Pan Africa Newswire
Mexican press conference announcing the arrest of two nationals in the murder of Malcolm Shabazz. Shabazz was severely beaten and left for dead outside a bar in Mexico City., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Mexican officials arrest two men in murder of Malcolm X's grandson
Malcolm Shabazz, 28, died in Mexico on Thursday
Manuel Alejandro Perez de Jesus, 24 and David Hernandez Cruz, 24 are thought to work at the bar where Shabazz became embroiled in a dispute
Malcolm X's 'first male heir' was born in 1984 and never met his activist grandfather who was assassinated in 1965
Had a troubled youth shuffling from various relatives as his mother battled alcohol and drug addiction
At age 12, admitted to starting apartment fire that killed his 63-year-old grandmother Betty Shabazz in 1997
Was an aspiring writer, attending John Jay College in New York
He was in Mexico City to meet with labor organizers before his death
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER and ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORTER
PUBLISHED: 17:01 EST, 13 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:01 EST, 13 May 2013
Malcolm Shabazz, the 28-year-old grandson of political activist Malcolm X, died in Mexico City on Thursday after being beaten to death
Mexico City prosecutors say they have arrested two men in connection with the death of Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of political activist Malcolm X.
Manuel Alejandro Perez de Jesus, 24, and David Hernandez Cruz, 24, are employees of the bar where Shabazz reportedly got in a violent dispute last week about a $1,200 bar tab, according to an unnamed official of the city's prosecutor's office.
The 28-year-old Shabazz died of blunt-force trauma injuries in hospital on Thursday.
It is not yet clear how the victim sustained the injuries with reports of a botched robbery and varying opinions of whether he was struck or pushed from a building.
The son of Malcolm X's second daughter, Qubilah Shabazz, had a troubled childhood and at the age of 12 pleaded guilty in 1997 to setting a fire that killed his grandmother, Malcolm X's widow Betty Shabazz.
The location of the rumored attack has not yet been confirmed, as some websites have claimed he died in Tijuana and other news outlets have listed the place of death as Mexico City.
Shabazz was reportedly in Mexico to meet with labor movement organizers, Talking Points Memo said.
Juan Ruiz, part of the California-based labor group Rumec, told the website that Shabazz was in Mexico City to meet with one of Rumec's leaders, Miguel Suarez.
Suarez had been deported from the United States last month.
'He’s a supporter of our organization. He went to Mexico to meet with Miguel,' Mr Ruiz told TPM.
'He was murdered. He was in Mexico City and I believe they attempted to rob him and he didn't allow it, so they beat him to death and he died on his way to the hospital. This is all I can confirm, everything else is under investigation for the meantime,' he added.
Imam Dawud Walid, an acquaintance of Shabazz and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan, told NBC News, 'I do know that Malcolm was involved in human rights and that he had a relationship with a gentleman named Suarez in Mexico.'
The U.S. State Department confirmed on Friday that a U.S. citizen had been killed in Mexico City but said it was not releasing the individual's name at the family's request.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is closed on Friday as Mexico celebrates Mother's Day.
The Amsterdam News first reported the man's death and later stated that the U.S. Embassy had confirmed the death.
A family friend of the Shabazz family, Terrie M. Williams, wrote in a Facebook posting, 'I'm confirming, per US Embassy, on behalf of the family, the tragic death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X. Statement from family to come.'
Malcolm Shabazz was born in 1984 and never met his activist grandfather, who was assassinated in 1965 in New York.
Malcom Shabazz's father was an Algerian man, his mother had a relationship with when she studied in Paris.
His mother struggled with alcohol and drug addiction so during his childhood Malcolm Shabazz lived with various relatives.
Tragedy struck with the youth set fire to his grandmother's apartment in Yonkers, New York in 1997. The woman, Betty Shabazz, sustained burns over 80 per cent of her body and died.
At a court hearing in the case, experts described Shabazz as psychotic and schizophrenic.
After his release, he returned to jail in 2002 for a robbery charge and was arrested again in 2006.
He claimed earlier in 2013 that he was being harassed by the FBI, in an impassioned blog posting.
Shabazz described himself as the 'first male heir of the greatest revolutionary leader of the 20th century,' on his Twitter profile.
On his Twitter profile he lists Washington D.C. as his hometown but was said to be attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York before his death.
He suggested on his blog that he was an aspiring writer and was in the process of working on the manuscripts for two books.
'Malcolm is a humble, passionate and forceful speaker who’s emerging as a voice for our generation as a writer,' his biography states.
He is survived by his mother and two daughters.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2324011/Mexican-officials-arrest-men-murder-Malcolm-Xs-grandson.html#ixzz2TEcE6JSR
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May 13, 2013
2 Waiters Arrested in Killing of Malcolm X’s Grandson
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
New York Times
MEXICO CITY — The police here arrested two men on murder and robbery charges on Monday in the beating death last week of Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of Malcolm X, though many questions about the case remained unresolved.
The men taken into custody, David Hernández Cruz and Manuel Alejandro Pérez de Jesús, worked as waiters at the Palace Club, a downtown bar where Mr. Shabazz, 28, was beaten, in what the city prosecutor called a dispute over an excessive bill.
Two other bar employees who the authorities said participated in the beating, which left Mr. Shabazz with fatal skull, jaw and rib fractures, were being sought.
The body of Mr. Shabazz, who for years had wrestled with living in the shadow of his grandfather’s fame, was still at a city morgue on Monday while American consular officials worked to have it returned to the United States. A family spokeswoman said they would have no comment, and no funeral plans have been announced.
Mr. Shabazz arrived in Mexico City from Tijuana, the prosecutor, Rodolfo Fernando Rios Garza, said at a news conference. He went to the bar on Thursday with a man whom friends identified as Miguel Suárez, a Mexican labor activist whom Mr. Shabazz had befriended in the United States and who had been recently deported.
When the argument over the tab broke out around 3 a.m. as they prepared to leave, the two were separated by bar employees, but, for reasons the prosecutor said had not yet been determined, only Mr. Shabazz was beaten. A blunt object was used but no other details were given.
Mr. Shabazz’s companion was taken to another part of the bar and robbed but said he managed to escape and call for help.
The pair disputed a tab that came to around $1,200, Mr. Rios Garza said. Two young women had approached them on the street and invited them to the bar, but although Mexican newspapers have identified the bar as a known brothel, Mr. Rios Garza waved off questions regarding prostitution. Many of the bars in that rundown area charge customers for even a conversation with their female employees, according to Mexican news reports.
Mr. Shabazz consumed several drinks; a prosecutor’s office statement said he had a blood alcohol concentration more than three times the legal limit for driving in most American jurisdictions. But the prosecutor, while not offering details on how much liquor was consumed, said the bill was excessive and was part of the effort to rob Mr. Shabazz and his companion.
He said he found no evidence that race or any motive other than robbery was in play, and there was no indication that the attackers knew Mr. Shabazz came from a famous family.
The investigation, however, has had its stumbles.
There were security cameras in the bar, but after a search of the property two days after the attack, video recording equipment was missing and the cameras were turned toward the walls, the prosecutor’s statement said. It was unclear why the search was delayed, but justice reform advocates have long complained that Mexican investigators do not always move with the speed and forensic acumen of the police in the United States.
The police have interviewed Mr. Suárez, who could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Shabazz was 12 when he set a fire in Yonkers that killed his grandmother, Betty Shabazz. After serving prison time, he walked an erratic path away from his troubled youth.
He had gone to Mexico City with Mr. Suárez with plans to draw media attention to his deportation, Mr. Suárez said on Facebook.
Karla Zabludovsky contributed reporting from Mexico City, and Kia Gregory from New York.
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, was featured on Press TV News Analysis on August 30, 2012. Azikiwe discussed the history and significance of the Non-Aligned Movement that met in Iran., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.For Immediate Release
May 12, 2013
Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast Hosted by Abayomi Azikiwe
To listen to the May 12 edition of the Pan-African Journal just click
on the website below:
A leading British newspaper has predicted that the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Party will win the upcoming harmonized elections in the Southern African state. The government in Harare is working towards setting a date for the national poll in July.
