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Sunday, September 8th, 2019

 

South African attackers have failed Mandela

By HASSAN MALIK MOHAMED
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That the country that gave the world Nelson Mandela is once again in the throes of a spectre of episodic xenophobia is outrageously disturbing.

Nothing can justify the perpetration of violence against “foreigners”, who, especially fellow black Africans, live and work in South Africa mainly as peaceful and law-abiding economic migrants.

Much as xenophobia has become synonymous with contemporary South Africa, the roots of this wild rage are old.

First, the country is still grappling with the wounds of the Apartheid regime, which mainly brutalised and discriminated against black South Africans and placed them in impoverished areas where many still live in squalor and unemployment.

Another important but less acknowledged reason for the problem: Just as Prof Ali Mazrui observed, Mandela was “less pan-African than the pan-Africanism he caused in others”.

HUMAN FAMILY

Mandela’s Rainbow Nation seems to have a similar quality of having not embraced Africa the same way the continent has embraced it.

Little wonder the xenophobes brutalise and mistreat their fellow black Africans like unwelcome strangers.

But even beyond South Africa, there is this dangerously growing but misplaced hatred for economic migrants coupled with economic introversion and islamophobia that are spearheaded by populist politicians in first-world countries — like United States President Donald Trump and Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban.

That reveals the selfishness of the materialistic capitalist economic system, where individuals and states try to achieve happiness and success at the expense and, sometimes, detriment of others.

The global scale of human hatred calls for a countervailing narrative and policies that would establish love and a sense of “human family”.

In a brief but powerful lecture at an interfaith forum in the US state of Michigan, Prof Mazrui shared a popular verse from the Koran.

He used it to build a positive theory: Perhaps, America was specially chosen by God to be a laboratory for fashioning a global human family, as its demography is more representative of the human race than any other nation; although it has not succeeded in establishing tolerance for cultural diversity.

In her poem, “Human family”, Maya Angelou also beautifully observed that: “In minor ways we differ, in major we’re the same. I note the obvious differences between each sort and type, but we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”

As American leader Bayard Rustin said, “If we desire a society in which men are brothers, then we must act towards one another with brotherhood. If we can build such a society, then we would have achieved the ultimate goal of human freedom.”

South Africa owes Mandela, Africa and the world a duty to make peace with itself in ways that are more genuine and practical than rhetorical.


Return hockey to Olympics

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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As Team Kenya headed to 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco, the national men’s and women’s hockey teams were in Stellenbosch, South Africa, for an African qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games.

The latter flopped in the August 11-18 event, which doubled as the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

In Kenya’s worst international tournament showing, the men came fifth in the six-team round-robin contest, winning a single match and losing the rest.

South Africa won all their matches and qualified to represent Africa at the Olympics for the fifth time.

During the 2016 Olympic qualifiers won by South Africa, Kenya finished third. The team posted similar results in the 2008 qualifiers but slumped to fourth place in the 2012 trials.

Kenyan men last competed in the Olympics three decades ago when a golden generation of players took part in the 1988 Games.

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The women fared no better. The team finished fourth in a five-team qualifier that saw South Africa qualify to represent Africa at the Games for the fifth consecutive time.

The selection for both teams was marred by a boycott by senior players owing to what they termed “lack of seriousness from KHU management, dictatorship and unpaid allowances”.

There were claims that coaches had little say in the team’s composition with reports that Kenya did not send its best players to South Africa.

The least Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) chairman Nahashon Randiek and his team should do is overhaul the team, make key changes at the KHU secretariat and clubs and replace the worn artificial turf at City Park Stadium, Nairobi.

The leagues are poorly run with teams complaining about officiating.

Urgent reforms and restructuring of local leagues will attract sponsors, making the sport more competitive and beneficial to stakeholders.


It’s time to accord higher education new direction

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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In June, Cabinet Secretary George Magoha directed higher education players to put together proposals to rationalise universities and specifically deal with funding models and academic programmes.

The matter has since generated heated debate with university administrators stridently opposing the proposal for mergers and shutdowns. The regulator, the Commission for University Education, is yet to give its proposals.

This month, the universities will be admitting freshers mainly through government sponsorship, itself a positive spin-off from the crackdown on exam cheating at high school since numbers have gone down.

