Saturday, September 22, 2012
by Mthulisi Mathuthu
ONE reason why an African leader is much more likely going to give an interview to Western journalists than to local ones is that the former will always play into the leader’s hands by asking precisely the questions which suspiciously come out as though they were crafted by some mandarin or a chief government spook with the central aim of getting information that would help them shape government foreign policy.
Given that Western foreign policy is inherently incapable of moral uprightness, meaning that the journalist’s questions will naturally be prejudiced, that always comes in handy for the African leaders.
Perhaps nowhere is this apparent than in the September 18 BBC HARDtalk programme where Zeinabi Badawi’s questions to the MDC leader Welshman Ncube were so partisan that they brazenly exhibited the prejudices and fantasies of the Western mandarins on behalf of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the other MDC faction.
Listening through the interview, one can’t help feeling that the central aim of the questioning was to project Ncube as the main problem and cause of the opposition’s failure to wrest power from Robert Mugabe. Indeed, the interviewee said she was aware of the details of the 2005 split but was, interestingly, not going to go into details about that. In the end it was as if the MDC split not because of Tsvangirai’s refusal to accede to internal ‘democratic outcomes’ but because Welshman Ncube was himself a problem.
Badawi asks Ncube to justify his opinion about MDC-T not being as democratic as it claims to be. In an attempt to load the dice against Ncube, Badawi rests her line of questioning on the opinions of people who she calls ‘various international figures’ whom she collectively refers to as the ‘international community’; and whose views should, therefore, translate to ‘international opinion’.
These people are US diplomat and former Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, who, according to the WikiLeaks, said Ncube was a ‘divisive’ figure who should be removed from the political stage; and Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, who likened Tsvangirai to Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi – both Nobel Peace Prize winners. Dell, the interviewee says, can be relied on more because he spent ‘many years’ in Zimbabwe.
In reminding Ncube of Dell’s opinion, Badawi’s body language betrays her as she comes out as an excited junior detective putting her killer question to a suspect. In bringing in all these things together, the idea is to present Ncube as indeed a ‘divisive’ person going against the supposedly credible people of international stature like Mandela.
To a viewer who is not familiar with the goings on in Zimbabwe, anybody whose view is against that of a Mandela equivalent must surely be crazy and worth ‘removing’ from the political stage.
The same applies with citing of the French Knighthood as an indicator to Tsvangirai’s moral uprightness and credibility – when we know all too well that that award has previously been awarded to savages.
Moreover, Dell cannot be one to rely on because his confident predictions have been previously disastrous. For example, prior to his departure he predicted a total economic implosion within a space of a few months in Zimbabwe, and that never came to pass.
At the end of the day, the HARDtalk interview comes out as one which was designed to lead Ncube into giving answers that would in turn confirm him as a Zanu PF agent. One such question was the last one where he is asked if he would contest against Mugabe in the event of Tsvangirai staging another boycott. If he had said yes, that would have, at least in the scheme of the people who planned the interview, confirmed him as a Zanu PF lackey. Ncube, as before, saw through the trick and survived.
One can’t help thinking that there is indeed fear that Ncube’s whirlwind campaign trail across the country is paying dividends and in a way that stands to reverse the fortunes of both the MDC-T and Zanu PF considerably. Spanners must, therefore, be thrown in his works. The idea, so it seems, is to indeed ‘remove Ncube from the political stage’ by all means necessary.
Strangely Dell, Zedawi and others like them seem to be oblivious to one vivid question: why is it that Tsvangirai, whom Mugabe so much resents to the extent that he has even tried to assassinate him, is vocally in disagreement with Mugabe in almost everything but is silently but willingly in agreement with him on Welshman Ncube’s isolation? What is it which Ncube represents that makes these two enemies forget their differences?
It will be helpful if Dell and his think-a-likes were to keep one thing in mind: it is easy for diplomats from powerful nations to activate the ancient habit of perpetuating prejudices of a particular section of a country they operate in knowing that they can always blame the victims of their actions. And yet it is true that policies grounded on narrow interests will often yield the opposite of what they are meant to achieve. Mugabe’s 32 year rule provides a clear and ongoing example.
Last but not least it would be helpful if journalists like Zedawi try and keep away from the habit of taking questions from mandarins because by so doing a journalist runs the risk of not just sounding shallow but of shunning basic research to the extent of getting many things wrong and thereby giving themselves a hard time such as happened in her interview with Ncube. One example in this case is the fact that Ncube is presented as the secretary general of the MDC, when he is actually the President.
Mthulisi Mathuthu is a New Zimbabwe.com blogger. E-mail him: email@example.com
Timau: Bingu speech from the grave –‘IMF, hands off my country’
By Sembe Gondwe
September 17, 2012
Any good deed that a person starts during his lifetime, and that is of renewed benefit and ongoing use for others, will continue to benefit him and augment his record of good deeds, even after his departure-as long as its benefit continue to reach others.
It is because of this accepted wisdom that former President Bingu wa Mutharika will today speak to Malawians. Oh, yes, whisper it quickly, Bingu addressed the nation…… we now reproduce his speech verbatim.
…to International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Devaluation
I am afraid the flipside of the coin for Malawians is now showing; I am watching what is happening and I am not pleased. My anger is eating me up! I said it; I have always said it, that while it is good to keep donors onside, they do not always know what is best for us.
IMF, why did you force your way on my people. Look what is happening now, you have devalued the kwacha, can you see the results? Where are you? The truth is that you IMF folks have no economy, World Bank has no country. It is only me- who has the tenacity of purpose, courage, and an unbending will which never flinches before antagonists- I know the material constraints of the Malawian people better, and, possibly, how to solve them. My stand has always been no devaluation. These same people rallied against the farm inputs subsidy programme but the programme improved food security situation in Malawi . The same individuals were against the provision of free ARV’s; they wanted you my people to die.
On devaluation, I repeat, IMF has always been oversimplifying a very complex issue.
I stood firm against devaluation not because I was stubborn but because I wanted to protect Malawians from the many problems of devaluing any currency. We cannot devalue the kwacha simply because someone in Washington wants to be seen working. Devaluation only makes Washington happy. If Washington smiles, Lilongwe weeps; are we not weeping now? My people see the tears.
So, IMF, remind me, what were your reasons, economical or otherwise, why did Malawi devalue her currency? What economics guidelines were you using? Didn’t I warn you that if we devalue the kwacha without you telling us how you will support us the people will suffer? You thought I was an evil man and now can you see what you have done to Joyce? Strikes everyday! Where will she get the money from? I refused to devalue the Kwacha to safeguard Malawians.
IMF, I told you to leave my country, I told you to go to hell! These Breton woods institutions will not help us. Yes, I am beside myself with fury because my policy-objectives were restrained by the shrewd policy machinations of the World Bank, IMF, development partners, and an opposition block out to make fun out of Malawi’s challenges.
You were forcing me to devalue the kwacha as if you knew anything. What economics have you done? Tiankhwezule tating’ono inu! I told you that you can’t bully me into submission. Government can’t be taken to ransom by a few disgruntled individuals hiding in the name of civil society. Now, tell me, what alternatives do you have for my people? Mwakasungula can you answer this? The blood of these people who are suffering because of exorbitant price hikes is on you and your friends. Let their spirits haunt you at night. This time they will go after you and not me! Even if you hide in holes they will smoke you out! Why should my people have an increase of mini bus fares everyday? I want you NGOs to prove me wrong today!
….and to Joyce
I made you my running mate and by extension Vice President because I knew that you can manage things. What is this that you are doing now? You are encircled by the same people who were misleading me. I knew how to go round them; moreover, I was just about to do a cabinet reshuffle before I went to sleep. Why appoint a Presidential advisory committee on the economy (PACE) with foreigners in it. Is it realistic? The problem with these committees is that you will not get any tangible out puts only recommendations. They just drain our resources, we are paying them by the hour, what are these people going to do? My country is not a play ground!
I want people with indigenous economic principles. Why wait for wilful IMF or committees when we have our own economists who understand Malawi better. Dr. Thandeka Mkandawire and Dr. Fannwell Bokosi are sitting around while you appoint an international group! Appoint Malawians to solve Malawi problems,
Which theory states that civil servants should have low salaries? My plan was to start paying civil servants market rates to enhance productivity. Why pay them low when they face the same problems as every other Malawian. Increasing prices of goods and services impinge on them the same way as everyone else. Pay them market rates and fire them if they don’t execute their duties professionally.
…….and to you Peter
I was very pleased with your speech on the day I was being put in my final resting place. It was very good. I am also pleased with the path you have taken for the party. Keep DPP alive. I want you to prove that I was not favouring you but you have got the mantle to carry the party forward. Look after my wife Calista – she should never walk alone . Look after the children and my Ndata Palace. And remember they are my wife and children, the money, I left is not for campaign purposes only.
Thank you. God bless Malawi
“Even the lord Jesus referred to death as sleep. In John 11:11-14, He spoke of the death of Lazarus as sleep.”
By The Post
Sat 22 Sep. 2012, 10:50 CAT
MR. SPEAKER,IT IS WITH PLEASURE THAT I JOIN YOU TODAY AND THE REST OF THE HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT TO OPEN THE SECOND SESSION OF THE ELEVENTH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. ALMOST ONE YEAR HAS ELAPSED SINCE I ADDRESSED THIS AUGUST HOUSE ON THE OCCASION OF THE OPENING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE ELEVENTH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.
MR. SPEAKER,BEFORE I GO ANY FURTHER, I NOTE WITH SADNESS THAT DURING THE FIRST SESSION OF THE ELEVENTH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, THE HOUSE LOST THE HONOURABLE MEMBER FOR MUCHINGA PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCY, THE LATE MR GEORGE KUNDA, SC, MP, FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA, WHO PASSED AWAY ON 16TH APRIL, 2012. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE. MAY I NOW ASK THE HOUSE TO STAND AND OBSERVE A MINUTE OF SILENCE IN HONOUR OF OUR DEAR DEPARTED COLLEAGUE.
MR. SPEAKER,FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF HONOURABLE KUNDA, SC, MP, THE RESIGNATIONS OF SOME MEMBERS FROM THE PARTIES WHICH SPONSORED THEM TO THE HOUSE, AS WELL AS THE NULLIFICATION OF SOME PARLIAMENTARY SEATS, THE LAST SESSION SAW SEVEN BY-ELECTIONS TAKE PLACE IN CHONGWE, NAKONDE, MAGOYE, MSANZALA, LIVINGSTONE, CHAMA NORTH AND MUCHINGA CONSTITUENCIES. IN THIS REGARD, I WISH TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO CONGRATULATE THE SEVEN HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT WHO EMERGED WINNERS IN THESE BY-ELECTIONS.LET ME, HOWEVER, REGISTER MY DISAPPOINTMENT WITH THE VIOLENCE THAT CHARACTERISED SOME OF THE BY-ELECTIONS. I WISH TO EMPHASISE THE NEED TO EXERCISE SELF RESTRAINT AND TOLERANCE BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER ELECTIONS.
