coercion tend to impose an extra burden on themselves – an adamant refusal to learn how conduct opposition politics in an authoritarian environment. They do not only cease to proliferate despite congruous ideologies, they also fractionalise, dividing the same support base. Many times they programme at cross-purpose, literally negating each other’s existence, simultaneously benefiting the incumbent. The section below shows how this arrogant refusal to learn has cost opposition politics in Zimbabwe.

Is opposition learning from its past mistakes?

In 1999, many civil society groups taking part in a working people’s convention concluded to achieve democratic governance, there was need to form a strong opposition party capable of challenging Zanu-PF nationally. As a result the MDC was formed in September 1999. In parliamentary elections held in mid-2000, less than a year after its formation, the MDC won 57 of the contested 120 seats, while the ruling party won 62 seats. For the ruling party this was a massive loss of support, while for the new opposition, it was a huge endorsement, moving from nothing to 57 seats overnight. In the 2002 presidential elections, the opposition candidate scored 42% against the ruling party’s 56%.

Towards the end of 2005, the MDC split into two factions. Several reasons were advanced for the split. Dominant in the public discourse was the question of whether or not to participate in the November 2005 senatorial elections that Mugabe had just announced, probably with the intention of instigating friction within the opposition. However, the senatorial issue was not the underlying reason for the MDC split. It was just but a spark that ignited the fire. To understand this split, one must look at the dynamics of the party’s foundation. It had been formed less than a year before an election, which would have raised false hopes for some of its founding members. The party was also a pastiche of political ideologies – leftists and liberals, employers and trade unions, city workers, farm workers and landowners over and above ethnic and class fault lines that it harboured.

By 2005, the party had also started to exhibit a predisposition towards violence aimed at fellow comrades, which was contra to the party’s founding principles. This violence could have been motivated by fatigue associated with losing subsequent elections. The non-violent democratic struggle that the MDC had adopted at formation, what one can liken to Antonio Gramsci’s war of position, (as juxtaposed with war of manoeuvre) (see Gramsci, A Prison notebooks, Volume 1, Edited by Joseph, A Buttigieg) was such that patience and discipline were indispensable. A war of position is a non-violent, protracted and uneven ideological process targeted at dislodging dominant ruling groups. Such a struggle is susceptible to defeats, wins and reversals. It requires an “unprecedented concentration of hegemony” within the opposition to guard against disintegration. (see Gramsci, A Selections from Prison Notebooks, Edited and translated by Quentin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell-Smith).

It is usually long and drawn out, thus those who engage in it must be prepared for that eventuality. This was not the case with leaders who caused the 2005 and subsequent splits.

In the 2008 election, one faction of the MDC obtained 100 seats, while the other got 10 seats. Zanu-PF won 99 seats. For the presidential elections, Zanu-PF won 43,2%, MDC-T won 47.9% while the other MDC’s backed candidate won 8.3%. A combined tally for the opposition had they not split the vote would have been 56.2%, well above the required 50% + 1 vote. This means had the opposition been strategic and disciplined, they could have won state power in 2008. However, such a conclusion is based on a risky assumption that elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair. This may not be the case, but dynamics associated with this proposition warrant a separate discussion altogether.

The hung result of 2008 led to a negotiated government of national unity (GNU). The GNU persisted for just over four years, and culminated in the 2013 elections. Not long after losing these elections, contradictions began to manifest themselves within the MDC-T. In 2014, the party split again, with many senior party members walking out to form a platform that purported to be concerned about renewing the MDC-T. Before long, this renewal platform split to form many other parties.

After the 2014 split, Morgan Tsvangirai wrote to the speaker of parliament recalling 18 members of parliament on the grounds that they were no longer MDC-T members. However, when by-elections were conducted to fill these constituencies, major opposition parties did not participate, causing all 18 seats to be taken by Zanu-PF. This allowed Zanu-PF to find its way back into constituencies that had been the reserve of opposition parties. The pitfalls of allowing Zanu-PF to reclaim dominance in the legislative arm of the state should have been learnt in 2005 when the ruling party won almost all senatorial seats after the official opposition boycotted the elections. There is no doubt that members of parliament that Tsvangirai vindictively recalled would have benefited opposition politics had they stayed in parliament, and could have been a solid ground to build alliances for future elections, to which I now turn.

Alliance Formation: Light at the end of the tunnel, or is it an oncoming train?

