Happy New Year 2015

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

What if Issa Hayatou is FIFA's Next President

Issa Hayatou

FIFA’s Ethics Committee has slammed a 90-days suspension on Sepp Blatter. This is likely to be the end of Blatter's reign as FIFA President.  Sources say the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and long-standing senior Fifa vice-president Issa Hayatou, is expected to takeover during 90 days suspension.
Hayatou was born on 9 August 1946. Hayatou assumed the role of Secretary General at the Cameroon Football Association at the age of 28. Thirteen years later, he became president of the CAF, a role he continues to fill to this day. 
In fact, Hayatou, who is now 69-year-old, recently changed the confederation's statutes which oblige executives to step down once they reach 70. He lobbied for African places at the World Cup finals to move from two to five, with impressive tournament performances from Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana and Algeria boosting the continent's profile. With Blatter already ousted from the next election, Hayatou may enter into record books as first African FIFA President.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Here are the Four Top Contenders for the 2015 Nobel ​Peace ​Prize

Angela Merkel and Pope Francis among front-runners, but winner proving hard to call amid political intrigue
Pope Francis, John Kerry, Angela Merkel and Mohammad Javad Zarif
Pope Francis, John Kerry, Angela Merkel and Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The winner of this year’s Nobel peace prize is to be named on Friday morning, putting an end to a period of speculation and volatile betting. Past experience, however, suggests that bookies’ odds are an unreliable guide: the Oslo-based prize committee has shown itself to be leak-proof, inscrutable and quite capable of springing surprises, such as the award to Barack Obama only a few months into his tenure, and to the European Union in 2012.
Adding to the intrigue, the committee was embroiled in an unprecedented internal coup in March, when its Labour party chairman of five years was ousted by rightwingers and replaced by a former Conservative party leader and business executive, Kaci Kullmann Five. The committee’s decision on Friday will be scrutinised, in Norway at least, for signs of the political pendulum swinging.
Here are some of the contenders for this year’s prize:

Pope Francis

The Argentinian pontiff surged into the running after it emerged the Vatican had played a key role in brokering the re-establishment of relations between the US and Cuba last December. His successful visit to both countries last month and his enthusiastic embracing of the causes of social justice and stopping climate change have not hindered his chances, either.
His odds are improved by general popularity, a friendly demeanour and apparent flexibility on the interpretation of some Catholic dogma, such as the ban on the ordination of married priests. The image was tarnished somewhat by the news that he had met a Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, who had become a figurehead for American religious hardliners because of her refusal to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples.
On the other hand, it transpired he had also given an audience to a former pupil and his same-sex partner on the same US visit. His adherence to the Vatican’s line on the role of women would make him a hard sell in Norway.

Angela Merkel

The German chancellor has recently emerged as one of the bookies’ favourites after opening her country’s doors to refugees, a decision that could provide haven for more than 800,000 people fleeing the Syrian conflict and other wars. It was a dramatic gesture that served to highlight the miserly response of most other European leaders and triggered extraordinary scenes at railway and bus stations as Germans turned out to welcome the new arrivals.
While the emotional power of such scenes helped make Merkel a frontrunner, it cannot hurt, either, that she hails from the same centre-right political camp as the Nobel chairwoman. On the negative side, Merkel’s open-door policy has created strains and tensions among the state governments hosting the refugees.
Train services from Austria have been suspended and border controls introduced in some places to mitigate the influx of people, forcing Merkel on to the defensive. Greece, which has found itself on the wrong end of her penchant for fiscal austerity, would not take kindly to her winning, nor presumably would be the many migrants from the Balkans now facing deportation and reduced benefits.

John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif

Until the refugee crisis in Europe reached its climax over the summer, the US secretary of state and the Iranian foreign minister looked to be obvious favourites for the prize. Over two years of intensive diplomacy the two men crafted a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme that many had thought impossible.
In the course of countless late nights in a succession of European cities, during which Kerry and Zarif, representatives of two hostile nations, came to spend more time with each other than with any other foreign official, they overcame the enormous technical complexity of the issue and the entrenched opposition from hardliners at home.
The deal has since been endorsed by the UN security council and survived critical scrutiny in the US and Iranian legislatures. It was a victory for tenacious diplomacy, and its supporters argue, with some justification, it averted another war in the Middle East as well as being a significant victory against nuclear proliferation. On the other hand, the agreement has yet to begin being implemented and is the subject of ongoing, bitter attack from US Republicans and the Israeli government.
Much will depend on whether the new majority on the Nobel committee minds offending these constituencies by awarding the Obama administration a second prize.