MR. SPEAKER, MY GOVERNMENT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT DEMOCRACY, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND THE RULE OF LAW, AS WELL AS AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT, ARE ESSENTIAL FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. I AM DELIGHTED THAT THE FIRST SESSION OF THE ELEVENTH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY WAS VERY PRODUCTIVE IN MANY RESPECTS. DURING THAT SESSION, THIS AUGUST HOUSE DEALT WITH MATTERS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE TO OUR PEOPLE. HONOURABLE MEMBERS DEBATED THESE MATTERS CANDIDLY. THIS IS A CLEAR TESTIMONY OF OUR GROWING AND MATURING DEMOCRACY. IN THIS REGARD, LET ME COMMEND YOU, MR. SPEAKER, FOR THE IMPARTIAL AND ABLE MANNER IN WHICH YOU GUIDED AND PRESIDED OVER THE BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE DURING THE LAST SESSION.
IN THE SAME VEIN, LET ME ALSO CONGRATULATE THE HONOURABLE DEPUTY SPEAKER, THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES OF THE WHOLE HOUSE AND THE CHAIRPERSONS OF ALL THE PARLIAMENTARY SESSIONAL AND SELECT COMMITTEES FOR THE EFFECTIVE MANNER IN WHICH THEY DISCHARGED THEIR FUNCTIONS. THEIR OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP ENABLED THE HOUSE TO FULFIL ITS FUNCTIONS OF LEGISLATING AND EXERCISING OVERSIGHT OVER THE EXECUTIVE.
MR. SPEAKER, I WILL BE FAILING IN MY DUTY IF I DID NOT CONGRATULATE HIS HONOUR THE VICE-PRESIDENT AND LEADER OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS IN THE HOUSE FOR THE EXCELLENT MANNER IN WHICH HE LED GOVERNMENT BUSINESS. IN SO DOING, ALLOW ME TO ALSO RECOGNISE THE ROLE OF THE WHIPS OF OUR VARIOUS POLITICAL PARTIES REPRESENTED IN THE HOUSE. THIS HOUSE CONTINUES TO FUNCTION WELL BECAUSE OF THE EXCELLENT SERVICES IT RECEIVES FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. I, THEREFORE, COMMEND THE CLERK OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND HER STAFF FOR THEIR CONTINUED GOOD WORK AND DEDICATION TO DUTY. LET ME ALSO THANK THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE FOR EXERCISING THEIR PATIENCE AND FOR CONTINUING TO SUPPORT MY GOVERNMENT AS IT REMAINS STEADFAST IN ADDRESSING THEIR MANY AND VARIED NEEDS.
MR. SPEAKER,I AM HAPPY TO NOTE THAT THE HOUSE WAS ABLE TO CONSIDER AND PASS A TOTAL OF 12 BILLS. IN ADDITION, THE HOUSE CONTINUED TO EXERCISE ITS ROLE AND OBLIGATION TO HOLD MY GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE TO THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE BY DEBATING 609 PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS, SEVEN PRIVATE MEMBERS' MOTIONS AND 23MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS. I FURTHER NOTE THAT 21MOTIONS TO ADOPT THE REPORTS OF THE PARLIAMENTARY SESSIONAL COMMITTEES AND FIVE MOTIONS TO ADOPT THE SELECT COMMITTEE REPORTS FOR THE RATIFICATION OF PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEES TO CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICES WERE CONSIDERED AND ADOPTED BY THE HOUSE.
FURTHER, A TOTAL OF 61 PAPERS AND ANNUAL REPORTS WERE LAID ON THE TABLE OF THE HOUSE BY GOVERNMENT MINISTRIES AND QUASI-GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS. THESE PAPERS AND ANNUAL REPORTS ARE EVIDENCE OF MY ADMINISTRATION'S DESIRE TO FOSTER GOOD GOVERNANCE AND REMAIN TRANSPARENT AND ACCOUNTABLE TO THE ZAMBIAN PEOPLE. DESPITE THE DIVERSE POLITICAL REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE, MEMBERS WERE ABLE TO WORK TOGETHER FOR THE PURPOSE OF FOSTERING DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVING THE WELFARE OF OUR PEOPLE.
By Global Research
Global Research, September 22, 2012
Global Research July 23, 2012
Seeds of Destruction: Hijacking of the World's Food System
As F. William Engdahl wrote in “Death of the Birds and the Bees Across America“:
Birds and bees are something most of us take for granted as part of nature. The expression “teaching about the birds and the bees” to explain the process of human reproduction to young people is not an accidental expression. Bees and birds contribute to the essence of life on our planet. A study by the US Department of Agriculture estimated that “…perhaps one-third of our total diet is dependent, directly or indirectly, upon insect-pollinated plants.”
The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the most important pollinator of agricultural crops. Honey bees pollinate over 70 out of 100 crops that in turn provide 90% of the world’s food. They pollinate most fruits and vegetables — including apples, oranges, strawberries, onions and carrots. But while managed honey bee populations have increased over the last 50 years, bee colony populations have decreased significantly in many European and North American nations. Simultaneously, crops that are dependent on insects for pollination have increased. The phenomenon has received the curious designation of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), implying it could be caused by any number of factors. Serious recent scientific studies however point to a major cause: use of new highly toxic systemic pesticides in agriculture since about 2004.
If governments in the EU, USA and other countries fail to impose a total ban on certain chemical insecticides, not only could bees become a thing of the past. The human species could face staggering new challenges merely to survive. The immediate threat comes from the widespread proliferation of commercial insecticides containing the highly-toxic chemical with the improbable name, neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. They act on the central nervous system of insects. But also on bees and small song birds. Recent evidence suggests they could also affect human brain development in newborn.
Some five to six years back, reports began to circulate from around the world, especially out of the United States, and then increasingly from around the EU, especially in the UK, that entire bee colonies were disappearing. Since 2004 over a million beehives have died across the United States and beekeepers in 25 states report what is called Colony Collapse Disorder. In winter of 2009 an estimated one fifth of bee hives in the UK were lost, double the natural rate. Government authorities claimed it was a mystery. Continue reading “Death of the Birds and the Bees Across America” by F. William Engdahl
Today more than ever, the world’s food resources are being hijacked by giant corporations that are turning farms into factories and replacing natural resources with genetically modified “food-like” substances.
F. William Engdahl is a leading researcher on the destruction of the planet’s food system and the profit-driven enterprises that are driving this devastating process.
To learn more, pick up your copy of “Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation“, published by Global Research.
Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation
by F. William Engdahl
ISBN Number: 978-0-937147-2-2
Pages: 341 pages with complete index
Global Research Price: US $17.00
(List price: US $24.95)
21 Sep 2012 04:54 - Charles Molele, Matuma Letsoalo
Cosatu is planning a nationwide strike to demand a radical economic shift on monetary policy and a review of the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank.
Addressing delegates on Thursday, Congress of South African Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said the federation would lodge a section 77 notice with the National Economic Development and Labour Council to allow Cosatu's 2.2-million members to go on strike to force the government to change the current economic policies.
Cosatu said the working class's patience was running out, and it adopted several resolutions that it will take to the ANC conference in Mangaung in December. They included a call for state intervention in strategic sectors of the economy, including nationalisation and state ownership, and an overhaul of macroeconomic policy.
The congress also called for a radical economic shift that would include the realignment of the treasury and a new mandate for the Reserve Bank, which it said should be nationalised.
It said aspects of the new growth path would have to be realigned with the proposed new macroeconomic framework, and all state-owned enterprises and state development finance institutions had to be given a new mandate.
It said urgent steps should be taken to reverse the current investment freeze and the export of South African capital – R1.2-trillion was lying idle, which employers were refusing to invest.
There was a call to launch a national bargaining campaign, and for an organising conference to be convened before the end of 2012.
It also said the apartheid wage structure should be transformed and a new national wage policy should be crafted. It proposed a national minimum wage and mandatory, centralised collective bargaining.
Irvin Jim, general secretary of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, said his union welcomed the ANC Youth League's drive for nationalisation and said it would go a long way towards helping the country to redistribute wealth and put a stop to the plundering of the mining industry by oligarchs.
"We must take ownership and control of these minerals and redistribute wealth and champion industrialisation. That includes imposing tax on those minerals," Jim said.
"We also support the youth league's call for expropriation of land without compensation and the removal of the property clauses."
ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the ANC policy conference in June discussed the issue of nationalisation and a decision would be taken in Mangaung. "We are inviting Cosatu to make their input in order to help us to understand what strategic minerals we are talking about," Mantashe told delegates.
The final day of the congress turned into a mini-Mangaung, with union delegates supporting Jacob Zuma's re-election as ANC president and those opposed to it competing to make their voices heard.
Vavi had to intervene and remind delegates of the house rules that prohibited showing any signs of support that would pre-empt the debate on the leadership of the ANC.
"We will not show signs," Vavi shouted.
But Zuma's supporters responded by singing a popular song about Zuma's detractors getting cold feet, as well as the the congress favourite, Thina Sihamba noZuma (We are going with Zuma).
21 Sep 2012 13:03 - Faranaaz Parker
Justice Minister Jeff Radebe on Friday morning announced that the commission of inquiry into the causes of the Marikana massacre will begin in 10 days, on Monday, October 1.
The timeline is ambitious given that it runs through the December period during which many organisations and government departments run on a skeleton staff, and workers usually return home to other provinces.
Radebe outlined the logistics for the commission at a press briefing on Friday.
"From our side it's all systems go," said Radebe.
President Jacob Zuma called for a commission of inquiry days after the killings of 45 people at Marikana, following a wage dispute at Lonmin's platinum mines.
The terms of reference for the commission were gazetted on September 12, and the commission has been give four months from the day it begins to present its final report to the president.
The offices of the commission will be headquartered in Marikana and the hearings themselves will take place at the Rustenberg civic centre.
The nearby Marikana community hall, which is central to many of the informal settlements from which Lonmin draws its workforce, has also been made available to the commission.
Radebe asked that the venue be used as a remote viewing site for the public hearings that will take place at the civic centre, to be used by those who could not travel to Rustenberg for the hearings.
Its unclear what sort of budget the commission will have at its disposal for the duration of the inquiry but Radebe said the budgetary needs had been costed that his DG was liaising with the national treasury to request the funds. The justice department has also earmarked funds from its baseline allocation for the commission's start-up operations.
Radebe said that given the circumstances, security was an important consideration for the justice department.
"The prevailing environment in Marikana may require a heightened sense of vigilance in regard to security," he said.
The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster will coordinate security arrangements, and will be assisted by the minister for community safety and liaison within the North West.
Bringing out heavy-hitters
Radebe also revealed that Farlam has designated five advocates to evaluate and present evidence before the commission. They are Mbuyiseli Madlanga, Mathew Chaskalson, Geoff Budlender, Johannes Nxusana and Charles Wessley.
The advocates, who have a depth of experience in human rights issues, will be assisted by a team of investigators. Radebe said discussions between the justice department and the commissioners on who to select as investigators are "at an advanced stage".
Constitutional law expert Pierre De Vos said the choice of evidence leaders makes it clear that the commission "mean's business"
"They really are employing heavy hitters to assist them and the terms of reference, with the one exception, are very comprehensive," he said.
Challenges for the commission
That exception, he said, was that the terms of reference do not explicitly require the commission to investigate the broader issues within the police force dealing with training, shoot to kill messages and the remilitarisation of the police.
