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SOUTH AFRICA – Absa Bank Limited (www.Absa.co.za), a subsidiary of the Barclays Africa Group (BAGL) (www.BarclaysAfrica.com), has successfully concluded a five year $100 million Special Facility Agreement with the China Development Bank (CDB). 

Conflict, violence and disasters have caused more than 9 million new internal displacements globally in the first half of 2017, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

POLAND – The World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow has inscribed Hebron / Al Khalil Old town (Palestine) and W-Arly-Pendjari Complex (Benin, Burkina Faso) on the World Heritage List during its morning session. The Committee simultaneously added the site of Hebron / Al Khalil to the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Swiss Federal Council has approved CHF 36 million contribution to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) for the 2017 to 2020 period.

Geneva-based oil and gas extractor Addax Petroleum has paid CHF31 million ($32 million) to settle a criminal investigation into allegations of corrupt payments in Nigeria. Geneva’s cantonal prosecutor has in return dropped the probe.

M-Pesa, the mobile money system that is the pride and anchor of Kenya’s homegrown technology community, has had plenty of hype and excitement since it launched in 2007 says Yinka Adegoke, Quartz Africa editor

The African Development Bank Group concluded its 2017 Annual Meetings in Ahmedabad, India, on a high note of optimism generated by the Bank’s good balance sheet and the early successes of its High 5 priorities, especially in agriculture and energy.

Two international renown African designers, Pathé’O of Burkina origin and Ivorian by adoption, and Sidahmed Alphadi from Niger pleaded the cause of African cotton, a precondition if the textiles industry in Africa is to flourish.

 

News

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Photo: FUNDSFORNGOS

Donors to cut funds in Tanzania's fight against HIV/Aids.

World renowned South African AIDS activist David Ross Patient, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1983, died on Friday evening after contracting pneumonia following an operation.

In a post on Patient's Facebook page, David's partner Neil Orr confirmed that Patient had died.

"I regret to inform you than David Patient left us at 10:30pm on the 22nd September 2017. He developed pneumonia after surgery, and his heart stopped.

"I want to thank you all for the chats he shared with you, the jokes, the sharing of information - it was his pleasure to check for what everyone had to say, every day.

"He brought many things to this world, including humour, compassion, and yes, at times a bit of bite. He cared.

Goodbye David. Neil."

Patient had been upbeat about his surgery, his well-known sense of humour shining through in one of his last posts on Facebook.

"I almost got kicked out of the hospital just now. Apparently the sign 'Stroke Patients Here' meant something different? Turns out I am the last patient for surgery so the Drs aren't rushed... couple more hours of waiting..."

A brief history

Patient was diagnosed with Grids (Gay-related immune deficiency), later to be known as AIDS, on March 13 1983, while living in Las Vegas in the US. At the time there were no tests for HIV.

"Based on where my immune system was back in 1983, the doctors who have studied me believe I was infected back in the late 1970s. Be that as it may, I see my infection date as the date I was told I had GRIDS, back on my 22nd birthday in 1983," Patient explained on his website.

Subsequently, he had worked with the who's who of HIV research and had spent his life as an AIDS activist and advocate for the rights of those living with HIV/AIDS, both in the US and in Africa.

"Someone had to bear witness about a time when there was a disease called HIV; why could it not be me? Natural disasters, holocausts, genocides, there are always a handful of folks who survive; I was determined to be one of those people. That was the beginning of my own self-empowerment and 'growing a pair!'"

Patient was born in Zambia in 1963 and adopted at 10 weeks old, before moving to SA at the age of 6. He fled SA to the US in 1979 following a warrant of arrest issued by the SA Bureau of State of Security.

He lived in the US for 16 years, before returning to SA in 1995.

Patient was a strong advocate for getting tested.

"Early detection means all sorts of things can be done to help you. The earlier you know, the more you can do to help yourself.

"This can also delay the need for ARVs for many years and when you need the ARVs, go on them when you are still healthy. It is easier to keep healthy than it is to try and bring you back from the verge of death," he said.

Tributes pour in

News of his passing has spread rapidly, with his page flooded with messages of condolence..

"A warrior has left us, to rest after so many long hard years of brave battle. Thank you David Ross Patient for all you taught us, so very much.

"You achieved so much, you leave this world significantly improved. Your almost daily reminders to keep smiling in spite of what life throws at you will be sorely missed. #horsewaterfish My heartfelt condolences to Neil and all who love David in this very sad time," wrote Wendy Case.

"Woke up this morning to the news that David Ross Patient has passed away. I met David and Neil many years ago, he was an aids activist and I interviewed him on radio. Needless to say my reaction to this intense, arrogant, self opinionated man was less than friendly. However, something inside me resonated with this man and we became friends.

"Between him and Neil they quite literally changed my life, two more beautiful souls you couldn't wish to meet. David was not only my friend but my teacher and mentor. Over the last few years he became ill and developed a superbug in his intestines.

"He never stopped fighting it was quite simply not in his nature. My friend this farewell is very difficult for me, my heart goes out to Neil Orr and David's family and friends. So my friend until we meet again, horse, water, fish!" added David Watts.

"Once in a lifetime someone comes along and makes a profound impact on your life, makes you take stock of who you are and how you react and treat those around you, who always takes the time to listen, who isn't afraid to tell you like it is, who always manages to smile no matter what life throws at them.

"Now it is your time to rest my friend. You have made a profound impact on so many lives and will always live on in our hearts and in our minds. Your courageous fight is now over. Rest now David Ross Patient. To Neil and David's family, I share in your loss and hold you all in my heart. Goodbye my friend," said Delano Simpson.

News24

By Daniel Kasondo

There was commotion at Chonde community hospital on Wednesday, when people scrambled to see a woman claiming that unknown people sucked her blood during the night of Tuesday.

Struggling with her speaking, as people showered her with questions, the woman said she had seen an object in the house and later fail unconscious, but pointed at a spot near her left eye as the point where the alleged blood suckers inserted their blood sucking object.

The woman who looked weak and was walking supported by a sister looked dirty and mentally disturbed.

The sister said the woman sleeps alone and the attackers took advantage of the isolated house to do their clandestine activities.

"We are not safe at all. It's unfortunate now it has come in our village," she said.

People got angry when the Malawi News Agency reporter tried to see properly where the alleged sucking object was inserted and probe more to establish what actually happened.

"Why do you doubt this incident. Is this not enough to establish that there are blood suckers out there. We could even trust you with your questions here," one angry man retorted.

In an interview, the clinical officer, who had checked the woman in his room, said there was no indication that the woman had been sucked of her blood.

"We couldn't even see where an object was inserted to suck the blood. I have only referred her to laboratory for malaria test, because I suspect some mental problems," the clinician who didn't want to be mentioned clarified.

Media reports have since reported of mob justice in Mulanje where three men were killed after being suspected of being blood suckers, the incident which prompted the Inspector General to hold meetings in the district.

By Kieran Guilbert

Dakar — Health workers in northeast Nigeria said on Tuesday they were striving to contain a cholera outbreak which is sweeping through camps for those uprooted by Boko Haram, amid a drive to vaccinate hundreds of thousands of people against the disease.

More than 2,600 people have been infected and at least 48 have died so far in Borno state, heart of an insurgency by the Islamist militants and the disease outbreak, which began last month in a camp for the displaced, the health ministry said.

A major vaccination campaign aims to reach more than 900,000 people this week in the area, and aid agencies such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said they are stepping up efforts to halt the spread of the diseases as new cases emerge across the state.

About 1.8 million people have fled their homes due to Boko Haram violence or food shortages, and nearly three-quarters are now in 'cholera hotspots', the United Nations said this month.

"These lifesaving vaccines will play a vital role in slowing the spread of the disease, buying valuable time to put the right water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure in place to stop the root causes of this outbreak," said Seth Berkley, chief executive of GAVI, the global vaccines alliance, in a statement.

While the outbreak started in Maiduguri - the capital of Borno - the number of cholera cases is increasing rapidly in the nearby towns of Monguno and Dikwa, according to MSF.

"We are worried that the number of beds currently planned may not be enough as cases continue to rise in Monguno," Félix Kouassi, MSF medical coordinator, said in a statement.

Efforts to contain the outbreak are being hindered as people are failing to report suspected cases to the authorities, an official from the U.N. children's fund (UNICEF) said last week.

Cholera spreads through contaminated food and drinking water and can kill within hours if left untreated, but most patients recover if treated promptly with oral rehydration salts.

The latest figures represent a 1.8 percent fatality rate - above the 1 percent rate that the World Health Organization rates as an emergency. The short incubation period of two hours to five days means the disease can spread with explosive speed.

Boko Haram's eight-year campaign to create an Islamic state has killed at least 20,000 people, uprooted 2.7 million and sparked one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world.

Reporting By Kieran Guilbert, Editing by Ros Russell;

Photo: The Citizen

A child under mosquito net to prevent malaria (file photo).

press release

New York — Today, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green announced that the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), led by USAID and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will launch new country programs in Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, and Sierra Leone, and expand its existing program in Burkina Faso.

With the addition of five new focus countries in West and Central Africa, PMI will have programs in 24 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria remains a significant public health problem.  This is in addition to PMI's two bilateral programs and targeted support in the Greater Mekong Subregion in Asia, aimed at combating antimalarial drug resistance.PMI's country expansion will benefit almost 90 million additional people at risk of malaria. The U.S. Government will now contribute to ensuring the availability of effective malaria prevention and control interventions to approximately 332 million people at risk across the west-to-central African corridor from Senegal to Cameroon.  While launching and expanding PMI, the U.S. Government remains committed to partnering with existing PMI focus countries to accelerate progress in malaria control and continue the momentum towards elimination.

Together with partner countries, under national malaria control program leadership, and in collaboration with malaria stakeholders, PMI scales up a comprehensive, integrated package of life-saving interventions in communities.  This includes both prevention (insecticide-treated mosquito nets, intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women, seasonal malaria chemoprevention, and indoor residual spraying) and treatment interventions (malaria diagnosis and treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies).  PMI support builds overall country capacity and strengthens health systems while improving malaria prevention and treatment services.  PMI support includes strengthening supply chain logistics, malaria case surveillance, and monitoring and evaluation of impact.

More than 480 million people at risk of malaria have benefitted from PMI programs.  In Fiscal Year 2016, PMI protected over 16 million people by spraying homes, distributed more than 42 million long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets, and provided 57 million treatments of life-saving drugs and 63 million rapid diagnostic tests.

By Chioma Obinna

Decades ago, cancer was among rare diseases in Nigeria. Today the story has changed. The situation is so bad that almost every day there are new cases in various hospitals across the country. It is almost becoming like malaria.

According to experts, although everyone is prone to cancer, some people are more at risk due to factors such as environmental, genetic, habits and chronic infections.

According to the World Health organisation, WHO, in 2015, cancer was responsible for 8.8 million deaths.

Globally, nearly one in six deaths is due to cancer. As the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, it is said to have approximately 14 million new cases in 2012. The number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70 per cent over the next two decades. Meanwhile, approximately 70 per cent of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries.

The burden of cancer in Nigeria is unknown; mainly because of lack of statistics or under-reporting but the country ranks among countries with the worst cancer death ratio of four in five persons.

According to statistics from WHO, about 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer yearly while about 80,000 die from the disease. This brings the consequences of the cancer epidemic to 240 Nigerians every day or 10 Nigerians every hour dying from cancer.

Despite these scary statistics, late-stage presentation and inaccessible diagnosis and treatment are commonplace in Nigeria. Right now, out of the seven cancer treatment centres in Nigeria, none of the radiotherapy machines is working effectively.

Many cancer patients are dying in their numbers due to the non-availability of radiotherapy treatments. Many who have started treatment cannot complete it at the stipulated time.

From federal and state health institutions to privately owned facilities, the situation is the same. Sunday Vanguard reports:

Will I ever survive? This was a question asked by a cancer patient. Mrs. Grace Akoni was diagnosed of breast cancer in December 2015. Since then, she has been battling with treatment. A mother of two and a civil servant, coping with the cost of treatments has remained a challenge. But the determination to survive and see her children grow has been her strength.

"All was well with me until I noticed a painless lump in my breast. I noticed early because I usually examine my breasts. I was taken to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, where it was removed and confirmed cancerous."

The news of her status almost shattered her. Her family was thrown into mourning even though she had a painless lump. "I returned home and wept uncontrollably. I was faced with the fear that people hardly survive cancer.

I came back and told my husband. My children could not understand because they were little children. But they were worried because I kept crying morning and night. We cried together." Coming from a poor home, Grace battled the odds to raise money for her treatment.

"I went to my church and other churches for assistance. I practically begged from family friends. At a point it became embarrassing moving from churches to mosques to raise funds to complete my chemotherapy," she narrated. In February this year, she had surgery and was placed on eight sessions of chemotherapy.

"The first time I visited a treatment centre, I was like, how will I pay for this? I had the first surgery in March 2016 and was placed on eight sessions of chemotherapy."

Grace could not pay for the treatment at once. But she did it. She was spending over N200, 000 for each session of chemotherapy in a private hospital run by a specialist who also works in one of the government -owned health institution."

Today, she has finished her chemotherapy and was supposed to move on with radiotherapy, a high-energy ray used to destroy cancer cells. Unfortunately, the breakdown of radiotherapy machines in the country is stalling her treatment and hundreds of others.

"I cannot continue the treatment because none of the machines is working. I was at LUTH recently; it has been down for two months now. This is my dilemma.

"But for how long shall we continue to suffer because of lack of treatment facilities?"

Grace is still looking for answer to her question.

In the case of 30-year-old Nurat Salmon, a graduate of mass communication from Lagos State University, LASU, her story moved virtually everyone at the launch of a cancer foundation in Lagos to tears when she recalled her journey with cancer since November 2016.

Salmon regretted that cancer treatment in Nigeria is not an easy one. According to Nurat, the plight of patients is made worse by treatment that is too expensive and doctors that give no hope to patients. Describing the pain of chemotherapy as "crazy", the victim said it had been hurtful.

"I lost all my hair, the weakness after each injection was a big challenge. My biggest challenge now is that six out of the seven radiotherapy machines in the country are bad. It is really bad news for a cancer patient. We have only one radiotherapy machine working in a private hospital. In that hospital, to use the machine costs about N600, 000.

"How can one machine serve over two million cancer patients? The disturbing part is that when I went to LUTH, I was told the machine was down and they did not know when it would be fixed."

"I just finished chemotherapy. I am glad to tell my story because cancer is not a death sentence. Cancer does not kill, it is depression that kills."

Nurat appealed to the Federal Government to come to the rescue of cancer patients. "We said we want to reduce the deaths from cancer, how do we do that? How do we pass the message that it is not the end of the world?"

Nurat, who said she was planning to go to Benin Republic for radiotherapy, stated: "I want government to move into our health system. I am not a doctor but I have read a lot. I can say that our medical system is lagging behind. Government should support the treatment cost of cancer patients in Nigeria. Those who don't have the money are dying."

Grace and Nurat may have been lucky to still be alive. Austin Nwaorie was not so lucky.

He died last month. Why? He could not continue his radiotherapy treatment and his cancer continued to spread. He had done chemotherapy and had started radiotherapy before the machine broke down. So he was referred to one private hospital in Lagos. At that time, the machine was the only functioning machine around.

One of his siblings narrated his story to Sunday Vanguard, "When we got there (private hospital), we was scared of the crowd. Some victims came all the way from the North and the South-East. Sometimes, we had to sleep in the hospital in order to see the doctor early the next day.

"When we could no longer bear the situation, we took him from Lagos to Benin but the radiotherapy machine in Benin was equally not working. We decided to go to Enugu where the situation was the same. At this point we were hoping to bring her back to Lagos because we were told that Ibadan was also down. Unfortunately, he could make it. We decided to tell the story of our brother to let the society know what it is like to be a cancer patient with the hope that this will bring needed attention and succour."

Health watchers are worried that despite the huge burden of cancer in Nigeria, the ailment is under reported apparently due to inadequate diagnostic facilities, limited access to care, inadequate technical manpower and infrastructure as well as the poor quality of cancer data systems.

The six most common cancers in Nigeria are those of the breast, cervix, prostate, colorectal liver and NHL.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, upon assuming office in 2015, announced that government would develop plans to address the challenges facing cancer victims. But almost two years after, the situation remains the same.

Also at an event in Lagos recently, the minister said his ministry would partner Sovereign Investment Authority to acquire cancer treatment facilities. According to him, about 80 per cent of cancers literally can be cured through preventions and early detection.

Chief Executive Officer of an advocacy group, Care Organisation Public Enlightenment, COPE, Mrs. Ebunola Anozie, said many Nigerians undergoing treatment for cancer in Nigeria have tales of woe to tell.

"Can you imagine going to queue at the hospital for radiotherapy as early as 2 am? This is disheartening. And victims often have to sell their properties to stay alive because of the high cost of treatment and medication", Anozie said.

"It is quite unfortunate and obvious that as a country, we are yet to make cancer a priority. We are so complacent on issues concerning our health sector."

Saying cancer cases are more prevalent in the western world {developed countries), she explained however that mortality rate arising from the ailment is higher in the developing countries like Nigeria, blaming 98 per cent on late presentation, fear of the unknown, illiteracy, taboos, religious beliefs, poverty and our lackadaisical attitude to health issues.

Noting that early detection and treatment of any form of cancer is vital, the activist stressed the need for a Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Anozie advised that Nigeria should take a cue from neighbouring countries like Ghana where many Nigerian cancer patients run to for treatment.

She traced the poor state of cancer treatment facilities in the country to persistent power outage, saying this kills the performance of the machines.

"Our government is yet to realize that Nigerians are willing to spend money to remain alive as long as necessary tools and expertise are made available. Well, it is indeed sad that it is not a priority for our government."

In a report, a consultant paediatric oncologist and lecturer, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Prof Edamisan Temiye, lamented the many frustrations of families who have been impoverished due to cancer.

Temiye said the cost of treating a cancer patient would treat many patients with minor illnesses. "In LUTH alone, we see

The KwaZulu-Natal government has paid tribute to a nurse who was so dedicated to his job that he once went as far as walking to patients to deliver antiretroviral drugs.

The provincial department of health hailed Sifiso Emphrain Mbambo, 37, as a shining example for healthcare workers, highlighting his many extraordinary achievements as a nurse at the Kilmun Clinic near Bulwer.

Listing Mbambo's endearing qualities during a speech at a memorial lecture honouring the healthcare worker on Thursday, Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo had many stories of his kindness. Mbambo died after an illness on July 14.

Among other displays of dedication, Mbambo was lauded for forming a "taxi rank club" health facility.

With the assistance of a taxi rank manager, Mbambo took health services to taxi operators.

This was after he had learned that three taxi drivers had died because they could not access treatment, due to their busy schedules.

The support group he formed now has 60 members.

Dhlomo said Mbambo would come to the taxi rank on a regular basis in the mornings for health education, sputum collection and HIV testing.

"People in the taxi industry say he was kind, easily approachable and caring. They say that, while you would expect that a person of his calibre would treat taxi drivers differently, he treated them as family."

He added: "They say he was down to earth, in a way that when he asked you for something, it became difficult to say no."

'He managed to do so many remarkable things'

Dhlomo also highlighted an incident where a hospital vehicle had broken down on its way to treat HIV/Aids patients.

Mbambo had carried a box of antiretroviral treatment on his head and walked a long way to deliver it to a group of taxi drivers, to ensure that they did not default on their treatment.

Dhlomo said Mbambo's selfless contribution to the provision of healthcare and social welfare challenged all healthcare practitioners to emulate him.

He said that Mbambo had never sought fame or recognition, but simply enjoyed his work.

"He would put aside his qualifications and walk long distances on foot to get to the people. He managed to do so many remarkable things during his short life."

Mbambo was known for far more than just walking long distances. His dedication knew no bounds, and he showed that when he assisted his community with applications for social security grants.

He was also the chairperson of the adolescent and youth-friendly services, through which he would help school children with their homework after hours, and let them use his cellphone to access the internet.

' He left an indelible mark on our lives'

He even requested a time slot at local Ralph Hardingham High School, where he delivered a lecture on youth health matters.

In 2016, Mbambo joined the Skofill High School Safety Committee, sharing productive ideas on safety strategies for the school.

He organised the first supply of sanitary pads at the school, even before the department of education could.

"He rebuilt connection and dependency between the clinic and the community," said a senior school representative.

Dhlomo went on to sing Mbambo's praises.

"He left an indelible mark on our lives. His was a God-given talent and a calling to help others. He was diligent in such a way that it was if he had known that he would not live for long."

People always had compliments for Mbambo, he added.

"If we could do half the things he did, ours would be a better country. As people in the healthcare profession, we have a challenge to understand that this is a Godly task. It affects people lives and those of their families," Dhlomo said.

Source: News24

An up and coming musician, Idopise Emmanuel, popularly called , "Mr Jack", has appealed to musicians to support the change agenda of the Federal Government through their choice of lyrics.

The afro-pop musician told newsmen, ahead of his upcoming music concert tagged " The urban Tour concert" on September 24, in Lagos that music was a vital means of passing information to the people.

"It is a strong tool that can effectively educate, improve interaction and correct negative traits in the society for a better tomorrow.

"Rather than producing hip hop songs that only sell the beats with little or no positive impact on the youths, artistes can assist the government by composing and singing on love, unity, peace and other messages that promote the change agenda"

He said that the rate of crimes in the society could be reduced if musicians could lend their voices to discouraging them through their lyrics .

He advised parents also support the government by giving proper training to their children and that they could achieve this this by employing songs rendered in meaningful lyrics.

Jack said that his concert would focus on the challenges caused by love of money in the lives of youths which he said, was one of the roots of current crises in the society.

" The concert is trying to correct an impression whereby young boys and girls of today are focusing on easy way of making money instead of their education, and spending much of their time on irrelevant activities," he said.

Jack, who said he had produced 10 tracks in the album, also appealed to the government to work on piracy so that young artists could attain a greater height.

"Accessing financial assistance has always been a serious factor for us in this sector; if our works are pirated, we will not be able to make it.

"I think government should also look into financing the music industry to help us strategise and grow professionally.

"Nigerian music industry is really improving, but the artistes are to work on the arrangement of their lyrics and be careful with what we put down."he said.

