Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Meet the Man Who Will Take Over From Robert Mugabe

 The man to take over from ousted President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has been revealed.

Zimbabwe's fired vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa is seen at the Heroes Acre in Harare in this Wednesday, Nov., 1, 2017 photo. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A Zimbabwe ruling party official tells The Associated Press that recently fired Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will take over as the country's leader within 48 hours after President Robert Mugabe resigned.
Ruling party chief whip Lovemore Matuke says Mnangagwa, who fled the country after his firing, "is not far from here."
The official spoke to the AP immediately after the Parliament speaker announced Mugabe's immediate resignation during impeachment proceedings.
Matuke says they look forward to Mugabe doing the handover of power "so that Mnangagwa moves with speed to work for the country."
Earlier, Zimbabwe's Parliament erupted in cheers as the speaker announced the resignation of the elderly statesman.
The speaker stopped impeachment proceedings to say they had received a letter from Mugabe with the resignation "with immediate effect."
It is an extraordinary end for the world's oldest head of state after 37 years in power.

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

Forbe Ranking: See the List of the 2017 Highest Paid Women in Music

Beyonce has been declared as the 2017 highest paid woman in music after raking in a whopping $105 million this year.

Beyonce is the 2017 highest paid woman in music
Shortly after Adele took home the Grammy award for Album of the Year in February, she broke it in half--with the intention of physically sharing it with Beyoncé, the internet concluded—in recognition of the latter's Lemonade. But Queen Bey won an even more valuable distinction outright: she's this year's highest-paid woman in music, pulling in a whopping $105 million pretax.
Lemonade was a hit with both critics and fans, giving Beyoncé her sixth solo No. 1. The ensuing Formation World Tour, much of it falling into our list's scoring period, grossed a quarter of a billion dollars. Then she took time off as she and husband Jay-Z welcomed twins Rumi and Sir this summer. Adele finished second, earning $69 million, boosted by seven-figure nightly grosses on her first proper tour since 2011.

"Adele’s music appeals to listeners of all ages all over the world with her undeniably powerful, emotional vocal interpretations paired with timeless songwriting and production," says multiplatinum singer-songwriter Skylar Grey. "No matter what genre someone generally subscribes to, it’s hard to find a music lover who doesn’t appreciate what she does."
In order to form our list, we looked at pretax income from June 1, 2016 through June 1, 2017, and did not take out fees charged by agents, managers and lawyers. We gathered data from Nielsen SoundScan, Pollstar, the RIAA and interviews with industry insiders. The two mononymous stars both earned tens of millions more than the rest of the pack, but there are plenty of notable names further down the list.
Taylor Swift raked in $44 million to claim the No. 3 spot, representing a significant dip from the peak of her 1989 Tour. With the release of new alum Reputation—already the best-selling album of 2017—which came after the end of this list’s scoring period, look for her earnings total to rise significantly in next year’s accounting.
Celine Dion ranks fourth with $42 million, resuming a lucrative Las Vegas residency last February after going on hiatus in the wake of her husband’s January 2016 death. Jennifer Lopez rounds out the top five with $38 million, also boosted by a standing Sin City gig, as well as new show World of Dance, where she serves as both judge and producer.
The rest of the list proves that age is just a number: 71-year-old Dolly Parton (No. 6, $37 million) still tours with the rigor of stars half her age, grossing mid-six figures per city across 63 dates during our scoring period; Barbra Streisand (No. 10, $30 million) remains a huge draw even at 75, selling $46 million worth of tickets on her 14-show stint last year. Next up: Netflix special Barbra: The Music…The Mem’ries…The Magic!
Earning double-digit millions does not guarantee a spot on this vaunted list—as near misses Madonna, Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande can attest. The first two names should be back in the running the next time they go on tour; the latter two could be, too, as their careers continue to progress.
Despite the success of the female stars on the list, there are regrettably still more than twice as many men than women among music's top-earning stars. Acts like the ninth-highest-paid woman, Katy Perry--who earned millions from endorsement deals with the likes of CoverGirl, Claire's and H&M--are doing their best to change that.

"I am proud of my position as a boss, as a person that runs my own company," she told Forbes. "I'm an entrepreneur. ... I don't want to shy away from it. I actually want to kind of grab it by its balls."
As for Adele's Grammy? Sorry, folks--it seems she broke it in half by accident.
See list of top 10 highest paid women in music
1. Beyonce $105 million
2. Adele $69 million
3. Taylor Swift $44 million
4. Celine Dion $42 million
5. Jennifer Lopez $38 million
6. Dolly Parton $37 million
7. Rihanna $36 million
8. Britney Spears $34 million
9. Katy Perry $33 million
10. Barbra Streisand $30 million