De Vos said one of the biggest challenges that the commission would face going forward would be gaining the trust of all the parties involved, "to get them to come forward and give evidence and share information, in a context where there is a lot of distrust".
Another issue which has dogged previous commissions of inquiry is the ability to force individuals in the security cluster to give evidence. The Donen Commission for example failed to get crucial evidence from members of police and the security agencies because they said national security would be breached.
Friday, September 21, 2012
There are currents around the Equator which go directly from West Africa to Northeastern Brazil and the Caribbean. The existence of African civilisations in the Americas has been underreported and still meets psychological and cultural resistance.
A good book on the issue is prof. Ivan van Sertima's "They Came Before Columbus". Also see here. There is huge psychological resistance against anyone who does not deny agency to colonized people and the attempts to take agency away from Africans are often desperate and far fetched. Anyway, on Abubakari II, (BBC) Africa's 'greatest explorer', Wednesday, 13 December, 2000.
HOW the Senegalese crossed the Atlantic to the coast of Mexico
Pre-Columbian Mandingo Crossings
ALSO called the Manding, Mandinga, and Mandé, the Mandingo tribe, together with its subgroups - the Bambara, Malinké, Kasonké Kabonké and Pakaounké - constitute one of the most extensive tribal networks in Africa, with an extensive distribution in the Senegal and sub-Saharan Africa.
These tribes are very widely distributed in Benin (formerly Dahomey), Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissao. Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Mauretania, and several other West African countries. The Mandingo tribe is therefore a West African archetype, and genetically or factually, their exploits can be interpreted to the credit of all of the peoples of the west coast of Africa.
In order to emphasize the feasibility of this achievement, it has to be emphasized that of itself, it was not such an unthinkable undertaking. It was simply assumed to be. The reality is that it has been accomplished by so many teenagers that the Guiness Book of Records is no longer accepting aplications from teenagers to record the shortest times from coast to coast.
THE title of this hub is an ironic reference to the frequently exploited conjecture that trans-Atlantic voyages could not have been achieved except in large sailing-ships, and the arrival of Africans on the opposite shores of the Atlantic remained predominantly undebated In spite of extensive evidence to the contrary. Therefore, a disproportionate amount of time has been devoted, not to researching the means by which the Mandingos made the crossing: (they might as well have been ghosts) but to proving that such events never ih fact took place. It is an unfortunate fact that when discussing trans-oceanic voyages, only ships the size of slavers, tea-clippers and pirate ships are ever considered suitable for the journey.
Feasibility - Vessels
WITH only the slightest exagerration, it could be said that crossing the Atlantic in vessels sometimes whimsical, and ocassionally badly-adapted has aquired the dimensions of a game, played nearly every year by single people in small vessels. In Myths of Pre-Columbian America, Donald Mackenzie observes that:
'seaworthiness is not proprtionate to size: to the contrary, the larger the size, the greater the stresses set up by the wind and the waves as they encounter the inertia of the heavy craft, and thus the greater the possibility of breaking up.'
IN1998, it took 74 days to swim the 3700 miles across the Atlantic from Brittany to Massachusetts. As a matter of fact
'WIND propulsion by sail, setting such rigorous limits upon the direction in which a ship could move, and enforcing... a very low average speed ... is a far from satisfactory way of achieving motion over great tracts of ocean`.' (A History of Seamanship).
Feasibility - Ocean Currents
Once cast into the Mid-Atlantic, it is almost impossible to avoid the South American coast.
THE Guinea Current acts in conjunction with two others - the North Equatorial, and the South Equatorial. Away from the coast of Senegal, It merges with the South Equatorial Current, the northern portion of which joins the North-Atlantic Current in the mid-Atlantic, At this point, the reinforced current acts in support of the powerful Canaries Current,
THE Canaries Current is a faster and more direct conduit to the opposite coast of the Atlantic. It 'flows along the coast of Africa to Cape Verde where it splits. One branch continues south along the coast. The other branch flows into the Atlantic and becomes the North Atlantic Current. This strikes the American Coast in a broad band from the Guianas through to the West Indies. This current also leaves the African continent...along the coast of Senegal and Gambia.' (Winds across the Atlantic: Possible African origins for some Pre-Columbian new World Cultigens).
See all 2 photos
The almost traditional approach is to assume that Mandingos could never have successfuly made the Atlantic crossing. The second step is to try to prove that traditional craft depicted on Egyptian drawings dating from the time of the Pharoahs - papyrus boats - could have gone.
My hypothesis is that even if Egyptian craft could have made the crossing, except as twentieth-century expeditions, no attempts had been made using papyrus boats; and even if they had, the journey would have been exceedingly arduous, and that because of the dangers of rotting and water-logging, papyrus craft would have been tested to the point of destruction long before arrival on the coast of Mexico.
On the other hand, the Atlantic Ocean is so pacific and it currents so favorable, that Senegalese and Mandingo wooden craft would have made the journey almost as a matter of routine, while papyrus craft would have succeeded, if at all, only against all the odds.
Perhaps the factor that above all made the crossing by papyrus boat so infeasible was that any crossing conceived as an expedition in the late twentieth century could never seriously claim to honestly duplicate the conditions encountered during the same voyage two thousand years previously, when radio communications, stops along the way, and up-to-date maps would have been completely out of the question, and the crossing would have amounted to a single. unbroken sea-journey. In addition to these obvious problems should be added others of which, due to the passage of time and the change in perspective, we could not even begin to imagine.
While some researchers have proved that sailors from the Senegal were able to navigate with the aid of the stars, my aim in this hub has been to approach the subject from the worst case scenario by emphasing that no specifically-fashioned sea-going vessels or navigational aids had been available to the Mandingo sailors from the Senegal.
Man vs Nature
In all of my hubs, I foregrounded the effect of nature in endeavors traditionally believed to have been completely man-mediated. Thus, I have argued previously that because of its accessibility to the northern extremities of the North American coast, sailors from the Russian land-mass could not have avoided discovering America, millenia before Christopher Columbus, even if they had wanted to. Likewise, in the current circumstances, my intention has been to prove that, being situated at the point of Africa nearest to the coast-line of the New World, Mandingo sailors from the Senegal could have simply been conveyed across the Atlantic aided by its geography, as had Columbus and other European mariners, centuries afterwards.
1. Tounkara, Keba. Civilisation Mandingue, Société et Culture: [in] Peuples du Sénégal.
2. Van Sertima, Ivan. They came before Columbus.
Posted on December 7, 2011 by ttravis
In a recent talk on “African Issues” and US policy on those issues, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Johnnie Carson, chose to conclude by stressing the growing challenge of drug trafficking in Africa.
Having discussed democratization, having covered all of the regional hot spots and having emphasized hot-button topics such as HIV AIDS, malaria, and lagging agricultural production, Carson turned his attention to a topic that he reminded his audience would not have been included on his list of “African problems” a decade or even five years ago. Addressing a large audience at the African Studies Association meeting in Washington in mid-November, Carson, who has had a long career at State and was formerly Ambassador to Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda, reminded fellow Africanists that a claimed 40% of illicit drugs interdicted in Europe had passed through West Africa. What is a major issue for Europe and the USA must therefore become a major issue for Africa.
"Africa Confidential," UNODC
All of the focus on Guinea Bissau as the first African narcostate (a topic that I addressed in an earlier blog post) has tended to distract us—according to Carson—from a much broader and growing pattern of drug trafficking throughout Africa.
Although Guinea Bissau may provide a dramatic tale of high level politicians in the thrall of global drug lords gunning each other down in the ramshackle capital of a marginal state, the drug trade routes run through virtually every West African country and certainly through Sénégal, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and especially Nigeria—which has been a nexus of trafficking and drug gangs that spread across five continents through networks that reach across the Indian Ocean as well as the Atlantic.
Unsurprisingly, Carson made the case for US official support for efforts in African countries to combat the trade. Again unsurprisingly, he talked exclusively about the need to provide moral, material and training support to the USA’s African allies in a global war on drugs.It is safe to say there were many in the audience of his fellow Africanists who were unsympathetic to his emphasis on drugs trafficking.
Some would have challenged the entire drugs war approach. More certainly objected to his implicit occupation of the moral high ground (the USA assisting African states in combatting their drug trades). Most probably thought the discussion of the drugs trade was a distraction when African countries face far more pressing problems. More than a few probably suspected he was finding ways to stretch out his remarks to reduce the amount of time for questions.
And when the questions came, they were predictably hostile to a US Africa policy that many Africanists see as an ill-defined perpetuation of failed approaches stretching back into the 1990s and before. Carson showed little sympathy for any suggestions that the US might bear any responsibility for the very problems he now portrays the USA as helping African countries to resolve. One brave questioner did bring the discussion back to drugs.
“Was it not the case,” Carson was asked, “that the policies of structural adjustment that were pressed so very aggressively in the 1980s and 1990s had actually created the conditions that made African countries ripe targets for the drugs commerce? Had not the relentless press for neo-liberal economic solutions led to a systematic weakening of state structures, which were thus themselves vulnerable to the powers of global cartels, and which in the case of military and police forces, will ill-prepared to combat them?”
Asking the Hard Question
Carson at first skirted the question. But then he paused and made his assessment: “African leaders,” according to Carson (and this is not a precise quote), “had from independence until 1991 [not the early 1990s, but that precise year] failed to respond to the needs of their citizens.” That failure (and apparently no outside factors or forces) explained the weakening of African states and thus, it would seem, their vulnerability to the powerful international drugs trade syndicates.
Getting the Stupid Answer
Africanists have not in general paid much attention to drug use and the drug trade, but a panel that took place later on in this year’s conference (co-chaired by me and Gernot Klantschnig) gave us some indication of what an Africanist perspective might look like—a history of drug production, trade, use and control that does not automatically appropriate periodizations and conceptual orders derived from European and North American experience.
This entry was posted in Charles Ambler and tagged Africa, drug war, Policy
By Olivia Kumwenda and Jon Herskovitzds
Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:13am EDT
* Racial tensions stirred by land debate
* Analysts see land issue as a threat to democracy
* Economics make it tough for beneficiaries
SENEKAL, South Africa, April 24 (Reuters) - South Africa's plans to undo the wrongs of apartheid by returning land seized from native blacks is embodied in the life of Koos Mthimkhulu.
He was born on a white-owned farm in 1955 and attended a school set up by white farmers to give him just enough education for a life as field hand. A short childhood gave way to decades of milking cows, driving tractors and ploughing fields for poverty-level wages.
When white-minority rule ended in 1994, the new democratic government made it a priority to return land to those dispossessed. It wrote the idea into the constitution and made a plan that would make people like Mthimkhulu independent farmers.
Yet the practice under the African National Congress (ANC) has fallen far short of targets and disappointment is stocking up new risks of social, racial and economic crisis to threaten the very democracy intended to save South Africa from disaster.
The post-apartheid government selected Koos Mthimkhulu for a programme under which it would buy agricultural land from white farmers and turn parcels over to blacks who had claims on the territory. It offered him money, advice and moral support.
