Blogs

In eight years time the year 2030 will be reached, which was set as the goal for achieving sustainable development. However, it seems that in order to achieve this, a great deal has to happen in that short span, on the African continent in particular.

What now, many asked after the release of South Africa’s Chief Justice Zondo’s damning report on President Jacob Zuma’s role in the State Capture saga by the infamous Gupta family. Will the wily ex-President be forced to face his judges and be sent to the place where he should be instead of his palatial Nkandla?

Another victim of Xenophobia in South Africa! Not only was he chased and badly injured after he was beaten and pelted with stones – but the Zimbabwean Elvis Nyathi like the Mozambican Ernesto Nhamuave in 2008 died last weekend in April after being set aflame.

In a recent article, NAD (Network Africa Germany) seems to present a particularly colourful view!

Eurowings AirbusNAD begins by reporting that Eurowings now flies 3x from Frankfurt to the Victoria Falls with a brief stop in Windhoek and continues to state that: a new 1.5% tax on electronic transfers was introduced in Ghana. Disliked by the population, the government claimed it would need the proceeds to deal with problems of unemployment and the government’s immense debt burden; refugees were returning to the Congo with the support of the UN. They were being settled in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, where they are said to be secure. It is hoped to repatriate 400 from South Africa this year against 275 in 2021.

While looking at Zimbabwe’s new public-private partnership mining company, Kuvimba Mining House (KMH) founded two years ago, which on the 22nd February had taken over the once-mighty Steelmaker Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco) in a multi-dollar deal, I came across a familiar name: Kudakwashe Tagwirei. This Zimbabwe businessman and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s buddy is also his advisor.

The African Union (AU) February summit that marked its 20th year of existence, replacing the Organisation of African Union (OEU) founded in 1963, took place against a successful coup d’etat in Burkina Faso on the 23rd January – one of several in recent times. On the 1st February a coup attempt failed in Guinea-Bissau, a country that had suffered four coups since its independence from Portugal in 1974. Moussa Faki Mahamat of Chad spoke of a disaster, calling coups absolutely unacceptable, with the summit condemning such unconstitutional power grabs.

Are African countries ready for real change? Or even a revolution?
I was recently asked why many African countries are bedeviled by governments unwilling to accept and suppress any dissent, labeling the opposition bad apples and worse, while disregarding the deep divide between the greedy, newly rich party elite and the poverty-stricken masses, endemic corruption, stagnant economies, economic and political refugees. Given the autocratic tendency and kleptocracy of many post-independence political elites and many more issues, what does the future hold? The one-time liberation movements turned into party governments considering it their right to rule. They will not go easily.

The second part of the Zondo Commission Report that has been handed to President Ramaphosa is truly mind-boggling, listing pages of racketeering incidents. The Commission worked for more than three years to probe how state-owned entities were penetrated and looted. The third and final part will be issued at the end of the month.

What does it say about hate, if a twenty-year-old woman spits on an eight-year-old because of his background? Last week the New York police arrested a woman, who had lowered herself to do just that, adding for good measure “we will kill you all, I know where you live, and we’ll make sure to get you all next time.”

In our garden in Harare’s Avenues grew a huge avocado tree, whose fruit – and shade – we loved. When I can, I still enjoy this export item from South Africa (SA) and elsewhere. Yet now I learn from the ever-busy NAD team’s latest newsletter, firstly that Kenya has outpaced SA in exports, secondly that Kenyan gangs have created a black market in the fruit! Drones swarm around avocado plants to deter thieves, while the authorities had banned exports from November to January.