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Tell our wives we’re in charge, men in Kenya plead PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 06 June 2021 10:58

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tell-wives-in-charge-men-kenya-plead-gw62x9kc6

 

Tell our wives we’re in charge, men in Kenya plead

Tom Collins 04/06/2021

 

Kenyan men have appealed to the government to help them reassert their role as traditional heads of the household.

Men from Kiriari, a village in Embu county, have formed a self-help group to tell the authorities that their wives and children are mistreating them. They claim they are being physically abused, and also complain that their wives do not follow orders and refuse on “flimsy grounds” to have sex with them.

 

The group laments that men are no longer at the top of the pecking order. The government has spent too much time empowering women, they say, and men are left on the sidelines.

 

“We urge the government to empower men and consider balanced treatment of both men and women in the county,” Samuel Muturi, the group’s chairman, said.

 

Group members say that attempts to seek help from the authorities have failed. “Whenever you try fighting back, the police act very harshly,” Joseph Wega, a group member, said.

 

The University of Nairobi has found that domestic violence against men has risen in Kenya. An estimated 3.8 women and 1.3 men in every 1,000 are victims of partner violence each year. Violence against men was found to rise when women took over household financial responsibilities. The study also concluded that the ready availability of illicit alcohol had led to an increase in abuse of men.

 
Smuggler linked to President Mnangagwa had 23 gold bars in a case PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 16 May 2021 12:38

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/smuggler-linked-to-president-mnangagwa-had-23-gold-bars-in-a-case-kzn6qxmtd

Smuggler linked to President Mnangagwa had 23 gold bars in a case

Jane Flanagan – 11 May 2021

 

Twenty three gold bars worth £555,000 were discovered in the suitcase of a man who arrived in South Africa without papers on a flight from Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.

 

Tashinga Nyasha Masimire, 33, appeared in court in Johannesburg and was bailed for £6,000 after scanners picked up his haul of gold.

 

Media reports in Zimbabwe identified Masimire as an aide to Henrietta Rushwaya, a relative of President Mnangagwa and head of the Zimbabwe miners’ federation who was herself arrested last October for allegedly smuggling gold.

 

Rushwaya was discovered with gold bars weighing 6kg in her handbag as she checked in for a flight from Harare to Dubai.

 

Masimire will have to report to police in Johannesburg three times a week. He was not asked to enter a plea.

 

The discovery raises questions about security at Harare’s Robert Gabriel Mugabe international airport. According to court documents in the Rushwaya case, airport CCTV cameras were switched off while her 6kg in gold went through scanners. A colleague who was arrested with her claimed that she was acting as a mule on behalf of Auxillia Mnangagwa, the first lady and her son, Collins Mnangagwa.

 

The scandal exposed an alleged elite trafficking cartel that is estimated to cost the state millions of pounds every month. Rushwaya was released on bail but no date has been set for her trial.

 

According to Zimbabwe’s News Hawks website, Rushwaya confirmed that the arrested man, Masimire, was a former driver. The intended destination of the gold bars was not made public but a picture of Masimire from his Facebook page showed him wearing a red keffiyeh, typically worn in the Gulf.

 

A report from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace identified Dubai as a boom country for gold smugglers, where lax policing and deregulation are exploited by corrupt regimes such as Zimbabwe.

 

Mthuli Ncube, Zimbabwe’s finance minister, has estimated that $100 million of gold leaves its borders illegally each month, often to Dubai, robbing the state of much-needed foreign currency.

 
Mugabe’s violent youth militia could be ready to march again PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 25 April 2021 12:24

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mugabes-violent-youth-militia-could-be-ready-to-march-again-ttjznjqdj

Mugabe’s violent youth militia could be ready to march again

Jane Flanagan 19/04.2021

 

A national youth service programme that spawned a violent militia that carried out some of the worst excesses of Robert Mugabe’s rule in Zimbabwe is to be revived.

 

Kirsty Coventry, 37, the minister of youth and the only white person in the government, proposed its resurrection to instil patriotism and loyalty among people aged 18 to 35, according to a cabinet briefing note. It has provoked fears that the unit is being readied before a bloody general election in 2023 and has led to fresh criticism of Coventry, a retired Olympic swimmer. Last year she was criticised for taking a lease on a prized farm that was seized during Mugabe’s catastrophic land grab.

 

Zimbabwe’s national youth service, established in 2001, was repurposed as a private militia for the ruling Zanu-PF party and became known as the “Green Bombers” after its military fatigues. It became synonymous with the vicious targeting of Mugabe’s critics and was linked to “rape camps” where abducted girls were held while the authorities turned a blind eye.

 

The deployment of youths to opposition strongholds became a key strategy for Zanu-PF retaining power in elections in the early 2000s. Henry Chimbiri, 59, recalled having his leg and knee cap broken by ten Green Bombers in 2005 when he was campaigning for election on behalf of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. “They were demonic and brainwashed into doing the dirty work for the regime,” he said.

 

One survivor tweeted: “End of December 2001, these militants beat me to a pulp, left me for dead for not possessing a Zanu-PF card.”

 

The youth wing was disbanded in 2009 when Mugabe was under pressure to set up a government of national unity. Many of its members have joined the army, police and prison service.

 

Coventry joined President Mnangagwa’s government after the ousting of Mugabe in 2017. Her failure to condemn or distance herself from atrocities committed by state security forces has cast a shadow over her extraordinary achievements.