Greying at the temples and at ease tending a herd of cattle and tilling fields, he now grows maize and sunflowers in the central flatlands of the Free State, no longer tethered to white bosses and proud of his substantial 500-hectare (1,200-acre) holding, of which about a quarter is suitable for crops
But Mthimkhulu does not own the land, the government does. And in all likelihood, without ownership, he seems destined for the failure that has hit many like him who thought themselves among a fortunate few to get land: "I struggled for a long time and I can't get a loan from banks because I can't use the farm for security," he said in the local Sesotho language.
That is not the only drawback small farmers like Mthimkhulu face; South Africa's land reform ideals are being crushed by government mismanagement and the economics of pitching the new, small-scale operations into competition with the industrial-size farms that have made the country a global agricultural powerhouse, exporting billions of dollars in farm products.
Most food is grown at places like the Royal Dawn orange farm, 300 km (200 miles) northeast of Mthimkhulu's homestead, in Mpumalanga province.
There, hundreds of hectares of carefully maintained citrus groves are crisscrossed by a network of pipes for automated irrigation. Each row of trees is alphabetised and bar-coded, enabling the farm manager, a white man like the owners, to keep a computerised track of fertilizer needs and use.
The system allows supermarkets in export markets as far away as Beijing to trace an individual box of oranges back to the row form which they were picked - by a black labourer.
Other African states are even recruiting South Africa's big commercial farmers, most of whom are white, to grow in their countries, hoping their expertise will increase their overall revenue from farming. Small local outfits can barely compete.
The origins of the problem the ANC has tried to resolve lie deep. A century ago, under British rule, South Africa's 1913 Natives' Land Act set aside 87 percent of all land for the small white minority and 13 percent for black Africans.
Two decades of land reform under the ANC, which this year seems set to retain President Jacob Zuma as the leader who will continue its one-party dominance at elections in 2014 , have done little to change those land ownership ratios set 100 years ago.
Plans drawn up under the first black president, Nelson Mandela, were meant by 2014 to hand over to blacks 30 percent of commercial farmland - a type of land that had been almost exclusively owned by whites, who form less than a tenth of the population. The government says so far it has achieved only 8 percent, but still says wants to reach 30 percent in two years.
One reason for that has been its reluctance to act by force. Its "willing buyer, willing seller" programme means the pace is set by white farmers agreeing to trade. Striking deals at market rates is often elusive, raising allegations of corruption in the setting of prices, and in the disposal of state funds.
And even when farms are returned to black residents, many are doomed to fail. Then real estate developers or factory farming businesses, mostly owned by whites, may step in and buy the land back - reversing progress toward the land target.
"Restitution needed to be done. But something went terribly wrong with the implementation," said Theo de Jager, vice president of AgriSA, a body which represents the agriculture industry and principally large white-owned businesses.
Echoing officials at the Department of Land Reform, who say most reallocated farmland is "unproductive", de Jager said: "I visited more than 200 farms that have been transferred over the last two and half years and I haven't been on one that is a commercial success. None of those farmers are making a profit.
"And if it is not profitable, it's not sustainable."
A TIME BOMB
Land is at the heart of racial injustice in South Africa and has the potential to dent a democracy where about 40 percent of the population of 50 million lives in rural areas. The crisis is not now, but without action now it will grow as a threat.
"The land issue is a symbol for blacks of everything that has been lost to whites," said James L. Gibson, a professor of government at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, who has studied the issue intensively in South Africa.
Gibson sees land reform as a time bomb, given the large number of the black majority who feel they have been victimised and the glacial pace at which land is being returned.
One of his surveys indicates that an overwhelming majority of blacks feel land was unfairly taken by the colonisers and current white holders have no right to the land today.
"The ANC is fearful on many fronts that a demagogue is going to come along and present a serious challenge to the establishment. I don't think that it will spontaneously erupt. It has to be sparked by a leader," he said.
The ANC this year expelled the most prominent voice calling for an expropriation of white-owned farms, its youth leader Julius Malema. His demands had raised the prospect of a seizure of white-owned farmland, like that in neighbouring Zimbabwe, which many argue ruined a thriving agricultural economy.
Thriving for whom? For the people surviving on the reservations? Of course this is Reuters, so they are not allowed to report on the existence of economic sanctions (ZDERA) or it's effects, including on agriculture. ZDERA was created to destroy the national currency and make Zimbabwean government financial support for the new farmers impossible. - MrK
But even with Malema being sent to the political wilderness, there are other prominent voices calling for a seizure of white-owned land, including Irvin Jim, the general secretary of the powerful metalworkers trade union NUMSA.
Weighing in the minds of ANC policy makers is what happened when Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe started seizing white-owned farms a decade ago. Land has gone fallow and the breadbasket of Africa has been pushed to the brink of famine.
One of the ANC's policy priorities for this year is completing its latest policy paper on land reform. A draft released last year said the goal "is to ensure that all land reform farms are 100 percent productive", and to meet the 30 percent redistribution target by 2014.
Lechesa Tsenoli, land reform deputy minister, said complex claims to ancestral property slowed the process. Often, he said, relatives disagreed over which of the three types of available settlement they wanted - namely getting the land that belonged to their forebears, getting alternative land or cash.
"It will impossible until we start doing things that we think we will solve it," he said.
"The issue is potentially explosive."
A TOUGH BUSINESS
Seeking to make good on commitments to make reallocated farms a success, South Africa offers one of the strongest farmers advisory agencies on the continent.
With hundred of offices in every province, the Agricultural Research Council helps match crops to local soil, gives advice on irrigation and helps diversify the gene pools of livestock.
But coordination among government agencies can be poor, adding the troubles of those pitched into running new farms. The Department of Land Reform is separate from the Agriculture Ministry. Other local bodies, seed suppliers and specialised financiers are often not coordinated. And the ARC may not be notified of small farmers needing help until it is too late.
"If you are not in the market with the right product at the right time, you are not really going to make it," said Shadrack Moephuli, ARC's president and chief executive. "If all the role players are not there for you at the right time, and sequenced appropriately, you are likely to lose out."
If beneficiaries can make their way through financing, seed purchases, planting, growing and mechanised harvesting, they often fail in finding a place to sell their product.
The window shuts quickly for success or failure with one poor harvest enough to bankrupt a new farmer.
Some want the government to set up cooperatives to help the beneficiaries of its land reform programme get better prices on seeds and fertilizers and share costs of agricultural machinery.
Moephuli of the ARC says the government should keep costs down, too, when it buys land to redistribute and not rush to give it away to people ill-equipped to work it profitably: "Farming is not an emotional thing," he said.
"It is a business, and a very complex business."
Koos Mthimkhulu has learned that lesson all to well.
Strolling through his acres of maize, on the plain where he also grazes cattle close to the farmhouse he took over when the white owners moved on, he fears the government grants that got him started may soon dry up.
Without profits to plough back in, he then may no longer be able to afford seed - unless he goes back to labouring for a wage on other farms in the area still owned by wealthier whites.
"It's hard to make it as a farmer without the right support," he said. "Without the right help, we will fail." (Editing by Alastair Macdonald)
by Paradzai Brian Paradza
WAR veterans’ leader Joseph Chinotimba accused journalists of being “full of politics in their heads” as he made a surprise appearance at a media analysis event in Harare on Thursday.
Chinotimba said journalists had become active political players by abandoning ethics.
“You are politicians not journalists,” he thundered as he spoke to about two dozen journalists at the forum organised by the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe.
“Why don’t you promote unity among Zimbabweans? You are encouraging conflict in the country; people are fighting because of your reporting. You are full of politics in your heads.
“President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai are drinking tea together; myself when I meet my opponent in Buhera constituency we laugh and share jokes, why are you not promoting peace?”
Chinotimba accused journalists of being pre-occupied with highlighting negative stories, while failing to put more weight to current efforts to correct past wrongs.
“Why are you not writing about the events in South Africa, the killing of miners by the police, you are all quiet? Imagine if that had happened in this country, it would have been a global crisis,” he added.
MMPZ Research and Monitoring Coordinator Eric Matingo said most journalists had abandoned ethics, leading to poor news content.
“As media consumers, we are worried about certain developments and trends. We have noticed a complete disregard of ethics and this has resulted in some media houses losing credibility and eventually readers,” he said.
“When we talk about accuracy, facts and balance we are talking of journalistic standards. Our appeal therefore is can you just be a journalists? Anything outside that is not journalism.”
MMPZ Director Andrew Moyes said while the political environment has contaminated journalism as a profession in the country, ethics must be upheld and adhered to religiously.
He said most journalists have become tainted in their view and appreciation of issues resulting in dramatisation and sensationalisation of issues.
“The political situation has contaminated the practice of journalism but we expect the media to give us balanced news not one-sided views,” said Moyes.
Participants at the forum condemned the country’s media laws for stifling the practice of journalism in the country.
by Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE will ask South Africa’s ruling African National Congress to take a “political decision” to stop displaced white farmers from seizing its properties, a minister said on Thursday.
South Africa’s Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Zimbabwe against a decision of the Johannesburg High Court to register and enforce a 2008 judgement of the SADC Tribunal which ruled that the land reform programme was “racist and illegal” – clearing the way for white farmers to press for compensation.
The 77 white farmers had gone on to attach a Cape Town property owned by Zimbabwe – which was not covered by diplomatic immunity – with the intention of selling it.
Zimbabwe has always said it did not recognise the SADC Tribunal’s rulings because it did not ratify its founding treaty. The Tribunal has since been abolished.
Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa said: “What they (farmers) are fighting is not about land, but to trouble the government of Zimbabwe.
“After this judgment, which is legal, we should let it go and we speak to the ANC [African National Congress] and take a political decision. I hope that is possible.”
Advocate Martin Dinha, who was part of Zimbabwe’s legal team, said suggested the decision of the South African Supreme Court was racist.
“South Africa’s judiciary is not yet liberated from apartheid; it has cosmetic liberation. South Africa remains a colony of white Rhodesians and apartheid,” charged Dinha, who is also the Mashonaland Central governor.
He added: “Notwithstanding attempts by elements of the Rhodesian Front to derail the land reform programme, the programme is totally irreversible.
“No country has jurisdiction over another. Zimbabwe is a sovereign state.”
He said Zimbabwe fully expected South Africa to take political steps to stop any further seizures of Zimbabwean properties.
“South Africa must be careful. They must respect the sovereignty of Zimbabwe. They have properties here and given that there are unspeakable abuses that were committed during colonialism and property was damaged, nothing stops us from seeking compensatory damages here and attaching those properties.”
Willie Spies, a lawyer for the white farmers, called unanimous decision by the Supreme Court a “a great success ... a symbolic victory that makes it possible for the government of Zimbabwe to be effectively punished.”
Spies, attorney for South African rights group AfriForum and for many Zimbabwean farmers, said the dismissal will bring solace “to the many Zimbabweans who affected by the atrocities.”
He added: “I think it’s probably the first time in legal history internationally that a judicial failure in execution of property will go on after a country is found to be in contravention of certain human rights laws. We’re making legal history.”
Fear factor ... Reseacher claims Zimbabwe miners kept in straight and narrow by Mugabe fear
by Paul Vecchiatto I Business Day
ZIMBABWE’S platinum mines were an example of well-run and socially aware operations where their management operated by the book "because they are afraid of the president ", claims a South African researcher.
