ZAM Reporter
It took four years and considerable risk to own life and limb, but Ghanese investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas finally achieved his goal: not just to name and shame, but to actual jail wrongdoers, especially wrongdoing civil servants. His undercover-camera-infiltration of a cocoa smuggling syndicate allowed him to catch corrupt Customs, Police and Immigration officers on tape, greedily counting money. The eight officers were arrested after Anas aired his tapes. The trial finally came to an... It took four years and considerable risk to own life and limb, but Ghanese investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas finally achieved his goal: not...
ZAM Reporter
When Ebola first appeared in Liberia, many of the people in the country thought it was a scam crafted by the government to attract funds from international donors. This is reported by the US digital daily The Nation . The Nation’s sources, among whom foreign and Liberian activists, civil servants and medics, state that the belief that “this was a way the government could get money from the World Health Organization so that it could then put the money in its pockets” was and is widespread. (A belief... When Ebola first appeared in Liberia, many of the people in the country thought it was a scam crafted by the government to attract funds from...
Evelyn Groenink
South African social critic Jonny Steinberg described the outpourings of anger from fellow whites at girlfriend killer Oscar Pistorius as ‘racial shame’. And unleashed much wrath in return. In his column in Business Day, Steinberg noted that “white people I’ve known for years, usually calm and thoughtful, grow red with anger when they talk about Pistorius.” He contrasted that with the relatively calm response from within South Africa’s black community and theorized that whites were probably enraged... South African social critic Jonny Steinberg described the outpourings of anger from fellow whites at girlfriend killer Oscar Pistorius as ‘racial shame’....
ZAM Reporter
The Peace Parks Foundation in South Africa has paid back one-and-a-half million Euros to a Dutch Lottery, admitting that their project to protect rhinos from poaching by poisoning the horns doesn’t work. Scientists had been pointing out all along that there was no evidence to support the ‘poison solution’. The ‘Postcodeloterij’ had made more than 14 million Euros available to Peace Parks for a number of anti-poaching projects in February this year. “They finally admit that they knew all along that... The Peace Parks Foundation in South Africa has paid back one-and-a-half million Euros to a Dutch Lottery, admitting that their project to protect rhinos...
ZAM Reporter
Even if President Jonathan has disowned the slogan, "the damage has been done," Soyinka writes, with "the rot in a nation's collective soul bared to the world." The vast majority of the 'Chibok' girls, -so named after the northern Nigerian village they were abducted from- are still held captive in Boko Haram camps. They are not the only youngsters who have been kidnapped by the violent insurgents, who have been sowing death and destruction in the region for years. The Nigerian government has, so... Even if President Jonathan has disowned the slogan, "the damage has been done," Soyinka writes, with "the rot in a nation's collective soul bared to the...
Uncle Tom
Could there be something really wrong with Dutch people? Don’t get me wrong, I generally like people in Holland. Whenever I visit my niece Ingrid in Amsterdam, I am always pleasantly surprised at the helpful pedestrians on the streets. The greengrocer steadfastly explains the names of all his fruits to me and worries about my likes and dislikes. It takes time, but it is meant well, and I appreciate it. But there are Dutch people that puzzle me a lot. Like my niece Ingrid’s husband, Henk, who has a... Could there be something really wrong with Dutch people? Don’t get me wrong, I generally like people in Holland. Whenever I visit my niece Ingrid in...
Steven Friedman
Director Steven Friedman of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Johannesburg, disagrees with the allegation made by some, including in the recent documentary ‘Miners Shot Down’ by film maker Rehad Desai, that South Africa’s deputy president and former mine boss Cyril Ramaphosa is personally to blame for the massacre of mineworkers at Marikana two years ago. In emails to his business partners at the Lonmin mine, Ramaphosa stated that he had prevailed upon government to take... Director Steven Friedman of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Johannesburg, disagrees with the allegation made by some,...