Just about 90,000 candidates qualified in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination and, subsequently, all placed at the public universities.

The critical debate in university education is viability and sustainability.

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Exponential expansion of universities in the past two decades served to increase access to higher education, giving opportunity to many deserving people to acquire new qualifications.

Significantly, universities could raise new revenues that helped in infrastructure upgrade as government remissions declined.

But the whole experiment went overboard. Commercial interest and political influence came into play and created a crisis.

Too many universities and colleges were established which, rather than transit into new horizons, ended up offering repetitive courses and hardly expanded frontiers of knowledge.

The downside to it was that universities competed for the few available lecturers. Two, they produced excess graduates, especially in humanities, amid diminished job opportunities, catalysing an unemployment crisis.

With the benefit of hindsight, university growth must now be planned and organised.

Creation of new universities or degree programmes ought to be driven by demands.

Duplicated courses and programmes have to go, especially as universities are struggling to offer them but without creating value.

Political meddling that turned some universities into ethnic enclaves also has to end.

Vice chancellors and the lecturers’ union are opposed to mergers or shutdowns, principally because of self-interest, mainly loss of jobs and perks.

Inevitably, the current model of uncontrolled expansion, declining quality and ballooning costs is unsustainable.

However, what is required is a comprehensive review of university education in its entirety and charting out a new path.

Funding, academic programmes and management, among others, should be critically reviewed and tough decisions made.

For instance, the proposal to revise the funding formula to adopt a unit cost instead of uniform fee structure should be debated.

Prof Magoha has to push for the conclusion of the consultations and give new direction on university education.


Hurricane Dorian: PAHO issues $3.5 million donor appeal for humanitarian health response

Nassau, Bahamas, Sept. 8, 2019 (PAHO)—The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is requesting an initial US $3.5 million from donors to cover short-term health care and other needs for the population in the Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian.  

The devastating category 5 storm made landfall exactly one week ago in northwest Bahamas, and severely affected the health sector, with significant destruction of equipment and medical supplies and electrical and water supplies in Abaco and Grand Bahama. Some 73,000 persons were affected by the storm, and there are hundreds of people in shelters in the disaster zone. While 43 deaths have been officially reported thus far, mass casualty numbers are expected to rise significantly as more areas become accessible and search and rescue operations continue.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte, PAHO’s Director of Health Emergencies, said, “Our priority concerns are to restore access to essential health services and continued medical care delivery, to ensure water quality in affected communities and health facilities, and to restore proper hygiene and sanitation.” He said adequate waste management and control of disease-causing vectors such as mosquitoes is key, along with increasing epidemiological surveillance to support early detection and timely management of disease outbreaks.  

The $3.5 million being requested by PAHO is a preliminary estimate to cover short- term healthcare, water and sanitation, epidemiological surveillance and vector-control needs in the Bahamian Islands most affected by Hurricane Dorian for the next six months, Dr. Ugarte said, adding that needs will likely increase as damage assessments are completed.

PAHO/WHO activated its emergency teams for surge capacity and had pre-deployed Rapid Response Team experts to the Bahamas before Hurricane Dorian struck to support health authorities and humanitarian response as needs were identified. So far, 14 PAHO experts are in the disaster zone to provide surge capacity in logistics, civil and military coordination, information management, epidemiological surveillance, communications, and coordination.

Dr. Ugarte said PAHO is acting quickly to support the Bahamas Ministry of Health in the response, setting up an Incident Management system and co-leading the health cluster with the national health authorities to coordinate health and humanitarian support to the affected population.

The funding requests includes $1.3 million to restore healthcare delivery in affected areas, $500,000 for surveillance to detect and manage disease outbreaks, $800,000 for safe access to water, emergency sanitation and control of disease vectors, and well as $671,000 to coordinate humanitarian assistance and manage information to address the most urgent humanitarian needs.

Links  

PAHO Emergencies   

Pictures of the affected areas and coordination and response efforts

For more information 

In Washington

Daniel Epstein
Media and Public Affairs
T: +1 202 974-3579
E: epsteind@paho.org  

In Bahamas

Tanya McFall
(242) 326-7299
mcfalltan@paho.org Sebastian

Oliel Public Affairs
T: +1 202 974 3459 / C: +1 (202) 316 5679
E: oliels@paho.org  


Marsabit leaders protest over closure of border routes

JACOB WALTERBy JACOB WALTER
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A section of Marsabit County Assembly ward reps has opposed the government’s move to close undesignated border point routes along the Moyale-Ethiopia border.