David van Wyk, a senior researcher with the Bench Marks Foundation, said this as he answered questions before the South African Parliament’s portfolio committee on mineral resources on Wednesday.
He said South African platinum and other miners had been less than honest about their recruitment of labour and corporate social responsibility programmes.
The presentation from the non-governmental organisation was part of a process of trying to understand what led to the Marikana massacre. A month ago, police shot and killed 34 workers and injured another 78 as tensions at the Lonmin mine escalated. In all, 45 people were killed while the labour unrest also spread to other mines.
The Bench Marks Foundation said research on conditions at and around the North West’s platinum mines was conducted last year. The report was released two days before the massacre on August 16.
Van Wyk said Zimbabwean platinum mines were safe with few accidents, good living conditions and a 100% worker literacy rate. "All the mine management are black and they are afraid of President Robert Mugabe, so they do everything by the book ."
This showed that Zimbabwe regulatory compliance was high, unlike SA where the mining companies often bought government officials.
Van Wyk said women were employed wisely on those mines and even operated machinery. "Women are known to operate machinery more carefully than men and so the machinery lasts longer.”
Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest platinum deposits.
Van Wyk said because the Zimbabwe platinum mines used women as truck drivers, this lessened the spread of HIV/AIDS. "The roads to the mines are rivers of HIV/AIDS as truck drivers pick up prostitutes who stand alongside the roads.
"Women drivers were less likely to stop and spread the disease."
Implats spokesman Rob Gilmour said the company’s Zimbabwe and SA operations could not be compared. "The Zimbabwe mine is shallow and highly mechanised, while our Rustenburg mine is a deep operation and manpower intensive.
"The Rustenburg mine employs 47,000 workers compared to a couple of thousand in Zimbabwe."
Gilmour said the Zimbabwe mineworkers were highly literate compared with their South African counterparts and this was a function of that country’s education system.
The Rustenburg mine had an influx of people from around SA and neighbouring countries looking for work, and not the Zimbabwe operation.
Van Wyk said Mugabe was right to take a 51% shareholding in the mines as Zimbabwe and SA produced 86% of the world’s platinum. "They (the companies) have not run as they have nowhere to run to."
The last known accident on a Zimbabwean platinum mine occurred in June, but no-one died.
Van Wyk said South African mineworkers were unfairly criticised for being less productive than their foreign counterparts. He gave examples of other countries where better pay and working conditions helped to boost productivity.
"(SA mineworkers) conditions are poor," Van Wyk said. "It is no wonder that a person who is receiving low wages, living in a shack and whose only entertainment is a prostitute and drinking, struggles to be productive at work."
By Mwala Kalaluka, Fridah Nkonde and Christopher Miti
Fri 21 Sep. 2012, 10:30 CAT
DR Kenneth Kaunda yesterday wept uncontrollably when he arrived at the KK International Airport on an Air Zimbabwe plane carrying the body of his 83-year-old wife, Betty.
And Egyptian Ambassador to Zambia Salah El-Sadek says Mama Betty's death is not only a loss for Zambia but for the whole of Africa.
Meanwhile, President Michael Sata yesterday 'warmly' received opposition MMD leader Nevers Mumba and led him into the airport's VIP lounge as they awaited the arrival of Mama Betty's body from Harare.
A crowd of government officials, family, friends and political leaders and cadres from the PF and opposition UNIP were on hand to receive Mama Betty's body when the Air Zimbabwe plane, called Mbuya Nehanda touched down at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at 13:55 hours.
As he alighted from the plane and walked down the steps towards the airport apron, Dr Kaunda, 88, was seen trying to contain his emotions but broke down a few steps down as freedom fighter Grey Zulu moved forward to hug him and others followed suit.
President Sata looked on as others like Mama Chibesa Kankasa consoled a weeping Dr Kaunda for several minutes. As military personnel moved to the cargo compartment of the aeroplane to collect Mama Betty's casket, President Sata went to receive the body.
The Air Zimbabwe crew came out of the plane carrying wreaths while a team of journalists and camera people from the neighbouring nation followed the event from the plane's steps.
Dr Kaunda's security detail and government protocol officers failed to restrain those that were surging forward to console the first Republican president as a military band played solemn music.
And Ambassador El Sadek said in an interview after consoling Dr Kaunda that Mama Betty was a symbol of greatness not only for Zambia but for the whole of Africa.
"It's a sad moment. This is life but these people are special, you can't find them," Ambassador El Sadek said. "They are symbols not just for Zambia but for the whole of Africa. It's a very sad moment especially for a great man like Dr Kaunda."
Earlier, President Sata received a tumultuous applause from excited PF cadres at the airport after he went to accord them a surprise greeting. The cadres mobbed President Sata whilst raising the PF symbol.
Later at around 12:52, President Sata came out of the VIP lounge and welcomed Mumba who was in the company of his two new vice-presidents - Michael Kaingu and Dr Brian Chituwo. The two greeted warmly and President Sata ushered Mumba inside the VIP lounge.
UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was one of the notable absentees at the event but the party's Mazabuka parliamentarian, Garry Nkombo, was present.
Mama Betty's body was later driven to the Kaundas' home in Lusaka's State Lodge.
And the Press Freedom Committee (PFC) of The Post which had honoured Mama Betty with the Mama Julia Chikamoneka award in 2008 says freedom fighters should be appreciated when they are alive.
PFC chairperson Leah Kabamba said in an interview yesterday that it was evident that freedom fighters were becoming fewer.
"It is unfortunate that we most of the times fail to celebrate freedom fighters to the extent we should. We fail to celebrate the people that liberated our country to maximum capacity. We should learn to appreciate those that liberated our country while they are still living so that they could also have time to tell us how it was then because once they are gone, there will be no one to tell us," Kabamba said.
She said Mama Betty was indeed a freedom fighter who did not give up but stood by her husband's side.
"Mama Betty valued family life and was a very hard working woman. We wish the Kaunda family strength during this difficult time," said Kabamba.
Chikondi Foundation president Bishop John Mambo described Mama Betty as a great mother of Africa who made her husband achieve political freedom for Zambia and the rest of the continent.
"We are grateful to God for Mama Betty's humility and service to this nation and the continent. It would have been difficult for Dr Kaunda to achieve what he did if it were not for Mama Betty's support. She is our mother and we will live to celebrate her life as a great leader," said Bishop Mambo.
"Let's not mourn her on political lines, but give her a mourning that befits a hero. We will forever be grateful to God for that humble life."
Mama Betty was found dead in a room at her daughter's house in Borrowdale Brook, Harare, on Wednesday morning.
She had been in Zimbabwe for the past two weeks visiting her daughter Musataa Kaunda Banda and her husband Jimmy Banda.
Musataa is a counsellor at the Zambian Embassy in Harare.
Family spokesperson Tilyenji Kaunda said Mama Betty would be buried in Chinsali.
"She had a long history of diabetes and high blood pressure. We thought it was getting better. We are told she went to sleep yesterday (Tuesday) and they just discovered her dead in the room in the morning (Wednesday)."
Dr Kaunda and Mama Betty celebrated their 66th marriage anniversary in August at a moving function in Lusaka.
Meanwhile, Dr Kaunda sang a love song dedicated to Mama Betty when receiving the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Peace and Reconciliation in Durbam, a short while before he learnt of her death.
According to a statement issued by the Zambian High Commission in Pretoria, the song talked about how Dr Kaunda would never forget the first kiss he shared with Mama Betty.
Fri 21 Sep. 2012, 10:30 CAT
It seems any government that tries to fight corruption will be fought viciously by the corrupt and their defenders.
This is the experience we seem to be observing in our country. When Levy Mwanawasa tried to fight corruption, he was fought by a cross-section of our people, many of whom were unwitting defenders of the corrupt.
Some, however, had willingly sold themselves to defending the cause of the corrupt. The same thing is happening today. Michael Sata has created for himself die-hard enemies for hoisting his flag on the mast of fighting corruption. They will do everything to discredit him and try to make him appear incompetent and even corrupt. It is up to Michael and those that surround him to understand that this is a battle they are called to fight. Their opponents will tell all sorts of lies to try and discredit them and dissuade them from continuing their quest to run a clean government.
Rupiah Banda did not have this kind of problem. Rupiah was running a dirty government. And all kinds of crooks and scoundrels paraded themselves as his defenders. As long as he embraced corruption, they were happy. This is not true for Michael.
The crooks know that Michael will not defend what is corrupt and criminal. And for that reason, they will always fight him. They will even go as far as to dent the image of the country just to make sure their prophecies of doom come to pass.
This is what we have seen in relation to investor relations in the time that Michael has been President of our Republic. There are those who have spent a lot of time trying to create an impression that by correcting the corrupt dealings of Rupiah and the MMD, Michael is scaring away investors. But what kind of investor wants to operate in a corrupt environment? Certainly not clean investors. It can only be corrupt, crooked investors.
And not all investment is good for the country. Criminals must not be encouraged to invest in our economy. This is because their investment is likely to have aspects of criminality. This cannot be good for the economy in the long term.
Good investment will want to operate in a clean environment where corruption is at the lowest possible levels.
When the PF government has taken decisive steps against corrupt transactions, some have been quick to try and create panic and an impression that investment will dry up. This has fed into the empty rhetoric that the PF does not know what it is doing.
Against this background, it is interesting to note what has happened in relation to the raising of money by the government from the international capital markets. The detractors were certain that Michael's government would not be able to raise US$500 million, let alone US$750 million, from the international investing community.
Why were they so sure? According to them, Michael was scaring away investors. How? How could fighting corruption and reversing corrupt transactions scare away honest investors? It will scare away criminals, not honest investors!
The Eurobond has now allowed the international investing community to vote in their own referendum on their confidence in the PF government. They have spoken. It is up to the government to use this confidence to help our people to ensure that the resources are used properly.
This referendum allows Michael to move with confidence and ensure that the rule of law is fully entrenched. Development will not come to our country if we embrace corruption. Michael and the PF have refused to embrace corruption. And this principled position is yielding positive results.
There are politicians who have decided to defend Rupiah's corruption in the hope that it will win them support from the Eastern part of our country. Today, we have some politicians who not very long ago were publicly accusing Rupiah and his family of corruption defending him. And they are no longer talking of Rupiah's corruption. What has happened to Rupiah or to them? Were they lying to the nation when they were accusing Rupiah and his family of corruption? Or was it just part of their cheap, deceitful and unprincipled politics? They need to explain to the Zambian people why they are today defending Rupiah's corruption if they have to win back our people's support and respect.
But they are making a big political miscalculation if they think defending Rupiah's corruption will win them the political support of the people of Eastern Province. Let them ask Rupiah; he defended Frederick Chiluba's corruption but where did he end up? Rupiah thought by defending Chiluba's corruption and ensuring that he is not jailed for it would win him the political support of the people of Luapula Province, where Chiluba hailed from. Even some people in the opposition believed that Chiluba was winning Luapula for Rupiah and as a result, the political landscape had changed in his favour. It didn't happen. Chiluba failed to win Luapula for Rupiah. In the same way, Rupiah will not win them Eastern Province.