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

End of Mugabe Era

The fate of President Robert Mugabe will be decided today as the Zimbabwean parliament meets to consider his impeachment proceedings.
President Robert Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe has reached his worst political situation in 37 years as the leader of Zimbabwe; as the two chambers of parliaments began impeachment proceedings against him.
 This is the first time such move is taking place in the Southern African country.
According to CNN, a joint sitting of the Senate and National Assembly took the bold step to ask for Mugabe to resign.
The ruling party, ZANU-PF, had plans to table a motion that will begin the process of formally removing the president who has been clinging on to the presidency despite a military takeover last week.
 ZANU-PF, which Mugabe co-founded and led for decades, ousted the 93-year-old leader as their party chief on Sunday and gave him an ultimatum to step down in 24 hours or face impeachment.
 The former vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is said to have joined those calling for Mugabe to step down, in his first comments since the President fired him on November 6, triggering the political firestorm.
 Mugabe called a cabinet meeting for Tuesday morning, but most members didn’t show up, state media reported, in a further indication that his authority was ebbing away.
 The party had set a deadline for midday Monday for Mugabe to resign or face impeachment.
 The former vice president’s statement offered no clues about his location. Mnangagwa was named as ZANU-PF’s new party chief on Sunday, paving the way for him to contest the 2018 presidential elections.


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

Robert Mugabe Finally Resigns as President of Zimbabwe

After 37 years in power, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has voluntarily resigned his position.
President Robert Mugabe has finally resigned

Robert Mugabe has resigned as president of Zimbabwe with immediate effect after 37 years in power, the speaker of the country’s parliament has said.
Mugabe took the step after the parliament commenced proceedings for his impeachment today.
A letter submitted to parliament by the 93-year-old said his decision to resign was voluntary on his part. According to Guardian UK, wild jubilation broke out among MPs when Jacob Mudenda, the speaker, told the parliament.
Impeachment proceedings against Mugabe began earlier on Tuesday as the ruling party, Zanu-PF, attempted to remove him from office.
Thousands of Zimbabweans had also turned up outside parliament to urge on MPs, chanting, dancing and waving placards in Africa Unity square
Shortly before legislators met, the man expected to succeed him broke more than a week of silence to add his voice to those calling for the ageing leader to step down 
Emmerson Mnangagwa, until recently Mugabe’s vice-president and right hand man, urged the nonagenarian leader to “accept the will of the people”.
Mugabe has been under house arrest and key allies of his wife, Grace, removed from power since the military took charge last week.
The ruling Zanu-PF party, which at the weekend voted to make Mnangagwa its leader and demote Mugabe to a rank-and-file member, introduced the motion to impeach and the opposition seconded it.

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

Friday, November 17, 2017

Robert Mugabe And His Luxury-Loving Family Revealed

When embattled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe assumed office as the country’s Prime Minister in April 1980, one of the first things he did was to create a government of national unity.
With this single action, Zimbabwe became the beneficiary of much aid from generous Western countries, whose governments believed that he was going to position the country to help to facilitate the then Apartheid South Africa’s  transition from minority rule to a proper democracy.
At the outset, Mugabe’s government operated within a capitalist framework and focused on wooing foreign investors. The result is that between 1980 and 1990, the Zimbabwean economy grew by an average of 2.7 per cent a year. This was considered a welcome development by those who genuinely looked forward to the advancement of the country.
Unfortunately, an unprecedented growth in the population of the country and a corresponding rise in the unemployment rate, as well as a persistent declaration of a budget deficit by the government, soon made nonsense of any form of economic growth.
Still, during Mugabe’s tenure as Prime Minister, Zimbaweans witnessed significant increases in government spending on education and healthcare. Between 1980 and 2000, for example, the number of secondary schools in the country rose from 177 to 1,548. During that period, the adult literacy rate rose from 62 per cent to 82 per cent.
In spite of these heartwarming strides, Mugabe was unable to deal with the worsening relationship between his government and the minority white population, which repeatedly accused him of racial discrimination.

Ugly human rights record
Also, for the greater part of his tenure, Mugabe’s government was accused of having one of the worst human rights records in Africa. And there seems to be ample evidence to justify this.
There were allegations that Mugabe ordered the country’s military, especially the dreaded Fifth Brigade, an elite force trained by North Koreans, to crack down on dissidents in Matabeleland with such great force that shocked the global community in the 1980s.
The Fifth Brigade, according to independent reports, were deployed in the region in 1983 with a mandate to arrest, torture and execute those accused of being sympathetic to the dissidents. The Brigade was also authorised to destroy valuable property belonging to the accused and to carry out extra-judicial killings.
The scale of the violence recorded during the Zimbabwean military’s genocidal campaign in Matabeleland was described as greater than what the country witnessed in the Rhodesian War.  Indeed, over the course of four years, about10,000 civilians had lost their lives to these butchers. Genocide Watch later estimated that more than 20,000 were killed. 
There were also widespread reports of journalists being arrested and tortured by the military.
During the 2013 election campaign, reports had it that members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change were often harassed by the police and Army. In some cases, it was alleged, they were killed. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum documented about 27 murders, 27 rapes, 2,466 assaults and 617 abductions, with 10,000 people displaced by violence. It was also alleged that most of these actions were carried out by supporters of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
When in February 2000 armed gangs attacked and occupied white-owned farms, Mugabe’s government claimed that the attacks were a spontaneous uprising against white land owners, although it was an open secret that the same government had paid Z$20 million to Chenjerai Hunzvi’s War Veterans Association to lead the land invasion campaign. Eye witness accounts had insisted that ZANU-PF officials, the police and army facilitated the attacks.