African National Congress (ANC) Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said that ordinary people in South Africa are not really concerned about disputes within the ruling party. These statements were made during a provincial conference in the Free State where Ramaphosa was speaking.
Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of Malcolm X, aka El-Hajj Malik Shabazz, was killed in Mexico City, Mexico on May 9. New details are emerging in regard to the circumstances surrounding his death. Shabazz was only 28-years-old.
Finally, the Islamic Republic of Iran will engage in a naval training program with the Republic of Sudan in Khartoum. The two countries have maintained close relations for a number of years.
There was also a tribute to the cultural contributions of African American women on Mothers' Day.
Symbolizing the People's Republic of China's eagerness to win new friends in Africa, Mao Tse-Tung (right) extends the hand of friendship to Ghana's President Kwame Nkrumah at a July 28, 1962 meeting in Hangchow, China., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Africa must unite for true freedom, prosperity
Monday, 13 May 2013
Title: Africa Must Unite
Author: Kwame Nkrumah
Genre: Political Non-Fiction
Year of Publication: 1963
IN this book, Kwame Nkrumah spells out the tactics and strategy for the African Union. His argument is that until and unless African countries unite at the political, economic, defence and economic fronts, the continent and its people will have no true freedom and prosperity.
Divided up into twenty-one chapters, Nkrumah gives an overview of the African society in the opening chapter.
He follows it up with an incisive analysis of the colonial experience and its impact on the continent. He then examines the role of the intellectual vanguard in the struggle for political independence.
After that, he delves into the specific experience of Ghana’s struggle for sovereignty, looks at the problems of sovereignty and then builds up his case for African unity.
He contends that neo-colonialism is a threat to the viability of the newly independent African states. He also cites examples of the United States of America and the former Soviet Union as examples of major unions of states in the world.
In the final chapter, he marshals out arguments for what he describes as “Continental Government for Africa.”
There are two appendices. The first one is the full text of the address Kwame Nkrumah gave on the eve of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on May 25, 1963.
The second one is a text of address made by Julius Nyerere in Accra on March 6 1997 on the occasion of Ghana’s 40th independence anniversary.
Throughout the book, Nkrumah keeps harping on his passion — an African Union.
To achieve this, he opines that African leaders must come together to devise an overall economic planning on a continental basis; establish a unified military and defence strategy; a united foreign policy and diplomacy to give political direction to their joint effort for the protection and economic development of the continent.
“What is at stake is not the destiny of a single country but the freedom and destiny of the African continent, the unalterable prelude to the African Union and the fullest development of the many countries comprising the continent.
“Just as we are alive to the dangers of a world which is half-slave, half-free, so we are alert to the perils of an African continent split between states that are wholly sovereign and states that are only half-independent. Such a pattern can only impede the real independence of Africa and its transformation into an industrialised continent exercising its rightful influence upon world affairs.” (p.187)
He argues that the balkanization of the African continent serves the interests of the imperialists and not those of the African people.
“The creation of several weak and unstable states of this kind in Africa, it is hoped, will ensure the continued dependence on the former colonial powers for economic aid, and impede African unity.
This policy of balkanization is the new imperialism, the new danger to Africa.” (p.179)
And the way out of this bog, he suggests, is unity of the diverse states on the continent.
“A point in our history has been reached where Africa’s interests must be the prime concern of Africa’s leaders.
"The safety and progress of every one of our states can be safeguarded only by the acceptance of this precept, which can best be promoted by our unalloyed unity.
“This means that where associations linking African countries with European powers cut across basic African interests at any level and offer impediments to the goal of union, they must be discarded, and rejected where they are offered.
“In all relations with the world overseas, the key consideration must be not merely the superficial or even intrinsic advantage of such relationships for the given African country but the obligation to the African continent as a whole.
“However, much we may protest our loyalty to the course of African freedom and our united destiny, our affirmations will be without value unless we accept this approach as the cardinal guide to our action,” (p.185)
Written in an engaging prose style, Africa Must Unite ought to be a companion for every African who believes in the emancipation of the continent.
--Dr Nkrumah was the first President of Ghana. An influential 20th century advocate of Pan-Africanism, he was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and was the winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1963.
Republic of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe donates outside broadcast van from the People's Republic of China. China has been a long time ally of the Southern African state., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
All African states must follow Zim’s example
Monday, 13 May 2013 00:00
Zimbabwe is at the moment an oasis of indigenisation in Africa and there is no doubt that it has become inevitable for all African countries to follow Zimbabwe’s footsteps on total independence.
It might not be today, tomorrow or next year but the seed sown by President Mugabe will germinate, grow and bear sumptuous fruits that so many other countries will be forced by future generations of their population to do exactly the same.
Land reform and indigenisation is now inevitable in all African countries after Zimbabwe’s example.
The model might differ, the timing might differ but it has to be done and it will be done.
Zimbabwe will be the point of reference.
In countries like Zimbabwe, China has done a lot to counter the effects of illegal sanctions imposed on President Mugabe’s government, after the veteran nationalist decided to correct the contentious colonial problem of land ownership.
While the British and their allies in the European union and the United States of America sought to topple President Mugabe the sanctions induced regime change, aided by the formation of a well-funded opposition political party, the MDC, China sought to do business with the Zimbabwean Government.
While the US and EU sought military intervention, China and Russia blocked it at the United Nations Security Council.
China has sought to benefit from the existing natural resources to aid its growing economic base and has, at all costs, avoided going for war with anyone in the developing world.
The Zimbabwean scenario was to be repeated in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Cote d’Ivoire with success. Unlike in Zimbabwe where regime change has failed, thanks to President Mugabe’s wit, calculative political manoeuvres and principled stance, in the other mentioned countries, Europe and the US won the regime change battle.
In Zimbabwe, the US and its allies in EU are being forced to swallow their pride and have already shown movement towards normalising relations with President Mugabe.
The forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe, which President Mugabe will certainly win, will seal the deal between the veteran nationalist and US and its allies.
While China has done a lot, there is need to also check on its so that it does not, in the long run, do the wrong things and become a friend turned villain.
China is fast emerging as the world’s biggest economy, through a business model that is totally different from the combative and confrontational approach of the US and its allies in Europe.
The employment of Africa’s potential has always considered to be a part of Chinas strategy aimed at transforming itself into a major global power.
By acquiring unlimited access to Africa’s natural resources Beijing strengthens its military and economic potential.
While financing various infrastructural projects in Africa China at the same time makes sure that all contracts are assigned only to Chinese companies.
While the Chinese solve their strategic international problems by exploiting Africa the Africans themselves might be left to play a role of powerless observers in their own homeland.
Zimbabwe is very clever in this regard. Just recently, President Mugabe’s Government instructed Chinese applying to mine diamonds in Bikita to follow the indigenisation rule of partnering the surrounding community in the form of a community share ownership structure.
The rest of Africa must learn from the Zimbabwean scenario where foreigners must cede 51 percent shares to indigenous people, otherwise the Chinese will wipe out everything and leave Africans still poor.
At the end, whether it is China or Europe, Africa’s natural resources would be gone for a song.
The Chinese must create jobs for Africans, the Chinese must promote African projects and the Chinese must, understand that while they have been fair players in most cases, they can do more and better for the development of Africa.
In that way, the Chinese will have proved too good for the American and European exploiters of African wealth.
A large number of Chinese nationals have moved to Africa and acquired work there.
Due to that fact China aided its dilemma of overpopulation and eased social tensions within the country.
Nowadays Africa is made use of by China in the same manner as the North American colonies were in the 17-19 centuries by the British Empire.
By providing multi-million dollar loans to African countries Beijing exchanges the practically unsupported dollar and doubtful American securities for true-life and profitable assets (mineral resources, the mines themselves and joint ventures).
The entire African region is involuntarily drawn into Chinas political orbit. In fact, Beijing is currently using Africa only as a sustainable source of raw materials and by doing so actually strengthens its own security, expands its living space and evolves from a regional power in the Asia – pacific region to a global one.
The ongoing competition between the US and China for dominance in Africa and for its natural resources destructively affects the internal stability and security of the continent.