There is need to take a principled position in politics and in life in general. Of course, there is a price to pay for taking a principled position. But it is a price worth paying because in the end, principled people win the respect of the people. And with that respect, they also win the people's votes. Opportunism may appear an easy route in life. But as the Bible says, easy and wide routes usually lead to disaster.
We shouldn't fear to do the right thing simply because there are immediate negative consequences. It is said that it is better to fall with honour than to succeed by fraud.
Crooked, corrupt investors have no value to our country. And as such, corrupt investment should not be entertained for whatever reasons. There is still a lot of honest investment out there that needs to be sought. If we entertain corrupt investment, we will be keeping away honest investment. Whatever little benefits we may get in the short term from corrupt investment, they cannot in any way match the long-term benefits that honest investment brings to the country.
Sata to oversee road projectsSata to oversee road projects
By Moses Kuwema
Fri 21 Sep. 2012, 10:30 CAT
PRESIDENT Michael Sata has taken over the supervision of the Link Zambia 8000 project from the Ministry of Works and Supply.
And President Sata says his government will work with Livingstone Central UPND member of parliament, Reverend Howard Sikwela.
Launching the Link Zambia 8000 project and commissioning the commencement of works for the upgrading of the Lusaka Leopards Hill Road project via Chiawa to Chirundu district yesterday, President Sata further warned the Road Development Agency not to be cheated by some people over the awarding of road contracts.
"What I would like is to warn the RDA, nobody should come to you and cheat to say 'Sata has sent us to come and get contracts'. I have taken over RDA from the Ministry of Transport because I am bamba zonke. I would like to supervise all these roads," he said.
President Sata said the commencement of the works for the upgrading of the Lusaka Leopards Hill Road project via Chiawa to Chirundu should see the beginning of the PF in Lusaka Province.
He said once completed, the road would shorten the distance to Chirundu as people would not have to go through Kafue.
"This one is also going to link us with Feira and from there we go to Luangwa so that the local people can have access to tourism. There is no tourism for local people. We would like Chiawa confluence to enable our children have access to see wild animals. We have our children who have never seen buffaloes," President Sata said.
"Madam chieftainess Mukamambo, I have given you four roads, this is the first one. The second one will be Palabana Road, the third one will be Chalimbana Road. After these three roads, we are also going to give you a road using the old road from Chongwe to Kasisi and KK International Airport and this will make life of the farmers here… easier."
President Sata said the government would first work on roads in Lusaka before moving to other areas like Luapula Province.
"I am grateful to our Chinese brothers and sisters that they are not only building the roads, they are also assisting with some funds, slightly they may be expensive but we will be able to talk. Then we will move in Luapula Province where we have Nchelenge, Chienge, Luchinda, Kaputa, Mporokoso. Then we have Mansa, Chipili, Kawambwa, Mununga which will also go to Mporokoso. Then we will do Samfya, Luwingu via Ipusukilo," he said.
President Sata called on members of parliament, regardless of their political affiliation, to assist the government identify prominent roads to be worked on.
"Once we know the most prominent roads in your provinces then we should be able to… it depends, if we work very hard and the people who are supposed to give us money they see how this road is coming up… money will just be coming. But let's first show that we can do it," he said.
President Sata said the government had started fulfilling the campaign promises it made last year.
"What we told people during the campaign we are fulfilling. Have you seen our policemen and our soldiers? They are very well dressed. And somebody says we are not fulfilling our promises. What about the districts which we are creating?" President Sata asked.
President Sata later introduced the widow of former Bank of Zambia governor Valentine Musakanya and told the audience that he had promised her that he would work on the road before he died.
"This lady is the widow of my brother Valentine Musakanya. They are the first people who came to settle on this road. There was nothing and they have seen all the development coming and I said before I die I want to prove to my brother who is dead that my sister now cannot go to Kafue to go to Chiawa, she will use this one," he said.
Earlier, before giving his speech, President Sata invited Rev Sikwela and PF losing candidate for the Livingstone Central seat, Joseph Akafumba to the dais and told the audience that he would work with the duo in his government.
He said it was good that Akafumba and Rev Sikwela were not fighting despite the former having been defeated in the by-elections.
"They are not killing each other, you have seen them together, they are even standing next to each other so anybody preaching that… and because they have exhibited that they are willing to work together I am inviting them, I am going to work with them in government," President Sata said.
And chieftainess Nkomeshya said her prayers and those of her subjects had been answered through the government's fulfilment of its campaign promises.
She said she was misunderstood by the previous regime of the MMD under Rupiah Banda for having asked for development in her chiefdom.
"This day brings a lot of memories to me, as a person and as a leader of the community here. You recall Your Excellency that because of my requests, which were misunderstood, I was threatened to be removed from this throne, to which I have been on it for many years (41 years). I was threatened to be removed because I asked for the development. I was accused of having been your supporter because I put a question as to why should the people in this area continue to vote even in 2011 when our vote was not valid? They thought I was campaigning for you when I was talking about the development of this country. I prayed to my God that, 'indeed if I made a mistake to ask for Your people, let this throne be taken away, I won't mind. But if You gave me this throne on behalf of your people, You will defend it', and indeed my God defended it. On September 23, 2011 God answered our prayers," chieftainess Nkomeshya said.
She said Zambians helped her to maintain her throne but added that she was ready to risk her life and stand firm whatever the outcome of the elections.
Chieftainess Nkomeshya also thanked President Sata for inviting her to the official opening of parliament last year, saying the whole period of the MMD rule, she had never stepped into the Parliament Buildings.
She also called on the RDA to take the road project seriously.
"The materials that you will use should be of good quality and should stand a good test of time," she said.
Chieftainess Nkomeshya further said some people had been accusing President Sata of creating new districts in Lusaka so as to make her paramount chief, to which President Sata responded: "why not?"
The Link Zambia Project will result in the construction of about 2,290 kilometres of roads at an estimated cost of K7.9 trillion in the first phase of the project.
The second (2) phase will cover 3,049 kilometres of road network at an estimated cost of K11.25 trillion while the third (3) phase will involve upgrading 2,862 kilometres of road network with an estimated cost of K9 trillion. All these projects are expected to be carried out over a five-year period.
"The launch of this project signals the beginning of the revolution to modernise Zambia and subsequently convert it into a complete land linked country. This also fulfils one of the promises made by President Sata to the nation during his address to Parliament last year that government would embark on the construction of various roads which include the Lusaka Leopards Hill Road project via Chiawa to Chirundu," President Sata's special assistant for press and public relations George Chellah stated before the launch.
Several cabinet and deputy ministers and former vice-president Enoch Kavindele witnessed the launch.
Unza students stage boycottUnza students stage boycott
By Allan Mulenga and Tilyenji Mwanza
Fri 21 Sep. 2012, 10:30 CAT
UNZA students yesterday staged a class boycott demanding the institution's immediate closure following the continued revision of the academic calendar by management.
But University of Zambia (Unza) registrar Dr Kavwanga Yambayamba has urged students to abide by the decision made by management over the closure of the institution.
Management had decided to bring forward the closing date for the institution from the earlier announced October 31 to September 28, a move which had spurred anxiety among the student populace.
In the morning, the slogan-chanting students closed the main library and gathered at the graduation foyer demanding that management addresses them over the matter.
Several students were seen loitering at the institution, while others were busy with school work.
Sources disclosed that on Wednesday afternoon, the senate, which is the supreme academic council of the institution, held an urgent meeting where they agreed to close the institution next Friday.
Sources further said management was under intense pressure by the government to allow contractors to commence rehabilitation works in readiness for Zone Six Youth Games scheduled for December.
But Dr Yambayamba urged students to stick to September 28 as the official closing date for the institution.
"Let me correct one thing; there is nothing like closure. Yes there was a special meeting by senate of which they decided to revise the sessional dates. We are not closing. There is no closure. When you say closure, it is like something drastic has happened and then there is a closure," he said.
"The dates have been revised; this first semester is in two parts. We were supposed to close on the 31st of October, but they are now going to close on September 28."
Dr Yambayamba said the rehabilitation exercise would benefit students at the institution, adding that no student could overrule the decision made by management over the revision of the senate dates.
"We want to allow for the rehabilitation for the institution. As you may be aware that the Unza Great East Road Campus has been chosen as the village for Zone Six Youth Games. That is the reason why the sessional dates have been revised, it is not a closure," explained Dr Yambayamba.
"Students are coming back in January because when the games are over in December, we expect residential school to begin. We always have residential school when students are away by the end of the year. Regular students will be coming back on the 20th January 2013 when residential school ends. We expect everyone to be in campus until the stated period of time. No student can overrule the decision by the senate."
Some tribes have sworn to eliminate Tonga politicians - HichilemaCOMMENT - No one needs to assassinate UPND politicians - all they need to do is give them a microphone and let them talk. They'll asssasinate their political careers all by themselves. By the way, this victim card is just playing to the international media. Robert Amsterdam and his colour revolution tactics comes to mind.
Some tribes have sworn to eliminate Tonga politicians - Hichilema
By Ernest Chanda
Thu 20 Sep. 2012, 09:30 CAT
UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema claims that some tribes had sworn to eliminate Tonga politicians so that they did not rule the country.
Contributing to Sky FM radio's Sky Forum programme, Hichilema also alleged that UPND's founding president Anderson Mazoka was eliminated because he was Tonga by tribe.
The programme aired on Tuesday September 11, 2012, discussed police cancellation of the UPND planned public rally in Lusaka's Kanyama compound about two weeks ago.
Hichilema accused President Michael Sata of ordering police to disclose his bank accounts to the public as a way of harassing him because he is Tonga.
"Did Mwanawasa do that to Sata? He didn't. Did Rupiah Banda do that to Sata? He didn't. Why is Sata doing it on Hakainde? Answer that question. Look, there are people who have made a decision that people from certain regions of Zambia should never be allowed to form government; to be President," Hichilema said.
"This is why Mazoka was eliminated. This is why many people are dead today. Now, should we be killing each other to compete to serve the people of Zambia better? No! The issue is I can never produce your bank account
without a court order; only a court order allows you to do that."
An emotional Hichilema accused The Post newspaper management of having deliberately kept quiet about the alleged disclosure of his bank accounts because they hated him.
He accused Post editor-in-chief Fred M'membe of having killed Mazoka.
"And The Post, which is a PF newsletter, failed even to report that incident because they were embarrassed. All they can report is hatred about Hakainde," said Hichilema.
"Talking about Mazoka's name, M'membe never loved Mazoka. If I had my way, M'membe would not be allowed to use Mazoka's name because he drove Mazoka into the grave by writing about him every day. A dead Mazoka is a good one. Marcus I want to go; please let me go. I'm not happy and this is not good for our country."
Thursday, September 20, 2012
US Ambassador’s Killing Had Nothing to Do With Al Qaeda, Islamist Blowback or Anti-Islamic Video
By Mark Robertson and Finian Cunningham
Global Research, September 20, 2012
The NATO powers and the bureaucrats they installed in Libya want you to think that all 5.6 million Libyans are happy that NATO and its proxy terrorists destroyed Libya, a country which had the highest standard of living in Africa under Gaddafi.
They want you to think that NATO brought “freedom and democracy” to Libya, not chaos and death. They want you to think that there is no Green Resistance to the NATO imperialists or NATO’s Islamist allies in Benghazi.