Absolute power
In  1987, the Zimbabwean parliament amended the country’s constitution and declared Mugabe as executive President. This position gave him the power to dissolve parliament, declare martial law and run for an unlimited number of terms. The constitutional amendments, additional reports claimed, also abolished the 20 parliamentary seats reserved for white representatives and left parliament less relevant and independent.

Progressive economic decline
Zimbabwe’s economy gradually deteriorated in the 1990s. By 2000, the standard of living had seriously declined. Life expectancy was very low and unemployment had trebled. By 1998, unemployment was almost at 50 per cent. As of 2009, between to 3 and 4 million Zimbabweans had left the country in search of jobs.

Election rigging
In the 2013 general elections, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF won a landslide victory, with 61 per cent of the presidential vote and over two-thirds of the parliamentary seats going to the party. But the elections were not considered free and fair by global monitoring agencies. There were widespread allegations of rigging.
While he sat at the helm of the country’s affairs, Mugabe was regarded and almost worshipped as a demi-god within the ZANU-PF. Many feared him and not one person dared challenge him. It was believed that he derived his support mostly from the  Shona-dominated regions of Mashonaland, Manicaland and Masvingo, while he remained far less popular in the non-Shona areas of Matabeleland and Bulawayo and among Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.

Grace Mugabe
After the death of his first wife, Sally Hayfron in 1992, Robert Mugabe married his secretary, Grace Marufu, who was 41 years younger, in 1996, and earlier married to Stanley Goreraza, with whom she had a son, Russell Goreraza.  As secretary to the Mugabe then, she became his mistress while still married to Goreraza and together with  Mugabe they had two children, Bona, named after Mugabe’s mother, and Robert Peter, Jr. “The couple were married in an extravagant Catholic Mass, titled the ‘Wedding of the Century,” the Zimbabwe press had said.
In 1997, Grace Mugabe gave birth to the couple’s third child, Chatunga Mugab.
 As the First Lady of Zimbabwe, Grace gained a reputation for indulging her love of luxury, with a particular interest in shopping, clothes and jewellery. These lavish shopping sprees earned her the nickname, ‘Gucci Grace’.
Among other controversies, there was an outcry when Grace Mugabe was given a doctoral degree in sociology in September 2014 from the University of Zimbabwe, two months after entering the programme. She was awarded the degree by her husband and University Chancellor Robert Mugabe. Her doctoral thesis is not available in the university archive and she has faced calls to return her PhD. This caused backlash in the Zimbabwean academic community, with some commenting that this could harm the reputation of the university
Even before Tuesday night’s dramatic events, which could yet mark the end of her  rags-to-riches story, 2017 had not been a great year for  her. Zimbabweans and their neighbours in South Africa have not forgotten the extraordinary incident in which she allegedly assaulted a young model in Johannesburg and needed diplomatic immunity to avoid an embarrassing court case.
Also, they are not likely to forget that Grace had a bitter feud with Vice President  Emerson Mangagwa, which resulted in her denying that she plotted to poison  him. Then there was the decline in both the Zimbabwean economy and her own personal popularity ratings. The two may be connected, given that her detractors like to refer to her as the “First Shopper”.
Grace Mugabe’s political ambition may have been as much about self-preservation as an instinct to lead. She has two sons and a daughter with the 93-year-old President.
On Wednesday morning, it was reported that Mrs. Mugabe, who is believed to have developed a reputation for corruption, was in Namibia on business as her husband remained detained at home in Harare.

Mugabe’s luxury-loving children
Mugabe’s son, Robert Mugabe Junior, and his younger brother, Bellarmine, are known for posting their lavish lifestyle on social media, which has drawn accusations from critics on social media that they are wasting Zimbabwean taxpayers’ money.
Another of Mugabe’s children who often stirred up controversy is Bona. Her educational adventures in Hong Kong, for instance, raised dust, especially when some people demanded her return to Zimbabwe, to experience the same educational system that others were experiencing.
An online account quoted The Times as reporting that on January 18, 2009, “while on a shopping trip in Hong Kong, where her daughter Bona Mugabe was a university student, Mugabe ordered her bodyguard to assault a Sunday Times photographer Richard Jones outside her luxury hotel. She then joined in the attack, punching Jones repeatedly in the face while wearing diamond-encrusted rings, causing him cuts and abrasions. She was subsequently granted immunity from prosecution ‘under Chinese diplomatic rules’ because of her status as Mugabe’s wife.”