Mussie Zerai

This Eritrean priest set up a hotline for refugees from his country and beyond who found themselves in peril on the dangerous journey to Europe. He set up a centre to field calls from north Africa and from leaky, drifting boats on the Mediterranean.
He has meanwhile become an advocate for refugees in the face of poor conditions and hostility across much of Europe. If the Nobel committee was looking for an everyman hero, Zerai could fit the bill. On Tuesday, Paddy Power had him as their joint favourite, along with the the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Odds on both: 6/1.

Denis Mukwege

The Congolese gynaecologist has been on the Nobel committee’s radar for several years for his determined and often lonely work with rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was awarded the European parliament’s Sakharov prize for human rights work in 2014. Could his next award be the Nobel?

Victor Ochen

The 33-year-old youth activist is a survivor of the chronic conflict and insecurity of northern Uganda, having seen his elder brother abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group. He set up the African Youth Initiative Network to work with other child victims and help them recover from their trauma.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Buhari's Ministerial List Splits the Senate

The ministerial list of President Buhari has intensified the cold war in the 8th National Assembly as senators have expressed mixed reactions which could adversely affect the screening procedure scheduled for Tuesday.
The official announcement of the ministerial nominees by Senate President Bukola Saraki, yesterday, 6th of October has successfully created a division between the senators of the All Progressives Congress and the opposition, People's Democratic Party, according to the Guardian.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Solomon Ita Enang, who was in the office of the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio yesterday, disclosed that no matter what political differences there may be, the immediate concern is to ensure that there is minimal opposition to the President’s request.
Confirming his motive for meeting with Akpabio, Ita Enang said: “Part of our job is to reach out to all the sections. The past is gone, this is a new beginning,” he noted.
The PDP produced 49 of the 108 senators in the Senate at the moment.
Although, confirmation of a ministerial nominee requires only a simple majority, the Presidency is not taking any chances by assuming that all 59 senators of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC‎) would vote in support of all the nominees. This is mainly because there were issues of lack of consultation with relevant party stakeholders in the states before the list was compiled and submitted.
Meanwhile, several PDP senators have voiced out their displeasure about the ministerial list which took President Muhammadu Buhari four months to compile.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Ghana Suspends 7 High Court Judges Over Alleged Corruption

A recent statement from the Judicial Service in Ghana has revealed the suspension of 7 high court judges as allegations of corruption rocks the judicial system.
Ghana’s government has suspended seven out of 12 High court judges in the wake of allegations of bribery stemming from a documentary made by an investigative journalist.
The decision is part of a response to a three-hour film first screened in the capital last month that has caused an uproar in the West African country because it showed judges accepting bribe money through intermediaries.
Ghana’s judiciary is revered for its efficacy and impartiality and is viewed as a bulwark of a society that prides itself on its reputation as one of Africa’s most stable and peaceful democracies.
But the documentary put Chief Justice Georgina Wood and other judicial leaders under pressure to show a forceful public response.
“Their suspension follows the establishment of a prima facie case of stated misbehaviour against them by the Hon. Lady Chief Justice (Wood),” said a statement from the Judicial Service announcing a decision by Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Nigeria: Controversy in Senate Over Petitions Against Amaechi's Nomination as Minister