He said that majority of youths were no more willing to pursue a greater future, rather, they engaged themselves in all sorts of atrocities, fraudulent and other vices.

He advised them to protect their integrity as the 'leaders of tomorrow' by adding value to the nation by supporting the government with their talents.

NAN

Suluman Chimbetu will tonight rekindle his relationship with patrons at Iridium Life Gem - formerly Jazz 24 /7 - in the city centre when he performs at a show that is expected to bring back memories of his exciting shows that have been staged at the venue.

Since the place was Jazz 105, Sulu staged memorable shows and many will remember his 'all-white' affairs that were trademark occasions for the dendera star.

It is one of his favourite venues in the CBD and tonight he is likely to rekindle the exciting relationship with patrons. The venue recently re-branded as it seeks to bring a new dimension to entertainment in the capital and officials are confident they will change the face of showbiz.

Tonight's shows is one of the big events since the re-branding of the place and Sulu said he is honoured to be involved in the transformation of the place.

"The place has gone through various changes and I am happy to have witnessed all the changes over the past few years. I am one of the musicians that have staged shows at the venue under its different names and brands. We want to introduce Iridium to the people and we are encouraging our fans to come in their numbers and support the bigger vision that the new management has," said Sulu.

"This is one of the shows that will see us getting personal with our fans in the capital. We have always enjoyed our shows at the place and we know we are heading for another big day at our show. It is one of the best venues in the city centre and we are expecting a memorable outing."

An official at Iridium said they are expecting a big night of merrymaking.

"It will be fun throughout. The venue has hosted a number of musicians and we are happy to have dendera coming to the place for a potentially explosive night. Sulu has been one of the consistent musicians in the country and his choreography is outstanding. It will be another night of dendera vibes and dances," said the official.

"As Iridium, we promise nothing but the best entertainment environment. We have come up with various activities to add fun to our shows and those that will attend Sulu's shows will get the best of our offers. We want to ensure that the place grows and becomes a venue of choice in Harare. We have re-branded to make sure that we bring a new dimension to entertainment. The night will be full of fun and excitement as we continue building our new brand. Iridium Life Gem is the place to be for those that want best fun in the capital."

The annual Police Music and Culture Association (Polmusca) festival offers an element of balance to police officers during their hard and dangerous lives, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has said.

Speaking at the opening of the three-day festival - which will showcase police choirs from all nine provinces, along with other musical acts - in Pretoria on Thursday evening, Mbalula stressed that the lives of police officers were anything but easy.

"The work of the police is one that involves the heart. This work is reserved for those among us whose hearts are made and moulded for service to others," said Mbalula.

"Police see things the human eye should not see.

"At the end of it all, police are still human. We feel, we hurt, we stress, we worry, and we get anxious, and feel alone too. Our superhuman lives do not remove our human vulnerabilities.

"This is where associations like Polmusca are extremely important, beyond measure. Polmusca brings the balancing element into our hard daily lives."

'Not superhuman'

Mbalula said it was through music and arts that South African Police Service members are able to reconnect with that which life intended.

"Humanity benefits in social harmony from the harmonic sounds of music and artistic creations that captivate the eye and mind."

He said that members of the police were encouraged to remember the other side of human life, and that police should connect as a family through sports, music and the arts, as a means to build a united organisation with tolerance.

"This event strengthens the fabric of the SAPS community and rewrites the history of this organisation in beautiful and melodic language."

Mbalula added that the festival also played a role in the demilitarisation of the police.

"Even though our work is about helping those in danger and in great need, we are not superhuman. I want us to relax, reconnect with our humanity and rekindle the human spirit, so that as we go out to fight criminals, we do so with relaxed spirits and minds."

Source: News24

By Jayne Augoye

Nigerian Afro-Pop singer, Yemi Alade, has joined the likes of Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Ed Sheeran, on "Just Dance 2018" Video Game.

Developed by Ubisoft, the game is scheduled for release in October 2017 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch.

Ubisoft is renowned for publishing award-winning games for several acclaimed video game franchises including Assasin's Creed and Prince of Persia.

Yemi, armed with her new dance smash "Tumbum" is the only African artiste on the popular game. She will also feature alongside other international acts like Katy Perry, DNCE, Shakira, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Daddy Yankee, Bebe Rexha, Big Freedia, Dua Lipa, Tomska, Luis Fonsi, Clean Bandit etc.

The game includes 40 of the hottest tracks of the year including "24K Magic" by Bruno Mars, "Side to Side" by Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj, "Chantaje" by Shakira Ft. Maluma, Yemi Alade's Tumbum and many more.

Meanwhile, Yemi was recently called out by a Togolese activist, Farida Nabourema, for her alleged role in perpetuating the political oppression of the people of Togo.

Farida, in an interview with Sahara Reporters, talked about how African celebrities unlike their counterparts from another part of the world, use their position to endorse political oppression from dictators.

Yemi's manager reacted to the claims saying, "It was like a normal show you go for in the country. It was a festival they normally hold in Togo. It wasn't a political affair at all. Yemi Alade just went there to perform."

Yemi's Afrocentric jam 'Johnny' has amassed over 70 million Youtube views since it was published on March 3, 2014.

The music video is now said to have amassed the most views by an African female artist.

Police across the country will meet in song and dance this weekend for the South African Police Service's Police Music and Cultural Association's (POLMUSCA) national unity festival.

The festival will take place from Thursday until Sunday at the Heartfelt Music Arena in Pretoria.

In its 25th year, the festival seeks to showcase the SAPS' rich diversity in song with members from all nine provinces.

More than a 1000 members of the South African Police Service will participate in competitions relating to choral music, ballroom dancing, traditional dancing, cookery displays and cultural exhibitions.

"This is an opportunity for members of the public to see the softer side of our members. I am certain that this year, the teams from various provinces will showcase talent within the service and will provide much-needed entertainment to the people of Gauteng," said POLMUSCA President Major General Franscina Vuma.

"This is another way of reaching out to our communities through song and dance, so for the next few days, let's celebrate our unity and diversity," she said.

The first day of the festival will see the official opening which will be addressed by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and the Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba.

Members from the various provinces will participate in a ballroom dancing competition.

On Friday, Choristers from all nine provinces will vie for glory in three categories being Own piece, Western piece, and an African piece. They will also take part in a potjiekos competition and a cultural exhibition competition.

The SAPS band and choir groups will also compete with each other for best band performance and best choir performance.

The unity festival will culminate with an awards ceremony which will be held on Saturday afternoon.

By Loness Gwazanga

Celebrated gospel musician of the Desperate fame will on September 30 launch an animated music video of his hit single Mdidi at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.

Mussa has said he came up with the idea to produce an animated music video as one way of bringing a new touch of class to his productions.

"Everyone is doing normal productions but I love to set trends. It's exciting, so I wanted to do something new," said Mussa.

The songwriter and guitarist said it was not easy to come up with the video because he had to engage an expert in the production of the animated video since most producers failed to live up to his expectations.

"Finally, after several failed attempts, I met Justice Mkumba of M Jay Studio. I had seen an animation he posted on social media and followed him. I shared my concept with him and he told me he had never done what I was seeking but we could try. We started planning and put some resources together for the production and after a while, we came up with the animated Mdidi video," he said.

Mussa said his fans should expect a great performance during the launch of the video which will be fully premiered at the show.

"We will also have a lot of my music on sale. Desperate CDs, and a DVD which will contain the animated video, the original video, Desperate original song plus reggae remix and some of the one band performances from all over the world while I was on tour. That is my early Christmas gift to my fans," said Mussa.

The University of Malawi graduate has conducted music tours in China, United Kingdom and Norway among other countries.

By Faith Nyamai

The Ministry of Education has issued a new calendar for the third term as it postponed the Home Science practical examination paper because of the presidential election.

Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i in a statement Friday said:

"Given the number of schools gazetted as polling stations and tallying centres for the election, it has become necessary to make minor adjustments to the third term dates.

"This is to free up the institutions for use during this important national exercise," he said.

ELECTION

Dr Matiang'i said the Home Science practical paper that was scheduled for October 26 will take place on October 30.

"The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) Home Science 441/3 examination paper scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 26, has now been moved to Monday, October 30," he said.

The Ministry made the changes after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) deferred the repeat presidential election from October 17 to October 26.

KCPE EXAM

This has equally affected the closing dates of primary and secondary schools.

All primary schools will now close on October 25; Form One to Form Three students will go on holiday on October 24 as the Form Four candidates prepare to sit the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam.

The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination will start on October 31 and end on November 2 while the KCSE theory papers will begin on November 6 and end on November 29.

By Senator Iroegbu

Abuja — The non-academic staff of Nigerian universities and similar union across the country's tertiary institutions have suspended their strike.

This is coming barely a week after the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU) called off their one-month-old industrial action.

The executive members of the tripartite union under the Joint Action Committee (JAC) comprising of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologies (NAAT) called off the 11-day strike yesterday after series of negotiations with the federal government.

In a statement signed by the President of JAC and SSANU, Samson Ugwoke; President of NAAT, Mr. Sani Suleiman; and President of NASU, Chris Ani, said the three unions jointly suspended the industrial action for one month to allow the government accede to their demands.

In a memorandum of understanding signed with the government, the lamented that the "labour firmament is not so much about lack of agreements but the actualisation of the agreements.

"This is reason for the prevalence of industrial actions in recent times. To this end, beginning with the understanding reached early as today, September 21, 2017 (yesterday), with the JAC of NAAT, NASU and SSANU, we enjoin government to respect agreements reached and ensure their compliance. We maintain our principled stand on the dictum "Pacta Sum Servanda" - Agreements entered into must be honoured. This dictum is not restricted to this agreement alone, but any other agreement signed with workers across all sectors.

"The level of confidence in government by Nigerian workers is indeed poor and highly eroded as workers no longer have trust in policies of government despite the fact that MoU's and agreements are reached. Government must therefore embark on a deliberate policy of confidence-building, to shore up trust and belief in its activities. This is the key solution to end the spate of industrial actions in the country."

The union further stated that the strike by the university based non-teaching unions was avoidable and would have been averted if government had done the needful.

The non-teaching staff union noted that arising from the series of deliberations and engagements, they have once again gone to the drawing board; adding that the "negotiations we have had since the beginning of the strike have developed a template which we hope will be a panacea to the continued conflicts between the university based non-teaching staff unions and the federal government."

Part of the statement read: "We have developed an actionable template with specific timeframes to implement salient aspects of the agreement. Based on the foregoing and following exhaustive and extensive consultations with our various union organs, we hereby announce the suspension of the strike action embarked upon by the Joint Action Committee of NAAT, NASU and SSANU, on the understanding that the time lines agreed with the federal government on the various issues are met.

"We have consequently directed our members to resume work on Monday, September 25, 2017. In one months time, we shall be reviewing the level of compliance with the agreement and shall not hesitate to resume the strike action if government reneges on the agreements reached or delays in any aspects."

The unions however, commended the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige for what they described as "his sense of patriotism and painstaking effort in the resolution of this industrial conflict", as well as the Minister of State for Labour, Prof. Stephen Ocheni, the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang and all other representatives of government at various levels.

The union also restated their demands, which include: Non-payment of Earned Allowances to members; problem of bad governance affecting the university system; poor funding as against UNESCO recommendations; inadequate infrastructure in universities and abandoned projects; shortfall in payments of salaries; non-implementation of the National Industrial Court (NUC) judgement in respect of university staff schools; and on-registration of National Universities Pension Commission (NUPEMCO).

Others are: Non-implementation of CONTISS 14 and 15 for Technologists; problem of lack of adequate teaching and learning facilities in the universities.

Corruption in the university system; lack of seriousness in the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/University Unions Agreement; and usurpation of Headship of Non-Teaching Units by academic staff.

"The above demands were aggregates of the Unions agreements of 2009 with the federal government which we had waited eight years to consummate. We had shown understanding, maturity and patience," the non-teaching staff union reminded.

The union had in January 2017, embarked on a one week warning strike which was suspended on the strength of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the federal government.

Khartoum / Jebel Awlia / Sharg El Nil — The Khartoum state Ministry of Health closed a school in Jebel Awlia locality after more than 20 students suffered from diarrhoea. Five of them were infected with cholera.

State Health Minister Mamoun Humeida announced the news yesterday. He said maintenance will take place in the Nura Koran school in El Salam neighbourhood to provide safe drinking water and toilets, before allowing students to return. He did not specify a period of time for this.

Humeida pointed out that inspection rounds will be done in all the state's Koran schools. Schools that do not comply to the inspections will be closed.

Numbers of school students and pupils have fallen victim to the epidemic disease in various states of Sudan. At camp Otash in Nyala, ten schoolgirls were infected with cholera at the Abu Bakr El Siddig School on Monday and Tuesday. One of the camp sheikhs said that all the girls were discharged on Wednesday.

Reports reaching Radio Dabanga from Zamzam camp south of El Fasher, capital of North Darfur, recorded five new cholera infections on Monday, all basic school pupils according to a camp sheikh on Sunday.

In Sudan's Northern State, dozens of people became infected with cholera mid-August, especially in El Mahas in Daglo locality. This prompted two basic schools in Saadnafenti to close their doors as parents prevented their children from going.

In July, the National Consensus Forces (NCF) condemned the decision of Khartoum's Ministry of Education not to postpone the start of the new school year because of the cholera epidemic. Last week two cases of cholera appeared in Khartoum North, after the capital of Sudan witnessed a relatively low infection rate for several weeks.

Protesting residents

Residents of El Almab village in Sharg El Nil locality, whose homes were demolished last year, renewed their demand that the authorities either re-plan the village, compensate them or find them appropriate alternative housing.

The spokesman for the aggrieved villagers, Mohamed Ahmed El Badri, told Radio Dabanga that "They have addressed all sides but have not found any response to their grievances.

"The families whose houses were demolished by the authorities last October amounted to 600 - a large number of them are still living in cottages in the area."

In October 2016, also residents of El Jireif in Khartoum state took to the streets in protest against the confiscation of their lands.

On Thursday, residents staged an open-ended peaceful protest against the plans to turn a football field in the area into residential land in El Dabasin area in southern Kharotum.

Residents have set up a tent in the field and released a press statement, saying that they would not leave unless the government cancels the decision.

Photo: CPUT Zim-forum

Zimbabwe Presidential Scholarship students in Cape Town (file photo).

Students who were offered scholarships to study in Russia under the Presidential Scholarship and National Scholarships Programme are expected to meet the executive director Dr Christopher Mushohwe today at the New Ambassador Hotel.

Dr Mushohwe, who is also the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services said the students should come with their parents and their documents.

"We wish to inform all students offered scholarships to study in Russia to come with their parents to meet the executive director today (Friday) at the Ambassador Hotel," said Dr Mushohwe in a statement.

"They must bring their passports with study visas and medical reports. Be advised that the date of departure for Russia is Tuesday, September 26. Students who fail to submit passports and medical reports today will be deemed to have declined the scholarship offer."

The students would be the second batch to leave the country after 30 others left for China to study in Qindao Province at the end of August .

Since its inception, the programme has seen more than 20 000 students benefiting, with some now working in different professions locally and overseas.

The Presidential Scholarship Programme, which until now was restricted to Fort Hare and 15 other South African universities, has now spread to China after Chinese company, Qingdao Hengshen offered 50 scholarships to Zimbabwean students.

By Albertina Nakale

Windhoek — Students at the University of Namibia owe the institution a bank breaking N$326 million in unpaid tuition fees, literally a month before the commencement of the final examinations.

According to the university the amount was outstanding as of Tuesday this week and only for active students throughout the 12 campuses across the country. It does not include historic debts of students who are no longer with the institution, the spokesperson for the University of Namibia (Unam) Simon Namesho told New Era yesterday.

There has however been a slight decrease in the amount owed this year, when compared to N$342 million owed by September 2016.

Over the years, the university has taken a serious stance not to allow those students who owe outstanding fees to sit for the final examinations, which led to several protestations between management and students.

Namesho could statistically not provide the number of active students who owe the university to date, however, a total number of 19,130 students could not settle their fees by August 2016.

Namesho cautioned students that as at the end of this month, students who do not settle their tuition fees could be denied access to academic and examination information on the university's student IT portal. The university could also elect to withhold issuing certificates to those graduating.

This means once students' information regarding academics and examinations are restricted on their portal, then they won't be able to access their timetables with which they are expected to enter the exam hall.

He warned students with outstanding fees that have not registered for the current academic year that they are to be handed over to a debt collection agency.

He stated the due date for outstanding fees for the 2017 academic year was June 30.

"The University of Namibia continues to engage students to settle their outstanding balances. Students have an option to make the required deposit payment towards their student accounts before and during the registration period, by either cash or debit or credit payments at any Unam cashier, direct bank deposits, electronic transfers or by way of debit order payments.".

However, he maintained that students who settle their accounts in full at registration qualify for a 10 percent discount on their tuition fees.

Subsequent to the registration period, he said, students have a further option of monthly instalments to settle their outstanding balance, before the outstanding fees due date.

He indicated the university, as from the end of February, has employed various means to remind students of their outstanding balances and payment due dates.

Moreover, he said, constant reminders are communicated to students via SMS, financial statements and notices on the student portal.

By Senator Iroegbu

Abuja — The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has concluded plans to regularise admissions granted to candidates into various Nigerian universities before 2016, especially those carried out through illegal means.

To this end, the board would stop the regularisation of admissions into the nation's tertiary institutions from last year.

This was disclosed thursday by the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ish'aq Oloyede, at the training and sensitisation forum on the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) in Abuja.

The training is to deepen the knowledge of all institution Admissions Officers on the use and operations of the CAPS and also provide information to candidates, who are also critical stakeholders and indeed the focus of the admissions exercise.

Oloyede said the move is to reform and sanitise the system in order to root out the prevailing culture of admitting unqualified students through the back door. He estimated that about 50 per cent of admission in the nation's tertiary institutions prior to 2016 were done through illegitimate means, promising to put a stop to it post-2016.

"We have a situation for example if universities admit lets say one million students, about 500,000 are done illegally. We do not yet have accurate data but we will regularise all the irregular admissions up to 2016.

However, as from 2016 onwards, we cannot regularise anybody who gets admitted through irregular means," he said.

Speaking further, Oloyede accused some renowned Nigerian universities that are at the forefront of the opposition against the new JAMB cut-off mark of hypocrisy.

He claimed that some of these universities complaining about the low cut-off marks often admit students far below the standard they seem to project to the public.

According to him, this year's cut-off marks is a right decision, citing example of the United Kingdom that have lowered their admission standards despite protests.

"Let people be sincere and stop being hypocritical. Almost all of them without exception, even admit as low as zero. They (complainants) are just grandstanding," he said.

Oloyede also clarified that contrary to public perception, JAMB is just a ranking and not an examination body like WEAC or NECO.

He stressed that the Board wouldn't have been necessary if Nigeria's tertiary institutions have the capacity to admit all the candidates, which have grown from 1,000 in 1977 to almost two million in 2017.

He said: "It is a screening to rank already qualified students. It is not UTME that qualifies a person for admission but O' Level. JAMB is to rank presumably qualified person as pass or fail is not the focus of any ranking body.

"If there are enough spaces in our tertiary institutions for these candidates, there may not be need for UTME. O' Level and A' Level results are the qualifying requirements. It is the qualifying certificate and not JAMB and that's when you are filling CAPS you must provide us with the the five credits of O' Level required for the candidate."

On why private universities are having low attractions for candidates despite the lower cut-off marks, Oloyede blamed it on the high cost of school fees and other requirement.

The JAMB Registrar also noted that the Board has started conducting ranking tests for Nigerian students in nine other countries including Benin Republic, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, United Kingdom(UK), South Africa, The Gambia, Ethopia and Saudi Arabia.

Also speaking, the Consultant IT Expert, Mr. Shuaib Salisu, said the newly introduced CAPS is to restore the autonomy of the institutions, protect academic calender, refocuse JAMB's founding ideals as clearing house, expand admission opportunities for candidates, and provide clearer and easily retraceable data.

Salisu further listed some innovative benefits of the system including upload of O'Level results, interface with NECO and WAEC for automated result verification, candidates confirmation for offer of admission, market place to source candidates and automatic enforcement of admission timeliness.

He said the CAPS also enhances admission workflow through policy meeting, user profile creation on the system, admission parameters setting on the system, candidates download by institutions, internal process by institutions including post-UTME screening, uploading of post-UTME results and further processing by institutions.

By Gboyega Akinsanmi

The decision of the National Assembly to make the federal government the sole regulator of the tourism industry has unsettled many governors who believe that the move is an encroachment on the powers of the states under the constitution‎.

Recently, the Senate initiated a process to repeal the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Act, 2004.

Basically, the Act provides legal and institutional regimes for the regulation of Nigeria's tourism and hospitality sector. Already, the process for its abolition has scaled through the second reading at the Senate. Currently, the bill has been transmitted to the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism for consideration.

At its completion, the process will lead to the passage of the Nigerian Tourism Development Authority (NTDA) Bill, 2017. As part of the process to replace the NTDC Act, 2004, the Senate Committee of Culture & Tourism convened a public hearing in August to specifically enlighten and sensitise all stakeholders on the imperatives for the new tourism regime.

At the public hearing, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture & Tourism, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide, explained the decision of the upper chamber "to initiate a bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act CAP N137 LFN 2004 and enact the Nigerian Tourism Development Authority (NTDA), 2017 (SB. 429)."

Prior to the NTDA Bill, Urhoghide said the NTDC Act, 2004 was the only existing law regulating tourism and hospitality in Nigeria. But according to him, the new bill seeks to repeal and enact a new law entirely. He, thus, said the subject-matter of the bill "is under the legislative purview of the National Assembly. Hence, the Bill does not violate any existing law in Nigeria."

Before delving into the content of the new bill, an inquiry into the country's tourism sector would help unravel the origin of the NTDC Act, 2004. In its current state, the NTDC came into being effectively in 1992. Under the administration of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, the corporation was established by Decree No. 86 of 1991. Before the advent of the NTDC, the Supreme Military Council (SMC) had promulgated Decree No. 54 of 1976, which created the Nigeria Tourism Board (NTB), the country's first tourism regulatory body.

Even after Decree 54 of 1976 was promulgated, the successive military regimes had largely defined rules and regulations governing the country's tourism sector, which stakeholders believed, formed the core challenge bedeviling the sector till date. In 1982, for instance, the then Muhammadu Buhari regime started the Master Plan on Tourism Development in Nigeria. However, the country's first tourism development policy was not ready until 1990.