Mugabe’s famous quotes
“I’ve just concluded — since President Obama endorses same-sex marriage, advocates homosexual people, and enjoys an attractive countenance — thus if it becomes necessary, I shall travel to Washington, DC, get down on my knee, and ask his hand.” — ZDC radio interview, 2015

On homosexuality
“We ask, was he born out of homosexuality? We need continuity in our race, and that comes from the woman, and no to homosexuality. John and John, no; Maria and Maria, no. They are worse than dogs and pigs. I keep pigs and the male pig knows the female one.” — ZDC radio interview, 2015
“We equally reject attempts to prescribe ‘new rights’ that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions, and beliefs. We are not gays!” — UNGA, 2015

On Hitler
“I am still the Hitler of the time. This Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be Hitler tenfold. Ten times, that is what we stand for.” — State funeral of a Cabinet minister, 2003

On grooming a successor
“Grooming a successor, is it an inheritance? In a democratic party, you don’t want leaders appointed that way. They have to be appointed properly by the people.” – TV interview, 2016

On the economy
“Our economy is a hundred times better, than the average African economy. Outside South Africa, what country is [as good as] Zimbabwe? … What is lacking now are goods on the shelves – that is all.” — Interview, 2007

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

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Russia 2018: See the 32 Teams that Have Qualified

A list of the 32 teams that have qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia have been revealed as Peru clinched the last qualification ticket.
Joyous Peru players: now bound for Russia World Cup
Peru became the last country to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia by beating New Zealand yesterday night. 
Here is a list of the 32 countries to play in the World Cup 2018
1. Russia: The hosts qualified when they won the chance to host the competition back in Dec 2010.
2. Brazil: CONMEBOL round robin winners, qualified way back on March 28, 2017
3. Iran: AFC third round group A winners
4. Japan: AFC third round group B winners
5. South Korea: Runners-up to Iran in Group A
6. Saudi Arabia: Runners-up in Group B
7. Mexico: North and central America and Caribbean round 5 winners
8. Belgium: Uefa group H winners (first European team) to qualified on Sept 3
9. Germany: Sealed their place as Group C winners after beating Northern Ireland 3-1 in Belfast
10. England: Gareth Southgate's side beat Slovenia at Wembley to secure their spot in Russia as winners of Group F
11. Poland: Poland became to fourth European team to qualify having dropped points in just two games in Group E
12. Costa Rica: Reached their fourth World Cup finals with a game remaining from their CONCACAF qualification group
13. Nigeria: Became the first side from Africa to reach Russia and have now missed just one tournament – Germany 2006 – since first qualifying 1994
14. Egypt: Mohamed Salah scored twice to send the north Africans into their first finals since 1990
15. Iceland: Have qualified for their first ever World Cup, pipping Croatia to a guaranteed place in Russia
16. Serbia: Winners of Group D
17. Spain: The 2010 champions qualified as Group G winners finishing five points ahead of Italy
18. France: Qualified as winners of Group A
19. Portugal: Beat Switzerland in their final qualification game to reach next summer's finals
20. Panama: Reached their first World Cup after beating Costa Rica in the final group game of their qualification campaign
21. Argentina: Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in his side's final qualification game to secure their place in the finals
22. Uruguay: Finished second to Brazil in their group to secure their place in the finals
23. Colombia: Took the fourth and final automatic qualification spot in the South American group 
24. Senegal: CAF Group D winners
25. Morocco: CAF Group C winners
26. Tunisia: CAF Group A winners
27. Switzerland: Won two-leg play-off with Northern Ireland
28. Croatia: Won two-leg play-off with Greece
29. Sweden: Won two-leg play-off with Italy
30. Denmark - Won two-leg play-off with Republic of Ireland
31. Australia - Defeated Honduras in a two-leg play-off
32. Peru - Secured last place with victory over New Zealand in two-leg play-off

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

The Fall of Robert Mugabe?

 Robert Mugabe held on to the reins of power in the Southern African nation of Zimbabwe for nearly forty years, however the strongman has been dragged away from the seat of power.