The nomination of former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Ameachi as minister by President Muhammadu Buhari has being welcomed by a stiff opposition from lawmakers from the opposition party, PDP, with a filed petition to stall his appointment.
Rotimi Amaechi
Following the unveiling of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees yesterday by the Senate, which included the former governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Ameachi, a petition, was on Wednesday, forwarded to the Upper legislative chamber protesting against his nomination, according to the DailyPost.
Trouble started at the plenary when Senator George Sekibo (Rivers) announced that he was bearing a petition from the good people of his state against Amaechi’s nomination and sought for the petition to be laid before the Senate as is the tradition.
A reporter who monitored the plenary proceedings on Wednesday, reports that while senators of the All Progressives Congress, quickly roared against the petition being laid, those of opposition Peoples Democratic Party, curiously insisted that the petition be laid for hearing.
NTA news also confirms that various members of the senate kicked against the presentaion of the petition by interrupting Senator Sekibo chanting “No, no, no,no”, in condemnation.
Sittings has been adjourned till tomorrow, 10 a.m prompt.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Abdouramane Hamadou: Hero of FECAFOOT Normalization Saga!

 By TazoachaAsonganyi
Abdouramane Hamadou
Those who were given the task of “normalizing” FECAFOOT decided to think like most politicians. Their political thinking consisted in deciding on the conclusion first, and then finding good arguments for it. And so they were shocked by people like Abdouramane Hamadou who were really prepared to let their thinking reach conclusions.
Indeed, most politicians have lived in the state of lawlessness in Cameroon for so long that the “headiness” of people like Abdouramanr Hamadou throws them completely off-balance, and they leave the stage looking more like twits. Faced with the realities of the rule of law, they act at best like clowns.
More often than not, social interactions in every society breed conflicts. It is the role of the courts to resolve such conflicts by enforcing the rule of law. Since democracy is a sort of conflict of ideas, passions and ambitions of humans prone to abusing their power, it can only thrive under the rule of law.
Simply put, the Rule of Law is the use of the law to secure the protection of the individual, groups, and even countries, without exception. In the spirit of the rule of law, all human beings are said to be equal and no one person, no matter their station in life, is more equal than others. It is the Rule of Law that preempts strong individuals, groups or countries from having the better of the weak, by hemming in their power with myriad restrictions concerning relationships and behaviors.
It is courts that say what the law is, and uphold the rule of law. Such courts include the various courts in a country, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS; or Tribunal arbitral du sport, TAS), the International Court of Justice (the World Court or ICJ), and many other arbitration bodies. In principle, at the end of the drama that usually marks conflict resolution in these courts, comes the court decision. Such decisions must be binding on the parties and be enforceable and enforced, otherwise the court system ridicules the rule of law, leaving the rule of the jungle to take its place.
We got to know more about the ICJ through the case that pitted Cameroon against Nigeria over the Bakassi Peninsula. We have come to know about CAS through Abdouraman Hamadou and the FECAFOOT normalization committee. The courts showed neutrality, and their decisions were binding, enforceable and enforced.
An independent judiciary is vital to enforcing the law and ensuring accountability in all areas of government and society.  The judiciary is only effective if its decisions like those of the ICJ and CAS are enforced without more.
It is in recognition of the importance of the rule of law and the frailties of human nature that constitutions of countries make “the law” central to all activities in the country. For example, the Ghanaian constitution defines “the law of Ghana” on which the judicial power bases its actions, and states unequivocally that “In the exercise of the judicial power of Ghana, the Judiciary, in both its judicial and administrative functions, including financial administration, is subject only to this constitution and shall not be subject to the control or direction of any person or authority;  neither the President nor Parliament nor any person acting under the authority of the President or Parliament nor any other person whatsoever shall interfere with judges or judicial officers or other persons exercising judicial power, in the exercise of their judicial functions…”
In contrast to this, the Cameroon constitution directs that "...the judicial power shall be independent of the executive and legislative powers...The President of the Republic shall guarantee the independence of the judicial power..." Indeed, it is the President of the Republic that is the president of the Higher Judicial Council!
It is Roland Mousnier that defined an institution as a guiding idea of procedures that are imposed according to an obligatory mode of behavior; the guiding idea and the procedures make a group of humans into an institution showing commonalities in behavior, attitude, and relations to others, regardless of the temporary occupants of the positions within it.
The courts are supposed to be neutral institutions that say what the law is, and uphold the rule of law. To use Wole Soyinka’s words, justice dispensed in courts is supposed to be unvarnished, unambiguous, blindfolded but decidedly not blind.
Lawsuits are supposed to be important vehicles for social change. Abdouramane Hamadou has used lawsuits in the Conciliation and arbitration arm of the National Olympics and Sports Committee [Chambre de Conciliation et d’Arbitrage du Comité national olympique et sportif du Cameroun- CCA/CNOSC)] and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to speak about the rule of law that is blindfolded but decidedly not blind.
His actions and their outcomes speak for and to all of us – our law courts, civil society actors, political parties … – all those who usually suffer injustice in silence and resignation. Justice may seem to be absent in the anarchy and dictatorship that passes for democracy here, but it is always present. It should always be sought. That is the message of my hero of the FECAFFOT normalization Committee saga – Abdouramane Hamadou!