The MCAs said the move has made business people to incur heavy losses. Two weeks ago, the government announced that it would close all routes in the Sessi and Biashara areas in Moyale.

REVOKE DECREE

They said small businesspeople who engage in inter-border trade have lost their means of livelihood.

While addressing a press conference in Marsabit Town on Saturday, the MCAs leaders led by Marsabit County Assembly Deputy Speaker Sora Huka and Heillu-Manyatta MCA John Dawe Killo, they vowed to petition State to revoke the decree.

“We condemn the decree issued by the government to close feeder roads in Sessi and Biashara Street areas which have for a long time eased access into Ethiopia. The directive has resulted into massive loss of millions of shillings and means of livelihood of the small-scale traders,” said Mr Dawe.

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They added that those who live in the areas are intimidated by the presence of security forces.  

Moyale Township MCA Chana Kiya and his nominated counterpart Hussein Waqo, said that the closure of the border was unconstitutional and oppressive.

ILLEGAL ROUTES

They, however did not oppose the directive to use Moyale-Addis Ababa Highway only.

Marsabit County Police Commander Steve Oloo clarified that only illegal routes along the Moyale-Ethiopia border had been closed to curb rampant entry of contraband goods into the country.

Mr Oloo said the directive was also meant to check proliferation of drugs and illegal firearms as well the influx of foreigners which have threatened security within the county.

“I appeal to local leaders to use the right channels in addressing their grievances. It is only illegal routes that have been closed to ensure traders neither evade taxes nor bring contraband goods into the country,” Mr Oloo said.

He added that the closed routes have for a long time been used by businesspeople to evade paying taxes.


Morocco floods kill 11 in bus accident: local officials

AFPBy AFP
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Rabat,
At least 11 people were killed Sunday in Morocco after their bus was overturned by a flood in the kingdom’s southeast, authorities said.

Rescue crews evacuated 27 passengers from the bus, including several injured, after it flipped over on a bridge by “flood waters” in El Khank, local officials said in a statement.

Search operations were ongoing, they said, adding that the evacuees had been transferred to hospital in the city of Errachidia.

Morocco has been hit by violent storms this summer.

At the end of August, a flood hit a football pitch killing eight people in the southern region of Taroudant.

And in July, 15 people were killed in a landslide caused by flash floods on a road south of Marrakesh.

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Floods are common in the North African country. In 2014, they killed around 50 people and caused considerable damage.

A study published in 2015 pointed to multiple failures in infrastructure maintenance, prevention, warning and emergency management.


Deuil dans l'Armée béninoise: Trois militaires tués dans un accident de la circulation

Trois morts et six blessés graves, tous des militaires. C’est le triste bilan d’un accident survenu dans l’après-midi de ce dimanche 8 septembre dans le village de Gobé, à 7 Km de la ville de Savè. Ce camion en provenance de Parakou transportait des éléments du 2e Bataillon interarmes de cette ville. Selon des témoins, le camion aurait eu un problème pneumatique qui l’aurait fait projeter dans le ravin, causant ainsi des morts au sein de la troupe transportée. Ces éléments du 2e Bataillon interarmes de Parakou se rendaient en mission à l’Ecole nationale des officiers de Toffo.

Les blessés ont été référés dans un centre hospitalier où ils sont pris en charge pour des soins d’urgence.


Ex-MD, six others arrested over Sh2.5bn LBDA mall scandal

JOEL ODIDIBy JOEL ODIDI
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The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission on Sunday arrested more suspects in connection to the Sh2.5 billion Lake Basin Development Authority Kisumu Mall scandal.

In a statement, EACC stated it had arrested former LBDA Managing Director Peter Aguko Abok and former board members Michael Obora, Dennis Sebastian Mulaa and John Nyera Mango.

Also arrested were Internal Auditor Albert Ojango Omondi, Production Technologist (Evaluation Committee) Nelson Ouma Onyango and former Supplies Officer (Evaluation and Tender Committee Teresa Achieng Ochaka.

The EACC said that the suspects will be arraigned in Nairobi on Monday.