The implication of the policy was indeed huge. The policy, first, paved the way for the promulgation of Decree No. 86 of 1991. Subsequently, the policy prepared grounds for the establishment of the NTDC, which according to Degree 86, was saddled with the onus of regulating the sector from 1992. But due to military influence at the coneptualization of its policy, the tourism sector was perpetually under the purview of the federal government during the military era.

In the last four decades, the military thinking has been shaping the country's tourism industry, even after the country was transited to civil regime in 1999. After the transition, the same thinking was predominant in the tourism sector governance, though the 1999 Constitution limits the regulatory power of the federal government "to tourist traffic alone."

Also, in the on-going amendment of the subsisting tourism regime, the same thinking is dominant in the NTDA Bill which was first laid before the Senate on March 9, 2017 and now at the committee stage. Urhoghide, who sponsored the bill, had argued that the institutional structure "is yet to be regulated to compete favourably with other fast growing tourism destinations."

Almost all stakeholders agree that Nigeria's tourism sector is underdeveloped. In 2016, for instance, total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was N1.86 billion. This figure was a far cry from a revenue $304.9 million that Rwanda generated from tourism and travel in 2014. Compared with its tourism potentials, what raked in annually is abysmally insignificant. But they never agreed to the initiative of the Senate to legislate on matters that borders on the jurisdictional powers of the constituent governments across the federation.

In essence, the NTDA Bill calls for aggressive tourism development, regulation and promotion by the federal government. Then, which level of government has the core responsibilities to develop, legislate and regulate on tourism and hospitality sector in Nigeria? Under whose legislative and executive functions does the control and management of tourism resources fall? Among others, these are the core questions the NTDA Bill attempts to resolve.

However, the content of the new bill, currently at the committee stage before the Senate, raises more questions than answers it intends to offer. First and foremost, Part II of the NTDA Bill seeks to establish the Nigerian Tourism Corporation (NTC), which it says, shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and may sue and be sued in its corporate name.

Section 15, also, outlines the core responsibilities the NTC will discharge if the new regime eventually sails through. According to the bill, the corporation shall develop and promote Nigeria as a travel and tourism destination; encourage the provision and improvement of tourism amenities and facilities in Nigeria; accredit, regulate and supervise tourism enterprises for quality assurance and implement all government policies related to tourism.

As proposed under Section 15 of the NTDA Bill, equally, the NTC "shall oversee the administration of the Tourism Development Fund (TDF) and ensure that the Fund is utilised for the required purposes; ensure collaboration with other public, private and international agencies and advise the federal government on policy issues relating to tourism generally."

Likewise, the new bill seeks to establish the TDF, which it says, shall generate funds from different sources intervention funds from the federal government and loans from banks. Under Section 26, the TDF shall provide funding for tourism development and tourism-related projects and programmes. Explicitly, the section further defines other sources of the Fund to include donations from states, area councils, public agencies, private organisations, multinational companies and individuals.

Section 28, specifically, provides for the establishment of Tourism Development Fund Management Board (TDFMB), over which it says, the President "shall appoint a Board of Trustees that administer and manage the Fund." Under Section 28(2), the board shall concern itself only with the control, investment and administration of the Fund, including the proceeds of securities issued on Fund Assets for the benefit and development of the tourism and hospitality industry.

Beyond the creation of the Fund and its board, the new bill proposes a tour operating company, which it says, shall be established "to operate tour services within and outside Nigeria. Also, the company shall have offices to operate in all the zones. The Corporation shall operate the company on a commercial basis." In all, the new bill has 45 sections and two schedules that set conditions for abrogating the NTDC Act, 2004 and the enactment of the NTDA Bill, 2017.

From all indications, however, the NTDA Bill offends two established legal instruments in Nigeria. First, different sections of the new bill contravene the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended). Unlike the tourism regimes under the military era, Item 60(d) of Part I of Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution specifically states that the federal government shall regulate the country's tourist traffic pure and simple.

Consistent with this constitutional provision, the federal government lacks power or jurisdiction to discharge other responsibilities than managing and regulating tourist traffic in and out the federation. However, the term "tourist traffic" had once generated controversies of its own when the federal government challenged the power of the Government of Lagos State under the Babatunde Fashola administration to enforce its Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law, 2009; Hotel Licensing Law, 1983 and Hotel Licensing (Amendment), 2010.

In 2009, the Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA) had exercised its constitutional power to license and regulate hotels in the state. Consequently, the assembly enacted the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law. Primarily, the law imposes a 5% tax on consumption of goods and services in hotels, hotel facilities, event centres and restaurants among others.

Offended by this law, however, the federal government challenged the power and right of the Lagos State Government at the Supreme Court "to make laws on tourism, specifically where the National Assembly had already legislated on the same issue through the NTDC Act." The fact that the National Assembly had legislated on the same issue was not sufficient to throw out the law, which the state's lawmaking organ enacted.

Second, the NTDA Bill glaringly violates a precedent of the Supreme Court in a suit between the Federal Government and Lagos State. The suit borders on the power of the LSHA to legislate on matters relating to hotels, hotel facilities, event centres and restaurants within the state. In a unanimous decision in the suit between Attorney-General of the Federation and Attorney-General of Lagos State, the Supreme Court held that the constitutional powers of the federal government is expressly limited to tourism traffic in Nigeria.

Categorically, the court defined the term "tourist traffic" to avoid the ambiguity of constitutional interpretation. In consonance with the letter and spirit of Item 60(d) of Part I of Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution, the court ruled that tourist traffic "means the ingress and egress of the tourists from other countries, that is, international visitors or foreigners."

Besides, the court ruled that tourist traffic connotes "an international visitor who travels to another country for the purpose of sightseeing, e.t.c. and who must thus obtain a visa to the said country, in this case, Nigeria, which calls for the exercise of the function of the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs as governed by the Immigration Act... "

Likewise, the court explained the power and the right of the federal government "to regulate tourist traffic in Nigeria." Under the constitution, the court ruled that such power "refers to the issuance of entry visas, the determination of tourist stay in Nigeria, general regulation of tourists' movement within Nigeria." Other than tourist traffic the 1999 Constitution empowers the federal government to regulate, Lagos State, like other states in the federation, reserves the sole power and right to regulate tourism within its defined jurisdiction.

The court, thus, affirmed the powers of the federating units "to make laws within a federation." It relied on a legal opinion canvassed in the work of Prof. Ben Nwabueze, SAN that federalism "is an arrangement whereby powers of government within a country are shared between a national and a number of regionalised governments in such a way that each exists as a government separately and independently from others operating directly on persons or property within the territorial area, with a will of its own apparatus for the conduct of its affairs.."

On this note, the NTDA Bill, 2017 may not stand any constitutional test if challenged in a court of competent jurisdiction on three grounds. First, the object of the new bill noticeably encroaches into other jurisdictional functions or responsibilities, on which only state lawmaking organs can legislate enshrined in the 1999 Constitution. Second, the bill offends the precedent of the apex court, which glaringly defines and explains the roles the federal government can play in all matters relating to tourism and hospitality sector. Third, the bill constitutes flagrant disregard to the powers of the State House of Assemblies, which the 1999 Constitution empowers to make laws for the peace, order and good government of their states.

Quote

From all indications, however, the NTDA Bill offends two established legal instruments in Nigeria.

Seychelles is a small island nation whose economy is largely dependent on protecting its natural environment for tourism. The island nation's government and various organisations are working hard to ensure the protection of the species endemic to the Seychelles.

SNA looks at six endangered bird species found in the archipelago.

1. Seychelles paradise flycatcher (vev)

This species is still critically endangered since it has an extremely small range and probably only one viable population persisting on an island where there has been a continuing decline in habitat.

After the successful reintroduction of birds to Denis Island, this species, which was more commonly found on La Digue, will warrant downlisting after five years if both populations are still self-sustaining.

Seychelles paradise flycatcher males have glossy black plumage with elongated tail feathers, while females are reddish-brown with pale underparts and short tail feathers.

2. Seychelles warbler (pti merl dezil)

Once down to a mere 26 individuals, the population of the Seychelles warbler, known in Creole as 'Pti merl dezil,' has been downlisted from critically endangered to near threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN's) red list of threatened species.

The small dull olive-and-brown coloured bird, with pale, buffish-yellow underparts and an obscure, buff eyebrow-stripe, has also been removed from BirdLife International's Endangered Birds of the World list.

It is now found on five islands in Seychelles: Cousin, Cousine, Aride, Denis and Fregate and its population size is increasing owing to translocations and habitat management.

3. Seychelles magpie robin (pi santez)

The species is listed as endangered because its population is extremely small, although it is increasing following intensive conservation efforts including translocations. The total number of birds has risen significantly, although it remains one of the rarest birds in the world.

The conservation of the magpie robin, which has a glossy black plumage with a patch of white on its wings, has greatly improved, but it still relies on conservation management. The species was down listed from being critically endangered to endangered in 2005 after great efforts to increase its population.

The Seychelles magpie robin can be found on Frégate, Denis, Cousin, Cousine and Aride.

4. Seychelles white eye (zwazo linet)

The species was regarded as one of the most endangered birds of the Seychelles until 1997 when a thriving population was discovered on Conception Island. After research was carried out, the species was successfully introduced to Fregate Island. The conservation goal for the white eye is to ensure its survival on at least three and ideally more islands in viable, self-maintaining populations.

This species remains threatened but has been downlisted to Vulnerable, because it still has a very small population and is found in only a very small number of locations.

The Seychelles white eye -- a small grey bird, paler beneath with a narrow white ring around each eye -- can be found on Mahe, Conception, Fregate, North Island and Cousine.

5. Seychelles scops owl (syer)

The Seychelles scops owl was thought to be extinct for many years until it was discovered by a Nature Seychelles team in 1999. A survey conducted found that most of its habitat is now within the Morne Seychellois National Park where it is relatively protected.

This species is listed as endangered because it has a tiny range, occurring at six locations making it susceptible to unpredictable events. At present, there are no serious threats to the species' survival.

The small brown owl with a two-note rasping (frog-like) call which is active at night is mainly found in highland forests of Mahe, so it is rarely seen.

6. Seychelles black parrot (kato nwanr)

This species, now that the national bird of Seychelles is recognised as a distinct species, by the Birdlife International. It can be seen in the Vallee de mai on Praslin, one of the Seychelles UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the neighbouring Praslin National Park.

The black parrot, not truly black but brown-grey in colour, is listed as Vulnerable because, although it appears to be stable or possibly increasing, its population remains very small, and therefore at risk from unpredictable events and human impacts.

The Robben Island Museum has said it needs to make use of chartered vessels as it alone cannot cater to the number of tourists it attracts.

"We do not have the capacity in house to meet the tourist demand," the museum's chief executive officer Mava Dada told News24 on Thursday.

"Robben Island Museum will not be eliminating chartered ferries. In order for [the museum] to maintain their vessels and carry out statutory safety surveys, we need to partner with the chartered ferries."

Dada said this after News24 on Wednesday reported that the museum appeared to have overlooked a warning contained in one of its own reports that a ferry, the Thandi, which last Friday partially sank in choppy seas and high wind with more than 60 passengers aboard, "only be used in fine weather conditions".

Asked about the report earlier this week Regine le Roux, speaking on behalf of the museum, on Tuesday said: "We [are] not aware of this."

The report is a proposal request for a new high-speed passenger ferry and is available on the government online tenders site and is dated 2016.

Dada on Thursday, in an emailed response to the News24 article, did not directly address this report.

It contained a section about the Thandi which said: "This vessel was joined for a return trip from Robben Island during which time no passengers were carried due to adverse weather (wind 40 knots and swell 2 meters)," the proposal request said.

"This vessel was found to not be suitable for operating with non-seafaring personnel on board during that sort of weather conditions and is [recommended] to only be used in fine weather conditions."

Last Friday, September 15, the Thandi started to sink about 3km from the V&A Waterfront with 64 passengers and five crew members aboard.

A dramatic rescue operation ensued and everyone was brought safely ashore.

Investigations are underway to determine what caused the incident.

The Democratic Alliance has also called for an independent probe.

At the moment, only one ferry - the Dias - is in operation, which belongs to the Robben Island Museum.

The four other vessels in operation are hired from other companies.

"Through this, we have created business opportunities for ferry owners to help share the load," Dada said on Thursday.

"This allows us to have sufficient infrastructure in place while at the same time ensuring that all the vessels are maintained and safety surveys conducted.

"This ensures that the vessels are always in perfect running condition as well as ensuring all safety matters are fully addressed."

Dada said the museum would never jeopardise the safety of passengers.

"Masters of the ferries are trained to assess the water and weather conditions, and they are the best placed to know their ferries' capabilities."

News24 on Wednesday reported that a weather warning for heavy winds along the Cape coast was issued about two hours after the ferry started sinking.

Dada on Thursday said Robben Island Museum monitored the weather and checked each vessel to see if it could be used in specific weather conditions.

"If the weather conditions are not suitable to safely transport our passengers they inform the Robben Island representative and all tours are cancelled," he said.

A chartered ferry needed a maintenance plan to do business with the museum.

"They are also required to have all the safety certificates for the vessels. Robben Island Museum also has a maintenance plan for all their vessels," Dada said.

The ferries, he said, were an important part of the museum's operations.

"As the demands in capacity to the island increased, we were necessitated to increase the number of trips and thus the fleet of ferries."

The Thandi is owned by Yacoob Yachts, which is run by Esa Yacoob.

A statement issued by Yacoob Yachts to News24 on Wednesday said that the Thandi was surveyed by the South African Maritime Safety Authority on September 12 "and obtained the necessary certificates in order to operate". This was three days before the incident.

"On the morning of the incident, all vessels were operating as weather conditions were favourable. All vessels, including the other Robben Island ferries, were operating," it said.

Source: News24

Photo: The Herald

Roadblock (file photo).

analysis By Derek Matyszak

In Harare, it is sometimes said, nothing is what it appears to be. This is certainly the case with the city's omnipresent police roadblocks, which give the impression of efficient police maintaining order on the roads.

The roadblocks are in fact little more than an officially authorised shakedown of the public and a means by which Zimbabwe's broke government seeks to fund a massively under-resourced police force. Numerous violations of the country's laws occur in the process, and the roadblock dynamics neatly encapsulate, at a micro level, many aspects of Zimbabwe's broader mis-governance.

The source of the problem is a decision to allow the police to retain the fines they collect. This creates an incentive for the over-regulation of traffic and inducement to find as many motorists as possible guilty of traffic offences, real or imagined.

Central governmental collusion in this illicit process is readily apparent

But supposed enforcement of traffic laws is insufficient to achieve the intended objective -motorists still need to be induced to hand over cash to the police. Accomplishing this requires the police to breach the law at the very moment they claim to be applying it.

The seemingly reasonable request by the police officer to 'see' a motorist's licence is in fact a demand to have custody of it. Disputes as to whether a motorist has violated the law are readily resolved once it's clear the licence won't be returned and the motorist won't be allowed to proceed until guilt is admitted and the 'fine' is paid.

Other breaches of the law by the police then follow. Zimbabwe's criminal law formally pays due regard to the separation of powers. The police thus have no power to find motorists guilty of traffic offences - that is a judicial function. The 'traffic ticket' issued by police is in fact a notice to appear in court.

However, as a convenience to all concerned, the law provides a mechanism by which the court appearance may be avoided by admitting the offence and paying a deposit towards the fine which may be imposed by the courts on receipt of the paperwork from the police. It is a constitutional requirement that the fine is paid into the government's consolidated revenue fund.

In practice, none of this happens. The police no longer carry 'traffic tickets' that give motorists the choice of either appearing in court, or admitting guilt and paying the deposit towards the fine. 'Not guilty' has been removed as an option by the police, who act as judge, jury and executioner. The usurpation of the judicial function occurs without protest from the courts and the money goes nowhere near central government coffers. The use of fake receipt books also means that often the money isn't used to fund police operations either, but is taken as bribes supplementing meagre police pay.

Projected income of US$60 million from roadblocks has been incorporated in home affairs' budget

Central governmental collusion in this illicit process is readily apparent. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has proposed raising the penalty for minor traffic violations by US$10 to US$30, and projected amounts accruing from roadblocks (US$60 million) have been officially incorporated in the budget of the home affairs ministry. Police stations are given monthly roadblock revenue targets, and individual police officers are ordered to raise set amounts daily from fines.

The short-term advantage of this revenue stream is more than offset by the lack of respect for the police that has developed as a result.

Once the police in Zimbabwe were unquestioningly obeyed by the public. Now heated arguments take place at roadblocks and motorists often resort to driving away rather than parting with their licences. To prevent this, the police arm themselves with homemade spiked metal plates that shred the wheels motorists intending to flee.

Although the practice is not sanctioned by law, it has been rigorously defended by Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo and the police's Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri. Recently, however, the government announced that the spikes would be used only as a last resort, though the effect of the announcement is yet to be seen.

Antipathy towards the police has led to a strike by commuter taxi drivers and sporadic outbreaks of violence. Riots erupted in Harare when the spikes resulted in injury to the public and commuter passengers, and members of the public have ganged up and attacked traffic officers.

The lost revenue from tourism may well exceed that gained from the fines.

With frequent roadblocks on intercity highways as well as all other towns, there has been a steep drop in tourist numbers visiting the country by car. The lost revenue from tourism may well exceed that gained from the fines. In exit surveys, visitors have cited police roadblocks as a reason for not returning to the country or recommending Zimbabwe as a holiday destination.

Although Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi has joined the chorus of complaints about the situation, the response of Chihuri and Chombo is that the police won't be deterred from enforcing the law. After all, Chombo cynically asked, if the motorists are innocent, why do they pay admission of guilt fines?

The roadblocks bring to the surface symptoms of a general malaise in governance that extends throughout the Mugabe administration. They make it readily apparent that in Zimbabwe there is rule by law, rather than the rule of law - laws that advantage the state and ruling party are enforced, while those that protect the citizenry are discarded.

Judicial restraint on executive excess is entirely absent, and short-term financial advantage is privileged over long-term development. Corruption is encouraged as a means of alleviating the government's inability to finance the institutions of state and as a means of distributing largesse.

The resultant policy discord among ministers lies in disputes over outcome rather than method; and the policy persists in the face of public outrage across party divides - Zimbabwean governance in a nutshell.

Derek Matyszak, ISS Consultant

Photo: Seychelles Tourism Board

The two non-stop flights per week from London Heathrow airport to Seychelles start from March 24 next year using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

British Airways will resume direct flights to Seychelles in March after a decade-long absence, giving the island nation a major new boost to its tourism market, officials said on Tuesday.

The airline will start operating two non-stop flights per week from London Heathrow airport to Seychelles from March 24 next year using its newest fleet of aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The departure flights from Heathrow's Terminal 5 will be on Wednesdays and Saturdays and the return flights on Thursdays and Sundays.

British Airways, the flag carrier of the United Kingdom, stopped direct flights to Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, more than a decade ago.

The new twice-weekly flights will operate from March to October, offering more choice to sun-seeking holidaymakers.

The chief executive of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Sherin Francis, said, "Seychelles has in the past years at every given opportunity expressed its interest to see British Airways serving the destination again and the invitations were even extended from the highest office in Seychelles. We are happy that this long-awaited day has arrived."

Francis added that "the UK is a very important market for Seychelles and the team at British Airways can count on our support for this route."

The British carrier says the route timetable is perfectly positioned for honeymooners and holidaymakers keen on extending their break in the Seychelles.

The Seychelles' Minister of Tourism, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne in welcoming the announcement, said this is the best news for the Seychelles' tourism industry, for both its short term and long term viability.

"We were all devastated when British Airways pulled out in 2004. The return of British Airways to the Seychelles with two non-stop flights from London Heathrow in 2018 will provide a boost, especially to our 5 Star establishments," said Loustau-Lalanne.

The minister added that the direct flights will also help to further develop the United States market and elsewhere.

On the side of the British Airways, the Director of Network and Alliances, Sean Doyle said, "The Seychelles is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and we're delighted to be adding this collection of islands to our extensive route network."

Once it starts operation in March next year, British Airways will become the only airline offering direct service between Seychelles and the U.K.

Visitor arrivals from the U.K and Northern Ireland to date is around 15,400, making it the Seychelles' fifth leading market and representing a 22 percent increase over last year.

British Airways has launched over 30 new routes across the globe this year and flights to its new Indian Ocean route, Seychelles, as of March 2018 are already available for booking.

By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on Thursday, inaugurated an 11 man presidential taskforce to address regulatory matters affecting the aviation sector.

Sirika, while inaugurating the Committee in Abuja, stated that the ministry was only following the directives given by Professor Yemi Osinbajo when he was the Acting President of the country to inaugurate a committee to tackle issues raised by the Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON).

According to him, "It is my pleasure to welcome you and to Inaugurate this task force on regulatory matters. The mandate of the task force includes; To look into the payment of multiple charges by the operators; the state of infrastructure at the Airports; and to look into negotiation of Bilateral Air services agreements (BASA)."

He noted that, the membership of the task force comprises of the following, "Honourable Minister of State for Aviation (Chairman); Special Adviser to the President on Economic matters; Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN);

"Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA); Capt. Nogie Maggison, nominee of the Association of Airline Operators; Mr. Allen Onyema, nominee of the Association of Airline Operators; Alh. Kashim Shettima, nominee of the Association of Airline Operators; Capt. Mohammed Joji, nominee of the Association of Airline Operators; Department of Air Transport Management, FMoT; and International Air Transport Association (IATA)- Representative."

He said, "This government takes every single assignment very seriously and it is our intention to give the best of service as well as a conducive atmosphere as we have been trained to do that". "I appeal to members of this task force to do justice to the matters raised so that it can be closed once and for all and I pray that whatever comes out of it will be good for humanity," said Sirika.

By Faith Zvorufura

Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe has launched a new book titled "A Beautiful Strength, A journal of 80 Years of Women's Rights Movements and Activism in Zimbabwe since 1936" to document women's struggles and achievements recorded in their quest to have their rights recognized in society.

According to Professor Rudo Gaidzanwa, one of the co-editors the book documents the history of women movements in Zimbabwe highlighting their achievements and is a significant departure from existing literature on gender relations and equality of sexes.