Since 2016, major Zimbabwean opposition parties began to see the need to work together in a quest to unseat Zanu-PF. Subsequently, two coalitions have emerged – the Coalition of Democrats (CODE) and the MDC Alliance. The later, which is far more influential, is made up of seven political parties (all male-led). This new MDC Alliance has been able to draw huge crowds in their recent rallies. However, in forming this alliance, the MDC-T sacrificed its long serving deputy president, Thokozani Khupe, and her not so insignificant group of loyalists. Khupe’s claims, that in the absence of Tsvangirai she is the legitimate leader of the party are not entirely without merit. She now stands fired from the party, but has responded by forming her own parallel structures, in essence creating another split, the umpteenth for the eighteen year old party. The “special congress” that Khupe held in Bulawayo in mid-April not only consummates that split, but also gives Zanu-PF a possible avenue to rig elections. But even worse, these new contradictions have motivated the Chamisa led MDC-T to vindictively recall Khupe and her group from parliament, prematurely shutting avenues for any further negotiations.

Beside the two alliances mentioned earlier, there are over hundred other political parties recently formed, some of which exist only by name. It would seem their electoral prospects can almost be predicted with certainty. They have not set up structures that are capable of winning them any election. However, the impact of their participation as individual entities is what cannot be ascertained. There is no doubt that they will once again split the opposition vote.

The way forward for opposition

In order to dislodge a civilian-cum-military government, opposition parties need to be creative, coherent and ideologically solid. Since Tsvangirai’s demise, the MDC Alliance’s electoral mantra has been about “generational consensus”. This is a sexy sounding idea, however, it still needs to be unpacked. What ideological content does it hold? How does it locate the MDC Alliance as different from Zanu-PF politics? How will this idea repel the sense of entitlement that has historically defined Zanu-PF’s rule, as well as MDC’s sense of entitlement to opposition politics, as exemplified by its tendency to recall other opposition members from parliament?

Many people, including Zanu-PF members have bought into the idea of giving leadership opportunities to younger generations. Many young parliamentary candidates from all political parties have shown interest in the 2018 election. Thus, the idea of generational consensus without ideological grounding does not offer anything different from what Zanu-PF can offer. If it is to be of value in an electoral manifesto, generational consensus must offer more than just one’s date of birth. It has to offer the electorate a choice of leaders who are more than just beneficiaries in an accident of time. The idea must be unpacked so that it gives clarity on what things ought to be in the short to medium term, and how leadership links to such changes. The MDC Alliance must take advantage of the time left to develop and popularise its “Generational Consensus Manifesto”, and show how it speaks to serious ideological issues necessary for a new government in waiting.

It is up to the MDC Alliance to make it difficult for Zanu-PF to rig the elections. This can be achieved by uniting the opposition. The time left should be used to bring more opposition parties on board, especially those led by women. Secondly, during the voting process, the opposition alliance must make it its priority to track each and every vote cast. This can be achieved by deploying polling agents at every polling station, then creating a parallel tabulating system preferably located outside the country. A direct contact through use of technology between polling centre agents and officers manning the external tabulating centre will give instant results that can then be compared with those consolidated by the ZEC. This will amount to safeguarding its votes, and maybe constitute a highway to reaching state house. DM

Zenzo Moyo is a research administrator at the Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation at the University of Johannesburg

Source: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-05-28-one-step-forward-two-steps-back-zimbabwean-oppositions-self-created-dilemma/#.WypPnaczaUl

SawaSouthSudan virtual summit connecting women activists in South Sudan to leaders from around the world

SawaSouthSudan, a virtual summit streamed from Nairobi connecting women activists in South Sudan to leaders from around the world

 Date: 25th of May – Africa Day

Venue: Sierra Burgers Park Hotel

Hosted by SALO 

SAWA South Sudan was a virtual summit being streamed from Nairobi, Kenya. Its aim was to connect women activists in South Sudan with women leaders and activists from around the world. Speakers ranged from former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson to Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director at Oxfam International and Dr Koiti Emmily, medic at Juba Teaching Hospital.

It recognised the growing issues and conflict occurring in South Sudan as well as the lack of impactful responses in bringing resolution. The importance of women and their role in peace and reconciliation was raised as a paramount factor if South Sudan is ever to have sustainable peace.

The conflict itself is worsening with systematic state and militant force abuses inflicted on the civilian population. Human rights abuses are reported daily, and the issue of sexual abuse is becoming a rampant problem. With women making up over 60% of the population, events like SawaSouthSudan play a critical role in raising these issues and how we can empower more women to take an active role in fighting for human rights and for the betterment of their country.