Robert Mugabe
Finally, Robert Gabriel Mugabe is out of power. The strongman is grief-stricken. The bravado is over. In the twilight of his life, he has been disgraced out of office.
He started well as a revolutionary; a freedom fighter with a difference and a popular nationalist. But, the former president of Zimbabwe did not finish the race well. His rule ended on a sad note. Although military coup is no longer in vogue in Africa, the intervention by soldiers, according to commentators, was understandable.
The coup was even denied by the mutineers. They were in want of a decorative interpretation of their putsch. Yet, there was no widespread uproar. The continent was not enveloped in anxiety. Even, Mugabe’s unrepentant admirers and supporters – the residual class of combatants, who opposed colonialism – were ambivalent. To them, the nonagenarian had outlived his usefulness. Gone are the days when he was a mentor and role model. In popular valuation, history may not be kind to him.
Fear of life outside power
Mugabe had an obsession with power. He relished the pomp of his exalted office. He may have hoped to die in office. Gradually, he was being referred to as a life president. As a czar, the country had become his fortress. He is the lone rich man in a nation-state ravaged by poverty and squalor. His net worth as at June was $10 million. Indeed, Mugabe feared life outside power. He loathed the difficult adjustment to the ordinary man’s lifestyle. He was reluctant to abdicate. Thus, he became an obstacle to legitimate democratic succession in that country. Elections were held to sustain his hold on power. He was a great electoral manipulator. The umpire usually danced to his tunes. Literarily, the electoral commission operated in his bedroom. He was powerful and influential. From his country, he fired salvos at Britain and United States (U.S.) under the guise of sovereignty.
At 93, Mugabe brooked no opposition. His word was law. He even boasted that, if he would leave power, he must be succeeded by his wife, Grace. However, the reality dawned on him yesterday. He was caged by aggrieved soldiers. In that moment of tribulation, he was isolated for ridicule. Power, no matter how long it is wielded, is transient.
There is a vacuum in Zimbabwe. The soldiers of fortune lack legitimacy to hold on to power, although their self-imposed war of liberation against Mugabe was applauded. If they attempt to establish a military rule, the world will rise in unison to condemn their neo-colonial posturing. Military rule is old-fashioned in Africa. The onus is on the emerging military leaders to set up a transparent transition process moderated by an interim leadership with a limited time frame. The onus will be on the interim government heal the wounds inflicted by Mugabe and unite the country.
The man of history
Despite his colossal mistakes, Mugabe was a man of history. He was a member of the old brigade in Rhodesia, who fought for independence. His compatriot was the late Joshua Nkomo, who parted ways with him. Nkomo was tipped to lead the country after independence. The chance eluded him. He became the leader of opposition. Later, he served as vice president under Mugabe. The accord later broke down. Mugabe became the undisputed leader.
From a tender age, Mugabe was greatly inspired by Marxism. He served as the publicity secretary of the National Democratic Party or the ‘NDP.’ Later, he founded the socialist-nationalist movement Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), which resolved to drive the British out of their homeland. He was detained by Rhodesian authorities for his radical activities. After independence in 1980, Mugabe became the prime minister, and later, the president. During his tenure as president, he managed to unite the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) with ZANU. He was highly protective of the Zimbabwean territory.
Born on February 21, 1924, he studied in all-exclusive Jesuit, Roman Catholic schools, and also attended the Kutama College, where he is believed to have led a solitary life and preferred to keep company with his books. He also studied at Fort Hare in South Africa, graduating in 1951. He later studied at Salisbury, Gwelo, Tanzania, earning six more degrees, in addition to his Bachelor of Arts degree, which he obtained from the University of Fort Hare. Mugabe became a lecturer at Chalimbana Teacher Training College, Northern Rhodesia, between 1955 and 1958. It was around that time that he was greatly influenced by the former Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
In 1960, Mugabe joined the NDP. The party was banned in September. Thus, he formed ZAPU, which was led by Joshua Nkomo. In 1963, he left ZAPU and formed ZANU, established on the basis of Africanist philosophies of the Pan Africanist Congress in South Africa. ZANU and ZAPU were officially banned on August 26, 1964, after a long political unrest. Mugabe was arrested and imprisoned indeterminately.
In 1974, while still in confinement, he was elected, under the influence of Edgar Tekere, to take over ZANU. Later, he was released from prison along with other separatist leaders to enable him attend a conference in Lusaka, Zambia. He fled to the border of Southern Rhodesia and accumulated a troop of Rhodesian rebel trainees. The struggle continued through the 1970s and the economy of Zimbabwe was in a state of pandemonium.
In 1979, Southern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zimbabwe. On March 4, 1980, ZANU won 57 out of 80 Common Roll Seats and Mugabe was elected as prime minister. He sealed an accord with his ZAPU rivals. In 1981, a war broke out between ZANU and ZAPU. Four years later, Mugabe was re-elected and the fight persisted. After the murder of two ministers from the groups in 1987, Mugabe and Nkomo decided to merge their unions. They were united by economic worries. They were dedicated to economic recovery.
Mugabe became the executive President of Zimbabwe in 1987. He chose Nkomo as one of the senior ministers. Two years later, he implemented a five-year plan, which greatly benefited the economy.
In 1996, he passed a revision in 2000, wherein the amendment stated that Britain would have to pay compensations for seizing land from the blacks and if the British failed to do so, Mugabe would in turn, seize theirs.