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Amaechi, Fashola, Ngige, Others Make Up Ministerial List as Announced by Senate President

The long awaited ministerial nominees list has been revealed as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki has just read out to the Senate, the names of the dignitaries on the list as sent in by President Buhari.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki

According to the list that was read by the Senate President, former governors Babatunde Fashola, Chris Ngige, Kayode Fayemi and Rotimi Amaechi are amongs others that will be screened and ratified by the Senate to make up President Buhari's cabinet.
See the tweets from NTA below to know the other nominees:

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Race for Mezam IC Section President of the CPDM: Pupolar Opinion Puts Dr. Ndonwie Peter Ahead

Dr. Ndonwie Peter

Bamenda is a rapidly changing for the ruling Cameroon Peoples' Democratic Movement-CPDM. The defunct Mezam 1 Section of the CPDM is expected to split into three  sections. With elections expected soon, the CPDM is seeking a more efficient leadership in the three sections and Mezam IC happens to be one reasons why giving room to savory reports on public opinion polls is gaining ground.  Ahead of this reorganization, popular opinion in the Mezam IC Section of the CPDM-Nkwen puts Dr. Ndonwie Peter ahead of his immediate contender Ngante Martin.  This is so because popular opinion in Nkwen holds that the political class must choose a candidate with character and conscience who has the knack to reduce the proclivity for dirty politics. What the Nkwen people need now according what we gathered are things that would help them foster development initiatives and not forecasts that can only worsen the dilemma, that since the demise of Late statesman Foncha the Nkwen people have not had a share of the national cake.
As caucuses continue to lobby for electorates ahead of the  Section election, opinions as to who knows the party and is fit to lead the Nkwen CPDM to a safer shore is tilting towards Dr. Ndonwie Peter. Political pundits say Ndonwie has narrowed the gap in the race. Commentators have pointed out that it is easy to find almost any pattern in the Mezam IC Section results if the desire of the population is respected. By influencing popular opinion through his work, Ndonwie seeks to demonstrate that the time frame that one examines or  measure of success ( through universal suffrage)is favourable for the Dr. Ndonwie led team.
However, looking at wins and losses in such a twofold approach is almost certainly the best way to weigh up the evidence. Many in Nkwen who spoke to us have essentially described Ndonwie as an emerging leader. With this in mind, it is better to examine the contributions the two main protagonists have made for the growth of the party, a school of thought holds.
Considering that Ndonwie previously served the Mezam I Section in various capacities, he is therefore an asset given that one of the prerequisites requires candidates for the position of Section President to have ample knowledge about the basic texts of the party and must have served the party as Section Executive and or Sub Section.  One major question lingering on all the lips is whether the other contenders have had such experience or just-having a jump-start in politics.
Majority of the youths are of the opinion that these distinctions matter for the growth of the section. Accordingly, a popular candidate carry the day while unpopular ones might retire or be rejected by party hierarchy for non-conformity. That is why humbleness is called for when interpreting the evidences. As election draw near Ndonwie Peter is becoming a very reliable candidate. This is so because majority of the voters know the identities of the candidates which makes it possible for them to make relatively bold and precise forecasts about the outcome.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Combating Religious Intolerance in Cameroon: Peace Crusading Christian Journalist Resorts to Muslim Dressing