Under these conditions all African states should focus on expanding relations with countries that historically proved their commitment to the true liberation of Africa and to the development of mutually beneficial cooperation.
Africa still has vast untapped natural resources and Africa is the future of world economic growth,. Zimbabwe is at the moment an oasis of indigenisation but there is no doubt that it has become inevitable for all African countries to follow Zimbabwe’s footsteps, today, tomorrow or next year. Only time will tell.
Dr Muneri Muguyo writes for DayAfrica.com. This article is reproduced from DayAfrica.com
Republic of South Africa Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was elected as the African Union Commission Chair at the Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on July 15-16, 2012. She is the first woman and Southern African to be elected to the post., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
AU calls for restraint, dialogue in Guinea
Monday, 13 May 2013 00:00
ADDIS ABABA. — The African Union (AU) has called for restraint and dialogue in the Republic of Guinea as tension prevails on the ground and acts of violence occurred during authorised political demonstrations.
In a statement issued by the AU over the weekend, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called on the Guinean parties to exercise restraint and demonstrate a sense of responsibility, and requested them to abide by the Declaration on non-violence signed on April 23, 2013, by the government, opposition political parties and those of the presidential camp.
She urged the parties to work resolutely together towards the preservation of peace, security and stability, and underlined the urgent need for the Guinean parties to engage in dialogue without delay, with a view to reaching a compromise for the best interests of their country, according to the statement.
“In so doing, the objective is to create conditions conducive for the holding of free, transparent and credible legislative elections, the results of which would be accepted by all the political stakeholders and contribute to the deepening of the democratic process in Guinea,” said the statement.
The Chairperson also expressed the AU’s full support of the College of Facilitators, co-ordinated by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in West Africa, Said Djinnit, whose presence on the ground has already made it possible to register some progress likely to defuse the tension and facilitate dialogue.
She reiterated AU’s commitment to continue providing the necessary support for the successful conclusion of his efforts.
She expressed AU’s readiness to take further concerted action as may be required, to contribute to a speedy resolution of the outstanding issues, in order to enable the organisation and conduct of the elections in the best possible political, technical and security condition.
Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kenyan playwright and novelist has gained international acclaim through his publications which have been translated into many different languages., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Know Your Author: Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
Monday, 13 May 2013 00:00
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, currently Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, was born in Kenya, in 1938 into a large peasant family. He was educated at Kamandura, Manguu and Kinyogori primary schools; Alliance High School, all in Kenya; Makerere University College (then a campus of
London University), Kampala, Uganda; and the University of Leeds, Britain.
He is a recipient of seven Honorary Doctorates viz D Litt (Albright); PhD (Roskilde); D Litt (Leeds); D Litt &Ph D (Walter Sisulu University); PhD (Carlstate); D Litt (Dillard) and D Litt (Auckland University).
He is also Honorary Member of American Academy of Letters. A many-sided intellectual, he is novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic and social activist.
The Kenya of his birth and youth was a British settler colony (1895-1963). As an adolescent, he lived through the Mau Mau War of Independence (1952-1962), the central historical episode in the making of modern Kenya and a major theme in his early works.
Ngugi burst onto the literary scene in East Africa with the performance of his first major play, The Black Hermit, at the National Theatre in Kampala, Uganda, in 1962, as part of the celebration of Uganda’s Independence.
“Ngugi Speaks for the Continent,” headlined The Makererian, the Student newspaper, in a review of the performance by Trevor Whittock, one of the professors. In a highly productive literary period, Ngugi wrote additionally eight short stories, two one act plays, two novels, and a regular column for the Sunday Nation under the title, As I See It.
One of the novels, Weep Not Child, was published to critical acclaim in 1964; followed by the second novel, The River Between (1965).
His third, A Grain of Wheat (1967), was a turning point in the formal and ideological direction of his works. Multi-narrative lines and multi-viewpoints unfolding at different times and spaces replace the linear temporal unfolding of the plot from a single viewpoint. The collective replaces the individual as the centre of history.
In 1967, Ngugi became lecturer in English Literature at the University of Nairobi.
He taught there until 1977 while, in-between, also serving as Fellow in Creative writing at Makerere (1969-1970), and as Visiting Associate Professor of English and African Studies at North-western University (1970-1971).
During his tenure at Nairobi, Ngugi was at the centre of the politics of English departments in Africa, championing the change of name from English to simply Literature to reflect world literature with African and third world literatures at the centre.
He, with Taban Lo Liyong and Awuor Anyumba, authored the polemical declaration, On the Abolition of the English Department, setting in motion a continental and global debate and practices that later became the heart of postcolonial theories.
“If there is need for a ‘study of the historic continuity of a single culture’, why can’t this be African? Why can’t African literature be at the centre so that we can view other cultures in relationship to it?” they asked. The text is carried in his first volume of literary essays, Homecoming, which appeared in print in 1969. These were to be followed, in later years, by other volumes including Writers in Politics (1981 and 1997); Decolonising the Mind (1986); Moving the Centre (1994); and Penpoints Gunpoints and Dreams (1998).
The year 1977 forced dramatic turns in Ngugi’s life and career. His first novel in 10 years, Petals of Blood, was published in July of that year.
The novel painted a harsh and unsparing picture of life in neo-colonial Kenya. It was received with even more emphatic critical acclaim in Kenya and abroad. The Kenya Weekly Review described as “this bomb shell” and the Sunday Times of London as capturing every form and shape that power can take. The same year Ngugi’s controversial play, Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want), written with Ngugi wa Mirii, was performed at Kamirithu Educational and Cultural Centre, Limuru, in an open air theatre, with actors from the workers and peasants of the village.
Sharply critical of the inequalities and injustices of Kenyan society, publicly identified with unequivocally championing the cause of ordinary Kenyans, and committed to communicating with them in the languages of their daily lives, Ngugi was arrested and imprisoned without charge at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison at the end of the year, December 31, 1977.
An account of those experiences is to be found in his memoir, Detained: A Writer’s Prison Diary (1982). It was at Kamiti Maximum Prison that Ngugi made the decision to abandon English as his primary language of creative writing and committed himself to writing in Gikuyu, his mother tongue.
In prison, and following that decision, he wrote, on toilet paper, the novel, Caitani Mutharabaini (1981) translated into English as Devil on the Cross, (1982).
After Amnesty International named him a Prisoner of Conscience, an international campaign secured his release a year later, December 1978.
However, the Moi regime barred him from jobs at colleges and university in the country.
He resumed his writing and his activities in the theatre and in so doing, continued to be an uncomfortable voice for Moi. While Ngugi was in Britain for the launch and promotion of Devil on the Cross, he learned about the Moi regime’s plot to eliminate him on his return, or as coded, give a red carpet welcome on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta Airport.
This forced him into exile, first in Britain (1982 –1989), and then the US after (1989-2002), during which time, the Moi dictatorship hounded him trying, unsuccessfully, to get him expelled from London and from other countries he visited.
In 1986, at a conference in Harare, an assassination squad outside his hotel in Harare was thwarted by the Zimbabwean security.
His next Gikuyu novel, Matigari, was published in 1986. Thinking that the novel’s main character was a real living person, Moi issued an arrest warrant for his arrest but on learning that the character was fictional, he had the novel “arrested;” instead.
Undercover police went to all the bookshops in the country and the Publishers warehouse and took the novel away. So, between 1986 and 1996, Matigari could not be sold in Kenyan bookshops.
The dictatorship also had all Ngugi’s books removed from all educational institutions.
In exile, Ngugi worked with the London based Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners in Kenya, (1982-1998), which championed the cause of democratic and human rights in Kenya.
In between, he was Visiting Professor at Byreuth University (1984); and Writer in Residence, for the Borough of Islington, London (1985) and took time to study film, at Dramatiska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. (1986).
After 1988, Ngugi became Visiting Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Yale (1989-1992) in between holding The Five Colleges (Amherst, Mount Holyoke, New Hampshire, Smith, East Massachusetts) Visiting Distinguished Professor of English and African Literature (Fall 1991).
He then became Professor of Comparative Literature and Performance Studies at New York University (1992 –2002) where he also held the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of languages, from where he moved to his present position at the University of California Irvine.