"Aim of the book was to document the history of the Zimbabwean Women's Movement and highlight the achievements and activities," said Gaidzanwa.

She noted that the history of Zimbabwe is silent on the contribution of women to liberation of the country despite the fact that their narrative is important.

Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe Coordinator, Sally Ncube stressed the importance of women's contribution to the liberation of Zimbabwe adding that they should be included in any literature to do with the struggle for independence.

"History of Zimbabwe is silent about the contribution of women to the liberation struggle,

"Histories of women are also part of the narrative and should be included in the literature," said Ncube.

Women have worked hard to be where they are today and pushed WCOZ to launch a journal, stating every step that was taken.

Ronika Mumbire, Vice President of the Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe said positive steps have been recorded with women now recognized in the new constitution while they also participated in the drafting of the new charter.

"A lot has changed in the constitution and women's legislation is now recognized, women also took part in drafting of the constitution and this is a positive step," said Vice President of WCOZ, Ronika Mumbire.

She added that WCOZ faced a few challenges in publishing the journal saying there was little recorded and documented files to use in the writing of the journal calling for the digitization of the book to allow it to be accessed by people from every corner of the country and the rest of the world.

"Getting people to write and reflect on what they have gone through was a bit of a challenge,

"Another negative factor was people did not have recorded and documented files therefore lots of persuading was done,

Public Procurement & Property Disposal Service (PPPDS) procured science reference books worth 94 million Br for 11 new universities. The 44,330 books obtained by the service will be used as references for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and natural science subjects.

Research Book Center, Empire International, John Smith & Sons Group Ltd and Star Education Books Distributor are the companies that won the bid to supply the books. Among the four companies, Research Book Centre takes the highest share, providing 33,660 with a total cost of 80.8 million Br. Star Education Books will supply the smallest amount, distributing 110 books at the price of 69,363 Br.

The books will be used for the coming academic year in the libraries of the newly opened universities including Raya, Selale and Werabe Universities.

In a new book, Redi Tlhabi reveals the woman behind the pseudonym and the price she paid for pursuing justice after accusing Jacob Zuma of rape.

COMMENT

Author and journalist Redi Tlhabi has released a new book, Khwezi, that may finally give a voice to Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo. Better known as "Khwezi", Kuzwayo alleged in 2005 that President Jacob Zuma had raped her. He was eventually acquitted of the charges.

In August 2016, following the outcome of South Africa's heated municipal election, four young women rose to interrupt Zuma's victory address and bore placards with the words, 'Remember Khwezi'.

Their message reminded the country of a woman many of Zuma's supporters would have rather forgotten and who had been so vilified by the president's backers that she had been forced to leave the country.

Two months later, Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo died but not before returning to South Africa and beginning to work with Tlhabi to tell her story.

Below is an extract from Tlhabi's new book:

The battle to save Zuma from a rape conviction and, by extension, to ensure his political survival was fought inside and outside the courtroom, using every tactic imaginable. It does not matter whether any of these strategies worked, whether a sangoma could really weaken the opposition and determine the outcome of the trial.

What is important is that some believed it could.

The world moved on, but not everyone whom the trial's flames had burnt was able to move with it. Long after Judge van der Merwe made the closing statement of his judgment - 'In my judgment the state has not proved the accused's guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The accused is found not guilty and is discharged' - the smell of burnt-out embers lingered.

Legally, Zuma is not a rapist. As law expert Pierre de Vos says, 'PW Botha and FW De Klerk have never been found guilty of committing a crime. Does not mean they did nothing wrong. On the contrary.'The trial and its aftermath presented the nation with a philosophical question: How are we to understand ourselves as a people, when we expect so little from those who lead?

Barney Mthombothi offers a sobering answer, an indictment of our society:

It's not as if we didn't know. Khwezi, the woman who accused Zuma of rape, described the incident in graphic detail. She told of her horror on opening her eyes to see the man she's always regarded as a father stark naked and about to mount her. Picture the scene. Freezeframe it. Such a man we continue to call our president, a man worthy of respect.

Khwezi, meanwhile, has been hounded out of existence - nameless, faceless and even stateless. We still don't know her name; we still don't know what she looks like, or where she is or whether she's being looked after. We just don't care, because if we did Zuma wouldn't be our president.

As renowned former Constitutional Court judge Zak Yacoob said in 2014, 'I have a serious difference of opinion. I had a serious problem with the Zuma judgment. If it were me, I would have set aside the judgment.' His next comment resonates with an important theme of this book - that there are many ways at arriving at and interpreting the truth and a court of law offers one way. It must be acknowledged that this is not a bad thing, otherwise many would be wrongly convicted based on the judge's own prejudice and philosophical leanings. The journey towards the truth is an arduous, fraught exercise. As Yacoob continues, 'Trials and judges do not decide the truth, judges never know the truth'; indeed, Yacoob 'believed the Zuma trial was not about finding the truth but a "story telling" contest between two opposing sides, with the judgment based on which side told the better story'.

I feel vindicated by this.

***

I asked Fezekile whether she had ever thought about what she would do if she lost the case.

'Not at the time that I laid the charge. I was just scared but defiant. No man was going to get away with this again.'

'And when you actually lost? What was your reaction, the first thing that came to your mind?'

She breathed heavily. Her mind seemed to be wandering. Not for the first time, I wondered whether I would get her back, if she would return to this moment. She had an irritating habit of doing this, wandering off and not coming back to finish a conversation we had started. It happened when she was overwhelmed or stressed by a topic. Sometimes, she couldn't seem to keep quiet and would go on until she had run out of words. But sometimes, she just switched off.

Hours later, when I had long given up on a response, she sent me an SMS stating that losing was not the end of the matter for her. 'I did not do it to win. There was no contest. I was just fighting for myself.'

'But did that fight seem more bruising because the case was lost? Would it not be comforting to have received justice?'

'It depends what you mean by justice.'

'How do you understand the concept of justice, in relation to the case?'

'If by justice you mean the rapist going to jail, then that is not how I see it. It is not how I believe it. But if by justice you mean not being victimised, called names, doubted, not having Ma sick from it all, not being followed, not being poor as a result of this sordid affair, then maybe we are talking.'

'So, there was no justice as far as you are concerned because, in the second part of your message, you have just described your life in the last ten years and possibly your life as a child.'

'Bingo. Paradise, nè?'

Public Enterprises Deputy Minister Ben Martins is expected to handover a library to the Van Cutsem Combined School in De Doorns, Western Cape on Monday.

"In line with the virtues and legacy of OR Tambo as well as his vision of a South African society that has equal opportunities, the Department of Public Enterprises is donating the learning facility in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Education as part of a government effort to improve learner conditions and resources in underprivileged communities," said the Department of Public Enterprises.

Learners at the achool as well as out of school youth and learners from other schools in the surrounding areas will benefit from the library.

Mzansi Libraries Online Project

Meanwhile Ekurhuleni MMC) for Community Services Dora Mlambo is also due to launch of the Mzansi Libraries Online Project on Tuesday at three (Tsakane, Winnie Mandela and the main event at the Germiston Library) of the city's libraries concurrently.

The launch of the Mzansi Libraries Online (MLO), dubbed the digital knowledge hub, envisages a literate and technologically advanced community of young and old citizens making use of technology at public libraries to improve their lives.

"The overall objective of MLO is to empower South African communities to improve their lives through the provision of increased free access to information, particularly by children, youth, the unemployed, women, the elderly, and people living with disabilities - especially the visually impaired," said the City of Ekurhuleni.

The new digital knowledge hubs will have advanced facilities such as:

Increased social and economic benefits through access to health, education and economic information. On-line registrations for university registrations, on-line studies and human resources applications.

Enhanced skills and capacity among library staff for a better service to the community.

Community training programmes.

A sustainable public sector that will continue to meet the needs of the community into the future.

opinion By Tewodros Kassa

Nowadays, the culture of reading is showing some improvements. Several reasons have contributed to the improvement. Globalization and the ensuing technological advancement have the lion's share in this regard. Currently, it would be easy to access information in every micro second only by swiping Smartphone. There are also opportunities to download e-books. However, books published in paperback are sill circulating in the market. Particularly, in countries like ours, where technological devices are so costly, paperbacks are better alternatives.

Using this as a ground, The Ethiopian Herald had moments of togetherness with book vendors and readers in Addis Ababa.

Asfaw Bekele is 8th grade student. He usually leaves home early at 7:00 in the morning to vend books of various kinds to readers in the streets of Addis. He also walks to various cafés in the capital carrying books, piled up to his chin.

"For the last five years, I have been struggling to eke out living vending books around Arat Killo, Amest Killo, Sidest Killo [along King Gorege VI Avenue] and Piazza. I choose these places because there are university students, scholars and readers in these places."

According to him, selling books in the street needs patience. This is especially true if he decided to sell his books without any profit.

For Asfaw vending book is his livelihood. The profit he gets out of selling books will be used to pay for his education and his tiny rental room.

"I often get drenched in sweets carrying a lot of books and walking long distances. After several days of vending effort in vain, I may decide to slash down the price in order to lead a hand-to-mouth life. I don't want to disrupt my education and get kicked out from the tiny lodging, I rented around Shiro Meda."

While this reporter asked him vendors' dishonest bent regarding book prices, Asfaw said, "To tell the truth I never do like that. But some of my friends try to sell the books with this system. As readers always have the inclination to ask a price cut, to balance this, vendor's tamper with the price on the back. Almost all buyers have taken bargaining for granted even if the exact price of the book they want to buy is displayed on the back cover."

There are sometimes problems that some irresponsible book vendors expunge the actual price and put another price to maximize their profit. Despite the challenges, erasing the original price is unethical. It doesn't encourage readers to buy books in a fair price.

From force of habit, people ask the price of a book and walk away up on hearing vendors' responses.

Regarding book preferences of readers, Asfaw said that readers often prefer to buy books that centered on political and historical issues.

Concerning to seasonal variation of book sale, Asfaw said: "The sale of books is seasonal. The book market warms during the summer vacation (Ethiopia's rainy season).

Students are our main clients. For that reason there is a great demand for books in semester breaks. However, in the summer season, the market declines.

Getachew Teklu is Political Science and International Relations undergraduate student with the Addis Ababa University. According to him, there is a wide gap between students' pocket money and the price of a book in circulation.

"Most of the time, university students fix their eyes on handouts prepared by teachers. I have never bought books deducting from my pocket money. I rather prefer to borrow from library or my friends. I know how much books helped me acquire my current status. They have allowed me to be proud of myself."

Critical readers are good leaders of the future. They grasp an important lesson from the books they read. Thus, they develop skills of looking things from various perspectives. So as to cultivate a reading habit among citizens, the government should intervene to stabilize the soaring book market. In doing so, we may thwart encumbrances that hinder the sector's further development and effectiveness. Building a generation that peruses books is a key in creating a prosperous nation. When we come up with critical readers we will have a committed society that upholds its culture, conducts research and works to discover hidden things around it. An information and knowledge sniffing readership will help develop a habit of trouble shooting and standing for the truth. Readers are heard attributing books that enabled them be fruitful in their life.

As the saying goes "If there is a will, there is a way" even if the price of books is expensive, once a person is addicted to reading, s/he will have the opportunity to get books. Books are available at public and school libraries as well as on the shelves of relatives, if the book-thirsty are determined enough.

As compared to readers, people, who prove reluctant to open books, might not offer something. Nurturing and stepping up daily reading habits paves way to absorbing tremendous information and knowledge that makes our life viable. People moving around having their books in hand might be stronger than people walking alone. They have better opportunity to get decent work and earn more salary as well.

By Kimeng Hilton Ndukong, in Beijing, China

The publications all are all by officials of Zhejiang Normal University.

Over the years, an increasing number of Chinese universities have set up African Studies departments. The result has been abundant research carried out and many books published on Africa by Chinese scholars. And so it was on September 12, 2017, when three new books on Africa - all in Chinese for now - were launched in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

Hosted by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, CPAFFC, the event was attended by the Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Zhang Ming, researchers, dons, think tank members and senior diplomats. In his speech, Zhang Ming, a former Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, said the three works were an excellent combination of theoretical and experienced practice. He described the role of think tanks and academic exchange as one of the pillars of China-Africa cooperation.

The first of the books, "From China's Southwest Borderland to African Continent: A Practice and Thinking on the Cross-cultural and Regional Studies," is written by Prof. Liu Hongwu, President of the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University, IASZNU, China. It revisits the nearly 30 years Prof. Liu Hongwu spent travelling between China and Africa; and when he studied in Nigeria in the 1990s.

The other, "Study in Africa: Documenting 10 Years of Travel in Africa by Teachers and Students from IASZNU," is edited by Prof. Chen Mingkun, IASZNU Deputy Director. It illustrates the activities of Chinese teachers and students in Africa in the last decade during tours, field work, official visits, foreign aid programmes, exchanges, etc. The last book, "Theoretical Paradigm and Innovative Practice of Colleges in Constructing Think Tanks," is written by Prof. Wang Heng, the Communist Party of China Secretary at IASZNU.

It introduces the systematic development of IASZNU in discipline construction, academic research, team construction, talent cultivation, international exchange, social service policy advisory, etc. The three books published by officials of the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University all portray the school's evolution in the past 10 years.

Female Liberian journalist Martina Brooks has won awarded 'The West Africa On-Air Personality 2017 Award' in Nigeria, the Liberian Embassy says in a statement issued Wednesday, 20 September.

A dispatch from Abuja says Ms. Brooks was crowned at an event held at a hotel in Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday, 17 September.According to the organizers, the Liberian won as a result of her "immense contribution to radio broadcasting in Liberia and Africa". This followed an independent evaluation through a systematic vetting process.

Her award makes it the first time that a Liberian female broadcast journalist has won such an award. According to the dispatch, the Vice Chairman of the Organization of Liberian Communities in Nigeria (OLICON), Mr. Abubakar Sidiki Kanneh and two other members, Ms Arpue Adora Marvey and Mr. Collins Prince represented and received the award on behalf of the honoree.

Brooks is currently working as a senior radio producer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan where she recently took up an international assignment. Until then, she worked with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Radio in Monrovia, Liberia where she began as an intern and later a sports reporter where she went on to become the country's best female sports journalist.

While at the UN Radio in Liberia, Brooks' hard work and professionalism earned her the tasks of editorial coordinator, breakfast show presenter as well as other programs, including providing supervision for youth producers.

"Thanks to everyone for the support. You guys showed me so much love than I deserve. The award belongs to all of us because Liberia has won. Congratulations to Liberia. I dedicate this award to God [Almighty]", Brooks says.

"I also want to dedicate it to Mama Liberia, to my family, and to the memory of Quincy B. Thanks West Africa", she adds.

Brooks says the award has inspired her to keep working hard in her field to inspire others. "I want to ensure that my work as a journalist can push forward the development of West Africa, to build upon what I have achieved over the years and to serve as a role model for young journalists", she is quoted in the dispatch as saying.

The hunt for 'The West Africa On - Air Personality Award' began on August 4, 2017, with 18 nominees drawn from different West African countries. The voting process, which was the first phase, ended on August 23, with the top five nominees. The Liberian ended the first phase with the highest number of votes among her regional competitors.

Then the second phase, based on the work done by each of the five nominees and their achievements over the years, saw her finishing with the highest votes.--Press release

By Baraka Jefwa

Out of more than nearly 4,000 applicants, 10 women from Kenya and Rwanda have been selected to go to the United States to participate in TechWomen, a five-week program that empowers and connects emerging women leaders to create positive impact in their fields and their societies.

The programme got more than nearly 4,000 applicants. A lucky, 100 women from Africa, Central and South Asia and the Middle East were then selected. Rwanda and Kenya were the only countries from East Africa to have participants, who include:

Angelique Umutoniwase, Quality Assurance Senior Engineer, Rwanda Transport Development Agency

Chao Mbogo, Lecturer, Kenya Methodist University

Charity Wanjiku, Chief Operating Officer, Strauss Energy Ltd, Kenya.

lisabeth Ujeneza, Software Engineer, Rwanda Development Board

Janet Leparteleg, ICT Management Trainee, Kenya ICT Authority

Martine Mumararungu, IP Core Engineer, KT Rwanda Networks

Pascaline Umuhire, IT Business Analyst, ErnstYoung, Rwanda

Ruth Kaveke, Website Developer, ZoomIT East Africa Limited, Kenya

Solange Kalema, Account Manager, Techno Brain Limited Rwanda

Topy Muga, Senior Director, Financial Inclusion, Sub Saharan Africa, Visa Inc, Kenya

TechWomen, launched in 2011 by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Emerging Leaders are selected to participate in TechWomen based on educational and professional accomplishments, as well as potential and commitment to inspire and support girls in STEM. IIE has matched Emerging Leaders with mentors from 32 Silicon Valley and Greater San Francisco Bay Area companies based on each Emerging Leader's background and goals.

Google, Twitter and the Chan Zuckerburg Biohub are among more than 30 leading tech companies in San Francisco and Silicon Valley that will be hosting the emerging women leaders in science and technology from 20 countries for an intensive program of mentoring and professional exchange this month.

"TechWomen provides me with the necessary tools and methods to become a better entrepreneur, as well as creating an opportunity for me to learn from some of the world's most successful companies," said Aseel AlMusa of Jordan. Aseel is a serial entrepreneur, currently serving as CEO of Adamtech Limited, an incubator for small businesses, and will be hosted at LinkedIn.

The emerging women leaders will work in projects at their host companies and attend workshops with program partners to develop projects that address socioeconomic issues back home in their communities.

TechWomen experience, I want to use the knowledge I learned to help the start-up companies in my country thrive and reach their optimum levels. This will help to create new job opportunities in my community." AlMusa added.

By Bassey Inyang

Calabar — The Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has empowered over 300 women in the state with appointments into various public offices since he assumed office about two years ago, the state Commissioner for women Affairs, Mrs. Stella Odey has disclosed.

Speaking at a recent forum in Calabar the state capital tagged 'Nigeria Women Interact for Peace Building', which was organised by a not-for-profit organisation - the Burst Development Initiative - the commissioner said apart from the fact that more women were given appointments that could be termed political, hundreds of more women have been gainfully employed in various government agencies since Ayade assumed office in May, 2015.

Odey said the appointment of the women into public office was the highest in Nigeria, in terms of politically empowering women, and getting them involved in running the affairs of a state. She described Ayade as gender friendly, saying the state has even gone beyond 35 per cent affirmative action.

The commissioner said aside from the appointment of women into political positions, the administration under Ayade has created employment for numerous women.

"The government is initiating policies and programmes that promote the welfare of women. For instance, the Cross River garment factory has 95 per cent of women as its workforce. This is among many other programmes this government has," she said.

She said women in the state have shown that they can be entrusted with top responsibilities given the way they have discharged the various assignments given to them.

Also speaking, a former deputy governor of Plateau State, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, said women can make a difference in the country and need to be brought out from the attitude of complacency and thinking they cannot achieve anything.

Tallen said women are meant to complement the role of men and should be co-helpers, supporters and core instruments to make things better. She urged women should shun differences between themselves and to help each other succeed.

The former minister said women should always promote peace wherever they found themselves, whether in the family, politics or any other sphere of life.

"There can be no meaningful national development if a greater percentage of women are neglected. Women are not competing against men but should have their rightful place for the benefit of the entire society," Tallen said.

Coordinator of Burst Development Initiative, Edema Irom, said it was time for women to burst forth and take advantage of the many opportunities available to them to develop themselves and the society.

Irom said one of their major objectives is to make sure government policies and programmes, particularly as it affects women, provide windows of economic opportunities for women.

One of the high points of the event was the presentation of a keynote address on the "Effect of Conflict on the Economic Development of Women: An Overview of the Nigerian Situation", by Prof. Dorothy Olu-Jacob.

By Macneil Kalowekamo - Mana

The United Nations (UN) Women Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality says Malawi is on right track in demonstrating commitments towards empowering women and young girls through elimination of all forms of violence directed at them

Executive Director for UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said this Tuesday evening during a HeForShe gala dinner held at Sofitel Hotel in New York.

Ngcuka said the revision for the legal marriage age from 16 to 18 years old by the Malawi government has helped in reducing child marriages in the country.

"More than 3500 child marriages have been cancelled because the leadership under Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika implemented one of the HeForShe commitments for women and girl-child empowerment," she said.

The HeForShe solidarity movement is a UN Women initiative in providing a systematic approach. It has a targeted platform where a global audience can engage and become change agents for the achievement of gender equality in society.

Ngcuka said interventions Malawi is carrying out in promoting gender equality are vital in transforming the world so that a girl child can live the life she wants.

The UN Women leader cited the case of Malawian female police officers who went on peace mission three years ago in Sudan as a huge leap in changing the mindset of society towards women and girl children.

"These Malawian officers inspired many girls in Sudan. They visited communities and taught women about nutrition and maternal health.

They inspired girls in many communities to pursue their dream careers. The Sudanese government requested for their long stay in the country because of their positive impact on lives of Sudan women and girls," Ngcuka said.

While acknowledging the progress of gender equality in many sectors, she said inadequate female personnel in the military service remain a huge challenge.

Only 13 percent of troops to peace keeping missions in Africa are women, according to the UN Women body.

The organisation is using several approaches in mobilising stakeholders in the empowerment of a girl child.

Apart from engaging stakeholders through capacity building in advancing gender equality issues, the UN Women body is engaging key influential people as focal impact champions in "HeForShe" initiative.

President of Malawi Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika attended the gala dinner as one of the HeForShe champions in Africa.

Speaking earlier, President Mutharika said Malawi has intensified mainstreaming of gender equality in all sectors.

He cited the composition of commissioners at Malawi Electoral Commission, which has five female commissioners out of the total nine and is being headed by a woman.

But he was quick to point out that challenges still exist especially in politics.

"There is still low female participation and the number of female legislators has been declining over the years," Mutharika said.

The President said his government is planning a deliberate approach of boosting female participation and aspirations in politics.

"In the next elections, we will reserve one constituency for a woman in all the 28 districts. The challenge is, will the Malawian society go beyond that and elect more women into parliamentary seats?" wondered Mutharika.

At this year United Nations General Assembly in New York, the UN Women body is leaving no stone unturned in wooing influential leaders in public and private sector to commit to gender equality through HeForShe initiative

The initiative was launched on 20 September, 2014 by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon .

A policeman has shot and killed himself and left his wife injured following a domestic dispute in Chetty's Hill in Tongaat, Kwazulu-Natal, Reaction Unit SA said on Sunday.

The husband apparently went to see his wife who prepares meals at a mission next to a church in the area on Sunday morning, Reaction Unit SA spokesperson Prem Balram said.

"The couple began to argue after which the SAPS official drew [his] 9mm service pistol and fired three shots at his wife.

"One bullet struck her in the arm. He then went to an open ground behind the mission and shot himself once in the head."

Medics who were called to the scene declared the husband dead. His wife has been taken to hospital in a stable condition.

A case of attempted murder and suicide is being investigated.

News24

By Joseph Kato

Kampala — After failing to stop women murders in Wakiso District, police have sought the intervention of the army to hunt killers in Katabi Town Council in Entebbe and Nansana Municipality.

A police source told Sunday Monitor that the decision to involve the army was reached during a two-day closed door meeting between the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura, and commanders of other security agencies.

In the Katabi meeting, which started on Friday and ended yesterday, it was agreed that UPDF deploys about 200 officers to back up the 300 police officers deployed to pursue the killers in a joint operation and ensure that peace returns to the affected areas.

A source said the joint operation would comprise military men drawn from Special Forces Command (SFC), military intelligence and Air Force whereas the 300 police force is drawn from Flying Squad Unit, Counter-terrorism, Filed Force Unit and Crime Intelligence.

At least 23 women have so far been killed in Wakiso District between May and September. The latest two were killed last week in Katabi area. Thirteen bodies have been picked in Katabi and 10 in Nansana Municipality.

According to sources, Gen Kayihura requested the army, military intelligence and SFC to help police in stopping the women murders. They resolved to have joint motorised and foot patrols and intelligence system.

Police spokesperson, Asan Kasingye, said he was not aware of the IGPs request for military involvement but noted that police had zoned the area for easy policing.

"I am not aware about the meeting and agreement between the IGP and other security commanders. But we always worked with our sister agencies to protect Ugandans. What I know is that we have zoned Katabi and we are going to increase security vigilance," Mr Kasingye said.

Photo: VOA

Boko Haram members prepare to cut off the hands of two civilians accused of theft.

By Rikar Hussein And Nisan Ahmado

Many African leaders used their speeches at the U.N. General Assembly this week to express concerns about the growing threat of violent extremism in Africa.

Several leaders from the continent called upon the international community to help better equip regional anti-terror forces to combat terrorism, especially at a time when jihadists, defeated in Middle East as Islamic State loses strength and territory there, will return to their African home countries.

"We want an Africa in peace and security; an Africa that does not serve as a sanctuary for terrorist groups fought and defeated elsewhere," President Macky Sall of Senegal told world leaders at the 72nd annual U.N. assembly Wednesday.

But a study conducted by the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) this month has found that measures deployed by African governments to combat terrorism actually impel more people to join violent groups.

"Journey to Extremism," a two-year study conducted by the UNDP, was based on interviews with more than 700 people, nearly 600 of whom were voluntary or forced recruits of extremist groups in Kenya, Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon and Niger.

The study cited poor family circumstances, lack of education and poverty as factors behind people's embrace of violence and extremism.

State violence and abuse of power serve as a "final tipping point" for the people to join extremist groups.

"Militarized responses to violent extremism have only served to deepen long-standing mistrust and alienation," the U.N. report said, adding that many African countries have used counterterror agendas to limit the space for political opposition and suppress civil society and the media.

The study suggested that compared to a solely security-focused approach, good governance by African governments would ultimately be more effective at countering terrorism and extremism in the region.

Religion not a reason

The U.N. study found that religion played a less significant role in attracting people to extremist groups. On the contrary, it said, longer than average religious schooling appeared to be a source of resilience in the face of extremism.

"These findings challenge rising Islamophobic rhetoric that has intensified in response to violent extremism globally," the report said. "Fostering greater understanding of religion, through methods that enable students to question and engage critically with teachings, is a key resource for [preventing violent extremism]."

The 2016 Global Terrorism Index suggested that sub-Saharan Africa was the region most affected by extremist groups after the Middle East and North Africa. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM); the Movement for the Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO); Boko Haram in Nigeria; al-Shabab in East Africa; and the Lord's Resistance Army in Central Africa were the most active extremist groups in the continent.

Those groups are reportedly spreading their activities across state borders and luring more groups and people to pledge allegiance to their ideology and conduct violent attacks.

The U.N. organization estimates violent extremism has killed more than 33,000 people in Africa in the past six years and caused widespread displacement among civilians.

In northeast Nigeria alone, where Boko Haram has been active, it is estimated that more than 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million displaced since the terror group emerged in 2009.

Threat to development

The U.N. has warned the terror threat could reverse development gains made in sub-Saharan Africa and undermine prospects for development for decades to come. Insecurity caused by terror groups has already significantly impeded tourism and trade between countries such as Kenya and Nigeria.

The threat has encouraged those countries to increase their counterterrorism efforts at home and cooperate on a regional and global level to tackle the cross-border violence.

Earlier this year, leaders of the G5 Sahel bloc — Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad — established a multinational military force of about 5,000 troops in coordination with France and the United Nations.

Despite the regional efforts and international support, however, extremist groups remain resilient in the region while more civilians become affected by continued conflict and violence.

Human rights organizations have often criticized the heavy-handed measures adopted by authorities to tackle terrorism.

Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian military of committing torture, harsh military detention and forcible eviction of people from their homes in its fight against Boko Haram.

Human Rights Watch has said the extrajudicial killing, disappearances, torture and beating of individuals suspected of links with al-Shabab has worsened in Kenya.

Photo: pixabay.com

(File photo).

analysis By Anastasia Moloney

Bogota — Working undercover in bars and brothels across Southeast Asia to combat child sex slavery, campaigner Kevin Campbell has posed many times as a tourist looking to buy sex with a girl.

But these days, Campbell, who works for the anti-trafficking group The Exodus Road, says it is far less common to see young girls for sale in sex tourism hotspots in cities, as child sex traffickers turn to out-of-the-way places - and the internet.

"Three or four years ago I could walk into...sex tourism areas and you could see girls that were 14, 15 years old very easily," said Campbell, vice president of global operations at U.S.-based The Exodus Road, which helps local authorities rescue children sold into forced prostitution.

"But now you are not going to find that. You will find maybe 17-year-olds, 18-year-olds ... where we do still see very young girls being sold are in rural areas," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

He said traffickers operate in suburbs or small towns and villages, "where they feel they can operate with impunity because the national police aren't as active there."

Human trafficking is the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise worth an estimated $150 billion a year.

More than 40 million people are trapped in modern slavery, according to new estimates by the International Labour Organization, human rights group Walk Free Foundation, and International Organization for Migration.

VENEZUELA

In Latin America, women and girls trafficked into sexual exploitation is the most common form of trafficking.

Campbell said Venezuelan women and girls are increasingly at risk of falling prey to traffickers looking to exploit poverty as tens of thousands head to neighbouring Colombia and Brazil to escape a humanitarian and political crisis at home.

"There's a market right now for victims that is very enticing to traffickers," said Campbell, adding Venezuelan women are being trafficked within Latin America and beyond.

"Traffickers are experts in exploiting the vulnerabilities of marginalised people. They are really adept at manipulating the desperation of the poor."

Campbell trains people to work undercover and raid places where children are sold for sex, from bars and brothels to hotels and squares, to identify victims and gather evidence.

Typically evidence includes video footage taken with hidden cameras of children being sold that can be used by police to rescue them and put sex traffickers behind bars, he said.

For the past five years, The Exodus Road has worked mainly in Southeast Asia and India but recently moved into Latin America, a region known as a hub for online child porn, Campbell said.

The charity has trained five local investigators who are working undercover and in cyber forensics, he said.

Some of the techniques being used to crack child porn rings and identify victims include technology to decode encrypted files and data scrapping, which can pull information off the internet on traffickers.

"And then there's just the pornography side, the live streaming of child rape and so you can have tens of thousands of men logging in and watching these things take place," he said.

"There is an issue in Latin America where it's kind of a hub for a lot of the trafficking and recruiting of young, young children and the live streaming is done from Latin America."

He said traffickers are increasingly distributing child pornography and selling children via instant encrypted messaging services like WhatsApp, social networks such as Facebook, and sites on the dark web that can allow users to remain anonymous.

"It's certainly is safer for the trafficker to sell online," Campbell said.

Reporting by Anastasia Moloney @anastasiabogota, Editing by Ros Russell.

Photo: Pixabay

Data is key to Africa's development.

By Li Yong

Vienna — Since 2000 the continent of Africa has recorded impressive rates of economic growth. This remarkable performance has been largely driven by the prolonged commodity boom and development assistance. While the continent shows great diversity in the socio-economic trajectories of its countries, growth rates have generally masked an underlying lack of structural transformation, which is needed to achieve socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable development.

Wherever industrialization has occurred, it has been a reliable force in steering economic diversification, and has contributed to developing, strengthening and upholding the framework conditions for competitive economic growth and development.

Over several decades, some developing countries - mainly in Asia - have been able to industrialize. Despite repeated attempts, Africa has not. If we look at the shares of global manufacturing value added for 2014 we see that the Asia and Pacific region's share was 44.6%, whereas Africa's share was just 1.6%. Sub-Saharan Africa is still the world's least industrialized region, with only one country, South Africa, being considered industrialized.

African countries cannot achieve sustainable development without an economic structural transformation. They seek to change the structures of their economies by substantially increasing the shares of industry - especially manufacturing - in national investments, national output, and trade. African countries realize that they must undergo this structural transformation in order to address a range of interconnected challenges.

One of these is the growth of the population. More than half of the continent's 1.2 billion-strong population is under the age of 19, and almost one in five are between 15 and 24 years old. Each year, 12 million new workers join the labour force. The continent's young people need the tools and skills to take their lives into their own hands. Industrialization is the key to ensuring that the continent's fast-growing population yields a demographic dividend.

Another associated challenge is migration. Many of Africa's most ambitious and entrepreneurially minded young people feel compelled to join migration flows to the North. No country can afford to lose this potential. Migration remains a complex issue but industrialization can address one of the root causes by creating jobs in the countries of origin.

In addition, the threat posed by climate change hangs heavily over countries where agriculture remains the primary employer. Africa needs to apply and develop green technologies and channel investments into resource efficiency and clean energy. These investments can lower the cost of bringing power to rural areas, while contributing to global efforts to mitigate climate change.

Africa must industrialize, and it must do so in a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner. Previous efforts to foster sustainable economic transformation in Africa have failed, and the need for a new approach is clear. What is needed now is a broad-based and country-owned process that leverages financial and non-financial resources, promotes regional integration, and mobilizes co-operation among Africa's development partners.

This is the motivation behind the United Nations General Assembly's proclamation of the period 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is leading the new approach for the IDDA III. We are fully supporting the focus on partnerships for resource mobilization, and offer an already tried and tested example of how to implement the approach: the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP).

UNIDO's PCP combines technical assistance with policy advice, standards and investments leveraging to support the design and implementation of industrialization strategies and instruments that can make a sizeable impact on a country's development.

Launched in 2014, the model is being successfully implemented in two African countries - Ethiopia and Senegal - as well as in Peru. The PCP is aligned with each country's national development agenda and is a multi-stakeholder partnership model. It is designed to build synergies with ongoing government and partner interventions, while mobilizing funds and leveraging additional investment towards sectors with high growth potential.

The PCP focuses on a select number of priority sectors or areas that are essential to the government's industrial development agenda. Priority sectors are typically selected based on job creation potential, availability of raw materials, export potential and ability to attract investment.

The PCP approach is designed to create synergies with partner programmes/projects relevant for industrial development in order to maximize impact. One particular area of focus is strategic partnerships with financial institutions and the business sector in order to leverage additional resources for infrastructure, industry and innovation, as well as knowledge, expertise and technology.

Mainstreaming of the PCP approach to other African countries can be a significant contribution to the successful implementation of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa. UNIDO stands ready to support Africa on its path to inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

interview By Gwendolin Hilse

A study by a German academic says religious conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa have been on the rise for decades. Researcher Matthias Basedau says weak African states are a major cause.

In your study on the subject of religious conflicts in Africa, you claim eight out of ten active armed conflicts have a religious dimension. Why are countries in sub-Saharan Africa so vulnerable to this kind of conflict?

Conflicts that have a religious dimension are becoming more common worldwide and sub-Saharan Africa is no exception. The region is generally vulnerable to conflicts because many states in sub-Saharan Africa are often weak. It also has to do with the fact that religious conflicts spill over from North Africa and the Middle East; either directly from Libya or Algeria or indirectly through the spread of more radical versions of Islam. However, religion is only one aspect of these conflicts - they can also be ethnic conflicts, or conflicts over power or resources. There is no conflict based purely on religion.

You also mentioned in your study that countries with a heterogeneous population and religious communities are particularly susceptible to religious conflicts. Somalia is one of the most unstable countries in Africa; it is also one of the most religiously homogenous countries on the continent. In Nigeria the Boko Haram Islamists also frequently attack Muslims. How do you explain this phenomenon?

Basically, one must distinguish between two types of religious conflicts. In inter-religious conflicts, the conflict parties differ in their religious affiliation - for example, Christians and Muslims. This can overlap with ethnic identities, and it is clear that heterogeneous societies are more vulnerable to triggering conflicts along these lines. This is different from theological conflicts which are mostly about religious ideas. Such conflicts can arise in majority Muslim societies, such as Mali, Somalia or Northern Nigeria. But we are also aware of examples of Christian rebel groups in sub-Saharan Africa who have theological demands. The parties involved may differ on the question of what role religion should play in the state. For example, radical Muslim groups demand the introduction of Sharia law. A weak state allows these kinds of groups to be active in the first place - their radical ideology becomes more attractive to people if the state does not provide adequate public services and the politicians are corrupt. But of course, not all Muslims in these countries are radical Islamists.

Why do radical groups from North Africa and the Middle East have an interest in stirring up these conflicts?

Active radical groups have a more direct influence in North Africa, such as Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), or offshoots of the so-called Islamic State. They have an interest in creating branches in other countries. They have supported rebels in Mali and there are indications that they are also doing it in Nigeria and Somalia. Other Middle Eastern states are more likely to have an indirect influence. It is about spreading a radical version of Islam. Sub-Saharan Africa traditionally was home to a rather moderate form of Islam, for example, Sufism. Countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar are spreading Wahhabism, or similar variants, which can indirectly create a radical ideology that leads to violence. But it is not entirely clear how this influence is spreading or how strong it is.

What role has globalization and social media played in increasing religious conflicts?

Globalization - the simplified flow of information, goods and finances - promotes these kinds of issues, not only in Africa, but also elsewhere. On the other hand, thanks to globalization, governments can also improve their networks to implement de-radicalization measures.

What counter-measures would have to be taken to stop the advance of religious conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa?

The counter-measures must be based on a careful analysis of the causes. We do not know everything yet, but some measures are likely to take hold. Firstly, we need to be aware that there are both religious and non-religious causes that must be dealt with at the same time. On the religious side, one can carry out de-radicalization measures, thus strengthening peaceful interpretations of faith. From a non-religious point of view, this is mainly about long-term development. In other words, governments and states must offer their citizens better prospects. It is about good governance and security. Several measures will be required but the good news is that some of these are already in place. African governments must do most of the work with the support of other countries. In Burundi and Nigeria for example, Germany supports pilot projects through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as well as the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). But we should not expect that this alone will make a quick and sustainable difference.

Political scientist Professor Matthias Basedau conducts research on peace and security at the GIGA Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg. He recently published a study on the rise of armed religious conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa.

By Martina Schwikowski

Despite UN sanctions against North Korea, a number of African countries share a cosy trade relationship with the pariah state. Old alliances dating back to Cold War times have persisted - and remain important even today.

Pyongyang's presence in Africa is impossible to ignore. In many countries, bronze statues in the monumental style are reminiscent of the bonds of communism that once linked the continent to North Korea.

Zimbabwe's National Heroes Acre, an imposing cemetery at the gates of the capital, Harare, could be a memorial in Pyongyang. In the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, the towering figure of former despotic leader Laurent Kabila rises up, his finger pointing towards the heavens. In Mozambique, it's Samora Machel, the once popular leader of the independence movement, who dominates Maputo's square of independence from atop a marble platform.

Made by North Korea

Many African countries have bronze sculptures commemorating prominent personalities - and many of them bear the artistic signature of the North Korean monument factory, Mansudae Overseas Projects (MOP). For decades, the state enterprise has earned a fortune for the North Korean regime with the construction of monuments and military installations abroad.

The company has just erected four gigantic buildings in Namibia. The presidential palace in Windhoek, completed in 2008, has also helped boost the income of the North Korean leadership. But this isn't just about monumental art.

According to the United Nations, Namibia has invested an estimated $100 million (119 million euros) in Kim dynasty projects, including ammunition factories, since 2002. Facing accusations they had violated international sanctions, the Namibian government in 2016 vowed to uphold these punitive measures in the future. But, it said, the "warm" diplomatic relationship with North Korea would also remain strong.

Cold War allies

Daragh Neville of the British think tank Chatham House says the ties that many African countries share with North Korea date back to the Cold War - a time when Pyongyang was looking for allies and lent its support to a number of African liberation movements seeking to overthrow colonial leaders.

"There's still a lot of sympathy for North Korea in many African states," he told DW. "They still remember the important diplomatic links and cultural exchanges from the 60s, 70s and 80s."

Politically too, North Korea is continuing to build in Africa. Not an insignificant detail, given that the countries of the continent represent a quarter of UN membership.

'Half of Africa' trades with North Korea

According to a new report from the United Nations, Tanzania, Uganda, Angola, Congo, Eritrea, Mozambique, Botswana, Benin and Zimbabwe are now under investigation for violating the Security Council sanctions.

The first penalties against Pyongyang were implemented in 2006 over the regime's nuclear program. The measures aimed to block arms trafficking and economic transactions. However, according to the UN report, North Korea was still able to sell military radio equipment to Eritrea, and automatic weapons to Congo. Pyongyang also reportedly organized military training in Angola, Uganda and Congo, and supplied weapons to Mozambique.

However, experts believe that a number of other countries are also doing business illegally with North Korea.

Sanctions undermined

Trade between Africa and North Korea is worth a total of around $100 million per year, according to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity. North Korea's biggest African importer is Burkina Faso, with around $32.8 million - or 1 percent of the country's annual imports.

"Although $100 million may not sound like much, it's actually a pretty big overseas earner for the DPRK, because obviously foreign currency is quite difficult for North Korea to come by," Neville says. "It's easier for African states to do business with North Korea because it can often be cheaper and North Korea will ask fewer questions regarding certain business practices than Western partners."

That's allowed North Korea to bypass sanctions and operate under the cover of shell companies for years, Neville says, adding that the UN and the international community need to keep a closer eye on banks and financial institutions worldwide.

"We're seeing some countries around the world, not just in Africa - and whether knowingly or unknowingly - providing banking and financial services to North Korean companies and individuals that are known to be affiliated with the regime," he said.

The South African Institute for Security Studies also put forward a series of concrete recommendations in a recent report. It said African countries should better train customs officials and inspectors to allow them to effectively detect prohibited deliveries at airports and seaports.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for pressure on African states to be stepped up to ensure the latest sanctions, imposed earlier this month, aren't flouted. The measures now include caps on oil supplies to North Korea and a ban on textile exports. African countries must abide by these measures, Abe said. Observers, however, warn these words may fall on deaf ears.

Photo: Addis Fortune

The Anbesa factory in Addis Ababa produces shoes that are exported under.the AGOA trade pact to the United States for sale by several leading brands.

Blog By Witney Schneidman and Moyombuya Ngubula

Washington, DC — The global trade environment is rapidly changing and already affecting the U.S.-Africa trade relationship. Indeed, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was not intended to be permanent.

The program was designed as a stepping stone to a more mature trade relationship between the U.S. and the continent. AGOA's expiration date in 2025 may seem far off but given the complex nature of any trade regime—and the rapidly evolving global trade environment—it is not too soon to begin the complex and difficult work that will provide the foundation for a reciprocal relationship.

In March 2016 the East African community (EAC) took a decision to ban the import of second-hand clothing into the region. The rationale for the ban is the need to protect and promote the textile and leather works industry, which, the EAC reasons, has suffered and failed to develop due to the increased import of second-hand clothing.

In response to the proposed ban the U.S.'s Secondary Materials and Recycled Textile Association (SMART) filed a petition with the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) requesting an assessment of the EAC countries' continued eligibility under AGOA. In July 2017 the out-of-cycle review commenced and the parties to the dispute were given an opportunity to testify before the USTR.

The EAC receives second-hand clothing from the U.S., the U.K., Germany, South Korea, Belgium, the Netherlands, Canada, Poland, Italy, Japan, India, and Pakistan. Notably, the ban is not discriminatory as it bans all second-hand clothing. The ban has not yet been put in place, but so far some of the East African countries have increased tariffs in an effort to discourage imports on the second-hand clothing with a view of eventually phasing out their import completely.

Create U.S-African Union high-level panel to develop a more reciprocal framework

This trade dispute between the U.S. and EAC closely follows a significant trade dispute with South Africa that involved U.S. imports of poultry products into that market. The dispute over poultry was resolved after Congress threatened to deny AGOA benefits to agricultural products from South Africa. The disputes over second-hand clothing and poultry suggest that the time may be ripe to begin moving toward a more reciprocal trade arrangement with African countries that would include the establishment of a negotiated dispute resolution mechanism as opposed to the arbitrary and unilateral out-of-cycle review that currently exists.

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND AGOA

The Trump administration has been supportive of AGOA, provided that participating African governments comply with the eligibility criteria. In a June speech, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that the U.S. will continue the transition from aid to trade, a position consistent with the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations as it relates to commercial policy toward Africa. The Commerce Department has also continued a high-level advisory committee on Africa that was created by President Obama.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer's opening remarks at the AGOA Forum in Togo last month also signaled the Trump administration's support for AGOA. In his comments, Lighthizer noted the bipartisan consensus supporting the program but also said there is a need for greater reciprocity in the trade relationship, given the changes that have taken place on the continent. He specifically referenced AGOA partners who are "implementing reciprocal trade agreements with major developed economies."