After initiating the ‘Men in Women High Heel Shoes’ campaign and mobilizing men and boys to effectively march in women’s high heel shoes on grounds that s/he who wears the shoes know where they pinch, as part of the campaign to end violence against women and girls in Cameroonian society, Gwain Colbert Fulai, freelance journalist and Coordinator of A Common Future, an NGO that works to transform lives and build common frontiers, has now turned his attention to addressing the issue of mounting religious intolerance in Cameroon and in the process, completely changing his wardrobe and garb.
The garb and wardrobe change is informed by his very logic that ‘s/he who wears the shoes knows where they pinch’ but this time around, he is concerned about the prejudices many Cameroonians have developed against anybody wearing Muslim attire in the wake of the insurgency attacks by Boko Haram. Just two weeks into changing his wardrobe, he testifies as a fact, the level of stigmatization and hatred many have developed against others simply because of their religion.
‘I have not had it easy even with close friends. If, even those who know me still exclaim when they see me in the Fulani dress, what will happen if I am in a community where nobody knows me?, Gwain Colbert questions. And that is the crux of the matter. He complains that when he attains seminars and gatherings in his new garbs, some people are suspicious of him and others recommend he should be searched for he could just be carrying the next bomb.
'S/he who wears the shoes Knows where they pinch'
‘I now understand what my Muslim brothers have been passing through as some people have even referred to me as Boko Haram. This means that non-Muslims not only associate Boko Haram attacks to Islam but also that religious intolerance in Cameroon today is more than meets the eye and something needs to be done and urgently, reason-why I am involved’, Gwain holds.
This freelance journalist and Co-founder of A Common Future organization which is noted for its innovative niche in handling conflictual situations intends to put in the extra hour and the extra energy to work to narrow the widening religious intolerance gap in Cameroon. The new campaign dubbed ‘Strengthening and Cementing Religious Tolerance among Youths and Opinion Leaders’ shall take him to four of Cameroon’s 10 regions in the months ahead. 
The objective of this campaign shall be to bring youths and opinion leaders in these regions work to adopt a community approach for religious tolerance with a focus on outreach and communication, as well as further coordinate awareness and interreligious dialogue activities. His mission shall also be to encourage Muslim and Christian representative bodies to work to elaborate a religious tolerance charter as well as have it accepted by all Cameroonian religious groups.
Gwain, Narrowing the widening Religious Intolerance Gap in Cameroon
Apart from involving Muslim and Christian women in awareness raising initiatives, this campaign shall focus on making all Cameroonians understand that whether Muslim or Christian; they all have a common future. To achieve this goal, Muslims in particular have to be seen to be working for a more inclusive Islam by reinforcing dialogue within the Muslim community and by supporting a better representation of the various Islamic and ethnic groups, as well as youth, within the existing associations.

Gwain Colbert’s campaign is a direct response to the recommendations of the International Crisis Group’s latest report on mounting religious intolerance in Cameroon and the likelihood of inter-religious and sectarian crisis of the magnitude that has been witnessed in neighbouring Nigeria and Central African Republic.The report published last September 3, 2015 clearly states inter alia that: ‘In Cameroon, the rise of Christian revivalist (born again) and Muslim fundamentalist movements is rapidly changing the religious landscape and paving the way for religious intolerance. Fundamentalist groups’ emergence, combined with communal tensions, creates a specific risk in the North and increases competition for leadership of the Muslim community: such competition has already led to local conflicts. Moreover, the various religious groups have negative perceptions of each other. The state and the mainstream religious organizations’ response to the emerging radicalism is limited to the Boko Haram threat and therefore inadequate, and in some cases carries risk. A coherent and comprehensive response has to be implemented by the government and religious organizations to preserve religious tolerance and to avoid the kind of religious violence seen in neighbouring Nigeria and the Central African Republic.’
Little efforts, big change-Islam has no relation with Boko Haram
To buttress the point, the International Crisis Group goes further to note that: ‘In the face of these new forms of religious intolerance, interreligious dialogue initiatives are weak, dispersed and only reach a small fraction of the population. Yet, the religious changes are not perceived as problematic by Cameroonian political and religious authorities. They underestimate their conflict potential as their attention is focused only on Boko Haram. It was only after Boko Haram launched attacks in the Far North that the government launched awareness initiatives, but they were late and ineffective, as seen in the harassment and stigmatization of Kanuri populations from border villages, as well as arrests and arbitrary detentions by the security forces. The religious developments are worrying in the present regional environment as both Central African Republic and Nigeria are experiencing conflicts with religious dimensions, and the consequences are having impact on Cameroon.