He remained in exile for the duration of the Moi Dictatorship 1982-2002.
When he and his wife, Njeeri, returned to Kenya in 2004 after twenty-two years in exile, they were attacked by four hired gunmen and narrowly escaped with their lives.
Ngugi has continued to write prolifically, publishing, in 2006, what some have described as his crowning achievement, Wizard of the Crow, an English translation of the Gikuyu language novel, Murogi wa Kagogo. Ngugi’s books have been translated into more than 30 languages and they continue to be the subject of books, critical monographs, and dissertations.
Paralleling his academic and literary life has been his role in the production of literature, providing, as an editor, a platform for other people’s voices.
He is a recipient of many honours, including the 2001 Noni.
Amaal oil fields in east Libya. The privatization of the industry is taking place after the counter-revolution against Col. Muammar Gaddafi., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
BP withdraws Libya staff over security concerns
Monday, 13 May 2013 00:00
LONDON. — Oil giant BP said yesterday it had pulled some non-essential overseas staff out of Libya because of concerns about the political situation, following the lead of the US and British embassies.
In a statement, BP said the decision to withdraw fewer than a dozen people was a “precautionary measure” following advice from the Foreign Office (FCO).
Tensions have risen in Libya since ex-rebels besieged two ministries at the end of last month in a row over a law to ban officials who served under slain leader Muammar Gaddafi from holding office.
On Friday, Britain and then the United States announced they were withdrawing some diplomatic staff from the country.
“Following FCO advice given to us by the British embassy in Tripoli, and purely as a precautionary measure, we have brought non-essential overseas staff out of Libya for the time being in a phased reduction of numbers,” the BP statement said.
“Our Libyan staff remain and the office continues to operate. Fewer than a dozen people are affected.
“We will continue to monitor the security situation and move people back in to Libya when it is considered safe to do so.”
President Mugabe chats to Cde Edward Nkomo while the late Vice President John Landa Nkomo’s son Jabu and Zanu-PF National Chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo look on at the Vice President’s memorial service in Bulawayo yesterday. (Photo: Elias Saushoma), a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Be patriotic, President tells nation
Monday, 13 May 2013 00:00
ZIMBABWEANS should be patriotic and principled and value the nation ahead of transient interests, President Mugabe has said.
Speaking at the memorial service for Vice President Dr John Landa Nkomo at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Hall 4 here yesterday, the President urged people not to forget their history and to remain patriotic.
“One thing that you must not forget is your freedom and independence of being a Zimbabwean. We have noted that the urban people think of their food first. To them it doesn’t matter whether you have Smith or neo-colonists in control. No, you need to be principled especially now as we are going to the elections.
“We brought independence, we suffered for it. The settler regime was absolutely ruthless and some of our comrades were kidnapped and we don’t know their graves up to today.
“We are celebrating commitment based on high level of discipline and the celebration must be genuine as John Landa offered himself in total to liberate us,” he said.
The President reiterated the need for peace ahead of the elections.
“As we are now heading towards the elections, let there be peace. Peace begins with me, peace begins with you and peace begins with all of us. These are the words that John Landa died with on his lips. I will know that I am a true follower of John Landa when I cast my vote,” he said.
Dr John Landa Nkomo, President Mugabe said, was a man of principle, non-racial, non-tribalistic and people oriented with a high level of discipline, and survived many attacks during the liberation struggle.
“We are celebrating the life of our late Vice President John Landa Nkomo. Roughly it’s now some five months since the day we woke up to the painful news of the loss of Cde Nkomo.
“I used to call him a survivor and I say to myself, our survivor is gone. Why did I call him a survivor? We had periods of political trials, tribulations here at home together, National Democratic Party, Zapu and even as three parties when some of us were in Zanu and some in Zapu but we all linked up,” he said.
President Mugabe said Dr Nkomo survived the pain of prison life, detention and restriction.
“He has been to various prisons, detention and restriction centres. He was a real comrade in arms, never surrendering, never going back,” he said
President Mugabe said Dr Nkomo survived many attacks at the hands of the Rhodesian forces.
“The late Vice President was also a victim of a bomb explosion that killed JZ (Cde Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo) in 1977. John miraculously survived with injuries and pain. Yes, we had all survived the pain of prison, detention and restriction life. God did not want John to die at that time,” he said.
President Mugabe said the late Vice President was a man of his words whose contribution towards the liberation of the country would be treasured forever.
“In the presence of Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Nkomo, Dr Joseph Msika and others, John Landa appeared a colleague who came after them, but he knew how Father Zimbabwe treasured his contributions.
“Indeed, he was a man of his word, a man of principle and a man of a high level of virtue and discipline. Dr John Landa was much more people-oriented, democratic, non-racial and a non-tribalist,” he said.
President Mugabe described the late Vice President Nkomo as a patriot who dedicated his life to Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and prosperity.
He said the black colour on the national flag signifies the majority rule, which was brought through sacrifices made by gallant heroes such as the late Vice President.
“Black is beautiful and the beauty of it came from the wounds of people like John Landa Nkomo. The suffering they went through, the detention and the discomfort they endured. It was the struggle for the people and by the people led by those who dedicated to offer their sacrifices like John Landa.”
Meanwhile, President Mugabe noted that the country has been afflicted by hunger following floods and a dry spell.
He said Government had sourced 150 000 tonnes of grain from Zambia, which would be delivered soon.
“We have been afflicted by hunger and the Government is doing all it can to import grain from other countries.
“We require 150 000 tonnes of grain and Zambia has offered to assist us. President Sata (Zambian President) has since sent his Vice President (Guy Scott) and two ministers to discuss the mechanisms of how that grain can be delivered,” he said.
Cde Mugabe met Mr Scott together with Zambian Foreign and Agriculture Ministers Efron Lungu and Robert Sichinga respectively in Harare last week to finalise the government to government agreement for Zimbabwe to import the 150 000 tonnes of grain.
The deal is despite spirited attempts by Finance Minister Tendai Biti to have maize imported from Zambia by private companies.
Minister Biti’s route would have affected the poor as they would not be able to buy the grain from private companies that would sell at exorbitant prices.
In his welcome remarks, Bulawayo Metropolitan Governor, Cde Cain Mathema described Dr Nkomo as a humble nationalist and liberator who played a leading role in the economic emancipation of Zimbabweans.
“There can be no peace while there is tribalism. Dr Nkomo was not a tribalist. In fact, he was a unifier, a liberator and democrat. He taught us that there can be no peace if the economy is in the hands of foreigners,” he said.
Zanu PF national chairman, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo said Dr Nkomo was an exceptional leader full of charisma, charm and character.
“Our late Vice President, Dr Nkomo was an exceptional man, a man of charisma, charm and character whose life was dedicated to economic emancipation of our people,” he said.
The late Vice President’s son, Cde Jabulani Nkomo said his father was a stronger fighter who despite his deteriorating health, continued to diligently serve the nation with passion and commitment.
He also paid tribute to President Mugabe for his emotional support when Dr Nkomo’s health deteriorated.
“My father was an incredible dad to us and his grandchildren and as a family we really treasured him and adored him as a great man and his works speak for themselves. He was a peacemaker and on behalf of the Nkomo family, I would like to pay tribute to President Mugabe for being there when our father’s health deteriorated,” he said.
Dr Nkomo was born on August 22 1934 and died on January 17 2013 at St Anne’s Hospital in Harare following a battle with cancer. He was buried at the National Heroes’ Acre.
He served as Vice President of Zimbabwe from 2009 to 2013. After serving for years as a minister in various portfolios, he became the Speaker of Parliament from 2005 to 2008.
He was then appointed to the Senate in 2008 and was Minister of State in the President’s Office in 2009. Dr Nkomo was also Zanu-PF national chairman until December 2009, when he became Vice President of the party.
As a result of his elevation to the party’s vice-presidency, he also became Vice-President of Zimbabwe in December 2009.
Among those who attended the event were traditional chiefs, service chiefs, Ministers of Home Affairs, Defence and State Security, Cdes Kembo Mohadi, Emmerson Mnangagwa and Sydney Sekeramayi among others. Governors Angeline Masuku and Cde Thokozile Mathuthu also attended.