The anti-graft agency however, directed former LBDA board member Mr John Nyera Mango, who is paralysed and needs special attention, to present himself at Integrity Centre on Monday at 7.30am after being committed through bond and bail.

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Former LBDA chairman and Kisumu County Assembly Speaker Onyango Oloo was arrested in Mombasa on Saturday.

Mr Oloo, who was being sought by EACC, was put in police custody after presenting himself to Central Police Station at around 2pm Saturday.

Mr Oloo surrendered to the police in Mombasa in the company of several members of the Kisumu County Assembly.

The former LBDA chiefs have been accused of pocketing cash and receiving other benefits from a construction company in a scandal that saw the cost of building the LBDA Mall in Kisumu inflated by Sh2.5 billion.

Following the completion of investigations into the scandal, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji on Friday ordered the immediate arrest of LBDA managers, contractors and consultants in the project.

Already, Bobasi MP Innocent Obiri and Erdemann Property Ltd managing director John Zeyung Yang were arrested on Friday in connection with the scandal that has been under investigations for four years. Mr Obiri was the MD of Quantech Consultancy as the mall was being built.


Mukuru slum-based Lengo Clinic opens maternity wing

SAMMY KIMATU By SAMMY KIMATU
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Expectant mothers in Nairobi’s Mukuru slums and its environs have a reason to smile after Lengo Medical Clinic started offering maternity services.

The facility, which recently opened a maternity wing, delivers an average of 50 babies every month. The clinic started five years back as an outpatient facility.  

The clinic, which is s situated in Land Mawe Ward, South B, Nairobi, serves residents in Mukuru slums in Embakasi, Starehe and Makadara sub counties.

Earlier, women from these regions had to travel to Mbagathi, Kenyatta National Hospital and Pumwani Maternity Hospital for deliveries.

Lengo Medical Clinic CEO Dr Kennedy Kipchumba told Nation that the facility receives patients from Mukuru-Kaiyaba, Mukuru-Hazina, Mukuru-Fuata Nyayo, MukuruTetra Pak, Mukuru-Lunga Lunga, Mukuru-Sinai, Mukuru Kwa Njenga and Mukuru-Kwa Reuben slums.

“This is a registered clinic with qualified staff, we are currently working on getting an ambulance,” Dr Kipchumba said.

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He added that security in the slum got a boost after area MCA Herman Azangu Kaimosi installed flood lights.

“Patients were mugged at night on their way to the clinic. Currently, police have intensified patrols,” Dr Kipchumba said.

Mr Geoffrey Marusoi, a nurse at the clinic said the number of expectant mothers visiting the facility for prenatal and antenatal services has kept on increasing since the clinic became fully operational.  

The clinic’s laboratory technician Irene Apiyo said toxic emissions from industries around the slums have led to an increase in cases of respiratory diseases. The clinic receives 500 patients per month.


One killed, five wounded in new Johannesburg violence

AFPBy AFP
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Johannesburg,

At least one person was killed and five others injured in Johannesburg on Sunday, police said, after security forces clashed with looters in the latest outbreak of xenophobic violence.

South Africa’s biggest city and other areas were hit by a surge of attacks against businesses owned by migrants in the last week, leaving at least 10 people dead and prompting protests from several African countries.
Riot police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets on Sunday to break up crowds targeting shops in the city’s Central Business District (CBD), police said.

“We can confirm one person was reported dead,” police spokesperson Xlolani Fihla told AFP. “We can’t confirm the cause of death.”

Five more people were reported injured, Captain Kay Makhubele, a national police force official, told eNCA news.

Police later said on Twitter the CBD, Jeppestown and Hillbrow neighbourhoods were under control.

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South Africa is a major destination for economic migrants from neighbouring Lesotho, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. But others come from South Asia and Nigeria looking for work in the continent’s second largest economy.

The recent violence soured ties between South Africa and Nigeria, which summoned Pretoria’s envoy and boycotted an economic summit in Cape Town in protest.

Officials said several Nigerian businesses were attacked and burned down, though they said no Nigerians were killed.

Foreign workers often face anti-immigrant violence in South Africa, where they compete against locals for jobs, particularly in low-skilled industries.

In 2008, xenophobic attacks left 62 people dead, while in 2015, seven were killed in attacks in Johannesburg and Durban.