On why his campaign targets mostly the youths, he makes reference to the report which states that: ‘The transformation within Islam is mainly promoted by radical young Cameroonian Muslims from the South. These southern youths speak Arabic, are often educated in Sudan and the Gulf countries, and are opposed to the political and economic domination of the Muslim community by the ageing, traditionalist Sufi establishment. The fight for supremacy between Sufi and fundamentalist groups has increased the risk of local violence.’
Arguing that ‘prevention is better than cure’, this religious intolerance campaigner categorically states that the image that Cameroon is an island of peace amidst regional turmoil long ended and that a more comprehensive and articulate approach needs to be adopted to avert the worst. His campaign is therefore a step in the right direction and needs encouragement as it falls in line with the new Sustainable Development Girls, SDGs, of the United Nations.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Teachers' Day Celebration in Bamenda (PhotoNews)

Photo Ma Stey

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Ahead Reorganization of the Basic Organs of the CPDM: A Heavyweight Joins Mezam I

Adolf Chinje Ndikum
He is son of late Councilor A.K Ndikum alias Tebe, the great politician who is said to have changed the face of politics in Bamenda. He was a charismatic and flamboyant political icon.  Adolf Chinje Ndikum (son of late Councilor AK Ndikum) who returned home after several years in the United States of America has decided to have a jump-start in politics with the ruling CPDM party in Mezam I B. Harping on why he has decided to enter into active politics, Adolf Chinje Ndikum said that he has a keen interest in development and looks to make an impact that’ll have a positive effect on the Bamenda man. “I feel God has helped me this far and I want to give back through politics what will be favourable to development. And I think the CPDM offers that platform” he said.
He further stressed that “I want to begin from where my dad ended. He was a very successful politician but he did not reach the hallmark and my desire is to reach the hallmark. I also want to bring the experience I have gathered during my stay in the United States to add to have I met so that we could foster development efforts”.
He said he was inspired by the vision of the Head of State, President Paul Biya and the people-people approach adopted by Mezam I Section President Paul Nji Atanga. “I was so touched the first day I met the Section President, Minister Paul Atanga Nji. In fact the euphoria was splendid given that I had always admired his ways of playing politics in Bamenda”.
Someone once said that what makes a hero to earn his distinctive quality and title of being a champion is judged from where he started. This is nearly unattainable with some politicians nowadays; however, it may not be the case with Adolf who has teamed Cletus Matoya ahead of the reorganization of the basic organs of the CPDM in Mezam Ib.
Impressionists are already pointing a finger at one defining trait that would make him earn his label as a pragmatic politician. What is important about Adolf Chinje Ndikum is that he is an easygoing man, down to earth and rich in expedients. He has the thoroughness that is very rare in some politicians. Meet him for a politician discussion and you would understand that you have met a refined politician. He is the kind of politician that is flexible, pragmatic and is ready to press onward moves and admit others political views. This primary symptoms of his political genuinely, we gathered has ignited hopes in Mezam Ib given that Adolf is expected to add more impetus to animate politics in the section. “The presence of politics” Adolf observed “is not always noticeable to those it affects, but the whole lot one interacts with is affected by politics”. He further stressed that development politics can be found as one is driving a car or sitting at home watching television. “A straightforward way to see politics is to recognize it is in your life at all times”.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Zimbabwean Preacher "walks on air’?