Zimbabwe tobacco farmers harvesting their crops in 2013. The white-dominated Commercial Farmers Union has realized that the MDC-T will not be able to form a government inside the country., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Scottish legislator hails land reform
Monday, 13 May 2013
Hebert Zharare Political Editor
A SCOTTISH MP-in-waiting, Mr Christian Allard, who is set for a seat in the Scottish Parliament on a Scottish Nationalist party ticket over the weekend came up full-swing in support of President Mugabe and the land reform programme.
Mr Allard’s comments, which were carried by The Herald Scotland, came as the British paper, the Guardian, reiterated its stance that Zanu-PF would retain power in a clean poll that will be endorsed by Western powers, culminating in the removal of all forms of sanctions.
The previously anti-land reform, all white Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe has since pledged to work with the Government, saying it cannot continue swimming against the tide.
Self-exiled MDC-T treasurer-general Roy Bennett, in a Facebook post, complained bitterly about what he called “a new fashion developing among some white journalists and academics: they have joined with Zanu-PF in presenting ‘land reform’ as a success.’’
Mr Allard said the land reform programme was needed and slammed a documentary on the plight of one of the white farmer families as being “for white people to support white people”.
Mr Allard said in 2009, Ms Lucy Bailey and Mr Andrew Thompson directed a documentary about former farmer Mr Mike Campbell and his son-in-law Mr Ben Freeth as they fought land reforms in the courts.
The now disbanded Sadc tribunal ruled in favour of Mr Campbell, but it became a nullity as regional leaders dissolved it pending it’s reconstitution as it was being manipulated by Western donors.
The film, “Mugabe and The White African,” was listed for an Oscar, was nominated for a Bafta and was voted best documentary at the British Independent Film Awards.
However, Mr Allard attacked the film saying: “Mike Campbell, a South African army captain — came to Zimbabwe from South Africa in 1974, in the middle of the guerrilla war against the black majority . . .Original Rhodesian white farmers have now all left or have complied with the land reform.”
“This documentary was made for white people to support white people to keep hold of the land in Africa.”
The documentary’s producers, Ms Elizabeth Hemlock and Mr David Pearson, were peeved and said: “Mr Allard seems to have no concern about the violence directed at the Campbell and Freeth families and [about] the 500 farm workers and their families who lived on the farm.
“The Campbell family were kidnapped and brutally beaten and the injuries sustained by Mike Campbell contributed to his death in 2011.”
But Mr Allard said: “I feel very sorry for the white farmers and what happened to them, but the black majority are suffering more.”
Zanu-PF national spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said the party was delighted that more progressive forces were beginning to realise that Zanu -PF was vilified for the wrong reasons.
Central Intelligence Agency operatives have destroyed at least two tapes documenting torture against detainees. The admission has prompted an investigation., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Three CIA agents for MDC-T indaba
Monday, 13 May 2013 00:00
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
MDC-T has reportedly invited three Central Intelligence Agency agents to attend its policy conference set for this Friday as part of last ditch efforts to formulate an appealing election manifesto ahead of the impending harmonised polls.
The party has failed to produce a manifesto, with insiders saying its policy, Jobs, Upliftment, Investment, Capital and Environment, or Juice, which was launched last year had failed to measure up to Zanu-PF’s indigenisation and economic empowerment drive that has spawned 59 Community Share Ownership Trusts and several Employee Share Ownership Schemes countrywide, leaving Harvest House without an appealing message with the inclusive Government in its twilight.
Zanu-PF has since finalised its manifesto centred on empowering Zimbabweans to take control of their destiny, prompting MDC-T to outsource its manifesto.
The Herald is reliably informed that the three CIA agents were also behind MDC-T’s security policy document which is expected to be tabled at Friday’s meeting.
In the document titled “Policy Discussion Papers — Security Sector Cluster: 1. Defence and National Security 2. Home Affairs”, MDC-T announces plans to fire all serving security chiefs with a Zanla or Zipra background and hire what it termed senior police staff from Western countries to instil “professionalism” in the force should it attain power.
It is understood that the US spies were expected to arrive sometime this week to work on the policy document that would be launched at the close of the national policy conference.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora confirmed the invitation of foreigners although he refused to divulge their countries of origin.
Mr Mwonzora preferred to call the foreign delegates “observers”.
“We will be allowing foreign observers who may want to observe our national policy conference,” he said.
“We will allow them to observe what we will be doing at the policy conference.”
After the conference, Mr Mwonzora said, his party would have a ‘’brilliant manifesto’’.
Mr Mwonzora said the MDC-T holds a national policy conference on the eve of every general election to prepare itself for governance if it wins the polls.
Although Mr Mwonzora claimed that the MDC-T had enough manpower to write its manifesto, impeccable Harvest House sources confided to The Herald that the party was sweating to come up with a marketable policy document.
“The party is really dealing with a crisis here. There is a draft policy document crafted sometime in March but it was felt that it is not powerful.
“To perfect the document, there are three CIA members who have been invited under the banner of foreign observers.
“It was assumed that Juice was extensively publicised and it was not possible to abandon it.
“After this realisation, it was agreed at a very senior level to enlist the services of some foreign technocrats to improve the document,” said an MDC-T source.
The source said the three spies have been sneaking into the country since February and have helped the party draft some of its strategic documents.
The MDC-T leadership, the source said, met several times but failed to come up with a sound policy document.
“At one point the standing committee retreated to Nyanga in a bid to come up with a clear policy document but nothing meaningful materialised,” added the source.
This is not the first time that the MDC-T had sought foreign help in drafting its important documents.
In 2009, the party invited Mr Charles Heatly, also known as Heartly, to draft a document titled “The Roadmap to the Elections” which it attempted to pass as a Government policy document without success.
Mr Heatly was also behind the ill-fated 100 Days MDC-T policy document the party tried to smuggle into Government for implementation but which failed to see the light of day.
He is also the brains behind the Government Work Plan which MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai religiously follow every year.
Last year Mr Tsvangirai attempted to take the whole Government to Nyanga under the guise of the GWP.
Rally said to be organized by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) at Marikana where workers were massacred by police in August 2012. The rally appeared to pose a challenge to NUM, COSATU and the ANC., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Amcu official shot and killed in tavern
A North West regional organiser of trade union Amcu was shot dead in Rustenburg on Saturday, police said.
12 May 2013 10:48 - Sapa
Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said that the 46-year-old man was killed at Billy's Tavern, near Anglo Platinum's Khomanani mine shaft two, just before 1pm.
"The deceased, who is alleged to be the regional organiser of Amcu in the Rustenburg platinum belt, was watching soccer and having a good time with his friends in the local tavern."
Four men in blue overalls came into the tavern and one of them shot the man four times in the back, at close rang, with a 9mm pistol, said Ngubane.
"The [Amcu official] died on the scene, all other people who were with him in the tavern ran for cover," Ngubane said.
The suspects fled the scene on foot and no arrests had been made by 9pm on Saturday.
ENews Channel Africa reported earlier that the man, who cannot be named until his family have been told of his death, had been expected to testify before the Marikana Commission of Inquiry.
The commission is investigating the deaths of 44 people killed in violence related to a strike at Lonmin's Marikana mine in August last year.
A Monusco contingent in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The United Nations has come under fire for allowing the M23 rebels to sieze the important city of Goma., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Tanzanian troops arrive in eastern DRC
A contingent of about 100 Tanzanian troops arrived in eastern DRC on Saturday, a first step in assembling the new United Nations intervention brigade.
12 May 2013 11:46 - Sapa-AP
The Tanzanian troops are the first batch to form the UN intervention brigade to be deployed in eastern DRC following a Security Council resolution in March, said peacekeeping mission spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Felix Basse.
On March 28th, the UN Security Council voted for a resolution that renewed the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC for one year, and created a special intervention brigade that has an aggressive mandate that allows it to fight armed groups, rather than merely defend civilians.
The intervention brigade commander arrived in Goma on April 23, but troops meant to arrive by the end of April have only just started arriving. The rest of the troops will arrive in stages, but no clear deadline has been given so far.
Malawi and South Africa have also pledged to contribute troops to the UN force.