In 2002, he won the presidential elections at a time Zimbabawe’s  economy was in near ruins with widespread unemployment, famine and AIDS. He applied brute force to stay in office. This led him to win the parliamentary elections also, three years later.
He lost the presidential elections to Morgan Tsvangirai in 2008. But, he refused to leave office. He demanded a recount of the votes. To gain maximum number of votes, he was on the prowl, violently attacking and killing members of the opposition party.
After the bloodshed, Tsvangirai and Mugabe came to a mutual agreement that they both would share power. In 2010, he selected provisional governors for Zimbabwe without consulting Tsvangirai, which proved that he still wanted to retain autocratic control. A year after, he announced his bid to contest the 2012 presidential elections, which was for an indefinite period, postponed to 2013.
He displayed his interest to challenge Tsvangirai once again in the elections and in July 2013, when he was asked about his plans to run for president in the future, he said he would like to rule Zimbabwe till he hit a ‘century’.
Zimbabwe’s election commission declared Mugabe the president in August 2013 after winning a total of 61 per cent of the vote.
Unending reforms
Mugabe was a lover of reforms. When he was elected as the President, he implemented a five-year plan, starting from 1989. In the course of the five-year plan, he loosened price limits for farmers, allowing them to set their own prices and he also built a number of clinics and schools for the people. By the end of the five year period, the economy had seen drastic positive change in terms of the manufacturing, mining and farming industries. The United Nations (UN) estimates unemployment in Zimbabwe to be as high as 80 per cent.  The economy of Zimbabwe is in ruins. Life expectancy is a little above 50 years. Massive hyperinflation has made the local currency of Zimbabwe worthless. The exchange rate of Zimbabwe dollar is 35 quadrillion to $1. The local currency has been retired and replaced with the U.S. dollar and South African rand, and this has led to the near collapse of the manufacturing industry in Zimbabwe.
In the club of dictators
Mugabe has not been the only face of horror in Africa. There were other sit-tight presidents and dictators, who left behind legacies of high handedness, brutality of the opposition and muzzling of democracy. Their regimes were marked by horror, terror, chaos and bloodshed.
Paul Kagame became the President of Rwanda in 2000. He rose to power through his guerrilla movement that ended the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. He has spent 21 years in office. He has been accused of human rights abuse, oppression of opponents and the press.
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was the President of Tunisia from 1987 to 2011. He assumed office in a bloodless coup, a month after he was appointed the prime minister. He led Tunisia for 23 years before stepping down in January 2011 due to massive protests demanding his exit. Tunisia witnessed stability and economic prosperity under Ben Ali. In 2012, in abstention, he was sentenced to a life imprisonment for his role in the murders of protesters in the 2011 revolution that led to his exit from power. He was accused of embezzlement, misuse of public funds, suppressing political opponents.
Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo (1967–2005) was one of Africa’s longest-serving dictator. He became the president after he led a military coup. He died of a heart attack in 2005. His son, Faure, was named the President of Togo in controversial circumstances.
Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1963–1994) led Malawi from 1961 till 1994. Banda lost effective control of Malawi during his absence from Malawi in 1993 when he was flown to South Africa for an emergency brain surgery. Bakili Muluzi, his former political protégé, became president in 1994, after the general elections Banda had earlier postponed, was conducted in 1994. Banda fought against colonialism and led of Nyasaland (now Malawi) to independence as Malawi in 1964. His reign left Malawi as one of the world’s poorest country. One in three children under five died of starvation. He tortured and murdered political opponents. Human rights groups alleged that at least 6,000 people were killed, tortured and jailed without trial.
Gaafar Nimeiry of Sudan (1969–1985) came to power in a coup that ended five years of corrupt civilian rule. He was ousted from power in 1985 and went into exile in Egypt until he was allowed to return in 1999. He contested in the 2000 Sudanese elections; he got just seven per cent of the votes. He died at 79 in May, 2009. He signed the Addis Ababa Agreement, which ended the First Sudanese Civil War and brought a decade of peace and stability to the region. But, his indiscriminate borrowing left the Sudanese economy in ruins. The Sudanese currency lost almost 90 per cent of its value against the major international currencies. He imposed Islamic sharia law in 1983. It led to a two-decade long war religious war between the Muslim North and the mainly Christian South.
Siad Barre of Somalia (1969-1991) took power in a coup. He ruled Somalia for over 20 years before he was overthrown in 1991. He passed away in January 1995, on exile in Lagos. General Barre’s exit left Somalia without a central authority, and this resulted in a civil war that left the country without a leader for over two decades.
Charles Taylor of Liberia (1997-2003), once described as the “tyrant of death,” was the President of Liberia from August 1997 until 2003 when international pressure forced him to resign and go into exile in Nigeria. He remains one of the most brutal dictators in Africa till date. He is currently serving a 50-year sentence for his involvement in what the judge described as “some of the most heinous and brutal crimes recorded in human history.” He was found guilty of terrorism, unlawful killings, murder, violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons.
Yahya Jammeh of Gambia (1994-2017) took power in a bloodless military coup in 1994. In last year’s general elections, he was defeated by Adama Barrow, and surprisingly, he conceded defeat, only to reject the results few weeks after. He finally left Gambia on exile to Equatorial Guinea after sustained pressure by the African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and UN.