ENVISIONING A POST-AGOA RELATIONSHIP
Despite the Trump administration's apparent support for AGOA, it is important to begin exploring the structure of a post-AGOA relationship. As African countries enter into reciprocal relationships with other countries, especially the EU, U.S. companies and goods will compete at an increasing commercial disadvantage. This growing commercial disadvantage, inevitably, will pressure Congress to act to protect U.S. companies entering African markets, straining the current strong bipartisan consensus in support of AGOA.

In order to ensure an enduring and mutually beneficial trade relationship, the U.S. and the African Union should create a high-level panel to develop a framework and a path forward to a more reciprocal framework when AGOA expires in 2025. This panel, ideally chaired by Ambassador Lighthizer and AU Trade Commissioner Fatima Haram Acyl, should solicit a range of opinions and perspectives, including from academia, think tanks, private sector representatives, and members of civil society. A progress report on their deliberations would be an important part of the next AGOA Forum.

A CHANGING LANDSCAPE
There are a number of reasons for beginning to plan for the transition to a reciprocal U.S.-African trade relationship. Africa has committed to creating a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement by the end of 2017, and three regional economic communities—SADC, EAC, and COMESA—have already formed the Tripartite Free Trade area. Africa's progress on regional integration needs to be reflected in any new trade relationship with the U.S. to ensure that it is mutually beneficial supportive of the region's integration efforts.

The days of non-reciprocal trade arrangements are gone.

In addition, the European Union is currently negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with 41 African countries through different blocs. Some EPAs have been have been signed and are now in force while some are still being negotiated. As the 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers points out, "The EU-SADC EPA will further erode U.S. export competitiveness in South Africa and the region due to the greater disparities in tariff levels that U.S. exports will face under the EPA." As the other EPAs take hold across the continent, the disparities adversely affecting American companies will intensify. And, of course, China, as Africa's largest trading partner, adds to the pressures on U.S. commercial competitiveness in Africa. A new trade relationship between the U.S. and African nations would codify measures related to market access that would provide American companies with more certainty, which would be helpful in competing with Chinese companies.

From the U.S. side, Congress will have to develop a structure for a trade agreement that takes into account Africa's development priorities. At the same time, market access for goods and services, government procurement, and dispute resolution mechanisms, among other issues, will need to be consistent with those arrangements that Africa's other trade partners enjoy.

AFRICA'S NEGOTIATING CAPABILITY
The days of non-reciprocal trade arrangements are gone. The successfully negotiated EPAs between the EU and different African regions indicate the ability of African countries to negotiate reciprocal trade agreements with the developed world. The EPAs that have been concluded thus far have struck a balance between creating trade opportunities for goods from both regions as well as placing measures to protect sensitive products in African countries.

AGOA has had its winners and losers: There are countries that have benefitted greatly from AGOA while many have not taken advantage of the program's wide range of eligible products. One needs to only look at the trade volumes between the AGOA-eligible countries and the U.S to note the disparities between the volumes of trade between certain African countries and the U.S. A post-AGOA relationship should be one that is beneficial to all parties. An analysis of the constraints of those countries that have not fully utilized AGOA is a necessary exercise and should be part of our proposed high-level U.S.-AU panel.

For some countries, particularly the least-developed countries, there may be a need for agreements with a stronger emphasis on investment while for others a reciprocal agreement granting market access with specific limits will suffice. There may also be a need to negotiate with sub-Saharan African countries within different regional groupings as opposed to trying to negotiate with the continent as a whole in order to ensure that the varied interests are sufficiently covered.

When AGOA was extended in 2015, eligible countries were asked to formulate AGOA strategies. These strategies can be used to inform how the countries should be grouped in negotiating the post AGOA relationship, and they should be completed by all AGOA beneficiaries. The time is now to begin planning for the next phase of the U.S.-African trade relationship.

Witney Schneidman is Nonresident Fellow and Moyombuya Ngubula is Visiting Researcher, the African Growth Initiative. The blog was first published by Brookings on September 19.

By Gaaki Kigambo

In a new twist on the controversy surrounding machinations to change the Constitution to remove age limits -- a move seen as designed to benefit long serving Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni -- another member of his National Resistance Movement (NRM) party has written to the Speaker of Parliament Rebbecca Kadaga seeking to introduce two new Bills for Museveni's retirement and return of term limits to the Constitution.

Museveni unsure?

Dr Sam Lyomoki, a long serving MP representing workers has told The EastAfrican, he is working with others in the party on his motion for a Bill titled: The Museveni Succession, Transition and Immunities Bill 2017."

Lyomoki has also proposed to table a second Bill to restore term limits in the Constitution. Term limits were removed in 2005.

Dr Lyomoki filed his notice with the offices of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Clerk to Parliament, as stamps of receipt on a copy of the document seen by this newspaper confirmed.

In the interview with The EastAfrican, Dr Lyomoki confirms the initiative; "basically what we are saying is that the time is now for us to move in that direction because Museveni is not sure of what will happen to him if he leaves power.

"Ugandans who support him are also not sure if he will be arrested after he leaves or what will happen to him, that is why we think it is important that discuss how we transition from him," he said.

"The thing is, whether we change the Constitution now to remove age limits or not, at one time he will have to go and the fear is if he goes (without a proper plan) there might be problems."

Packaging his idea as a kind of scheme of a third force, Dr Lyomoki said he was working with a number of colleagues some of whom are not yet ready to come out in the open.

He took a swipe at his colleagues agitating for deletion of the age limit, "most of these people you see jumping around and singing, they don't love the President, they love what is in his hand."

By Isaac Imaka

The National Resistance Movement is working on a ten-point justification for revising the Constitution to remove the 75-year age cap and open the door for the leader, President Yoweri Museveni, to stay on after 2021.

The blueprint supposed to guide members as talking points to promote the project resulted from months of covert research to package the most saleable justifications.

Though the document, seen by this newspaper is unmarked as though nothing makes it stand out, it is, as sources have confirmed, the template for selling the project to the world.

In what is perhaps its boldest statement, the document claims that Ugandans should not be denied "an opportunity to ask for another rap" from a seasoned experienced leader.

Those who work closely with President Museveni know their way of getting noticed. When they weren't getting a clear picture on his stand on removing the age limit, two tasseographers dipped their toes in the water.

[Tasseography is a divination or fortune-telling method that interprets patterns in tea leaves.]

A source close to the machinations behind the age limit Bill says the duo's resolve was that if Mr Museveni was interested in starting the debate, he would show them a sign and if he didn't, he would stop them.

The two, however, needed money. They approached a freshly appointed permanent secretary in a top ministry, and three youthful MPs, for money to fund preliminary research into the feasibility of removing the age limit and to facilitate some sort of secretariat.

"A huge reward awaits on the horizon if we are successfully associated with removing the presidential age limit," the source who spoke on condition of anonymity, quotes the two leaders.

They gave each of the recruits a firm look in the eye as if to confirm their seriousness and willingness to offer seed money and they did.

From that initial effort, NRM legislators were last Wednesday presented with a document with 10 arguments they expected to parrot after the Bill is tabled in Parliament.

Point One: Let the people choose their leaders. The argument is based on Article 1 of the Constitution which states that "power belongs to the people."

The strategists want the NRM officials and MPs to use this as the "most entrenched article in the Constitution," the document argues, having a presidential limit would be to take the power away from the people by excluding some people.

Point Two: Ugandans have the capacity and freedom to choose the person their leader. The people's freedom of choice of president is expressed through regular free and fair elections and this right should be guaranteed and not restricted.

"If the voters don't like a particular person to lead them or they are tired of his or her governance style, they will reject that person at the time of elections and vote them out," the document reads.

Point Three: The law is discriminatory against senior citizens. Article 32 of the Constitution, they argue, prohibits discrimination based on age and other factors.

"MPs and other leaders, except the President and district chairpersons, do not have this kind of restriction. It is necessary that this imbalance is addressed," the document reads.

Point Four: Nothing is cast in stone. There's nothing wrong with amending the Constitution, so long as you follow the correct procedure.

"Ugandans have the right to determine the appropriate legislation of their time and to review the laws and make corrections where necessary."

Point Five: Multipartyism allows for each political party to forward the best candidate(s) from among their members to contest for any political office.

"Nobody can dictate to any party the person they should select to run for president. It is up to each political party to choose the president whom they believe will deliver success at the election and lead the country as president irrespective of age, gender, religion or any other consideration," it reads.

And that's where the problem lies for the MPs opposed to the removal of presidential age limit.

Theodore Ssekikubo (NRM Lwemiyaga) opposes a one-man prolonged presidency since a "forever president" in turn creates life ministers and as a result stagnates institutions and sectors.

"Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko was at one time the life Foreign Affairs minister for Russia. But the president is now placid and vulnerable. We can't allow a combination of an open presidency and life ministers to continue because it is not good for the country," he said.

Mr Ssekikubo also questions the Cabinet's choice to use a backbencher to table the Bill which should ideally have been introduced by the Executive.

He argues that either the Executive is simply sleepy or does not believe in the Bill. (A section of the Cabinet addressed a press conference in the office of the Prime Minister to back the party's initiative).

"Even the Cabinet ministers are shying away from the Bill and are pushing backbenchers to carry out an otherwise cardinal and non-delegatory duty of the Executive," he said.

The Constitution, however, gives Parliament the duty to make laws and even amend the constitution apart from where it explicitly states that there should be a referendum or following a recommendation from district councils.

While addressing a press conference at Parliament Buildings on Tuesday, Mr Raphael Magyezi, the anticipated mover of the motion castigated those opposing the Bill due their being opposed to President Museveni.

He challenged them to put forth stronger reasons and also warned those threatening physical injury, rather than using their intellect to convince proponents of the Bill.

Point Six: Uganda should copy countries like Israel who permit all their available leadership resources to keep around and compete for elections.

"The country is at a stage of taking off into a modern middle income country. This is the time to galvanise all available human resources particularly its leadership and technical manpower so long as they are the choice of the people, elected or appointed through the legal or institutionally recognized mechanism."

Point Seven: Seventy-five is arbitrary and has no justification. The framers of the Constitution, the document says, erred in inserting 75 as the age limit, because no one is incapable at 75.

Some people are incapable of leading even at a much younger age whereas some are strong and dynamic with a lot to offer the country even past age 75.

Point Eight: Uganda is not an island in terms of governance. Other countries in the region do not have such "archaic restrictions". For regional governance, it is important that Uganda takes bold steps to harmonise systems of governance with other countries in the region.

Point Nine: Man has a right to demand for another rap from the best dancer, even when the adage of the best dancer leaving the stage exists.

"The host cannot send away the best dancer at a time when people are just warming up to enjoy the dance because that would be an anti-climax which is not permissible in organised societies.

"It is not the dancer who wants to stay on the floor but the people who still enjoy and value the particular dancer's strokes and, therefore, demand for his or her stay," the document reads.

Point 10: Since Uganda is playing a critical role in regional integration, economic empowerment and security in the EAC and the African Union, and the continent, she should not be denied an opportunity to drink from the tap of experienced leadership and instead be subjected to experimental leaders and those created through political manoeuvring.

Photo: The Nation Media Group

Samia Bugwe North MP, Gideon Onyango, claims that Ugandans are being registered to take part in Kenya's polls. Daily Nation Photo

By Fred Oluoch

Kenya's opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition has prepared cases against 60 staff of the electoral commission over the August 8 presidential election whose result was annulled by the Supreme Court.

The EastAfrican established that Nasa is waiting for the Director of Public Prosecution, Keriako Tobiko, to take action against the individuals suspected to have bungled the election, but Nasa is prepared to initiate private criminal prosecution should he fail to.

In presenting the full ruling on Thursday last week, Chief Justice David Maraga said the court could not assign any criminal culpability on any individual.

Paul Mwangi, Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga's lawyer told The EastAfrican that private prosecution will go on as stated by the Nasa principals.

John Onyando, a member of Nasa's media team, said the court was not expected to name the individuals responsible for bungling the elections because it was presiding over a civil matter.

"Once the Supreme Court decided that there were illegalities and irregularities, the only thing remaining is to find out who committed them and whether they did so with criminal intentions," said Mr Onyando.

Among those targeted for private prosecution are IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, commission-secretary Ezra Chiloba, several individuals working in the ICT department and some returning officers.

According to the judgement by a majority of four out of two Supreme Court judges, the IEBC chairman announced the presidential results on August 11, while 11,000 forms 34 (containing the votes cast at polling centres) were missing.

The judges said the chairman failed to offer any plausible response to the question on whether all Forms 34A had been electronically transmitted to the national tallying centre as required by Section 39 (1C) of the Elections Act.

Denied access

The judges also ruled that the electoral commission failed to grant access to two critical areas of their servers -- its logs, which would have proven or disproved the petitioners' claim of hacking, and its servers that contained Forms 34A and 34B.

"IEBC's disobedience of the court's order left the judges with no option but to accept Raila Odinga's claims that either the commission's IT system was infiltrated and data doctored or IEBC's officials themselves interfered with the data," read the judgment.

The judges, however, noted a systemic institutional problem but could not point to specific individuals who may have played a role in the mess.

Mr Odinga, who filed a petition against the re-election of the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta claimed that various electoral offences were committed by IEBC officials but no evidence was placed before the court to prove the allegations.

Private prosecution

The Kenyan Constitution allows citizens who feel that the state is not willing to take up their case to present evidence before a court, which can allow private prosecution to proceed.

Mr Tobiko had said that he was waiting for the comprehensive ruling before starting the process of prosecuting those who would be found culpable within IEBC.

analysis By Sekou Owino

When the justices of the Supreme Court of Kenya first delivered the lean decision on September 1 -- with a majority of four judges against two in dissent -- in which they declared that the presidential election held on August 8, 2017 had been irregular, null and void, the shock and awe that took the country led to the question, why?

Those enthused by the majority decision sought to know the main reasons for that decision to give themselves a reason for celebration.

Those who found themselves on the wrong side of the majority decision waited for the detailed reasons to find out if they were sufficient to justify the judgement, in the hope that they would give them grounds to for derision at the decision.

The country's electoral body Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) may have been the only party involved in that court case that had a professional need to know the real reasons for the decision.

This is because the IEBC needed to know where the court had found it to have made missteps that led to the nullification.

On Wednesday, September 20, all these sides finally got the reasoned decisions, when the court sat for almost 11 hours.

The reasoned decision did not disappoint, and for different reasons.

First, three of the judges in the majority -- Chief Justice David Maraga, his deputy Philomena Mwilu and Justice Isaac Lenaola read their joint decision in turns for themselves and on behalf of Justice Smokin Wanjala, who had travelled but had signed the majority decision by which the election was annulled.

The detailed reasons for the majority decision were that, among other things, the IEBC had presided over a systematic and systemic failure in conducting the elections, with the result that the results were transmitted contrary to the strict requirement that the physical forms in which they are recorded at the polling stations be scanned, signed and submitted simultaneously through electronic means.

They found that there were certain departures from this requirement ,which rendered the final results projected by the IEBC suspect.

Forms 34A

Another important finding was that the chairman of the IEBC, as the national returning officer for the presidential election, appeared to have declared results without and or before receiving all the forms required from the polling stations -- the now famous Forms 34A.

Equally disconcerting to the majority judges was the curious fact that some of the requisite forms had security features while others did not, giving credence to the claims that the forms may have been forged.

The majority judges were also taken aback by what they considered contumacious disobedience of the order the court had given for the IEBC to permit access to its servers for the purposes of, among other things, ascertaining the claims by the petitioner of hacking.

The refusal and or failure of the IEBC to permit access led the court to a conclusion that there was something untoward within those servers and led to the decision to resolve the doubts in favour of the petitioner and hence the decision that the results of the election were unreliable.

It needs to be said, however, that the petitioners did not get every order they sought from the court.

Of particular interest was the claim that the president and or some Cabinet secretaries had committed election offences by campaigning under the guise of undertaking government projects and functions.

Some Cabinet secretaries were said to have openly campaigned for the president, contrary to the Constitution, which requires that they keep off political actions.

Government funds

The petitioner had also claimed that the president had used government funds, claiming to be providing compensation to victims of the 2007-2008 post-election violence, when the main reason was to campaign for his re-election.

Another claim was that the Executive had unleashed an aggressive campaign in media advertisements, supposedly providing information to the public on its performance on some development projects.

The objective of this, the petitioner claimed, was to use government funds to campaign for the incumbent. On this claim, the majority ruled that the petitioners had not provided evidence.

My view of the tone of the court on this issue is that it may well have been sending a shot across the bow for the Executive by stating that had the evidence been adduced to its satisfaction it may well have nullified the election on this ground.

The majority decision concluded with the reiteration of the strong and possibly enduring words to the effect that "the greatness of a nation will not lie in the strength of its armies or the depth of its economy but in its fidelity to the law and fear of God."

Not far-reaching words have ever been expressed by a judge in Kenya - barring, maybe, those of Chief Justice C. B. Madan in the case of Stanley Githunguri, in which he told Mr Githunguri, after dismissal of an attempt at prosecution despite previous assurances by the Attorney-General that he would not be prosecuted.

"Stanley Munga Githunguri! You have been beseeching the court for Order of Prohibition. Take the order. This court gives it to you. When you leave here, raise your eyes up unto the hills.

"Utter a prayer of thankfulness that your fundamental rights are protected under the judicial system of Kenya," Justice Madan said.

Warning to the IEBC

Equally fervent was the majority's warning to the IEBC -- to ensure that it conducted the ensuing election in strict conformity with the law -- to avoid similar challenges, for the judges were clear that they would not hesitate to nullify any future elections if similar infractions were repeated.

The judges also made it clear that the arguments to the effect that the challenges to the election were merely on the transmission methods and, therefore, merely of process did not resonate with them.

In other words, the compliance with all constitutional requirements, process was equally important.

In summary, therefore, the majority decision sends the message to Kenyans that there stands a court which will uphold rights and look down all institutions and persons within the country when the Constitution calls on it to do so.

Dissenting opinions

While dissenting opinions are often of no significance to the ultimate decision, they form interesting perspectives for consideration in teaching of legal reasoning in law schools.

The two judges in dissent did not disappoint. I have no doubt that the dissenting opinions will be of historical significance in any view of the majority decision, though for different reasons.

The two judges in dissent contended that the petitioner had not proved the complaints of irregularities or illegalities to the requisite standard. Insufficient evidence is often the starting block for a judge declining to grant a claim.

However, Professor Justice Ojwang's dissent put out the great essence of a scholar judge.

His reasoned opinion was engaging in the depth of its scholarly interposition of the legal issues at hand, with explanations as to why he saw the issues differently, all clothed in legal theory and in very distinguished scholarly language.

This dissenting opinion will form the basis for many judges, advocates and legal scholars for many years to come on the quality, even if it will be of no legal significance in the case.

Justice Njoki Ndung'u's dissent will also stand out in history but for a different reason: At 440 pages, it probably is the longest dissent in any case in the Common Law the world over.

Standing against the majority opinion of 178 pages and Prof Ojwang's dissent of 91 pages, the tone by Justice Ndung'u also stands to interest legal historians for that reason.

It reminded me of what is said to be the most influential dissenting opinion ever in the US Supreme Court: Oliver Wendell Holme's solo dissent in the 1905 Supreme Court case of Lochner vs New York, which came in two paragraphs!

Nevertheless it remains greatly influential as a dissent and is today considered by judges and scholars to have been right in legal principle as opposed to the majority.

Collegiality of the judges

Aside from the foregoing, the decisions and the manner in which they were delivered leave one wondering whether the collegiality of the judges of the Supreme Court of Kenya is where it should be.

At times, it appeared that some of them were invested in the case at hand as if they were the advocates for the litigants.

There was just a lack of dispassionate adjudication that would be expected of a judge -- at least from some of them who appeared to have been going at the others and even lecturing them for having seen the case and decided differently.

Another important point that emerged is the fate of the decision of the same court in the presidential election petition of 2013.

In 2013, the same court had decided that mere challenges to procedure were insufficient to justify nullification of a result.

In addition, the complainant was required to also demonstrate to the court that the irregularities would have amounted to a change of the results in that the person declared the winner would not have won. Without establishing this, the mere process failures would not do.

The 2017 decision is a radical shift from this position, as the judges held that the process is as important as the result.

Giving a simple and sardonically amusing allegory, the judges of the majority said: High school mathematics requires not just the answer to a sum but the method by which the answer is achieved.

Interesting dimension

This decision, therefore, shows that there is a clear shift in the approach of the majority in the Supreme Court to these issues.

Of equally interesting dimension was that all the three judges who ascended to the Supreme Court under the presidency of Uhuru Kenyatta (that is Chief justice Maraga, Deputy Chief Justice Philomen Mwilu and Justice Isaac Lenaola) were in the majority who nullified the election of the president who had been involved in their appointment.

This is an indication of the scaffolding that the constitutional development of Kenya provides.

It does appear that the Supreme Court is coming of age in terms of the judges therein beginning to exhibit their respective juridical ideological postures.

This may be good for the court, but may mean that the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court will begin to take more overtly political tones during the confirmation hearings for the chief justice and the deputy in the National Assembly.

In this regard, Kenyans need to be alert because a Supreme Court needs men and women of sound legal posture. Room must not be ceded to the political branches to begin litmus testing judges for political correctness.

Finally, I have argued before that of all the three arms of government, the judiciary is the one institution which the 2010 Constitution specifically targeted for what would be harsh cleansing.

This was because it is the judicial officers who had to be vetted upon the new Constitution coming into effect, with the result that some of them lost their jobs.

This could have been cathartic and intended to prepare the judicial officers who would survive this for the skills and grit that administering the interpretation of the Constitution would call for.

That there would be persons happy with them while others, extremely powerful, would be extremely unhappy -- and that is the bedrock of a democracy.

Sekou Owino is head of legal services at Nation Media Group.

analysis By Susan Booysen

South Africa's governing African National Congress is caught between the mythological monsters Scylla and Charybdis as it heads towards its crucial 54th national elective conference in December. In choosing its new leader the party's factions could push its leadership succession battle to a finale that produces a credible winner and leads to the party's purported self-correction. But the process could just as easily split the party further and damage its already dented 2019 electoral prospects.

Either way, the ANC of 2017 faces dreadful choices.

Amid this comes the rallying call for unity at the conference.