The need for an intervention force became clear in November, when the UN peacekeepers stood by as M23 rebels took the provincial capital of Goma. The rebels eventually withdrew from the city two weeks later, but the fall of Goma convinced the international community to create a brigade with a more assertive mandate to try to put an end to the turmoil which has plagued the region for years.
But with just over 3 000 special troops to battle more than 25 armed groups in the Kivu region alone, the new UN brigade risks being spread too thin, say military experts. Already M23 rebels are training fighters in guerrilla tactics to fight the UN troops.
The Congolese army, with poor discipline and lacking resources, has been unable to contain the rebels maintain order in the region. DRC's authorities have put a lot of hope that the new UN brigade will help solve the security crisis in the east.
"With the first Tanzanian troops landing, a new dynamic will emerge in the east. Security problems cannot be solved in one day," said DRC's prime minister, Augustin Matata Ponyo, to the Associated Press from his office in Kinshasa. "The most important thing is that the government is aware of this problem and is working to solve it."
A map of Jonglei area where several United Nations personnel were killed in an ambush on April 9, 2013. The region of South Sudan has been a flash point since the country gained independence in 2011., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
‘S Sudan soldiers ransacked UN stores’
Sun May 12, 2013 10:27PM GMT
South Sudanese soldiers have ransacked stores of the United Nations in the east of the country, humanitarian sources say.
The uniformed men of the (South) Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) raided UN stores in Pibor town in troubled state of Jonglei late on Saturday and Sunday, AFP reported on Sunday.
They also looted a hospital and premises of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and "flattened" premises of the Italian humanitarian aid organization INTERSOS.
"The SPLA (army) went to INTERSOS and looted things there and then went to the World Food Programme and looted," said Beko Konyi, the coordinator for the state-run Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Pibor.
An eyewitness working for MSF said that, "All the items from MSF are looted, everything, drugs and all the assets, and again INTERSOS.”
"MSF is deeply concerned about reports we are receiving that our health center in Pibor town has been looted today," said Vikki Stienen, the MSF head of mission in South Sudan, adding, "We suspended medical activities in Pibor town on April 19 as the security situation had made it impossible to provide impartial medical care there."
He stated that the population of Pibor relied almost entirely on MSF for medical services before the suspension.
"We know that the consequences for the population of the loss of access to healthcare are devastating," he noted.
Many international aid workers left Pibor on Friday over concerns of possible attacks.
South Sudanese military spokesman Philip Aguer said he did not have any knowledge of the attacks.
"Why would they go and do that? I doubt these are SPLA soldiers. These may be rebels," he said.
Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting anti-government rebels operating in the Darfur region and the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
South Sudan seceded from the Republic of Sudan on July 9, 2011, after decades of conflict with the north. The new oil-rich nation is one of the least developed countries in the world, with one in seven children dying before the age of five.
AMISOM troops under the banner of the African Union have been accused of deliberately bombing civilian areas of Mogadishu, including the Bakara market. Scores were reported killed on October 22, 2009., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Sunday, May 12th, 2013 at 06:55 pm
Somalia: Amisom officials meet truck drivers amid second day strike in Lower Shabelle region
By Abdalle Ahmed
Officials of the African Union Forces in Somalia [AMISOM] have met with truck drivers in Afgooye town on Sunday following a second day strike by the local truck and bus drivers in the region to protest against illegal roadblocks, RBC Radio reports.
The meeting took place at Afgooye on Sunday morning after hundreds of drivers used their cars to block the road that link between Mogadishu, the country’s capital to Afgooye, a district 30-km away from Mogadishu and the main highway that links Afgooye town to the other main districts of the Lower Shabelle region including the region’s capital of Marka.
Mohamud Nuur, a member of the truck-drivers’ committee met with the AMISOM officials told RBC Radio that the AU forces undertook to do something immediately on their complaints against illegal roadblocks set up by the government forces which forcibly embezzle cash from them.
“We have raised our complaints and the aim that we protested. We said we want the roadblocks to be removed from the highways.” Nuur said speaking to RBC Radio today.
“The problems we have are so common, the government troops loot us, they sometimes kill the drivers if they fail to pay the cash to them or even rape if there are women on the passengers.” he added.
The drivers of the local buses between Mogadishu and Afgooye also complained that the government and the Lower Shabelle regional administration did not listen them despite several calls they made previously.
There were no immediate comments from the African Union command at the Sector one which is based in Mogadishu.
RBC Radio reporter says AMISOM troops conducted this morning the first anti-roadblocks operation between Afgooye and Marka where they have dispersed armed militias from the main roads allowing free transportation.
Somali military chief has earlier warned that any soldier found on putting roadblocks will face harsh punishment but local media report even more roadblocks being set up these days by uniformed government soldiers.
US-backed military forces terrorize Somalians in the southern port city of Kismayo. Resistance to the occupation has continued since Kenyan Defense Forces entered the town., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Sunday, May 12th, 2013 at 10:06 pm
Somalia: A plane carrying delegation to Kismayo unexpectedly returns back to Mogadishu
By Abdalle Ahmed
Local flights between Kismayo and Mogadishu were blocked in the past three weeks due to undefined reasons
KISMAYO (RBC) A commercial plane carrying at least 40 persons delegation including politicians, former MPs and elders has unexpectedly jetted back to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia after authorities in Kismayo rejected to allow to land at Kismayo airport, RBC Radio reports.
Former parliament member, Mohamed Amiin Abdullahi who was leading the delegation from Mogadishu said they were heading to Kismayo but while on air the pilot received a call from Kismayo saying the plane was not authorized to land the airport.
“Before leaving from Mogadishu we have consulted with civil aviation and the AMISOM office in Mogadishu, there were nothing wrong to go there, but unfortunately when we reached Kismayo we were informed that our aircraft could not land the airport.” Mohamed Amiin said upon his return to Mogadishu on Sunday afternoon.
He blamed that the Kenyan forces under AMISOM mission in Kismayo gave the order.
“The Kenyan forces asked us on air who gave us the authorization to land the airport and when we told them that AMISOM and Somalia government permitted us they rejected and for our safety we returned back.” the former MP added.
He called the interior minister of Somali government to investigate the case as he he warned AMISOM to hinder the movement of the Somali people.
There were no immediate comments from the Kenyan forces in Kismayo but the interim administration of Kismayo denied the accusations.
Meanwhile a freelance journalist in Kismayo told RBC Radio that there was a local flight returned back to Mogadishu before it landed bur it was unclear the official cause.
In the past three weeks local flights between Kismayo and Mogadishu were blocked due to undefined reasons as Kismayo hosts the ongoing Jubbaland conference since February 28th.
New Orleans shooting on May 12, 2013 where 17 people were wounded. The incident took place during a Mothers' Day gathering., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
May 12, 2013
19 Wounded in New Orleans Shooting
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Gunmen opened fire on people marching in a neighborhood Mother’s Day parade in New Orleans on Sunday, wounding at least 19.
The shooting — described by the F.B.I. as a flare-up of street violence — shattered the festive mood surrounding the parade, which drew hundreds of people to the Seventh Ward, not far from the French Quarter. Video taken in the aftermath showed victims lying on the ground, blood on the pavement and people comforting the wounded.
At least three of the victims were seriously wounded. Of the rest, many were grazed and the authorities said that over all, most of the wounds were not life-threatening. No deaths were reported.
The victims included 10 men, 7 women, a boy and a girl. The children, both 10 years old, were grazed and in good condition.
The police saw three suspects running from the scene. No arrests had been made as of early evening.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged witnesses to come forward with information. “These kinds of incidents will not go unanswered,” he said. “Somebody knows something. The way to stop this violence is for you all to help.”
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, sitting at the Labor Monument in Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit on September 27, 2008. (Photo: Alan Pollock)., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.The Struggle Of African Americans Against Corporate Racism & Oppression In The USA & The Case Of Assata Shakur With Abayomi Azikiwe & Bernard White
To listen to this week's Heart of Africa featuring Abayomi Azikiwe and Bernard White, that is hosted by Kudakwashe Cayenne, just click on the website below:
On this week’s programme, Kudakwashe hosts African Historian, Political Analyst, & Editor of Pan-African News Wire, Abayomi Azikiwe & Media Veteran & Co-founder of Community Progressive Radio Metro (CPR Metro), Bernard White, in a very crucial progressive discussion on “The Struggle of African Americans Against Corporate Racism & Oppression In the USA“.