Idriss Deby of Chad (1990 – till date) and his Patriotic Salvation Movement (PSM), an insurgent group, backed by Libya and Sudan, sacked the incumbent government, and Déby became the President of Chad. Deby has used oil proceeds and funds that could have been used to develop Chad to purchase weapons and strengthen his Army. Forbes named Chad the world’s most corrupt nation in 2006.
Obiang Mbasogo (1979 – till date) has been President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979 when he ousted his uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, in a bloody military coup and sentenced him to death by firing squad. President Obiang is one of the oldest and longest serving dictators in Africa. The state radio declared President Obiang “the country’s god” with “all power over men and things,” and thereby he “can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to hell.” Unlawful killings, government-sanctioned kidnappings; torture of prisoners by security forces, and even accusations of cannibalism have trailed President Obiang’s regime. He has used an oil boom to enrich his family at the expense of the citizens of Equatorial Guinea.
Paul Biya of Cameroon (1982 till date) consolidated power in a 1983–1984 power struggle with his predecessor and he remains a powerhouse in Africa and the president of Cameroon till date. Cameroon has enjoyed peace and stability for the past 30 years. Biya’s regime has also overseen one of the strongest diplomatic relations in Africa. Biya perpetrated himself in power by organising sham elections and paying international observers to certify them free of irregularities.
Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola (1979 – till date). The father of Africa’s richest woman, Isabel Dos Santos, is Africa’s second longest-serving Head of State. Recently, he announced that he would finally step down and end his dictatorship over Angola. The Angolan economy has grown to become the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa and Nigeria. But the allegations of corruption, misuse, and diversion of public funds for personal gain, human rights abuses, and political oppression.
Francisco Macías Nguema  of Equatorial Guinea (1968 -1979) was the first President of Equatorial Guinea. He ruled Equatorial Guinea before his nephew in 1979 overthrew him and sentenced him to death by firing squad for genocide and other crimes he committed. He was brutal. During his regime, he granted himself “all direct powers of Government and Institutions.” He ordered the death of entire families and villages; he executed members of his family, One-third of the population fled the country, he ordered every boat in the nation sold or destroyed and banned all citizens from the shoreline to prevent more people from escaping his terror.
Hissene Habre of Chad (1982-1990) seized power in 1982 from Goukouni Oueddei, who had just been elected President. He lost power to his former military commander, Idriss Deby, in December 1990. Habre fled to Senegal when Deby’s Libya backed insurgents marched into the capital, N’Djaména. In May 2016, he was convicted of crimes against humanity. Habre’s government carried out a frightening 40,000 politically motivated murders, and there are documented cases of at least 200,000 tortures.
Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan (1989 – till date) took power in a military coup. Al-Bashir is one of the most brutal dictators in Africa and despite ICC’s warrant against him; he remains the president of Sudan. The International Criminal Court wants Omar al-Bashir for genocide, war crimes, murder, rape, torture, and other crimes against humanity for his crimes in Darfur.
 Sekou Toure (1958-1984) was elected as the first President of Guinea in 1958, a position he held until to his death in 1984. Toure, like many other dictators in Africa, survived several assignation attempts and coups while he was in power. He died of heart failure in 1984.
Toure banned all opposition parties and declared his party the only legal party in the country. He was accused of several cases of human right abuse and extrajudicial killings.
Gen. Sani Abacha (1993-1998) became the military Head of State of Nigeria in 1993 after he sacked the head of the Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan, who was appointed after the annulment of the 1993 elections won by the late Chief Moshood Abiola of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP). The exact details of the dictator’s death in the presidential palace ON June 8, 1998 remains unclear till date.
According to international economic experts, Abacha’s regime was a massive economic success for Nigeria. Foreign exchange reserves rose from $494 million in 1993 to $9.6 billion by the middle of 1997. External debt was reduced from $36 billion in 1993 to $27 billion by 1997; inflation rate went down from the 54 per cent he inherited to 8.5 per cent between 1993 and 1998, and global oil price was priced at an average of $15 per barrel.’ But, the regime was characterised by massive looting and human right abuses such as the public hanging of political activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and jailing several political opponents.
Col. Muammar Gaddafi (1969-2011) seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1969. The charismatic leader of Libya met his waterloo during the Libyan revolution in 2011 after rebels in Sirte, his city of birth, killed him. Under Gaddafi, Libya became the first developing country to own a majority share of the revenues from its oil production. Gaddafi provided access to free health care, safe houses, food and clean drinking water, free education to university level which led to the dramatic rise in literacy rates. Gaddafi led oil-rich Libya as an absolute dictator, for close to 42 years, he quashed anyone that opposed him, and was responsible for the death of thousands of his people.
Idi Amin Dada (1971-1979) seized power in the military coup of January 1971, sacking Milton Obote. He fled Uganda in the heat of the Uganda-Tanzania war and went into exile in Libya and later Saudi Arabia where he lived until his death on August 16, 2003. His rule was characterised by rumors of cannibalism, frightening human rights’ abuses, political repression, extrajudicial killings, corruption and gross economic mismanagement.