Evelyn Groenink
It was a small note in the newspaper that caught South African columnist Marvin Meintjies’ eye: it said that the diamond-rich country of Lesotho had signed a ‘relation strengthening’ agreement with the tax haven island of Barbados”. Meintjies chuckled, imagining Lesotho’s new friends, the mining billionnaire Gupta family from India, snorkelling on Barbados’ beaches. The Guptas, also great friends of South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma, -they had been introduced to Lesotho by Zuma himself-, would... It was a small note in the newspaper that caught South African columnist Marvin Meintjies’ eye: it said that the diamond-rich country of Lesotho had...
ZAM Reporter
The furore about South African President Jacob Zuma’s mansion in Nkandla, KwaZuluNatal, has far from died down. Now that the independent report by the Public Protector on the whole saga is out, twitterati and political bloggers are all over one another to announce –or dispute- the death of South Africa’s democracy. According to some, proof of said death is the fact that the ANC is using its majority to protect Zuma. Others, like columnist Steven Friedman , argue that the use of a parliamentary... The furore about South African President Jacob Zuma’s mansion in Nkandla, KwaZuluNatal, has far from died down. Now that the independent report by the...
Bram Posthumus
Bram Posthumus is an independent journalist who lives and works in West Africa. He recently experienced the failure of UN peacekeepers in Mali and reports that this has added to his now twenty-year long frustration with UN ‘peace-keeping-but-not-really’ in conflict zones like Angola and Ivory Coast. “It always goes wrong. If they can’t do it differently, they should just stop.” Shouldn’t we have more UN peacekeeping, rather than less? Critics always complain that the UN is not doing enough. Rwanda... Bram Posthumus is an independent journalist who lives and works in West Africa. He recently experienced the failure of UN peacekeepers in Mali and...
Bart Luirink
Don't just do something. Stand there. The list of calls to ‘do something about it’ is endless. They are heard from Washington to Worcester and from Paris to Perth. To catch and arrest a warlord in the Congo, to improve working conditions for workers in the textile industry in Bangladesh, or to stop violence altogether in Darfur. It’s about trafficking and forced prostitution, child labour and oil pollution, anti-gay laws, abducted girls, endangered Bushmen and rhinos. One campaign after the other.... Don't just do something. Stand there. The list of calls to ‘do something about it’ is endless. They are heard from Washington to Worcester and from Paris...
Uncle Tom
A trader who calls himself ‘fair’, is just like my local neighbourhood nightclub boss, Honest Jimmy, says Uncle Tom. My grandson Harold is an earnest chap. He worries about his carbon footprint, eats only local vegetarian food and refuses to wear any cheap clothing because it is made by exploited workers in Tanzania and Vietnam. I used to be like that, but in those days we called it being a revolutionary. We used to go to such places to be part of the liberation struggles. Only Harold can’t do that... A trader who calls himself ‘fair’, is just like my local neighbourhood nightclub boss, Honest Jimmy, says Uncle Tom. My grandson Harold is an earnest...
ZAM Reporter
Amidst all the panic about ebola, serious as the scare is, it must not be forgotten that infectious diseases are actually on their way out as the biggest health problem in low income countries. The World Health Organisation warned already three years ago that a disaster was brewing among the populations of these countries in the shape of cancer, and that unlimited marketing of tobacco, alcohol and fatty and sugary foods, combined with a rising standard of living, were largely to blame for this. At... Amidst all the panic about ebola, serious as the scare is, it must not be forgotten that infectious diseases are actually on their way out as the biggest...
John Penn de Ngong
The killing in South Sudan has little to do with tribal hatred and more with competing government salaries, says child soldier-turned-peace negotiator John Penn Ngong. As a child, John Penn de Ngong joined the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement SPLM in South Sudan, simply because a life with the rebels was better than life in a village that had no school and suffered dictator Omar al Bashir’s bomb attacks. The rebels offered schooling and, when independence was won in 2011, access to a state.... The killing in South Sudan has little to do with tribal hatred and more with competing government salaries, says child soldier-turned-peace negotiator...