Relevant to this topic, the case of African American freedom fighter Assata Shakur, and the impact of Barak Obama’s presidency on African Americans, also comes under scrutiny. The panel additionally discusses the important role of Africa’s intelligence, a reflection of the Conference of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa hosted by President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe this week.
At a recent public address, Abayomi Azikiwe reported that since end of March this year, the city of Detroit has been under a “financial emergency”, a direct consequence of the havoc that has been wreaked by financial institutions. This has caused, flight of employment, loss of homes through predatory lending – affecting 237 000 people, repression, and shutting off of utility services, among others.
The imposed financial emergency management has been instated in all of
the major areas where African American people live across the state.
This exposes that the African American people of Michigan are currently under “dictatorial rule and corporate fascism.” In this nation-wide pattern directly affecting African Americans in the USA, increased numbers of people are being driven out of cities.
Though the corporate media would impress the public to believe that the reason behind the underdevelopment and impoverishment of African Americans (and Africans as a whole), is because we Black skinned, racism is used in a relentless attempt to isolate and alienate people of colour, even from suburbs also facing similar crises of foreclosures, cuts to public education, job losses and business closures.
The discussion brings gut-wrenching realities of the plight of African Americans in the USA, an illustration of the exploitation of Africans world-wide, especially on the motherland of Africa. Abayomi and Bernard bring intriguing facts of how the position of the American government in the oppression of people of colour is on a trajectory that began in historical eras, like during the slave trade.
They bring to light the significant role of African Americans in the formation of the modern day USA , from its origins to the industrial giant and military power, that wields its influence across the world. The labour of African American ancestors was pivotal in the growth of the USA’ present ruling elite too.
African Americans have made all this enormous progress under relentless racism and oppression, where they have been treated as “capital” and “property” in every area of life, including the film and music industry. Abayomi and Bernard make a point that this is a world-wide problem against Africans not only confined to the USA.
Many hoped that President Obama’s presidency would progressively improve the livelihood of African Americans in the USA, but the discussion reveals that exact opposite, where a lot of rights and opportunities for African Americans have become more and more compromised. It is explained that this is for the sake of consequentially eliminating African American political power.
Blacks are effectively classed as second class citizens, were basic rights like health, social and education services are at a very low standard that worsens the livelihood of African Americans. The rich have all their rights, but for Blacks and the poor, rights if any, are very limited.
In light of this topic, the case of the 65 year old Assata Shakur was relevant to discuss from its roots. The African American freedom fighter who has been living in Cuba in exile since 1984, was placed on the FBI’s most wanted list on the 40th anniversary of her shooting and capture, the 2nd of May. A bounty of $US2 million has been offered by the USA, an increase from a sum of $US1 million instituted about 15 years ago.
Abayomi & Bernard illustrate how Assata’s case is being used by the USA government to intimidate Black activists from protesting for their freedoms, through a clear signal that there will be repercussions against those who would pursue revolution and progressive politics. It is explained that the aim is to keep Americans, politically confined. This has however not stopped African Americans for looking for political alternatives.
The discussion concludes projecting a strong message on the importance of authentic information gathering for Africa, developed, managed and disseminated by Africans. This is aligned with message reverberating from the Conference of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa hosted by President Robert Mugabe in Harare this week.
Transparent information yields to true power, and Africans must find their own plausible ways of information gathering for the benefit of Africa’s freedom, security and advanced development, while protecting our resources so that they are used for the interests of the African people.
The programme was concluded by Kudakwashe with a fundamental biblical
message on the role of Christianity in building highways of freedom.
Emphasising that giving freedom is the primary ministry of true Christianity, she speaks on the role of leaders and citizens in the pursuit of freedom – with the heart of Christ.
Abayomi Azikiwe’s work is mainly available from Pan-African News Wire at panafricannews.blogspot.co.uk/.
The Pan-African News Wire is an international electronic press service designed to foster intelligent discussion on the affairs of African people throughout the continent and the world.
Since January 1998, this press agency has published thousands of articles and dispatches in newspapers, magazines, journals, research reports, blogs and websites throughout the world. Abayomi is also a frequent commentator on global political matters across various international media, including Press TV & Russia Today. He is available on facebook and twitter too.
Bernard White has been a Media Veteran for 35 years. He is the former Program Director of the listener sponsored WBAI radio based in New York City. As the Co-founder of CPR Metro, he is passionately involved exposing the truth of diverse matters, especially, affecting African Americans, through relevant media. Because of this, he also hosts a daily magazine of issues of particular significance to the African American community, dubbed, Emanations.
CPR Metro is a community-based multi-media organization created to remedy the lack of media attention devoted to critical issues affecting our lives. It also provides an opportunity for listeners and supporters to learn media skills and construct a media organization that will serve community interests.
Heart of Africa is broadcasted live every Wednesday night at 2000 hours Central Africa Time on www.morelightradio.com .
It is dedicated to examining matters that affect Africa from a Pan-African Christian perspective, as we envisage the revival of the African dream. Comments and questions welcome here or via twitter @HeartOfAfrica55. All rights reserved.
Zimbabwe Vice-President Mujuru blasts retrogressive political parties that are stalling progress at Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant while officially closing the third biennial Zimbabwe Local Government Conference in Mutare on May 11, 2013., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Govt not for selfish people: VP Mujuru
Sunday, 12 May 2013 00:00
Michael Chideme in Mutare
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail
Vice-President Mujuru has branded those resisting the reopening of the
Chisumbanje Ethanol Plant in Chipinge as number one enemies of the people. Officially closing the third biennial Zimbabwe Local Government Conference here yesterday, Cde Mujuru said the people of Chipinge were suffering because of individuals who are jealous that the project is the brain-child of Zanu-PF.
In apparent reference to the MDC-T, Cde Mujuru said the party was scoring own goals because the people in the area were suffering.
“There is no scoring points when the people are suffering. There should be no politics that destroys the people.
“Do not stop the project because it is being spearheaded by Zanu-PF,” she said. Cde Mujuru said it was unfortunate that the MDC-T had decided to fight the project at the expense of thousands of families that directly benefit from the operation of the plant. The plant has been closed for the past 14 months, rendering workers redundant and causing the suffering of their families.
The Vice-President implored Zilga to fight in the corner of Zanu-PF and progressive elements in Government who want to see the project succeed.
“I am eating sadza at my house.
“Kana mhuka inonzi Zanu-PF iriko (Zanu-PF also exists). It is also eating, but the people in Chisumbanje are suffering,” she said. She also urged the various councils that attended the conference to initiate similar projects in their areas but warned that jealous people in Government may frustrate their projects. Cde Mujuru said delays in opening the plant affected irrigation, resulting in sugar-cane and maize being destroyed. She urged delegates to the conference to implement what they learnt, adding that their respective constituencies expected them to ably execute their mandate.
“We need to be innovative, as the theme of this year states, in order to satisfy their demands. Your duty as local authorities is to ensure the provision of such services to the people at affordable rates,” she said.
Vice-President Mujuru also encouraged local authorities to ensure the country’s roads are in good condition ahead of the harmonised elections to allow for easy access to all areas and to afford all prospective voters the chance to cast their ballots.
The conference deliberated on a number of issues, key among them service delivery and the welfare of councillors. Local authorities want to be exempted from paying road toll fees, arguing that they are planning authorities. Delegates called for an end to intra-party violence and also acknowledged the importance of community share ownership schemes.
They were, however, unhappy about the slow pace at which the schemes were being operationalised.
The conference was attended by Government ministers, chiefs, mayors, town clerks, chief executive officers, councillors and captains of industry.
President Mugabe officially opened the conference on Friday.
