Stories from Quick Reads and Zambia
Gershom Ndhlovu looks at the reasons why ailing African leaders wont step down:
There have been rumours, innuendoes and even insinuations regarding the health, or the lack of it, of Zambia’s President Michael Chilufya Sata, in office since September 2011. These have been spread by the largely unregulated online media that the Patriotic Front (PF) government is intent on controlling or even shutting down altogether.
The government has not particularly responded to these rumours apart from issuing one-liner statements refuting the stories about the health status of the 76 year-old head of state and veteran politician.
However, when Sata appeared at a May 1 Labour Day parade to receive a traditional salute from workers in the land, the appearance was very brief and only accompanied by a one minute address before getting into his motorcade for a three kilometre drive back to the presidential palace, a lot of people were convinced the President was not well.
“Is Crimea referendum a good model for Africa?” asks Richard Dowden:
Africa’s arbitrary borders, mostly drawn by people who had never set foot in the continent, have always been an obvious target for renegotiation. But Africa’s first rulers, who foresaw chaos and disintegration if the nation states were reconfigured, ruled it out. “Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each State” was one of the founding principles of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the forerunner of the African Union. Despite all the wars, internal and external, this principle has been pretty much adhered to by both presidents and people.
Loyalty to an African state is not always related to the ability of that state to make the lives of its people better. Patriotism, an emotional thing, does not take these benefits into account, even in countries where the majority of citizens are marginalised or oppressed by the government. Even in the catastrophic recent meltdown of South Sudan after just two years of independence, no one is advocating return to rule from Khartoum. In the dying days of Mobutu’s Zaire (now the DRC) I was astonished to find that people felt it to be a great country. I asked why Katanga, the rich south east province, didn’t secede – as it had in 1960. My suggestion was greeted with shocked surprise.
Mr. Ndhlovu explains the purpose of his book in the last pages. He states that he was motivated to write this book because pastors and politicians who had been abusing the Christian faith to advance their personal agendas had disillusioned him.
Munshya wa Munshya reviews Gershom Ndhlovu's new book titled The Declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation: Blessing or Curse?.
Our Africa is a project which lets children across Africa film education and jobs in their countries the way they see them.
Gamelmag would like to know how many African women are online: “Firstly, we need to be able to place a figure on the actual number of active female Internet users. Next, we should figure out the factors that inhibit women's use of the web and finally put in measures to reverse this trend.”
Gershom Ndhlovu explains why it is a tough job being an opposition leader in Zambia:
It is really a tough job to be an opposition leader in Zambia. You have to daily face the police, risk being teargased or even locked for doing the job that you must do — meeting potential voters even when elections are five years away or performing the most important function, that of providing checks and balances. Opposition Members of Parliament are equally poached at will by the head of state.
If there is a cliché that applies in this situation is that of “history repeats itself.” The process of harassment, for that is what it is, tends to bake the leaders for when they take over government and apply the same methods to those who fall in the unfortunate role of being opposition leaders especially if they are popular.
In commemorating Zambia's capital city’s centenary this year, Gershom discusses the origins of Lusaka township names:
Obviously, a number of other writers have written about some of the names of some of the townships and residential areas such as John Laing, John Howard, Kuku and others having been farms belonging to those people and Kuku having been a cooks’ quarters. I will not talk about these names.
Do you know who Zambia's gossip girl is? Read Neelika's post on Africa is a Country blog:
We’ve grown to love serious reportage coupled with compromising photographs and cheeky headlines, such as “Kambwili grabs Roan golf club, turns it into grazing field for his cows,” replete with a stock image of the enormously pot-bellied Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili, and a story supplied by ‘concerned citizens’ detailing how he appropriated the Luanshya-based Roan Antelope club to feed his crew of cows and goats.