In reality, the Resistance has been increasingly active since shortly after the murder of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011, as will be shown below. They strike any NATO target they can, and they execute key Libyans who betrayed Gaddafi and sided with NATO. The Benghazi incident was merely their latest blow against what they see as NATO’s illegal occupation of their country.
Everyone in Libya knows about the Green Resistance, whose members are called “Tahloob” (Arabic for “Gaddafi loyalists”). The denial only happens outside of Libya, by the NATO powers and their dutiful Western mainstream media.
Because of this denial, and because most of the world’s people have forgotten about Libya, the internet is filled with blind guesses, unfounded claims, and ridiculous counterclaims regarding the Benghazi incident last week in which US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and at least three other American personnel were killed. And the NATO lie factory is operating at full blast.
CLAIMS, COUNTER-CLAIMS AND DISINFORMATION
The Obama regime says “protesters” irate over an anti-Islam video did it.
The NATO-installed bureaucrats in Libya say that “foreign extremists” did it.
US Congressmen say “Al Qaeda did it”. So does CNN, as well as the alternative media web site Prison Planet, which denounces any reference to the Green Resistance as “absurd”. (1)
Media outlets, such as the UK Guardian, say “an organized terror network did it”.
Turkey’s government says “Syria’s Assad did it”.
Israel says “Hezbollah did it”.
The Sunni monarchs of the Gulf Cooperation Council oil sheikdoms say “Iran did it”.
Even reputable alternative media writers and progressive bloggers have attributed the attack to “the Benghazi Islamists”, and that this is “blowback from imperialism”.
Wikileaks says the attack happened because the US had backed Britain’s threat to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London and remove Julian Assange. (2)
Some media outlets claim that “Al Qaeda” carried out the attack in revenge for the supposed death in Pakistan (by US drone strike on 4 June 2012) of Libyan-born Abu Yahya Al Libi (aka Hassan Mohammed Qaid) who was supposedly a key aide to Osama bin Laden, and was supposedly the “number two man” in Al Qaeda.
This claim is nonsense, since Al Qaeda has been a group of mercenaries employed by Washington and London since 1980. President Reagan called them “heroes” and “freedom fighters”. The US and Britain sends its Al Qaeda mercenaries to the Balkans, Libya, Syria, Chechnya, Somalia, Sudan, and other places that NATO wants to infiltrate, destroy or destabilize.
NATO pays Ayman Al Zawahiri, the so-called leader of the Al Qaeda mercenaries, to advance NATO imperialism by recording videos and audio-tapes; over 60 of them so far. Zawahiri repeatedly called for the death of Gaddafi, and now he repeatedly calls for the death of Syria’s President Bashar Al Assad. He also calls for Pakistanis to support the Taliban, in order to make the world think the Taliban still exists. He sometimes records in English, and his true identity and whereabouts are a NATO secret. On 11 September 2012, in commemoration of 9/11, he released a video that eulogized Abu Yahya Al Libi, the one supposedly killed by a US drone in June. This “eulogy” had nothing to do with the Benghazi incident, which happened later that night on Tuesday 11 September.
Some claim that Salafists carried out the fatal attack on the US premises. This is more nonsense, since Salafists are NATO allies. Salafists and Wahhabists connote a strict, literalist, and puritanical approach to Islam. They are mainly associated with Saudi Arabia’s feudal style of Islam, and they were allied with NATO against Gaddafi. Now they are allied with NATO against Assad, Iran, Hezbollah, and Shiites generally.
An example of Salafists in Libya is the Ansar Al Sharia – a blanket term for various militias that want to apply strict Sharia law in Libya. Its members are pro-NATO and anti-Green Resistance. They had no reason to attack the US government site in Benghazi which had been instrumental in galvanizing the Islamist insurgency to topple the Gaddafi government, beginning at least from March 2011 and under the supervision of the late Christopher Stevens. Stevens was Washington’s point man in Benghazi and is known to have cultivated strong ties with the Islamists.
In short, it does not make sense that such Benghazi contacts would have wanted or have been motivated to kill their American paymaster.
The most obvious explanation is that cadres – the Green Resistance – loyal to Gaddafi and in opposition to the NATO-imposed regime carried out the attack. NATO and its Libyan quislings don’t want to admit this subversive reality. The fact of a resistance – a potent and growing resistance at that – has to be denied, erased from the record.
It was a mere coincidence that the Benghazi attack happened on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11. The Green Resistance was angry that Abdullah Al Senoussi (Gaddafi’s chief of intelligence) had been arrested upon his arrival at Nouakchott airport in Mauritania on 17 March 2012. Then, six days before the Benghazi attack, Mauritania extradited Senoussi to Libya for trial by the NATO-installed bureaucrats.
One day before the Benghazi attack, the NATO puppets put two senior Gaddafi loyalists on trial, accusing them of wasting public money by paying $2.7 billion to families of people killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. The two Gaddafi loyalists are Abdul Ati Al Obeidi (who had been Gaddafi’s Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and Head of State) and Mohammed Zwai (former Secretary General of the General People’s Congress – that is, head of the legislature under Gaddafi).
Also, Baghdadi Ali Mahmudi had been Secretary of the General People’s Committee (that is, Prime Minister) under Gaddafi, but escaped from Tripoli on 21 August 2011 as NATO-backed terrorists swept into the city. Mahmudi was arrested in Tunisia for illegal border entry and jailed for six months until his charges were overturned on appeal. On 24 June 2012, Tunisia’s Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali (acting on NATO orders) suddenly had Mahmudi re-arrested and sent back to the NATO puppets in Tripoli, who promptly imprisoned Mahmudi.
Tunisia’s Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali is pro-NATO, and a friend of American hawkish senators McCain and Lieberman. His re-arrest and extradition of Mahmudi angered Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, who denounced the extradition as illegal, and it also enraged the Libyan Green Resistance. (3)
As for US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, he had promoted Libya’s destruction, having arrived in Benghazi in April 2011 for that purpose, and remained there throughout the NATO seven-month aerial bombardment of Libya. His job was to coordinate the NATO-backed terrorists.
After Libya was destroyed, Stevens had used a Tripoli hotel as his base, since the Green Resistance had burned down the US embassy in the capital, Tripoli. When the Resistance tried to kill him with a car bomb outside the hotel, Stevens moved to the villas in Benghazi, a city in the east of the country whose inhabitants tend to be pro-US and which has long been a hotbed of Islamist jihadis, many of them furnishing the ranks of NATO’s Afghan Mujahideen in the 1980s and later Al Qaeda. (4)
That was over a year ago. (Stevens formally became Obama’s ambassador to Libya in May 2012.)
Stevens was outgoing, and had so underestimated the Green Resistance that he enjoyed jogging in the streets of Benghazi and elsewhere in Libya. (5)
Everyone knew that he and his American staff were present. One figure among the pro-NATO terrorists, Ahmed Al Abbar, says of Stevens: “He was loved by everybody [that is, in Benghazi]”. (6)
Stevens’ popularity with the Benghazi traitors added to the fury of the Green Resistance when they eventually attacked the US site in Benghazi.
Thus, contrary to claims by Western media outlets such as the British Independent, there were no “major security breeches,” and no “mystery” about the attack. All such claims are red herrings designed to distract from the reality of the Green Resistance.
THEY ALL ADMITTED THE TRUTH AT FIRST
The morning after the Benghazi attack, on 12 September, the NATO puppets unwittingly admitted the truth about the “Tahloob” (Green Resistance), and whined that NATO was not doing enough to help crush it. Libyan Deputy Interior Minister Wanis Al Sharif admitted this in a Benghazi news conference, which was later broadcast on Al Jazeera television. (7) (8) (29)
Libya’s Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib also admitted it, as did Libya’s President Mohammed El-Megarif, as well as Ali Aujali, Libya’s Ambassador to Washington, plus Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya’s ambassador to the UN. All of them said that Gaddafi loyalists had attacked the US site in Benghazi. They would quickly change their change tune under pressure from their NATO masters.
Back on 24 August 2012, Time magazine had noted that Gaddafi “still commands silent admiration in many parts of Libya”.
The article quoted President El-Magariaf as saying:
“We know that Gaddafi loyalists are behind these bombings [since the overthrow of Gaddafi]. In the last few months, the security services have intensified their campaign against Bani Walid and Tarhuna.” (9)
Bani Walid is a loyalist stronghold whose people held key positions in Gaddafi’s security services. It was also the last city outside of Gaddafi’s birthplace of Sirte to fall to NATO-backed terrorists on 23 January 2012. Magariaf is from Benghazi, and spent 30 years in the US being groomed for the time when NATO would destroy Libya. On 9 August 2012, NATO installed him as Libya’s head of state after an “election”. Magariaf is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is aligned with NATO.
The initial admissions of the truth about the Green Resistance were made on the morning after the attack. Within hours, however, all top Libyan officials, acting under NATO orders, changed their tune, merely calling the attackers “foreign extremists”. Magariaf, the president installed by NATO, went to Benghazi three days after the attack, and declared that “Al Qaeda did it”. (10)
One bureaucrat who would not adopt the NATO spin was Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib, who continued to insist that Gaddafi loyalists were the perpetrators. Therefore, NATO dismissed him as Libya’s prime minister, and replaced him with Mustafa Abushagur, the day after the Benghazi incident. Abushagur had lived most of his life in the USA, and had always been an enemy of Gaddafi. Like so many other US-installed bureaucrats, he had returned to Benghazi in May 2011 during the NATO-instigated insurgency.
Some alternative news outlets acknowledge the truth about the Green Resistance, for example, the Inter Press News Service, which is a non-profit outlet.
IPS spoke with armed Gaddafi loyalists who vowed that they will step up their fight. Government sources alternately claim the perpetrators are former Gaddafi loyalists or Islamists. Further confusion arises from a government clampdown on the dissemination of information in the local media, and by Libyan security forces preventing foreign journalists from covering the scenes of attacks first-hand, or taking pictures. (11)
The Libyan bureaucrats’ clampdown on media information is understandable, since they want to hamper solidarity with the Green Resistance.
Regarding the Benghazi incident, the mass denial begins with basic facts. For example, most people refer to “the US consulate,” when in reality the US site in Benghazi was not an embassy or a consulate, or even a “compound”. It was a collection of villas (that is, a gated community) privately owned by one Mohammad Al Bishari, who was leasing the villas to US State Department personnel. (12)
Collectively the villas were what the US State Department calls an “interim facility”. It had a level of security known as “simple lock and key,” meaning it had no bulletproof glass, reinforced doors, US Marines, or other features common to embassies and consulates. (In Mexico, for example, Washington has an embassy and 22 consulates, but in Libya the US government had only a single embassy in Tripoli – and then, after the NATO bombardment campaign, used the Benghazi villas.)
The corporate media falsely use the term “US consulate” to make it seem that “terrorists attacked US sovereignty”. This justifies the “war on terror,” plus the past destruction of Libya.
Furthermore, the Obama regime calls the privately owned group of villas a “compound” in order to make it seem that the (non-existent) “protesters” brazenly stormed a fortress similar to the massive US embassy complex in Baghdad.