ZANU-PF politburo meeting May 3, 2013. Zimbabwe is preparing for national elections in the Southern African state., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
British paper predicts Zanu PF victory in elections
Sunday, 12 May 2013 00:00
Widely-read British newspaper The Guardian on Friday predicted a victory for President Mugabe and Zanu-PF in the forthcoming harmonised elections while also revealing that MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has been branded “a disaster” by some of his close allies. This comes as the embattled Prime Minister continues to receive his worst criticism from Western media since he became leader of the party.
The newspaper also predicted that the victory for President Mugabe will leave the West with no choice but to lift the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
In an article titled, Robert Mugabe: The Rehabilitation, the publication said President Mugabe will most likely retain power after peaceful, free and fair elections.
“The following scenario, once unthinkable, is now just conceivable. The Zimbabwean president will retain power in this year’s elections through fair means or foul; the poll will be relatively peaceful and deemed ‘credible’ by the West; then sanctions will be lifted against Mugabe and his inner circle, ushering him back in from the cold.”
The newspaper also quoted an unnamed senior MDC-T official as saying Mr Tsvangirai had become a “total disaster” that had dismally let the party down.
“I think he’s been a total disaster. He’s let us all down. But the important thing to remember is the MDC is bigger than Morgan Tsvangirai,” the unnamed MDC- T stalwart is quoted as saying. The publication also reported that the MDC-T had disappointed its members following Mr Tsvangirai’s messy sex scandals and the shocking levels of corruption which the party has admitted.
It said the visit to Zimbabwe by senior American emissaries Ambassador Andrew Young and Reverend Jesse Jackson had shown that the international community is eager to work closely with President Mugabe.
The President’s foes have even begun to accept that the land reform programme, which attracted the imposition of sanctions at the behest of former colonial master, Britain, has yielded tremendous success, the newspaper added. “The MDC stands accused of the sins of incumbency, its leadership seduced by ministerial houses and luxury cars; the party has been forced to discipline some councillors for corruption. It has failed to heal a factional rift that could divide its support.
“Leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who serves as prime minister in the unity government, has been criticised for becoming too close to Mugabe and for an unseemly run of sex scandals.
“. . .Most contentiously of all, researchers have begun to challenge the orthodoxy that Zimbabwe’s land reform programme was an unmitigated disaster.” In the article, a fierce critic of President Mugabe, Petinah Gappah was quoted as saying: “Even non-supporters believe this reassessment is a necessary corrective after years of demonisation.
“He was overtoxified in the first place. This idea of Mugabe as Hitler? He’s extremely charming and intelligent. This idea of a mindless thug underestimates his intelligence.
“This cartoonish, caricatured Idi Amin figure fails to recognise his insidious effect on the country. If he didn’t exist, they would have had to invent him.”
The latest round of criticism of Mr Tsvangirai comes after several other Western media houses including The New York Times, CNN and The Telegraph concurred that he is unlikely to win the forthcoming harmonised elections.
Delegates at the South African Communist Party (SACP) Congress held in July 2012., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Analysis: Workers’ struggle not over yet
by Phatse Justice Piitso
Leaders should use the opportunity of the celebrations of Workers Day to unite the common struggles of our people against oppression and exploitation.
Tomorrow the world will celebrate the most magnificent day in the calendar of the history of the struggles of the working class movement. We are celebrating International Workers Day throughout the world. The world is celebrating the achievements and victories of workers against imperialism and colonialism.
International Workers Day is primarily about the common struggles of our people against imperialism and colonialism. It is about working class solidarity and internationalism. It is an important day that signifies the most revolutionary notion that the struggles of mankind throughout history is one and indivisible.
We celebrate this glorious chapter of the history of the world working class struggles 209 years after the declaration of the independence of the first slave republic in the world and the first independent nation in the Latin America and the Caribbean, the Republic of Haiti.
We celebrate the achievements and the victories of the working class struggles 134 years after the historic declaration of the first workers republic during the Paris commune. The commune was a turning point in the history of the working class struggles in the world.
We are celebrating this important day in the calendar of the history of the working class struggles 96 years after the declaration of the great October socialist revolution. We celebrate this day 23 years after the collapse of socialism in the Soviet Block and the communist states in eastern Europe.
We celebrate this historic day 101 years after the formation of the oldest liberation movement on the African continent and probably the whole world, the African National Congress. We celebrate this important day 92 years after the birth of the South African Communist party. We celebrate Workers Day 28 years after the formation of the Congress of the South African Trade Unions.
We celebrate epic years of worldwide selfless struggles led by our people against the vestiges of imperialism and colonialism.
We join the revolutionary slogan of the world working class movement as we say: “Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains.”
The triumph and the victories of the struggles of our people is the victory of our national democratic revolution and our struggles to construct a new world social order.
However we are celebrating this glorious page of our history book during the most difficult period in the history of the struggles of the working class movement.
The international balance of forces has tilted dramatically against the progressive movement of the people of the world. The collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent communist states in eastern Europe has mounted a severe setback to the struggles of the working class across the globe.
The working class movement finds itself having to propel the struggle for emancipation under the most hostile and complex material circumstances dominated by the aggressive unipolar world.
The dominant capitalist mode of production is deeply redefining the economic and social relations of the world. Capitalism has reached its highest stage of development.
The dominant world of capitalism is unable to salvage itself from its own contradictions. The world capitalist powers have failed dismally to resolve the perpetual socio-economic crisis imposed on the shoulders of the working class. The challenges of the capitalistic world economy has become the defining feature of the deepening struggles waged by the working class.
The world and its people are confronted by an unprecedented proportions of an economic crisis ever in the history of capitalism. The massive scales of poverty, disease and under-development have become the principal characteristic defining the vast majority of the people of the world.
This has as a result sharpened the worldwide struggle to resolve the national, class and gender contradictions in our society.
Marxist Leninist theory teaches us that the foundations of the success of any revolution lies in the bedrock of the unity of its own people. Unity and cohesion is our foremost principal task to ensure the success of the struggles of our people.
It is therefore important that we use this day to foster and consolidate the unity of the struggles of the people of the world and our national democratic revolution.
The fundamental principle of unity and cohesion is the highest expression and irreplaceable instrument to advance and deepen the struggles of the working class across the world. The unity of our national democratic revolution is the unity of the struggles of the people of the world against imperialism and colonialism.
Our main task is to use the occasion of the celebration of Workers Day to educate our people that unity and cohesion of our revolutionary alliance led by the ANC is the necessary condition for the success of our national democratic revolution.
That unity of the South African working class movement is the unity of the working class solidarity and internationalism.
The South African working class is traversing this difficult period of our struggles under much improved political conditions led by our national liberation movement, the ANC. Our national liberation movement is still consistent with the anti-imperialist and anti-colonial traditions of the international working class movement.
In other words the struggles for the liberation of our people led by the ANC is still consistent with the traditions and principles of the struggles of the international working class to confront the domination of imperialism and colonialism.
Our national liberation movement is still committed to improving the living conditions of the people of our country and the world.
The world economic crisis has a devastating consequence to the struggles of the people of our country. But at the same time we have to educate our people that some of the socio-economic contradictions we face are the inevitable outcomes of our struggles.
We need an extraordinary effort by our people to resolve the pandemic centuries-old contradictions imposed by imperialism and colonialism on our people.
Imperialism and colonialism have caused more misery to all mankind in the history of the struggles of the working class. Millions of the people of the world still shed their blood today in the name of imperialism and neo-colonialism.
Revolutionaries have an immediate task to ensure that they unite the people of the world against our common enemy and therefore make the world a better place for humanity.
In our country the DA has distinguished itself to be a force of negation against the common struggles of our people to improve their socio-economic conditions.
Counter-revolution is determined to reverse the achievements and the victories of the struggles of our people. There is a concerted effort by the enemy of our revolution to use the challenges of the present world economic crisis against our democratic government led by the ANC.
We hope that the celebrations will bring much sense to imperialist powers and monopoly capital. The world and its people needs peace and tranquility.
We need peace and stability in Syria, in the Korean peninsula, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, DRC, Ivory Coast, Mali, Central African Republic, Sahrawi Republic, Swaziland, Cuba, Haiti, Venenzuela, Columbia, in the euro zone and many other parts of our mother earth.
Piitso is former ambassador to the Republic of Cuba and former provincial secretary of the SACP. He writes in his personal capacity