SALO was delighted to have partners from the ANC, the South Sudanese Embassy and the Institute of Global Dialogue (IGD) present at our viewing function. There was lively conversation towards the end on the issues mentioned above as well as what more needs to be done to support South Sudan from South Africa.

The summit reached more than 115 million people on social media, with viewing events in 25 countries. The success of this campaign shows the importance of social media in spreading awareness around the globe.


The human rights and Palestine solidarity organization BDS South Africa joins fellow South Africans in welcoming the South African government’s withdrawal of our Ambassador in Israel “with immediate effect”. Earlier this evening South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) issued a media release stating:

“The South African government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border, which has led to the deaths of over 40 civilians. The victims were taking part in a peaceful protest…given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice.”


South Africa withdraws Israel Ambassador with “immediate effect”


South Africa’s foreign policy agenda is due for a massive overhaul,

South Africa’s foreign policy agenda is due for a massive overhaul, with a possible return to the era of pan-African politics exemplified by former president Thabo Mbeki’s administration.

The department of international relations is attempting to reclaim South Africa’s position as a major influence on the continent by appointing a review panel to steer a new direction for the country’s foreign policy.




News Briefs 11 May 2018

Democratic Republic of Congo

Ebola outbreak declared in Democratic Republic of Congo

The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo declared an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever, a rare and deadly disease, on Tuesday, the World Health Organization reported. The declaration came after laboratory results confirmed two cases of the disease in the province of Bikoro in the northwestern part of the country.

Ebola virus disease, which most commonly affects people and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas and chimpanzees), is caused by one of five Ebola viruses. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. The average case fatality rate is around 50%.

A government statement released Tuesday states that the Ministry of Health has “taken all necessary measures to respond promptly and effectively to this new epidemic of Ebola in the DRC’s national territory”.


UN chief urges DRC to lift ban on demonstrations

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government to lift a ban on demonstrations that threatens to scupper chances for credible elections.

The December 23 elections in the vast resource-rich country are to pave the way to a historic transfer of power that would end President Joseph Kabila’s rule.

Guterres told the Security Council in a report that “persistent divergences” over the vote and “the lack of political space remain a threat to the holding of credible and inclusive elections.”

“Lifting the ban on public demonstrations would greatly contribute to the opening of political space” and allow the Congolese to “freely exercise their political and civil rights,” said the report sent to the council this month.



11 killed in Somalia market explosion: security official

At least 11 people were killed in an explosion in a busy market in a small Somali city north of Mogadishu, a security official and witnesses said.

“Eleven people were confirmed dead and more than 10 others were wounded in the blast, which we are still investigating. Some of the victims have serious wounds and they were admitted to hospital,” Mohamed Abdikarim, a regional security official, told AFP.

Sources contacted by AFP did not yet know whether the blast was caused by a suicide bomber or an explosive device.

The blast occurred at the marketplace in Wanlaweyn district about 70 kilometres north of the Somali capital where Khat (narcotic leaves) is sold.


Parliament Inaugurates New Speaker

The newly elected Lower House of Somali parliament, Mohamed Mursal Sheikh Abdirahman has been inaugurated on Thursday following his election on 30th April.

Mursal who was elected last month has replaced the former speaker of federal parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawari who resigned after MPs filed a no-confidence motion against him.

The inauguration ceremony was held in Mogadishu under tight security.

Several cabinet Ministers, lawmakers, and high-ranking Somali government officials have attended the inauguration event.


Central African Republic

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [official website] on Thursday called for a reduction in violence [press release] in the Central African Republic (CAR), which has seen an increase along religious lines in recent days.

Violence started on May 1 when a group known as Force attacked a church, killing 22 and wounding 185 after the government tried to arrest one of their leaders. Christian groups then responded by killing three Muslim individuals with further attacks from both sides continuing afterwards.

Zeid called on the government of the CAR as well as all relevant national and international actors to help stop the growing violence in the region. Zeid stated that “with hate speech and incitement to violence so prevalent in media and social media, I fear that spontaneous eruptions of violence like that of May 1 could become more widespread and difficult to contain.”


Pope prays for peace in Central African Republic

Pope Francis has offered a prayer in St Peter’s Square for an end to violence in the deeply impoverished Central African Republic, which he visited 2½ years ago.

Francis during his traditional Sunday blessing recalled the serious violence in recent days that left many, including a priest, dead. He called for an end to vendettas “to construct peace together.”