But "unity" has become an over exploited catchall for ANC provincial power brokers and candidates. For unity to work beyond the conference, mountains of looting and corruption will have to be swept under a carpet of compromise and inclusion.

The most likely outcome is that South Africa's cynical and savvy new electorate will be left underwhelmed which is why the outcome of the December conference will affect the ANC's subsequent election prospects more directly than any of its six preceding meetings since 1991. These were Mangaung (2012, Polokwane (2007), Stellenbosch (2002), Mafikeng (1997), Bloemfontein (1994) and Durban (1991). The last two - Mangaung and Polokwane - laid the foundation for the party's current woes.

Road to self-destruction

Previous leadership contests - structured equally by actual voting by delegates and deal making - have shaped the character of the organisation.

Jacob Zuma's Pyrrhic 2007 victory in Polokwane to become ANC president brought in the fleeting belief that the ANC was reconnecting with the people and that it was set to drive "radical" change.

Its dramatic impact was matched only by the 1991 conference in Durban - held after the unbanning of the ANC but before it assumed power in the 1994 elections.

The contest in Durban was precarious. Different groupings - former exiles and political prisoners on the one hand, and those who had remained to lead the liberation struggle internally on the other - had to be accommodated. Compromises were reached. Among others, Cyril Ramaphosa became secretary-general and Jacob Zuma deputy secretary-general. This united front was accepted widely.

In 1994, Ramaphosa retained his position, while Thabo Mbeki slipped into the deputy presidency and Zuma became the national chairperson. Mbeki, Zuma and Ramaphosa now constituted a triangle of power that set the tone for turmoil in the decades to come. Mbeki's leapfrogged Ramaphosa to become president of the ANC in 1997. The effect of this was to side-line Ramaphosa from the main succession line, and to open the door to Zuma's ascendance. This is turn established the tracks for future power trysts and discreditation.

As the country's president from 1999 Mbeki became maligned by the left for championing neo-liberal policies. Yet he won a second term. The resolutions at the 2002 conference showed a state that was confident of its abilities to eradicate the social scourges of the day. But Mbeki baulked at entrusting this project to his deputy Zuma who was already implicated in arms deal corruption. The only way to stop Zuma would have been to bring charges - a decision that was unpalatable in the prevailing climate because the charges would have come across as being politicised.

The transition from Mbeki to Zuma catalysed the process of self-destruction in the ANC. Zuma's formal rise to power followed his involvement in the arms deal saga. Multiple scandals followed, including a rape case in which he was acquitted, and detailed allegations that he facilitated state capture by his networks of family and associates.

In his second term, Zuma's loyalists bent on mobilising for their "turn at the trough", entrenched their hold on power, fusing the ANC's succession contests with guarding access to political power and state resources.

The ANC has gone into all previous conferences reasonably secure about its electoral support. Leadership elections in the previous rounds have not been accompanied by concerns over whether not the choice of leadership would pose any electoral risk.

That's changed. Corruption in government has become a major issue for the electorate and public trust in state institutions is evaporating. This loss of support was evident in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

Yet, depending on the leaders it chooses, the ANC runs the risk of either ceding its outright electoral majority nationally, and even potentially in provinces beyond the Western Cape - the only province it does not run - to opposition coalitions. Or becoming dependent on questionable small parties to forge governing coalitions.

Opinion surveys over the last year all show a singular direction: the need to cleanse state of Zumaist influences, and minimal tolerance of corruption. Yet the ANC succession campaigns have been vacillating, often ignoring the dangling sword.

This means that for the first time since its unbanning the ANC requires foundational renewal and correction. Its supporters and general electorate are no longer content with conference resolutions that simply promise to root out corruption, as was the case in Mangaung 2012.

Quest for unity

These realities leave the ANC with unpalatable choices: does it maintain unity in its leadership contest and avoid angry fall-outs - and even another split? ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe assumes that unity can be infused by electing

a leadership that will send a signal that we are serious about stopping looting from our people.

Yet efforts to drive unity have put little emphasis on exorcising corruption and correcting the ANC.

Several unity initiatives have been aired since the run-up to the ANC's mid-year policy conference in June. For example, in a poorly sponsored initiative Zuma, as president, proposed that the loser of the presidential race automatically become the deputy president.

Subsequent bilateral meetings between ANC provincial executives have attempted forging united fronts in multiple guises. Proposed amendments to the ANC constitution (to be deliberated at the conference, just prior to the final nominations in December) include several options to accommodate a greater number of top ANC officials.

Even the ANC parliamentary caucuses' stance in August 2017's opposition driven vote of no confidence was a manifestation of the "unity above all" mantra. It pointed to the type of ANC that might follow if unity prevails over the substance of governance.

Weaknesses that followed that vote included further declines in state-owned entities (South African Airways, and the power utility Eskom, for example), evidence of the capture of the National Treasury and attempted capture of the Public Investment Corporation, while private sector associates to the Gupta-Zuma network went into tailspins.

High stakes

None of the preceding conferences could prepare the ANC for the decisions, including leadership choices, that the December conference is required to deliver. The stakes are high and the delegates' task unenviable.

They will be presiding over an ANC that squirms in Scylla's clutches, amid differences over the theme of unity. Simultaneously, they will be fighting to avoid the crosscurrents of Charybdis' whirlpool. This, as the electorate demands that the ANC show integrity and accountability. Unity above all might entail unpalatable compromises. A post-Zuma order that still bears the Zuma imprint may not be good enough, even if keeps the ANC united.

Disclosure statement

Susan Booysen does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

Zimbabwean pastor Evan Mawarire has urged young people to "to perform a 'David Goliath act' against President Robert Mugabe's oppressive rule", a report says.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, speaking at Ibbo Madaza's SAPES trust policy dialogue meeting last week, Mawarire urged young people to emulate the veteran leader and other freedom fighters in challenging oppressive laws.

The popular anti-Mugabe cleric, however, said that the young people in the southern African country could achieve their objective through peaceful means.

"David took Goliath head on, he was bold; the youth that is weak, that is afraid, that is timid and hides will not achieve anything in future... you have the ability to face things that these people (ruling party politicians) can't face why because it is your future that is at stake," Mawarire was cited as saying.

Mawarire's remarks came after Mugabe mocked US President Donald Trump, describing him as the "Giant Gold Goliath".

Addressing the UNGA, where reproaches of other leaders were generally less personal in tone, the 93-year-old veteran leader took Trump to task both on policy and appearance.

"Some of us were," Mugabe said, pausing for emphasis, "embarrassed, if not frightened, by what appeared to be the return of the biblical Giant Gold Goliath".

"Are we having a return of Goliath to our midst, who threatens the extinction of other countries?" he asked, triggering applause in the hall as two junior US diplomats listened expressionless.

Mugabe has tense relations with Western nations which have imposed sanctions to press for more democracy in Zimbabwe, where he has ruled for 37 years.

News24

By Kunle Aderinokun

A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers has said the Nigerian entertainment and media market revenue, which rose to $3.6 billion in 2016 would increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2 per cent to $6.4 billion in 2021.

PwC, which revealed this in its "Entertainment and media outlook: 2017 - 2021, An African perspective" obtained by THISDAY, noted that due to the depreciation of the Naira, Nigeria's E & M revenue expressed in United States Dollars was somewhat depressed when compared with last year's figures.

The report, which is the 8th annual edition, released this month, is an in-depth analysis of the trends shaping the entertainment and media industry in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. It is a comprehensive source of analyses and five-year forecasts of consumer and advertising spending across five countries and 14 segments.

In terms of total E&M revenue, the PwC report rated Nigeria as one of the fastest-growing countries among those ones it considered. It, however, added that, "This figure must be treated with caution, as a huge proportion of that growth comes from Internet access revenue alone--specifically mobile Internet access revenue."

"This in itself is an interesting side point, with Nigerians embracing dual-SIM phones in order to circumvent issues with network coverage."

As such, the outlook on E & M explained that, out of the $2.8 billion that the Nigerian market would add between 2016 and 2021, only $452 million will not come from Internet access revenue, "dampening what seems like an optimistic picture for consumer and advertiser revenue growth."

This implies that a whopping $2.348 billion in revenue would be generated from internet access within the projected period, representing 83.9 per cent of the total. "Industries such as the world renowned Nollywood, for instance, don't generate that much measurable revenue for Nigerian E&M due to issues such as piracy hampering official cinema owners and film vendors."

However, noting that, when internet access revenue was excluded from the figures, Nigeria's CAGR dropped to a less stellar 5.4 per cent, which is behind the 7.7 per cent seen in Kenya, the report added that, there was still much to be positive about in the Nigerian market.

According to the outlook, "The combined elements of TV and video will add nearly US$200 million to 2021. Although the breadth of Internet coverage and speed of service is not yet sufficient to support meaningful Internet video revenue, pay-TV will do well over the forecast period. Growth was low in 2016 as providers focused on low-cost entry level packages designed to entice new customers. This has helped pay-TV households to rocket from 1.9 million in 2012 to 4.0 million in 2016."

The latest PwC report expressed the belief that, once the emphasis shifts towards upselling households to more premium packages with wider ranges of content, HD channels and TV everywhere services, a 4.1 per cent CAGR can be expected. "In music, ringtones and ringbacks continue to make good running, thanks largely to their piracy-proof nature. And in video games, similarly, the social/casual model is making gamers of anybody with a smartphone, explaining rapid rises in this metric as smartphone connections rise exponentially."

It explained: "TV is Nigeria's largest advertising segment, with terrestrial dominant, but with multichannel rising at a double-digit CAGR to 2021 as advertisers chase the country's increasingly large pay-TV base. Local content remains important and MultiChoice continues to add programming to its DStv and GOtv services. MultiChoice's dedicated sports channel, SuperSport, has invested significantly in Nigerian content, particularly in football and basketball."

Besides, the report also projected that, "A healthy proliferation of radio stations--Lagos State alone has 23--will also take radio advertising revenue to just shy of US$80 million in 2021, while the country's rapid rate of urbanisation in particular spells good news for OOH (out-of-home media)."

"Internet advertising, though, is the most exciting growth area, with a CAGR of 19.5 per cent expected to propel the segment to US$157 million in 2021. Mobile Internet is seeing especially strong growth, and will overtake wired advertising by the end of the forecast period.

"In March 2017, Facebook began accepting payments for advertising space in naira. Previously, prices were displayed in naira, but payments were not accepted in the currency, meaning that extra currency conversion fees and blocked transactions were commonplace. Businesses can now pay for Facebook's ad space using local debit cards, improving access to the social network for advertisers and local companies across Nigeria. This will only improve the transition of advertiser dollars to the segment, even if it may not spell ad revenue for the country's content producers," the report added.

BRIEFS

Capital Market

The Securities and Exchange Commission banned the Managing Director of Partnership Investment Company Plc and Partnership Securities Limited, Victor Ogiemwonyi, from operating in the capital market for life. Ogiemwonyi was also banned for life from holding directorship position in any public company in Nigeria for his alleged unprofessional conduct in the Nigerian capital market in respect of the activities of both companies. He would also pay a penalty of N100, 000. With the ban, the commission said the companies' operating licenses had been withdrawn, while their chairman, Henry Omoragbon, was suspended from engaging in Nigerian capital market activities for five years.

Crude Oil

Oil markets were firm and remained near multi-month highs reached penultimate week as the number of U.S. rigs drilling for new production fell and refineries continued to start up after getting knocked out by Hurricane Harvey. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $50 per barrel at 0547 GMT, and close to the more than three-month high of $50.50 reached penultimate Thursday. Brent crude futures, benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.71 a barrel, up 9 cents and not far from the almost five- month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday. Brent was $56 the previous week.

Cotonou Border

Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (Retd.) canvassed the complete closure of Nigeria's most important border outpost at the boundary with Benin Republic, the Cotonou border, as a solution to the problem of smuggling. Ali made the submission at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in Lagos. He said the suggestion became necessary because it was becoming increasingly difficult for the NCS to man the border due to the illegal activities of smugglers and the adverse effect of such activities on local industries and the economy, generally.

Autonomy for AuGF

President Muhammadu Buhari pressed for a review of relevant legislations by the National Assembly to give autonomy to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation. Buhari disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja at the launch of the 2017- 2022 Strategic Development Plan of the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, where he was represented by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun. The president said there was need to give the AuGF adequate powers to carry out his mandate in all the arms of government.

Foreign Investment

The Nigeria Investment Promotion Council said its target was to attract about $25 billion in foreign direct investment as the Nigeria-U.S. Investors Roundtable opened in New York. NIPC's Chief Executive Officer, Yewande Sadiku, said the council's target from the forum was expected to surpass that of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, who spoke at the opening session of the forum, also said the federal government was deliberately investing in the development of infrastructure to attract investors to the country. "Nigeria of the future will be dramatically different from the past," the minister told participants at the forum held on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

By Ifeoluwa Adeyemo and Queenesther Iroanusi

The operations of Uber drivers have come under attack at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja, following resistance from the resident car hire service providers.

Uber drivers have been harassed continuously by the task force of resident car hire services at the NAIA for operating "illegally". Uber, the U.S. based global taxi service, is not officially registered with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, in Abuja.

"The task force impounds the cars and hands over the drivers to the Police who 'fine the driver' the sum of N25,000 against the charge of picking passengers illegally from the airport", a Uber driver, Temitope Ayoola, told PREMIUM TIMES.

"They told us that we are illegal and that we are not expected to come and pick up any passengers or carry out our operations at the airport.

"It has been on for sometimes so we just manoeuvre our way to pick up our passengers but in the last two months or let me say early July it became something else as they started arresting my colleagues.

"The issue is that they are doing it in connivance with the police. They would hold our cars and also hand the driver over to the police standing on the grounds that according to FAAN (Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria) if we are not making money for them we cannot work at the airport", Mr. Ayoola said.

Aside not being registered with FAAN, Saka Abdulahi, a task force official of one of the car hire services, Airport Car Hire Association ACHAN, told PREMIUM TIMES that they impound the cars and arrest UBER drivers because "they are depriving them of customers."

According to him, there are two official car hire services, VIKO Nigeria Car hire and ACHAN, whose members pay N65,000 to FAAN annually: N40,000 as a concession fee, and N20,000 for gate access and N5000 for form.

"We are more than 1000 registered car hire drivers and as a result, we carry passengers from the airport twice a week each. A ride is N5,000 naira and from that money, we will have to buy fuel and meet other expenses within the airport including car hire tickets and remittance for the annual due", he said.

Mr. Abdulahi alleged that UBER drivers park within the airport premises waiting for requests from customers and that they carry out car hire operations at the airport up to four times in a day.

A leader of one of the groups of UBER drivers who pleaded anonymity for fear of victimisation said the controversy has been on since late last year and it got serious in June.

He admitted that after interactions with the FAAN authorities in Abuja, the agency has indicated its willingness to let Uber operate at the airport.

"Before now there was this wrong belief or wrong view that FAAN didn't want Uber drivers to operate. The issue we are facing right now is with Uber," he said.

"Uber claims they are just an application, which consumers download to request, the drivers download and put their cars, and the Internet merges both of them.

"We've been in touch with the top people here in Abuja and I know what their position is. The position and the problem now is to get Uber down to the airport to do the needful. We've been trying to get Uber (to do this); all FAAN wants is, 'tell what you do, how you do it, how you make your money and then how you also intend to make money for us.' It is not like FAAN is requesting that they pay a particular sum.

"FAAN is saying come for dialogue; everything in business it's negotiable. Whatever comes to the table, we know how we would negotiate and share. That's what they are all asking for."

On the issue of depriving the other car hire services some of their dues, he said: "We take about a minimum of half a million from these people daily. How do we you expect them to remit to FAAN? This is affecting FAAN's revenue one way or the other whether we like it or not but they are given a level playing ground.

"This is an open market where anyone can come and compete, there's no monopoly; that we have ascertained with them", he said.

Speaking on the controversy, the Acting General Manager Public Affairs of FAAN, Henrietta Yakubu, said she was not aware of the situation at the airport.

"Although I've not heard about this, but I am not sure they have the right to harass the Uber drivers whether registered or not because every passenger has the right to go back home by whatever means they desire and most times these passengers prefer Uber drivers to the other taxi drivers.

"Indeed Uber drivers are not registered with FAAN yet; but the truth is, if as a passenger, I prefer to go with Uber, I should be allowed to do so without being harassed.

"We are concerned about the safety of our passengers and so we encourage car-hire operators to register with FAAN so as to have their records and make it easy for us to trace in case anything goes south."

She promised to speak with the commercial department concerning the issue and expressed hopes that they will come out with the policy to ensure that the problem is resolved and that passengers always go with registered taxis for their own safety.

By Ejiofor Alike and Emmanuel Addeh

Yenagoa — The meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) of OPEC and Non-OPEC Countries in Vienna, Austria, yesterday extended its exemption from crude oil production cut, thus endorsing the country's position hat the exemption granted it at the November 2016 Ministerial Conference and extended by the May Ministerial Conference should be sustained until it stabilises its crude oil production.

It also emerged yesterday that the federal government is planning to halt the stealing of Nigeria's crude oil by introducing a fingerprint technology which will track products anywhere in the world.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who led Nigeria's delegation to the JMMC meeting had argued that although Nigeria's production recovery efforts have made some appreciable progress since October last year, Nigeria is not yet out of the woods.

He noted that even though Nigeria hit 1.802 million barrels per day in August; that was not enough justification for a call by some countries for Nigeria to be brought into the fold.

Kachikwu emphasised that Nigeria, as one of the older members of OPEC would continue to work for the good of the Organization and its member countries, respecting whatever agreements and resolutions are collectively made.

He stated that Nigeria would be prepared to cap its crude production when it had stabilized at 1.8 million barrels per day.

He said that although Nigeria was not a member of the five-nation JMMC, he had gladly accepted the invitation of the co-chairs of the Committee and the OPEC Conference President to attend the meeting because he believed that the committee was doing a good job and needed to be supported and also to clarify Nigeria's position on its crude oil production.

The meeting noted that overall compliance by OPEC and Non OPEC participating Countries to the Agreement on crude oil production cut for the month of August was 116 per cent.

This compliance level was highest since the agreement came into effect on January 2017.

It further noted that the objectives of the Accord were steadily being achieved with the gradual draw-down of inventories by nearly 50 per cent since the agreement came into effect

In a communiqué after its 5th meeting, which took place yesterday, the JMMC welcomed the participation of Iraq, Libya and Nigeria, and the reaffirmation of their commitment to work closely with other participating producing countries to ensure the success of the Declaration of Cooperation.

The President of the OPEC Conference and Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Khalid A. Al-Falih, participated in the meeting by telephone, expressed his solidarity with the JMMC, reiterated the commitment of Saudi Arabia to the success of the Declaration of Cooperation and cautioned against complacency.

He also reaffirmed the necessity of additional work to be undertaken by under-performing participating countries to bring their conformity levels to 100 per cent.

He then thanked Libya and Nigeria for their positive engagement and their ongoing coordination with the participating countries in the Declaration of Cooperation.

The next JMMC Meeting is scheduled to be held in Vienna, on November 29, 2017.

FG to Track Nigeria's Stolen Crude Oil with Fingerprint Technology

To halt the stealing of Nigeria's crude oil by locals who connive with operators of foreign vessels, the federal government said yesterday that it was introducing a fingerprint technology which will track products anywhere in the world.

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who spoke in Odi, Bayelsa State, yesterday, also disclosed that the Buhari government was set to build an oil and gas institute in the state due to the immense contribution of Bayelsa in the sector.

Onu, who was also in Odi to inaugurate a Bio-resources Laboratory and the livestock feed mill complexes at the Bio-resources Development Centre (BIODEC), disclosed that the programme which would take off before the end of the year, will solve the problem of economic sabotage.

"Nigeria is changing with this capacity here now, we will able to do many things. I just gave them instruction that by the end of the year, we should have finger printing of our crude oil, so that if anybody steals it we will be able to identify it.

"Even crude oil can have finger prints and with the equipment we have here, we can do it in Nigeria. One problem that we have is that we rely on other people to solve our problems. We produce crude oil, we export it, but we now import refined petroleum products.

"We export our woods and we bring in toothpicks. We don't want that anymore and for you to do all these things we rely on others. We have to look inward and we need to build capacity and that is what this facility is doing for us.

"We can do genome mapping of our rare crops, plants, animals that are unique to us. We can even finger print our own crude oil.

"We also need to fight poverty. If you create jobs, you will fight poverty, if you train people, you fight poverty and that's what they are doing here and I think we are ready to fight poverty."

The minister had earlier visited the state governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, where he intimated him of the need to develop capacity in the oil and gas processes in the country.

In his comments, Dickson who was represented by his Deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah, said the state would create an enabling environment to make the project a success in the state.

He noted that the Institute when established would create jobs, encourage skills and reduce spate of unemployment in the region.

Also speaking, the Director General of the Institute, Josiah Habu, said the target of the research centre was to bring "reliability, quality, originality, innovation and novelty to research and development".

He said the commissioning of the facilities had officially open the gateway to a higher level of bio-resources prospecting and processing to new products and services to support local content.

"For a start, the quest for the DNA of Nigeria's crude oil will soon be answered. This is to enable the tracking of Nigeria's crude oil flow globally and hence solve the national problem of economic sabotage", he said.

By Chineme Okafor

Abuja — The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the West African Power Pool (WAPP) have initiated plans to build a second 330 kilovolt (kV) transmission line to boost electricity supply to the Republic of Benin by 2021.

The Interim Managing Director of TCN and Chairman, WAPP, Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed, disclosed this at a meeting to kick-off the project's Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Study in Abuja yesterday.

Mohammed said the transmission section of Nigeria's power sector was also targeting to attain 20,000 megawatts (MW) transmission capacity within the next three years.

He said: "The second 330kV Ikeja West transmission line to Sakete in Benin Republic is necessary as the first could soon be constrained by the demand for more power from the Nigerian grid increase."

Mohammed explained that transmission was no longer the weakest link in the country's electricity sector's value chain as TCN now had a robust rehabilitation and expansion plan that had been endorsed by the ministries of power and finance and development partners.

"TCN is no longer the weakest link in the power value chain as it is fast tracking the implementation of many power projects.

"The transmission rehabilitation and expansion programme seeks to expand the grid to about 20,000MW in the next three years. It is also intended to support the current institutional reform that will make TCN a 21st century compliant transmission firm," Mohammed stated.

