Daily Archives: December 16, 2018

ZIMBABWE’S RULING PARTY CONFERENCE ENDORSES MNANGAGWA FOR 2023 ELECTIONS

HARARE, Zimbabwe- The 17th ZANU-PF annual national people’s conference, ended in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province, on Saturday, with all Provinces endorsing President EmmersonMnangagwa as the party’s sole candidate for the next elections, due in 2023.

The conference was being held under the theme “Zimbabwe Is Open for Business: Peace, unity towards an Upper Middle-Income Economy by 2030.” Reading out the resolutions, Politburo member, Jacob Mudenda, said, the party would start restructuring next year, in preparation for the next elections.

“All wings re-affirmed that first secretary of the party, comrade Mnangagwa be the sole candidate of the party, in the 2023 harmonised elections,” he said to wild applause.

Other resolutions passed included, developing creative and relevant mobilisation strategies, to attract the youth to join the party, as well as, youth organisations and associations and other affiliate groups, who associate with ZANU-PF.

All party members are also expected to be knowledgeable about the provisions of the party constitution and adhere to it.

“The conference also resolved that the party put in place penalties for perpetrators of factionalism, tribalism, regionalism and similar vices, that seek to advance individual at the expense of the unity of the party,” he said.

On the economic front, the conference resolved that, the government should adopt and implement zero tolerance to corruption, and that the annual national people’s conference be held before the national budget presentation, usually done in Nov, in order to allow the party to have some input into the budget process.

The delegates further implored the government to review the current taxation system, to make it less punitive.

In a brief address to the delegates, Vice President ConstantinoChiwenga said, the conference had been fruitful.

“We have met, discussed and formulated far reaching resolutions for our country, for the year about to begin. I am sure all of you do agree that, thanks to the excellent organisation by our host province of Matabeleland South, we have had a very fruitful and emphatic end of year,” he said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams leads SA delegation at High-Level Forum of African and European Leaders in Vienna, 17 to 18 Dec

Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams to lead SA delegation at the High-Level Forum of African and European Leaders in Vienna, Austria on 17-18 December 2018

Minister of Communications, Ms Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams will, on 17 � 18 December 2018, lead the South African delegation at a High-Level Forum of African and European Leaders in Vienna, Austria.

The High-Level Forum is an initiative of Rwanda President Paul Kagame, [current African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson] and Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria Sebastian Kurz, [current European Union (EU) Council President].

The Forum, which will be attended by European and African Heads of State, relevant Government Ministers and CEOs of innovative companies from both Continents; is held under the theme, Taking cooperation to the Digital age. The Forum thereby seeks to promote innovation and digitalisation as enablers for the future development.

It further aims to highlight the untapped potential for deepening partnerships in technology exchange and trade; and their importance for economic growth, creating employment opportunities, building resilient societies and fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.

Key discussion issues at the Forum include innovation, digitalisation, technological transfer and trade, which are key to the attainment of South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP). The Minister, as delegated by President Cyril Ramaphosa, will participate in the the political leaders’ meetings and high-level dialogue sessions.

Source: Government of South Africa

Sudanese President Is First Arab Leader to Visit Syria in 8 Years

Sudan’s president has become the first Arab leader to visit Damascus since the Syrian civil war began eight years ago.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad greeted Omar al-Bashir at the airport Sunday, the state-run news agency SANA reported.

Most Arab countries have closed their embassies in Damascus and condemned Assad for using overwhelming military force and failing to negotiate with the opposition.

Syria was also expelled from the 22-member Arab League.

No official reason was given for the visit, but SANA said the two leaders held talks at the presidential palace about developments in the region and in Syria.

As the war in Syria winds down in Assad’s favor, some Arab nations have called for normalizing ties with Damascus and even of allowing it back in the Arab League.

Source: Voice of America

Freed Cameroonians Ask for Release of Separatist Leaders

Barely 24 hours after being released from detention centers, some of the people accused of fighting for the creation of an English-speaking state in Cameroon have called for the movement’s leaders to be released if President Paul Biya wants peace in the country.

The detainees’ release last week came after Biya ordered charges against them dropped.

Evelyn Ako, a mother of four, says she spent the night with her husband for the first time in 22 months. She says he was arrested in the English-speaking Southwest town of Mamfe and taken to Yaounde.

“With him besides me, we can work harder,” she said. “He used to give me money to support my children but this year, they are in the house. They have not gone to school because of [his absence]. So this thing has disturbed us a lot. It has disturbed even our family because any money that we gather, we used it to buy foodstuff to go and give him. We use it to buy medicines, dresses.”

Evelyn Ako relocated to Yaounde to help her husband and says they will only return to Mamfe when the crisis is over.

Joseph Cho, the spokesperson for the 120 people released from detention camps, said they are pleading with Biya to free their leaders.

“We have leaders. If these people are released, things will be better,” Cho said. “Like Sissiku who [was] arrested because of this. We expected this decision long ago. Things would not have been the way it is now.”

Sissiku is the name given to the leader of the Ambazonia separatist movement, Julius AyukTabe. He was arrested in Abuja, Nigeria, with 46 of his collaborators and extradited last January to Cameroon. They face a possible death penalty on charges of secession, terrorism and attempting to destabilize Cameroon.

‘Frank dialogue’ needed

University of Yaounde political analyst WillibroadZeNgwa says if Biya frees the Anglophone leaders, peace likely will return to Cameroon.

“The most important should be releasing the leaders and engaging in frank dialogue with these people. I pray the head of state [president] should move us into 2019 with some sort of general amnesty so that Cameroonians should be able to live in total concord and harmony,” Ngwa said.

Governor of the English-speaking Northwest region, Deben Tchoffo, says the government is open for dialogue and the separatists should disarm.

“Use all means at your level to convince your other mates to lay down their guns and to come back to normal civil life,” Tchoffo said. “They will be well taken care of, they will be well treated, trained and even supported to ease their coming back to civil life.”

Separatist insurgency

The separatist insurgency gained pace in 2017 following a government crackdown on peaceful protests by Anglophones, who complain of being marginalized by the French-speaking majority.

Biya was re-elected to a seventh term in October, and since then there has been pressure from the international community to start sincere dialogue with the separatists.

Last Thursday, U.S. Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the U.N. Security Council that conditions in Cameroon’s English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions had highly deteriorated, and the United States wants an immediate end to violence and a speedy start to talks between the government and separatists.

Source: Voice of America

Somali Minister Resigns Over Arrest of Former Al-Shabab Leader

Somalia federal Minister for Public Works Abdifitaah Ibrahim Geeseey has resigned over the arrest and exclusion of a former al-Shabab leader from a regional election.

Speaking to VOA via telephone Sunday from Mogadishu, Geeseey said he resigned in protest against his government’s interference in the upcoming South West election and its move to arrest MukhtarRobow Abu Mansur, the former deputy leader of al-Shabab, who was a top candidate for the presidency of South West state in the upcoming election.

Meanwhile, a tense calm has returned to the town of Baidoa following three days of deadly clashes between Robow’s supporters and security forces that left 12 people dead.

Authorities said on Saturday at least 200 civilians were arrested following the violence.

On Saturday, Somalia Speaker of Parliament Mohamed MursalAbdirahman called for Robow’s unconditional release and the postponement of the regional election.

The speaker urged the government to respect the constitution and stop meddling in the internal affairs of the South West state.

The Somalia government accuses Robow, who was arrested Thursday, of bringing Islamic militants and weapons back to Baidoa, the capital of South West state.

Source: Voice of America