 

Fadzayi Mahere, a spokeswoman for the Movement for Democratic Change, said: “It is sad that an accomplished Olympian and a one-time beacon of youth excellence is advancing the establishment of a militia whose operations before have caused so much terror.”

 
Tortured Zimbabwean opposition MP Joanah Mamombe sent back to jail PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 17 April 2021 10:31

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tortured-zimbabwe-opposition-mp-joanah-mamombe-sent-back-to-jail-9c7m2wnlj

 

Tortured Zimbabwean opposition MP Joanah Mamombe sent back to jail

 

Jane Flanagan 14/04/2021

 

A female opposition MP in Zimbabwe was returned to jail following her 129th appearance in court in a 12-month campaign of persecution that began with her kidnap and torture by state thugs.

 

The targeting of Joanah Mamombe, 27, who is serving her seventh prison stretch in the space of a year, is seen as typical of the regime of President Mnangagwa which is now more feared than the era of Robert Mugabe it replaced. In a letter to her mother smuggled out of her cell, Mamombe said that she was “even ready to die for this struggle” against the state’s harsh and unrelenting attack on dissent.

 

Mamombe, the MP for Harare West, has spent the past 40 days in custody with Cecilia Chimbiri, an activist from her party, the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance. The pair were arrested for allegedly breaching coronavirus regulations when they spoke in public about another colleague’s detention. Kudzayi Chiwanza, the MP’s mother, said that the torment was taking its toll.

 

“I am not OK, I am in terrible shape. You can’t sleep or be fine when your child is being tortured like this,” she told The Times from Harare magistrates’ court following yesterday’s latest failed bail application.

 

It was her daughter’s winning of a plum constituency in the capital in 2018 that put her in the sights of the government, Chiwanza, 49, a university lecturer, said.

 

“Her victory humiliated the government and they’ve punished her ever since,” she said.

 

The campaign to get elected was violent, Chiwanza added, but “I thought once she was a parliamentarian, they would accept it. But it has just got worse.”

 

Last May Mamombe, Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, a third MDC colleague, were found dumped, partially clothed and “with horrendous tales of torture and abuse” on the edge of the city two days after they were arrested for protesting over food shortages.

 

The three women were accused of inventing their story of sexual abuse and gross humiliations, including being forced to eat human excreta. They were later dragged from their hospital beds to appear before a makeshift court accused of organising an illegal demonstration. Rights groups said that the treatment of the women typified an intolerance of critics by Mnangagwa, 78, who came to power after a military coup in 2017.

 

Dewa Mavhinga, the southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said that the targeting of Mamombe was “a classic example of how this government has gone rogue and now uses state security institutions to harass, abuse and intimidate activists in order to silence legitimate activism and stifle freedoms in the country”.

 

In addition to the arrest and jailing of opposition MPs, dozens more parliamentarians have been expelled from parliament. The headquarters of the Movement for Democratic Change has been seized and by-elections have been postponed indefinitely.

 

Last week, police beat journalists with batons and broke up an opposition party’s press conference after another activist, Makomborero Haruzivishe, 29, was jailed on conviction of inciting violence and resisting arrest. Witnesses said that Haruzivishe’s crime had been to blow a whistle to support a group of street vendors in Harare who were being rounded up and arrested by police.

 
Don’t give us S2bn loan, Kenyans tell IMF PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 11 April 2021 11:56

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dont-give-us-2bn-loan-kenyans-tell-imf-svbqf3d6l

Don’t give us S2bn loan, Kenyans tell IMF

Jane Flanagan 10/04/2021

 

A $2.34 billion bailout for Kenya from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has provoked anger among its citizens rather than relief.

 

Since the three-year package was disclosed, the IMF’s social media sites have been peppered with complaints under the hashtag #StopGivingKenyaLoans. A petition demanding that the loan be cancelled has gathered a quarter of a million signatures in a few days.

 

The east African state is already struggling to pay off debts that are expected to peak next year at 73 per cent of GDP. President Kenyatta has admitted that every day $18 million is lost from state coffers to corruption.

 

The arrest of one of the ringleaders of the campaign against the further loan suggested that it was causing embarrassment. Edwin Mutemi Kiama appeared in court on cybercrime charges. He had published a poster featuring Kenyatta’s image and a warning that the president should not be allowed to agree deals on behalf of the country since “future generations shall not be held liable for penalties or bad loans”.

 

Joseph Irungu Gitonga, the state prosecutor, demanded that Kiama be held in custody for a fortnight. “The presidency is a symbol of unity and any attack on him — on the institution — is contemptuous,” he said.

 

The government wanted the funds to cover a coronavirus vaccine rollout and ease the effects of its lockdown.

 

“Previous loans to the Kenyan government have not been prudently utilised and have often resulted in mega-corruption scandals,” the online petition said. It also urged the IMF to do “the right thing: withhold the funds until the next, hopefully more accountable, government is elected next year”.

 

In a post on the IMF Facebook page, Mwihaki Mwangi said that the loan would do more harm than good. “Stop lending money to the Kenyan government,” he wrote. “It ends up in a few corrupt pockets. No change in living standards to the common citizens. We are becoming poorer and poorer. Heavy taxes levied on our meagre salaries. Reverse the loans.”

The government has made no comment on the campaign but confirmed an application for a $750 million loan from the World Bank, which it hopes to receive this month.

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