This is Africa
Pastor Shepherd Bushiri. Photo: Youtube screenshot
Shepherd Bushiri
Well-known Zimbabwean preacher, Pastor Shepherd Bushiri, recently released a video depicting himself 'walking on air' - one of his many claimed 'miracles'. On closer inspection, however, the feat may not be as miraculous as he says. 
Once again we have to tell you about yet another popular preacher whose claims and ‘demonstrations’ of supernatural power has grown his congregation to consist of thousands of members.
Whether or not his claims are true is really not for us to say but we get really concerned when we see cracks in his ‘powers’ that his faithful flock may be oblivious to – or even plainly refuse to see.
Pastor Shepherd Bushiri, a Zimbabwean faith leader is by many measures, a successful preacher. That’s if his 239,000-strong and more than 13,000 fans on Facebook and Twitter are anything to go by.
He recently released a video showing him walking down an impressive staircase in what the Daily Mail claims is his Malawi mansion.
The clip begins with a wide shot of Bushiri walking down the staircase with his hands aloft. The camera then pans to either side of that empty section of the house. As he gets nearer to the last step, the camera shot zooms in towards his feet which, after some shuffling sounds by the door, begin to levitate.
Why did the camera zoom into his feet at that specific moment in time? Whose shadow is moves away from his as the camera zooms out? These are the questions some of his followers should ask before paying the man for his ‘magic’.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Mugabe Stance Against Gays, Lesbians Angers UN Donor Agencies

 Source NewsDay
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s tough stance against gays and lesbians has set him on a collision course with 12 out of 30 United Nations agencies which have denounced his pronouncements, we learnt.
The UN agencies have already signed a statement condemning member states still discriminating on grounds of sexual orientation.
The agencies which include the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAids), United Nations Women, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Health Organisation, United Nations Fund for Population Activities and World Food Programme are ironically the country’s leading humanitarian aid providers.
Part of the statement read: “While welcoming increasing efforts in many countries to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. 
The UN agencies have already signed a statement condemning member states still discriminating on grounds of sexual orientation.
The agencies which include the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAids), United Nations Women, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Health Organisation, United Nations Fund for Population Activities and World Food Programme are ironically the country’s leading humanitarian aid providers.
Part of the statement read: “While welcoming increasing efforts in many countries to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, we remain seriously concerned that around the world, millions of LGBTI individuals, those perceived as LGBTI and their families face widespread human rights violations. This is cause for alarm – and action.”
This comes as former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is seeking nomination for the US Presidency last Saturday vowed to face Mugabe head-on over the issue.
“I’m guessing that the LGBT activists in prison in Zimbabwe would disagree with him if ever given a chance to have a platform,” she said, effectively turning the matter into a campaign trump card.
Mugabe, who has at any given opportunity both at home and abroad attacked homosexuals describing them as “worse than dogs and pigs”, repeated his anti-gay mantra at the just-ended UN General Assembly in New York, accusing them of not conforming to the country’s cultural dictates and norms.
In a widely reported rant, the Zimbabwean leader declared: “We are not gays.We equally reject attempts to prescribe new rights that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions, and beliefs.”
Mugabe’s statement immediately cast a dark shadow over preparations for the International Conference on Aids and STI’s in Africa conference scheduled for Harare next month with members of the gay community already unsure of their security at the conference.
The remarks are also likely to negatively affect mobilisation of food aid by UN donor agencies to fight widespread hunger already stoking most parts of the country amid reports of another looming El-nino-induced drought this coming summer season.
UN secretary-general Ban Ki- moon has also rallied member States to urgently end violence and discrimination against marginalised groups such as LGBTI, saying a breach of such international human rights laws could have a far-reaching impact on society.
“I strongly support equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people everywhere. I speak out against the appallingly high levels of stigma, discrimination and violence people suffer because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” he said. “That is why the United Nations actively works to tackle homophobia and transphobia around the world. It may be tough, but that will never stop us from pressing ahead. We cannot back off from human rights protection just because governments differ on certain issues.”
The UN statement calls on member states to respect international human rights standards, including by reviewing, repealing and establishing a moratorium on the application of laws that criminalise same-sex conduct between consenting adults.
The persecution of homosexuals has often caused them to be left behind in some crucial programmes including HIV and Aids intervention measures.
A recent report by UNAids showed that LGBTI people face widespread discrimination and exclusion. “We know from experience and evidence that violence and discrimination hold back the HIV response. The result: people are left behind,” UNAids executive director Michel Sidibe said.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)