At least 19 people were killed and 98 wounded in the renewed sectarian violence in the Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui, with targets including a church, a mosque and health facilities. The country has faced deadly interreligious and intercommunal fighting since 2013, with thousands of people killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.



Sudan’s al-Bashir pardons 5 death-sentenced rebels

Sudan’s President Omer al-Bashir Thursday pardoned five members of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) who had been sentenced to death by military courts.

The presidential decree includes Ibrahim Abdel-Rahman Saffi al-Nur, Yahia Abbaker Musa al-Nur, Ibrahim Ali al-Rashid Abdel-Gadir, Mohamed Ibrahim al-Doma and Azrag Daldoom Adam Haroun.

Except for Yahia Abbaker Musa al-Nur who was arrested with Ibrahim al-Maz in West Darfur state in January 2011, all the others took part in the attack on the Sudanese capital in May 2008.

The decision to drop the death penalty has been taken in response to an appeal by the national dialogue parties and to promote the national reconciliation atmosphere, reads the decree.

Sudan Tribune

FM Undersecretary Meets Deputy Director of Office of U.S. Envoy to Khartoum and Juba

The Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, Ambassador, Abdul Ghani Al-Naeim met, Thursday, at his office, the Deputy Director of the Office of the US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Andrew Bernet accompanied by the US Charge de Affaires in Khartoum.

The meeting discussed spheres of joint cooperation between Sudan and the US in the previous Five Tracks and the ongoing work in the context of the preparations for the coming phase of the constructive engagement.

The US official has commended Sudan’s cooperation concerning the Second Phase, specially, the roundtable dialogue, the Korean File, the interreligious dialogue and Sudan’s positive efforts to restore stability in the State of South Sudan.


South Sudan

South Sudan accuses US of blocking path to country’s peace

South Sudan’s government on Wednesday lashed out at the United States after the Trump administration threatened to cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid amid the country’s grinding civil war, calling the US “a real obstacle” toward achieving peace.

The statement from President Salva Kiir’s office also accused the Trump administration of “naked direct interference” in South Sudan’s affairs ahead of peace talks that will resume on May 17 in neighbouring Ethiopia, mediated by a regional bloc.

The US is the top aid donor to South Sudan, but in a sharply worded statement on Tuesday it said it would review its assistance if the East African nation’s conflict grinds on. The US says it has given over $3.2bn in humanitarian assistance since the conflict broke out in December 2013.


Kiir Fires Bank Governors

South Sudan President Salva Kiir has fired the governor and first deputy governor of the Bank of South Sudan without explanation. Kiir issued two decrees Wednesday night removing Governor Othom Rago Ajak and Deputy Governor Dier Tong Ngor from their posts.

A South Sudanese economic analyst says the two bank governors were likely removed because of their failure to improve the nation’s deteriorating economy. Sources at the Bank of South Sudan confirmed to VOA’s South Sudan in Focus radio program there has been a changing of the guard at the bank.

President Kiir’s Press Secretary, Ateny Wek Ateny, was less certain.

“I have not seen a decree yet and I cannot talk about speculation. If there is any decree that the president issued in regards to the relieving of the governor of the central bank it should be read at the SSBC,” (South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation) Ateny told VOA.


Western Sahara

Morocco cuts diplomatic ties with Iran over Western Sahara feud

Morocco has announced it will cut diplomatic ties with Iran over Tehran’s support for the Polisario Front, a Western Saharan independence movement.

Morocco’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday it will close its embassy in Tehran and expel the Iranian ambassador in Rabat over Iran’s support for Polisario.

Rabat accuses Tehran and Lebanese proxy Hezbollah of training and arming Polisario Front fighters.

Morocco’s foreign affairs minister, Nasser Bourita, told Al Jazeera that Rabat has evidence that incriminates the Iranian government, which assisted Hezbollah in providing financial as well as logistical support to Polisario through its embassy in Algiers.


Algeria makes “exception” in supporting refugees

“Algeria is an exception in supporting refugees whether they are from Western Sahara or other Arab and African countries (…). The international community wasn’t aware of the importance of such a sacrifice of the Algerians only after the recent outbreak of several conflicts causing a real refugee crisis,” said Bouhabini in the ceremony of donation of ten million dinars by the ambassador of China to Algiers to the Sahrawi refugees in the camps of Tindouf.

Algeria “makes the exception in dealing with the needs of refugees at a time when a number of countries were overwhelmed by the crisis of refugees,” he added.