According to him, the TCN has also embarked on a nationwide installation of transmission transformers with three installed in Lagos last week, two scheduled for the north and another three in the Port Harcourt region shortly.

He said the TCN had saved cost of the installations of the transformers as the in-house engineers handled the projects at less than 10 per cent cost of what contractors would have used in the past.

The WAPP project, he noted would be supported by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and African Development Bank (AfDB), and that the ESIA study would be conducted in six months after which the construction would take another 24 months and then ready by 2021.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (Power), Louis Edozien, said in his remarks at the meeting that: "The ministry's primary responsibility is to satisfy the electricity needs of Nigerians. We are committed to integrating the international electricity market but our primary responsibility is to satisfy Nigerians. Currently Nigerians are not satisfied."

He urged the Community Electric du Benin (CEB), the power firm of Benin Republic to immediately settle accumulated electricity debts.

"The electricity that we have already supplied is not paid. I use this platform to emphasise to CEB that the debts that have accumulated needs to be settled quickly. It helps us explain to Nigerians why we should expand the supply by doing this kind of project. A mechanism must be in place to make sure the debts do not balloon again, that debts are paid for promptly," Edozien said.

Expressing support for the project, Edozien said the electricity generation companies (Gencos) now have 7,000MW capacity but the distribution companies (Discos) were doing around 4,600MW capacity, noting that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was helping them to bridge their investment requirements.

He noted that as Discos improve their capacity, the Gencos should also rise further so they could export the surplus electricity generated through WAPP to neighbouring countries that needed the energy.

The Director General of CEB, Dr. Karimou Chabi Sika lauded the project, saying it provided an opportunity to sustain the West African nation system. Sika also said the project on completion would ensure adequate power supply to the people of Benin Republic.

By Bassey Udo

The Nigerian government has, through the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, been mediating in a multi-million deal that apparently violates a Supreme Court ruling, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

The deal is to get a Nigerian-American firm, BFI Group, to surrender to a Russian firm, UC RUSAL, its win of the 2004 bid for the multi-billion Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON.

BFIG has, however, rejected a $35 million offer to forfeit its legal rights after meetings by all parties.

The firm also communicated its position to both the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE and the National Council on Privatization, NCP.

Its Chairman/Chief Executive, Reuben Jaja, accused Mr. Fayemi of compromising his office by "continuously jumping in bed with the Russians to subvert rule of law, in defiance of two subsisting Supreme Court rulings" pending federal government's implementation on the matter.

The spokesperson to the minister, Yinka Oyebode, in response to PREMIUM TIMES' inquiry on Thursday, not only denied knowledge of the deal, but also exonerated his boss.

"I don't think my 'Oga' will be part of that kind of deal. The much interest I know he has is to resolve this issue. I don't think he will sit down with anybody to ask anybody to pay off anybody or stuff like that. This idea of somebody offering anybody money, I don't think he will be involved in it," Mr. Oyebode said on telephone.

He, however, said he would not comment further, as the minister was outside the country attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

PREMIUM TIMES also sent emails to both the minister's official and private mails as well as text messages to his known telephone lines requesting his reaction.

He was yet to respond to any of the messages at the time of publication of this story.

HISTORY

In 2004, UC RUSAL had lost out in the bid to acquire ALSCON after it was disqualified by the NCP, for violating bid guidelines.

Although BFIG was later declared the winner of the bid with a $410 million offer, the BPE later cancelled the results in controversial circumstances.

BPE later reinstated UC RUSAL and handed over the plant to it in 2006 on the orders of then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, triggering a protracted legal battle that dragged till July 6, 2012 when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of BFIG as the recognised winner of the bid and owner of ALSCON.

On July 11, 2016, the apex court reaffirmed its ruling through a unanimous verdict dismissing for lack of merit an application by UC RUSAL on November 4, 2015, seeking a review and vacation of the previous judgment.

In each of the two separate rulings, the Supreme Court ordered the federal government, through its agencies - BPE and NCP, to invite BFIG and negotiate a mutually agreed share purchase agreement, SPA, with a view to handing over ALSCON to the rightful winner.

Curiously, in April 2017, in apparent in defiance of the Supreme Court directives, Mr. Fayemi visited ALSCON and was received by UC RUSAL's managing director, Dimitriy Zaviyalov, whom he promised to work with to reactivate the plant.

Yemi Osinbajo

During the visit, the minister also assured the Russians of the federal government's commitment to "encourage the Supreme Court to expedite action on the ruling," and to "free the complex of any encumbrances," in a move that appeared ignorant of the fact that the apex court already ruled twice on the matter.

Following the visit, Mr. Jaja accused Mr. Fayemi of perpetrating illegality, by "contemptuously romancing with UC RUSAL on a matter the Supreme Court had already ruled on two occasions."

THE NEGOTATIONS

However, ahead of the first meeting of the reconstituted NCP scheduled for September 26 in Abuja, Mr. Jaja has again accused Mr. Fayemi as the unseen hand behind UC RUSAL's latest clandestine plot to hijack the ALSCON ownership in defiance of rule of law and subsisting Supreme Court orders in favour of BFIG.

To get BFIG to accept to participate in the out-of-court settlement deal, PREMIUM TIMES investigations revealed on Wednesday that Mr. Fayemi reportedly asked his kinsman from Ekiti State, Wole Olanipekun, whom he believed could influence BFIG, to be involved.

Mr. Olanipekun has been a long-standing counsel to the consortium throughout its legal tussle to reclaim ALSCON.

Consequently, the minister, along with BPE Director-General, Alex Okoh, and other officials, held a secret meeting on August 21 with UC RUSAL agents, Danba & Associates Limited, led by its Chairman/CEO, Saadina Dantata, to compel BFIG to accept an offer for the relinquishment of its legal rights guaranteed by Supreme Court ruling of July 6, 2012.

Earlier, UC RUSAL had written to BPE to confirm its appointment of Mr. Dantata as its representative and leader of delegation for negotiations in the disputes over the ownership of ALSCON.

It was gathered that at a meeting brokered by Mr. Fayemi and attended by BPE DG, an initial $30 million offer was tabled by Mr. Dantata on behalf of UC RUSAL payable to BFIG over 20 years, after agreeing to sign off all settlement agreements to terminate all outstanding legal cases in court in relation to the deal to acquire ALSCON.

A source close to the meeting said BFIG officials had made their stance known clearly that they were not interested in the offer, insisting on the minister to rather advise the federal government to uphold rule of law by implementing the pending Supreme Court orders in their favour.

Also, the company (BFIG) in turn offered to refund to UC RUSAL the $130 million the Russians said they paid to BPE when ALSCON was handed over to them in 2006.

The source, who asked not to be named, because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the Russians rejected the proposal and demanded that BFIG paid to them additional $550 million instead.

The source said Mr. Fayemi was so incensed with BFIG's rejection of the offer that he threatened to invoke government's powers to revoke the entire ALSCON sale transaction if by the next meeting they refused to change their mind.

During a follow-up meeting on August 28, 2017, UC RUSAL's representative was said to have made an adjusted final offer of $35 million, consisting $20 million initial payment, plus another $10 million spread over 20 years, on the same conditions "in the spirit of an amicable settlement."

Although BFIG officials were said to have been absent, it was gathered that the outcome of the meeting was later sent to BFIG through BPE on September 13, 2017.

But, in a written formal response dated September 18, 2017 and addressed to the BPE Director-General, copy of which was obtained exclusively by PREMIUM TIMES, BFIG reaffirmed its earlier rejection of the offer by UC RUSAL representatives.

The company described the offer as not only insulting and denigrating, but also an attempt to lure it into becoming complicit in a violation of the U.S. anti-corruption law.

"We continuously maintain the belief that our acceptance of the offer can be interpreted as our direct or indirect assistance for a person to secure an improper advantage in a business transaction", BFIG General Counsel, Jimmie Williams, said in the letter.

"This acceptance (means) our relinquishment of the binding 6 July 2012 Supreme Court judgment and the discarding of our legal rights, can be viewed as making us complicit in a violation of the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, 15 U.S.C," he added.

Copies of the response, which were sent to both the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who is the NCP Chairman, and Mr. Fayemi, reiterated BFIG's readiness and willingness to commence the initial takeover inspection of ALSCON aborted unilaterally at the last minute by BPE in 2012.

The inspection visit approved by the NCP at its sixth meeting in November 2012 was part of the process to finalise the mutually agreed SPA towards the takeover of ALSCON.

The visit was to enable BFIG conduct a complete site, engineering, technical, environmental, management and financial review of ALSCON to determine the final price following the Supreme Court ruling.

A senior official in BPE, who is familiar with the ALSCON sale controversy, said the rejection of the latest deal by BFIG was a major blow to the scheming by "a shadowy interest group angling to hijack the ALSCON sale."

The group is said to have consistently advised the federal government to explore other ways of resolving the ownership impasse in ALSCON outside the rulings of the Supreme Court which ordered that the plant be handed over to BFIG.

The outcome of the failed deal, which the official said was part of the scheming, was expected to be presented by Mr. Fayemi at the NCP meeting scheduled for Tuesday ostensibly as a way of resolving the lingering ALSCON sale logjam.

All the officials linked to the failed deal refused to respond to calls by PREMIUM TIMES on Friday seeking their reactions.

Mr. Dantata of Danba Associates did not pick calls to his telephones lines, while a text message was not responded to. Equally, an email to the firm's official email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. returned undelivered.

An email to Elena Morenko, Head of International Communications, UC RUSAL, seeking confirmation to the deal and the appointment of Mr. Dantata as the company's representative, was not responded to at the time of publishing this report.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo [Photo credit: dailypost.ng]

Besides, Mr. Okoh of BPE neither answered calls to his telephone, nor responded to a text message and email sent to him.

The NCP meeting would be coinciding with the date the Federal High Court, Abuja is also scheduled to deliver judgment in a $2.8 billion suit filed in 2013 by BFIG against UC RUSAL for its undue interference and conspiracy to frustrate its acquisition of ALSCON.

BFIG REACTS

When PREMIUM TIMES sought BFIG's reaction on why it rejected the $35 million offer by UC RUSAL, Mr. Jaja said, apart from its illegality, acting otherwise would have portrayed the consortium as "a bunch of greedy, unserious and hungry people who do not know what they want."

"How would anybody in his right senses think BFIG would invest billions of dollars of private resources in an attempt to acquire ALSCON and use to contribute to the development of the impoverished Niger Delta people, only for it to be subjected to over 13 years of legal battles traversing all levels of courts in Nigeria and abroad, then accept to trade all that off for a mess of $35 million?" Mr. Jaja asked.

Apart from the inherent corruption and travesty of justice, Mr. Jaja said, by refusing to uphold the two pending Supreme Court rulings on ALSCON, the federal government and some of its officials have given themselves away as economic saboteurs and "part of the grand conspiracy with foreign collaborators against the interest of the Niger Delta people."

A 2011 financial report on ALSCON prepared by KPMG had revealed massive asset strippingof the plant allegedly perpetrated by UC RUSAL since 2006 when the plant was handed over to it by BPE.

The report showed how the $3.2 billion plant, valued at over $1.1 billion in 2004 when the bid was held, and $1.03 billion when UC RUSAL took over in 2006, dropped in asset value to less than $73 million by 2012 when the Supreme Court sacked the Russians from the plant.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) says one of its members at the Lonmin mine in Wonderkop, North West, was shot and killed in front of his six-year-old daughter.

AMCU president Joseph Mathunjwa said in a statement on Saturday, Mvelisi Biyela, a health and safety office bearer at Lonmin, was gunned down outside his house on Friday.

Mathunjwa said the death of Biyela left them "shaken", but they would not be intimidated.

"Those that think their cowardice can defeat this mighty union built on the spirit of many that have paid the ultimate price, spilt their blood, left us with just their bones must think again."

Over the last months more than five leaders have been killed.

On September 12, an AMCU branch treasurer was gunned down outside the Impala Platinum mine in Rustenburg.

READ: Senior Amcu official gunned down in Rustenburg

Mathunjwa said a war had been declared against AMCU.

"We will not fight with bullets, guns and anonymous hitmen but with mass action. We will fight with a much greater weapon, the unity of AMCU, the unity of mineworkers and the unity of the working class," he said.

The trade union leader said he would not fold his arms and watch his members being killed, their wives left as widows and their children grow-up in single parent families without a father.

"Our members will not be slaughtered like flies. We will fight back and we will fight hard."

On Tuesday, AMCU is expected to hold a press conference to announce a campaign of rolling mass action.

Source: News24

Executive of rugby John Mitchell says the Blue Bulls ' Currie Cup clash against the Sharks in Durban will be their toughest of the season.

The Bulls head to Kings Park as underdogs, having won just three of eight matches to sit second from last on the overall standings.

In contrast, their hosts the Sharks are soaring at the top of the table with eight wins from nine matches.

"We are no doubt facing our biggest challenge of the season," Mitchell told the Bulls' official website.

"The Sharks have been in awesome form this year and to have to travel down to Durban to face them is not making it any easier. That said, this group is all about challenges and how we confront and handle them, so we are looking forward to the clash."Mitchell was keen to see his team improve following a narrow 36-33 defeat against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg."We are slowly starting to come to grips with a number of structural changes and for once, there is some continuity available in selection, something that was not possible earlier in the competition," Mitchell said after making only two changes to his starting team.Blue Bulls captain Burger Odendaal also commented: "We are working hard to adapt to a number of things and there was a positive approach to the work put in this week, so we now need to go down to Durban and show the improvements."Kick-off for Saturday's clash is scheduled for 15:00. Teams:

Sharks

15 Garth April, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Jean Droste, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Tristan Blewett, 22 Rhyno Smith

Blue Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Burger Odendaal (captain), 12 JT Jackson, 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Jano Venter, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Nic de Jager, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Pierre Schoeman

Substitutes: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Tim Agaba, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Handre Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers

Source: Sport24

By Evans Mulenga

Chipolopolo coach Wedson Nyirenda has named 26 local players for the first phase of the preparation for October 7 Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup clash against Nigeria.

Nyirenda has named Under-17 promising striker Lameck Banda and Power Dynamos midfielder Larry Bwalya in the squad that goes into residential camp on September 25 in Lusaka.

According to the list availed to Fazfootball.com, Nyirenda will get down to work on Monday before the full complement of foreign based players join at a later stage.

Zambia faces Nigeria away in Uyo at the God's Will Akpabio Stadium with a ticket to Russia at stake.

Nigeria tops the group on 10 points with Zambia lying second on seven point while Cameroun and Algeria who have lost interest in the race are on two and one point respectively.

GOALKEEPERS:

Toaster Nsabata Goalkeeper (Zanaco), Allan Chibwe (Power Dynamos), Kelvin Malunga (Nkana FC)

DEFENDERS:

Simon Silwimba, Fackson Kapumbu (Zesco United), Adrian Chama (Green Buffaloes), Muchindu Boston, Moses Nyondo (Nkana FC), Ziyo Tembo (Zanaco FC), Webster Mulenga (Red Arrows), Isaac Shamujompa (Power Dynamos)

MIDFIELDERS:

Donashano Malama (Nkana FC), Kondwani Mtonga, Mischeck Chaila John Ching'andu (Zesco United FC), Ernest Mbewe, Augustine Mulenga (Zanaco), Godfrey Ngwenya, Larry Bwalya (Power Dynamos), Lameck Banda (Nkwazi), Jack Chirwa, Mike Katiba, Diamond Chikwekwe (Green Buffaloes)

STRIKERS:

Alex Ng'onga, Martin Phiri (Power Dynamos), Lubinda Mundia (Red Arrows)

(SOURCE: FAZ MEDIA)

Banyana Banyana staged the greatest comeback against a strong and determined Zambia side to book their spot in the final of the 2017 COSAFA Women's Championship currently underway in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Down 3-0 in the 75th minute, the South Africans scored three quick goals to level the score at 3-3 at the end of regulation, forcing the match to a penalty shootout where they emerged victorious. The result sets up a repeat of the 2011 COSAFA final when they lost to the hosts, Zimbabwe.

Things looked bad for the Sasol-sponsored South Africans when Barba Banda scored the opening goal for Shepolopolo in the 21st minute before increasing their lead on the stroke of halftime through Grace Chanda.

Zambia grabbed their third in the 73rd minute and it appeared the match was over as a contest.

But there was relief for Banyana Banyana when Rhoda Chileshe stepped up and ballooned her spot kick over the crossbar.

With their never-say-die spirit, Banyana Banyana clawed their way back into the game with a 77th minute goal from Leandra Smeda whose header was too powerful for Hazel Nali to stop.

Three minutes later Thembi Kgatlana, who was always a handful for the Zambian defence, was fouled and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Smeda made no mistake, reducing the deficit to 3-2 with her second of the day.

With six minute remaining on the clock, Kgatlana left her markers for dead and her cross found second-half substitute Rhoda Mulaudzi who had an easy tap-in; and that's how regulation ended, taking the match to a penalty shootout. Smeda, Bambanani Mbane, Matlou, Nompumelelo Nyandeni (who had also come on in the second half), and Lebohang Ramalepe converted their spot kicks to send the South African bench into a frenzy.

Rachael Zulu, Grace Zulu and Lweendo Chisamu all scored for Zambia, while Ester Mukwasa missed her spot kick.

Shortly before the final whistle, interim head coach Desiree Ellis had brought on goalkeeper Andile Dlamini in preparation for the penalty shootout.

Smeda was voted as the Player of the Match.

With the victory, South Africa will now face Zimbabwe in the final.

This is Banyana Banyana's fifth straight final in the tournament - they won in 2002, 2006, and 2008 but came second in 2011 where they lost to Zimbabwe.

This is how they lined up:

Banyana Banyana starting 11 vs Zambia:

Roxanne Barker (GK) (Andile Dlamini), Lebohang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi, Noko Matlou, Bambanani Mbane, Kholosa Biyana, Koketso Tlailane (Rhoda Mulaudzi), Refiloe Jane (C), Leandra Smeda, Thembi Kgatlana, Chantelle Esau (Nompumelelo Nyandeni)

Subs:

Andile Dlamini, (GK), Yolula Tsawe (GK), Regina Mogolola, Zanele Nhlapo, Nwabisa Kolisi, Nkoikoi Mabina, Rachel Sebati, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Rhoda Mulaudzi

Interim Head Coach: Desiree Ellis

SA Rugby will present its bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup to the World Rugby Council in London on Monday.

The three countries in the running to host the global showpieve are South Africa, Ireland and France, and each of them will present their bids on Monday.

World Rugby is set to announce the preferred candidate determined by an independent technical assessment on Tuesday, October 31.

The final decision will be taken on Wednesday, November 15, also in London.

South Africa will have deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa present on Monday as well as sports minister Thulas Nxesi.

South Africa has not hosted the Rugby World Cup since 1995 when they stunned the world by beating the All Blacks to win the tournament at the first time of asking.

Sport24

It's all been a bit messy for Western Province in the Currie Cup so far this year, and they will be desperate to knock over Griquas at Newlands on Saturday to get firmly back on track in the hunt for a semi-final spot.

John Dobson 's men have blown hot and cold all season, with some impressive wins accompanied by some disappointing defeats.

They are currently fourth on the log, but have played a game less than the Lions in third and the Pumas in fifth.

A win on Saturday would be a significant step towards the semi-finals.

But it all depends which Province team shows up on the day.

Last weekend, a 12-3 half-time lead against the Pumas in Nelspruit ended up being a 22-12 loss. The week before that, Province were ruthless as they hammered the Free State Cheetahs 57-14 in Cape Town.

For Dobson, cutting out basic errors is a must if they are to see off a Griquas team that won 44-34 when the sides met in early August.

"It was a very disappointing defeat up there," Dobson said of that game in Kimberley.

"We were 10 points up in the second half and with the team we've got we should have got the job done.

"Our processes have to be focused. The handling errors have little to do with the opposition. It's about getting those things right and not worrying too much about Griquas."

Province captain Chris van Zyl, who is playing his 50th Currie Cup match this weekend, remembers that game well and says his side has taken some lessons from it.

"In general what we focused on is how they take us wide and they had a fair amount of success with it, even though it was a poor defensive effort from us," he said.

"I think from a tactical point of view they will try and do the same thing.

"They've also got a good maul and we're prepared for that."

Province are also boosted by the return of Damian de Allende, Wilco Louw and Dillyn Leyds, who have returned from Springbok duty in New Zealand.

Teams:

Western Province

15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Werner Kok, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Susbtitutes: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Johan du Toit, 19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Ruhan Nel

Griquas

15 Eric Zana, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Kyle Steyn, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Kevin Kaba, 7 Sias Koen (captain), 6 De Wet Kruger, 5 Sintu Manjezi, 4 Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, 3 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Devon Martinus

Substitutes: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Shaun McDonald, 19 Conway Pretorius, 20 Christiaan Meyer, 21 Christopher Bosch, 22 AJ Coertzen

Source: Sport24

Aiden Markram will make his debut for the Proteas in the first Test match against Bangladesh to be played at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom, from September 28.

The 22-year-old Titans opening batsman was a member of the Test squad during the England tour without playing a match and has also captained the South Africa 'A' four-day squad.

The other uncapped player in the squad is all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo . Phehlukwayo was also part of the tour group to England.

An extra all-rounder, Wayne Parnell, has been recalled to the 13-man squad with Vernon Philander, Chris Morris and Dale Steyn all ruled out through injury.

Heino Kuhn and Stephen Cook are not in the squad.

Wiaan Mulder has been invited to join the squad as cover for Parnell, who will have to undergo a fitness test next week. In the event of Parnell coming through successfully Mulder will be returned to the Highveld Lions for their Sunfoil Series match starting next Thursday.

The Test squad has been named for the first match only.

"Aiden has been knocking on the door for some time now," commented CSA National Selection Panel Convener Linda Zondi.

"He gained valuable insight into the Proteas team culture during the tour of England and he has shown maturity beyond his years, having captained South Africa to victory in the U-19 World Cup and as captain of the South Africa A four-day side.

"The inclusion of Andile and Wayne provides the necessary all-rounders to give options as concerns the balance of the starting XI.

"The selection of some younger players is part of the process to build for the future and at the same time maintain our hard core of experience."

Proteas Test squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Duanne Olivier, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada

Source: Sport24

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