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

Four African Leaders Meet to Discuss Impasse in Zimbabwe

 African leaders have decided to congregate to discuss the ongoing impasse in Zimbabwe with the fate of Mugabe hanging in the balance.

President Robert Mugabe
The South African President, Jacob Zuma will be in Botswana today (Thursday) ‚ where ministers from four countries are meeting to discuss the Zimbabwe army lockdown.
The meeting is also seen as a move to block Grace Mugabe’s attempt to succeed her husband Robert Mugabe as president.
Mugabe had told President Jacob Zuma by telephone on Wednesday that he was confined to his home but was otherwise fine and the military said it was keeping him and his family, including wife Grace, safe.
In a statement, Zuma said a ministerial meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics‚ Defence and Security Cooperation will meet today in Gaborone.
“The meeting will be attended by Ministers from Angola‚ Zambia‚ Tanzania and South Africa. It will be co-chaired by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa and the Angolan Defence Minister.

“It is expected that the Ministers will make recommendations to the Heads of State and Government on the political situation in Zimbabwe‚” the statement said.

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

Mugabe's Wikipedia Profile Updated to Former President

 Wikipedia appears to have decided the fate of Mugabe while the political crisis in the Southern African country, Zimbabwe is yet to be decided conclusively.
The Wikipedia page of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has recorded him as the former president following his house arrest.
The 93-year-old President was during the week chased out of office by the country’s military arm and currently under house arrest.
The Wikipedia page of the President, who has ruled the country for 37 years, now sees him as former president.
The page reads, “Robert Gabriel Mugabe, born 21 February 1924) is a Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who was President of Zimbabwe from 1987 to 2017.”
Mugabe sacked his deputy who was in line to take over from him as President while paving way for his wife, Grace to succeed him.

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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Rogers Nforgwei Wins CNYC 2017 Man of the Year Award

Rogers' represntative (in suit) receiving Man of the Year

There is a common saying that those who do extraordinary things in a common manner are pragmatic. This is so because the most accomplished people have always been their own best ally in achieving their high standings because they do common things that command respect and admiration. Last week end Rogers Nforgwei (Representative of Cambridge University Press in Sub Saharan Africa) was voted Man of the Year 2017 by the Cameroon National Youth Council, Donga Mantung-CNYC. This is not surprising as he has also been named among the 100 Most Inspiring Personalities in Cameroon in 2017 by Yes Magazine.The award ceremony which took place at weekend at the Nkambe Community also recorded the launching of a Youth Excellence Center in Nkambe that will serve many.  What makes Rogers different from others is that he loves giving back to the communities.
If we go by the popular saying that a spirit of cheerful-giving builds trust, then Rogers embodies the values that need public admiration. The Man of the Year Award has strong connections to these ideals, which is significantly just a spur to encourage him in the promotion of youth activities and philanthropies’. It should be recalled that in 2016, Ndamnsah Blaise Nkfukuh (based in Italy) won CNYC Man of the Year while in 2015 the winner was Fai Cassian Ndi (CEO of Donga Mantung Eye Media Group which publishes The Eye Newspaper)

Synopsis of Man of the Year, Rogers Nforgwei
Rogers Nforgwei hails from Mbabi in the Wat village. At 45 years old, he is employed with one of the oldest and most prestigious multinational publishing companies called Cambridge University Press in England since 1999 (18 years). His career with that company has been prosperous during that time within the same company and today he is Director for the Mid Africa Region (West, Centra& East Africa) since the last 4 years. Interesting to note that he is the only Black man from Africa holding the level of responsibility, all the way from Mbabi, Wat!
In this capacity, he directs Cambridge business in more than 30 countries taking responsibility for market development, overall strategy, supply chain, operations and contracting of partnerships.
His God-fearing nature, his humility, his bilingualism, his flexibility and his ability to contextualize ideologies have been the strength behind his capacity to navigate through the varied cultures of both English Speaking and French Speaking African countries as well as his multitasking in many other roles:
His Trappings
He is CEO and Chairman of one of the leading local publishing companies in Cameroon, which he founded about 10 years ago and which is fast growing into a continental company.
He is the founding President of DRIMP Foundation, which in seven years has provided mentorship to Cameroonian youths nationwide through the various youth leadership and social programmes organized by the foundation. DRIMP Foundation, being a faith based organization, has also organized pastors’ conferences in Cameroon as well as they have taken on the challenge of promoting of and advocating for the growth and recognition of gospel music.
He is National President of National Association of Publishers in Cameroon. He has been aggressive in the advocacy for publishing and quality education as one of the ways to building a strong nation.
He is the Director of Finance and Administration of COHEB, an International humanitarian NGO operating in Central Africa Republic, Chad and Cameroon.
His torrential presence in the community life of Donga Mantung Division has been unbelievable. It truly attests to the fact that this man is a man with the heart for humanity, as seen in the following projects
1.     Organization of a championship tournament for boys and a heavily attended Youth forum worth 3million, 2016
2.     Donation of text books to Primaries schools and secondary schools in the Sub Division worth close to 10.2million, 2016
3.     The establishment of the Home Branch WADECA (Wat Development and Cultural Association) which is transforming the Wat village and focusing the Wat people on unity and sustainable development
4.     Sponsorship of a paint artist from Nkambe to Yaounde for the National Art and Culture Exhibition by the Ministry of Arts and culture,
5.     Lobbied for more participants and guided the proper selection of the three Youth Parliamentarians for the Donga Mantung during the first ever youth parliamentarian in Cameroon in 2016
6.     And he is main sponsor of the Women football Championship 2017 in Donga Mantung, 2017
7.     Donated 900 books to promote back to school to Primary schools in Nkambe, 2017
No doubt the President of Republic of Cameroon knighted him in November 2016 with the prestigious “Chevlier de l’Ordre de la Valeur
When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said: “Lives of great men all remind us, we can make our lives sublime, and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time” he was talking about the likes of Rogers Nforgwei, who has engaged in promoting youth talents. In fact, his contributions to building others can only be captured by Thomas Carlyle who emphasized that ‘Man is only truly great when he acts from his passions’. The name Rogers Nforgwei is gradually becoming a household name in Donga Mantung Division not only among the hard-to-reach and underserved segments of the population but also within political circles.
 Like Bill Copeland he believes that ‘the trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score’ surely Rogers’ direction is to score a political goal.

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