Uncle Tom
Companies and NGO’s are buying up African journalists, says Uncle Tom. Poor Adedeji Ademigbuji and Birame Faye of The Nation in Nigeria and Le Quotidien in Senegal. They have been seduced, wrapped up and taken to Paris by the French multinational Schneider Electric that produces electrical goods, military battleships and nuclear submarines. All Schneider had to do was announce an award: the Schneider Media Awards on Electric Counterfeiting in Africa. Just like that, they got African journalists... Companies and NGO’s are buying up African journalists, says Uncle Tom. Poor Adedeji Ademigbuji and Birame Faye of The Nation in Nigeria and Le Quotidien...
Anand Govender
South African ‘Blade Runner’ athlete Oscar Pistorius, who shot and killed his girlfriend, defends himself with the argument that he thought the person in his toilet was ‘an intruder’. But even if he really thought that, that argument shouldn’t hold, says Anand Govender (48). Govender, a former anti-apartheid activist–turned-engineer is the brother of Elvis Govender, who was hacked to death, aged 37, by a South African yacht owner on whose boat he had ‘trespassed’ in 1995. Many progressives in South... South African ‘Blade Runner’ athlete Oscar Pistorius, who shot and killed his girlfriend, defends himself with the argument that he thought the person in...
Uncle Tom
Even my cousin Amos doesn’t want to wear strange hats in the jungle, says Uncle Tom. Cousin Amos has researched his African ancestry and found out that he is really an Agyemang-Addo from Ghana. He now walks around in those flowing shirts that he buys when he goes all ghetto in 125th Street in Harlem. He also gets his dreadlocks maintained there. It costs him a lot of money but it makes him happy and that’s what counts. But when I saw him last week at Aunt Flora’s birthday he was pretty angry. He... Even my cousin Amos doesn’t want to wear strange hats in the jungle, says Uncle Tom. Cousin Amos has researched his African ancestry and found out that...
Uncle Tom
When I read about women who leave their villages and families to go become prostitutes in big towns or even in other countries, I think of Jeannie. Jeannie stood out among the other street girls where I lived back then, in South Central Los Angeles. There was something bright and fiery and determined about her. As a messenger boy I passed her spot often, and then we chatted. That was all. I earned so little that I could not afford her even if I had wanted to pay. Jeannie would only do it for money,... When I read about women who leave their villages and families to go become prostitutes in big towns or even in other countries, I think of Jeannie....
Judith Sargentini
Judith Sargentini, member of the Green Left delegation in the European Parliament, opposes new strict rules, advocated by some European countries, concerning border controls and criminalisation of sex work. After seeing the report by Tobore Ovuorie, don’t you think that human traffic is so bad that Europe simply has to keep it away from its borders? It is nonsensical to think that stricter controls are going to keep people away. They are already prepared to risk their lives getting into overcrowded... Judith Sargentini, member of the Green Left delegation in the European Parliament, opposes new strict rules, advocated by some European countries,...
Ward Anseeuw
University of Pretoria-based Dr Ward Anseeuw, of the French CIRAD Centre for Agricultural Research for Development, has just returned from discussions with counterparts in Central Africa intended to convince governments to ‘become serious’ about land investment and food production. “Selling off the land was easy. We need locally driven agricultural development. It’s dangerous to just blame investors, local governments are also to blame.” New data show that the number and size of land grab deals are... University of Pretoria-based Dr Ward Anseeuw, of the French CIRAD Centre for Agricultural Research for Development, has just returned from discussions...
Uncle Tom
Now if my sister Doris knows anything, it’s violence. So when we both found ourselves in Johannesburg, we went to see the ‘Women and Violence’ exhibit in the local Art Gallery. It was a bit difficult to find the art through the lengthy writing on the walls -by someone who was clearly not in favour of violence against women-, and the big pictures of Amnesty International, a peace NGO and an agricultural project from Sierra Leone. “I didn’t know this was a workshop”, Doris hissed at me. Oh boy. Ever... Now if my sister Doris knows anything, it’s violence. So when we both found ourselves in Johannesburg, we went to see the ‘Women and Violence’ exhibit in...