THERE WERE NO PROTESTERS IN BENGHAZI
The White House claims that protesters against that anti-Muslim video “spontaneously” attacked the so-called “consulate.” In reality there were no protesters anywhere in Benghazi at the time of the attack. When Fox News questioned US officials about this, the officials admitted the truth. (13)
Nonetheless, the Obama administration/regime continues to insist that “protesters did it”. This lie not only conceals the Green Resistance; it also makes Muslims all seem irrational and blood-lusting, thereby justifying imperialist aggression (that is, the “war on terror”).
The absence of protesters was confirmed by one of the eight Libyans guarding the private group of villas used by Ambassador Stevens and his staff. The eyewitness, aged 27, is being treated in a hospital for five shrapnel wounds in one leg, and two bullet wounds in the other. He asked that his name be withheld, and that the hospital not be identified, for fear that “militants” (that is, the Green Resistance) would track him down and kill him.
Of the eight Libyan security guards, the eyewitness and four others had been hired by a British firm. The remaining three were members of Libya’s 17th of February Brigade, a group of pro-NATO terrorists formed at the start of the NATO campaign to destroy Gaddafi and Libyan society.
In an interview with McClatchy news service last Thursday (13 September 2012) the eyewitness said there were no protesters at all.
“The Americans would have left if there had been protesters, but there wasn’t a single ant. The area was totally quiet until about 9:35 pm, when as many as 125 men attacked with machine guns, grenades, RPGs, and anti-aircraft weapons. They threw grenades into the villas, wounding me and knocking me down. Then they stormed through the facility’s main gate, moving from villa to villa.”
That does not sound like a “spontaneous protest” against a blasphemous B-movie that suddenly appeared on the internet, as the White House and others claim; rather, it was a sharply executed military strike that must have been planned meticulously well in advance.
The eyewitness managed to escape by telling one of the attackers that he was only a gardener in the gated community. His account is consistent with that of Mohammad Al Bishari, who owns the villas, and was leasing them to the US government. Bishari gave his own account on 12 September, the day after the attack. (12)
Ambassador Stevens was overcome by “severe asphyxia” (smoke inhalation), and was still alive after the attack. Pro-US Libyans in Benghazi carried him to the Benghazi Medical center, where he died later in the night. (14)
NATO destroyed Libya and reduced its people to poverty and violence. In the post-destruction chaos, there are family feuds and inter-militia rivalries. There are long-standing disputes over land, plus long-standing friction between Arabs and Berbers.
However, we shall focus on Resistance attacks against NATO targets, and Resistance assassinations of Libyan figures that betrayed Gaddafi and sided with NATO. The following are only some of the “scores”.
On 18 March 2012, in the Tripoli neighborhood of Abu Salim (a pro-Gaddafi stronghold) local members of the Green Resistance had a shoot-out with a pro-NATO militia group from Zintan led by one Mohammed El-Rebay. (Zintan is a province in Libya’s western mountains.) The Resistance managed to kill one of the Zintan terrorists, who had been using a Tripoli school as their base. (15)
In April 2012, the Resistance detonated a roadside bomb beside a UN convoy that included Ian Martin, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Libya. (16)
On 29 April 2012, the lifeless body of Shukri Ghanem, Gaddafi’s former oil minister, was found floating in the River Danube. In May 2011, Ghanem had joined NATO, and went off to reside in London and then Vienna. (17)
On 2 May 2012, the Green Resistance claimed responsibility for assassinating General Albarrani Shkal, a former military governor of Tripoli who had demobilized the 38,000 men of his guard and opened the gates of Tripoli to foreign troops during Operation Mermaid Dawn, the sacking of Tripoli that began on 20 August 2011. (Tripoli’s nickname is “The Mermaid”.) (18)
On 15 May 2012, Khaled Abu Salah, a candidate for the Constituent Assembly controlled by NATO, was assassinated near the oasis town of Ubari in southwest Libya. (19)
On 22 May 2012, a rocket-propelled grenade targeted the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Benghazi, but caused only structural damage to the premises. The ICRC is headquartered in Geneva, and its foreign offices are often used as cover by Western intelligence agencies, such as MI6 or the CIA.
On 26 May 2012, Mukhtar Fernana, head of the Military Council for the Western Region, survived an assassination attempt.
On 5 June 2012, the Resistance detonated a bomb in front of the US-operated building in Tripoli, damaging its gates.
On 11 June 2012, in Benghazi’s al-Rabha neighborhood, the Resistance fired an RPG at a convoy that carried British Ambassador Dominic Asquith, wounding two of his bodyguards. (20)
Back in July 2011, Abdel-Fattah Younis, the former Qaddafi loyalist turned “rebel” military commander, was assassinated. On 22 June 2012, the judge investigating the death of Younis was himself assassinated in Benghazi.
On 28 July 2012, Suleiman Buzraidah was killed in a drive-by shooting while he was en route to a Benghazi mosque. Buzraidah had been a military intelligence official under Gaddafi, but betrayed him to join the NATO-backed terrorists. (21)
On 29 July 2012, Khalifa Belqasim Haftar narrowly survived an assassination attempt. Formerly one of Gaddafi’s army commanders, in 1988 he betrayed Gaddafi and lived for 23 years under US government protection near CIA headquarters in Virginia. He returned to Libya during the NATO-led insurgency, hoping that after Gaddafi’s death, he would be made commander-in-chief of the Libyan military (controlled by NATO). However, he had to settle for third place in the hierarchy, and was given the rank of Lt. General before the Resistance caught up with him.
Last month was an especially active four weeks for the Resistance. Security buildings and hotels in Benghazi were rocked by bomb attacks and attempted attacks. Foreign diplomatic staff and embassies were targeted. US embassy staff in Tripoli escaped an attempted carjacking.
On 10 August 2012, eight Resistance members escaped from the Al Fornaj prison in Tripoli after a coordinated attack. Gunmen in pickup trucks outside the prison shot at security guards, while prisoners inside set sections of the prison on fire and managed to overpower a number of guards. This was the third Resistance attack on the prison since the murder of Gaddafi. (22)
On 18 August 2012, the Green Resistance detonated a car bomb outside the Four Seasons Hotel on Omar Al Mukhtar Street in Tripoli. The target was a vehicle being used by Benghazi security officials (installed by NATO) who were staying at the hotel. (22)
Afterwards, the NATO-installed bureaucrats sent heavily armed soldiers to prevent photographs being taken, and to forbid journalists from entering the area, so that word of the Green Resistance would not get out. A Libyan interior ministry official refused to comment further. (22)
The following day, the Resistance set off more car bombs in Tripoli. One bomb was near the administrative offices of the Interior Ministry (controlled by the NATO powers). Two other car bombs exploded minutes later near the former headquarters of a women’s police academy, which NATO now uses for interrogation and detentions. (The latter two bombs killed two passersby.)
The next day in Benghazi (20 August 2012) Resistance members tossed a bomb into the car of Abdel Hamid Refaii, the first secretary of the Egyptian Embassy. This was outside Refaii’s house. However, the assassination bid failed.
The day after that, the then Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib condemned the Green Resistance in a televised speech, saying: “Desperate and malicious forces among the supporters of the former regime are trying to create tension, send Libya backwards to violence, and sabotage the country’s political process.” (23)
Tripoli’s security chief, Col Mahmoud Sherif, said Gaddafi loyalists were responsible for the spate of violent attacks. He ordered the arrest of 32 suspected Resistance members for interrogation. (24)
Indeed, the police in Tripoli (who now work for the NATO powers) are constantly occupied with defusing car bombs set by the Resistance. (25)
After the Resistance bombing of the former headquarters of a women’s police academy, the NATO puppets sent soldiers to raid a farm where Resistance members were holed up. Several of the Gaddafi loyalists were killed.
One of the members who survived was alleged to have set up sleeper cells in Libya and to have been criss-crossing the border with Tunisia from where he and several comrades were smuggling weapons into Libya for the Resistance. (26)
On 23 August 2012, Abdelmenom Al Hur, official spokesperson for the Supreme Security Committee, installed by NATO, held a press conference in which he admitted that Gaddafi loyalists had penetrated many official security units. He said that a whole barracks full of heavy armaments was under the control of a pro-Gaddafi cell that he called the Awfia Brigade. (The group’s members call themselves the “Martyr Gaddafi Brigade”.) The same Resistance brigade had briefly occupied Tripoli International Airport back in June 2012.
After the attack that killed Ambassador Stevens on 11 September 2012, the Resistance managed to shut down the Benina airport in Benghazi, which the US military was using as a drone base. (27)
With the Resistance firing at US drones, the airport had become unsafe. A Turkish Afriqiyah Airlines flight with 121 people onboard was forced to turn back to Istanbul. (28)
The foregoing is only a partial list of Resistance activity over the past year, which has dramatically increased during the last three months, reaching a crescendo in August, and leading to the death of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens last week.
The NATO powers had shifted their focus to destroying Syria, and on continuing their preparations to destroy Iran, while letting their Tripoli bureaucrats handle the Green Resistance in Libya. Now, however, the NATO powers realize that Libya is far from subjugated and that they are being seriously tasked with crushing the Resistance before it gains critical mass.
Marines, drones, and warships have been sent to quash the Gaddafi loyalists – but how to find them? Even the FBI declined to “investigate” the latest attack in Benghazi, realizing that it would be pointless.
Libya presents Washington with another Afghan nightmare – only perhaps worse. If US drones start blasting Libyans, and the US military rounds up tens of thousands of suspected loyalists, then the Resistance can only become stronger. Of Libya’s 5.6 million people, only one in 10 (that is, the population of the eastern city of Benghazi) welcomed the NATO bondage and destruction of their country.
Meanwhile, the NATO powers do not want the Western public to realize any of this awkward truth. They want you to think that all Libyans are happy under NATO’s “liberation” with their Islamist terrorist proxies. Some 50,000 Libyans lost their lives due to NATO’s bombing and ground campaign during 2011. And for what? Only for a Resistance to rise up to illustrate to the world that Libyans had their country stolen from them by NATO powers in a criminal war of aggression.
The more the Libyan Green Resistance gains strength and challenges the NATO-imposed regime, the more clear it becomes that the Western governments and their media lied in their pretexts of “responsibility to protect (R2P)” human rights and democracy. Recall that these were the pretexts invoked by the NATO powers to justify setting up No-Fly Zones in Libya in March 2011. (The same pretexts are again being reiterated with regard to Syria.)
But, as the growing Resistance illustrates, the Western powers did not “liberate” Libya; they invaded a sovereign country and killed massively to execute their real, criminal agenda of regime change and theft of oil resources. Now the people of Libya are resisting this criminal conquest. And that damning truth has to be expunged at all costs.
Before the Benghazi incident, the corporate media had occasionally mentioned Gaddafi loyalists. After the incident, all such mention has suddenly ceased. The media say that “extremists” attacked the US site in Benghazi. Or “Al Qaeda” or “Islamists” or “terrorists,” or “protesters” – anyone but the Resistance.
Not true. The Green Resistance lives, and furthermore it is only getting started.
Mark Robertson is a political analyst based in Mexico City firstname.lastname@example.org
Finian Cunningham is a freelance journalist based in East Africa email@example.com