Bouhabini underlined that “the international community wasn’t aware of Algeria’s sacrifices in terms of humanitarian aid and assistance to the Sahrawi refugees during more than 40 years only after the outbreak of recent conflicts which led to a crisis of refugees in several European countries.”

Algeria Press Service


Swazi Govt ‘Runs Out of Cash’

The Swazi Government has run out of cash and is living hand-to-mouth. It has to wait for the Swaziland Revenue Authority to put tax collections into its account each Monday before it can pay bills.

The revelation was made by the Sunday Observer (6 May 2018), one of the newspapers in Swaziland in effect owned by the kingdom’s absolute monarch King Mswati III.

In March, Martin Dlamini, the Finance Minister announced the Government owed its suppliers E3.1 billion.


Swazi Govt Hides from the Public

People in Swaziland cannot access critical information from government and there is no political will in the kingdom for this to change, a report on media freedom concluded.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) said a law to allow access to information had been drafted in 2007 but had been ‘left to gather dust on the shelves’.

Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. Political parties are banned from taking part in elections and the King chooses the Prime Minister and government ministers. There are few opportunities in Swaziland for people to engage in free and open debate.



Big and bold claims as Zimbabwe prepares for crucial election

Big promises and bizarre allegations bordering on the near impossible are inherent as political parties try to out-smart each other as Zimbabwe heads towards the polls in about three months’ time.

In March‚ having taken over the reigns of power after the death of former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai‚ the MDC Alliance’s presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa had big shoes to fill.

Not a Tsvangirai equivalent in terms of charisma but with his own attributes‚ Chamisa at a rally in Bindura declared that he would introduce high speed bullet trains when voted into power.

“We want to have the best infrastructure in the next two to three years…we want to bring bullet trains that travel at 600km/hour from Bulawayo to Harare in 30-35 minutes‚” he said as the crowd cheered.


Chamisa to meet Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn; warns UK that Zimbabwe needs democracy not managed stability

MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has warned the British government that overlooking crucial democratic reforms in favour of managing political stability in Zimbabwe could lead to post-election instability.

Speaking at Chatham House in London on Tuesday, Chamisa expressed concern over what he said was the inclination of the British government in Zimbabwe “to align with one political party against another.”

“We have seen that there has been a bit of a shift on the part of the British government in terms of focusing more on political stability and trade and commerce at the expense of democracy. But that is a false narrative, you can never have stability without democracy,” he said.

New Zimbabwe




Africa in General

Nigerian diplomat found dead in Sudan capital

A Nigerian diplomat has been found dead at his home in Khartoum, Nigeria’s government and Sudanese police said Thursday, with the latter investigating what it called a “criminal act”.

“An employee in the consular section of the Nigerian embassy was found dead at his home in Khartoum,” Sudanese police said in a statement.

“Preliminary investigation shows that the death was due to a criminal act and not politically motivated,” the statement added.

The Nigerian foreign ministry confirmed the death of the diplomat and described him as an “immigration attaché”.



US, Somali raid on al-Shabaab seizes 3 commanders: Officials

Somali intelligence officials say US and Somali commandos have seized three men thought to be commanders with the al-Shabaab extremist group during a deadly raid in a village in Lower Shabelle region.

Five people thought to be banana farmers were killed in the raid late on Wednesday and several others were captured, says Moalim Ahmed Nur, a traditional elder in the village.

A Somali intelligence official says the forces targeted a key hideout and coordination centre for the Somalia-based al-Shabaab. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.


Kenyatta urged not to sign cybercrime bill into law

The Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) has called on Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta not to sign into law a cybercrimes bill that was recently passed by the National Assembly because it will stifle press freedom.

On April 26, 2018, the National Assembly approved the Computer and Cybercrimes Bill, 2017, which among other provisions, criminalises the publication of false news and stipulates hefty fines and lengthy prison terms for those found guilty of the offense.

In a statement on Thursday, CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal based in New York said: “Kenyan legislators have passed a wide-ranging bill that will criminalise free speech, with journalists and bloggers likely to be among the first victims if it is signed into law.


Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia fail to agree on Nile dispute

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have failed again to make progress on their Nile dispute as Ethiopia works to complete a massive upstream dam, an Egyptian official said on Tuesday.

Egypt fears the Renaissance Dam will cut into its share of the river, which provides virtually all the freshwater for the arid country of 100 million people. Ethiopia, which has the same sized population, says the dam is essential for its economic development.

Technical talks among irrigation ministers of the three countries in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, last week ended with no deal, Hossam el-Emam, a spokesperson for Egypt’s Irrigation Ministry, told The Associated Press.