Kenya: KCSE Exam Leakage Was Countrywide Conspiracy – Report

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Three teachers at two private schools in Mombasa used their mobile phones to send stolen Kenya Certificate of Secondary School examination papers to their students.

The alleged actions of the principal of a boys’ secondary school, his deputy, and the head of a girls’ secondary school, were the highlights of how mobile technology was used in cheating in last year’s exams.

An investigation report by the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) reveals how teachers, police officers tasked with guarding exam strong-rooms, university students and business people conspired to leak the test papers to an unprecedented level in the country.

Six DCI officers, coordinated by a suspended KNEC official, revealed in their investigation report that the conspiracy was countrywide, with teachers as the major culprits.

The report accused the principal of the boys’ school of receiving and sending exam materials using his mobile phone, which he later disposed of to conceal evidence.

The other two school heads faced similar charges but could not be prosecuted as they had also thrown away their mobile phones.

However, other suspects have been taken to court to answer to charges of handling stolen exam materials.

Source : Daily Nation

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Kenya: A Mandera Teacher Made Sh1.5 Million From Selling Leaked Exam

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The main source of leaked national examination papers last year was a teacher in Mandera County, a confidential government report has revealed.

The deputy principal of a school in Wargadud, near El Wak on the Kenya-Ethiopia border, confessed to Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) investigators how he had planned to steal the exam since July last year with the collusion of police officers from the region.

According to the report by KNEC and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation, the teacher also detailed how the exam was distributed to his students, who then forwarded it to their friends in Nairobi via mobile phones.

Also involved in the scheme was a student at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, who distributed it widely on behalf of the teacher, also raking in millions of shillings.

Although the report, dated December 5, 2015, says that the teacher was arrested, he has not been charged to date despite giving a secretly recorded confession to criminal investigations officers.

The student, on the other hand, was arrested on Wednesday last week but has yet to be arraigned.

A source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, told the Nation that the student had been driven to Nyamira, where he is accused of widely distributing photocopies of the leaked exam papers for a fee.

EXAM DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM LOOPHOLES

The findings of the confidential report paint a picture of an exam distribution system that is rife with loopholes. It also questions the wisdom of using police stations as storage centres because this is where the first leakages occur.

The report also exposes the weakness of the KNEC seals system, which the teacher said was “not quite secure as people think.”

In a video recording of the confession, the teacher is seen breaching the seal, taking out exam papers and then resealing the whole package with considerable ease.

The teacher hatched the plot to access the exam papers after realising that his students had not adequately covered the syllabus “due to absence of teachers.” Many teachers had fled the region last year due to terrorist attacks.

The teacher approached a policeman in the area, who linked him up with the officer in charge of the armoury at the police station where exam papers would be stored.

The three hatched a plot where for Sh60,000 a week, one of the police officers would break the seals of exam packages and take photos of question papers using an iPad before resealing the whole package using special glue.

The teacher then approached his KCSE exam candidates, 115 in all, and asked each to pay Sh5,000 for the leaked papers.

The head boy collected the money and handed it over to a teacher at the school, who then handed it over to the deputy principal.

For the entire duration of the examination, the police officer in charge of the armoury passed the material photographed to the teacher in a memory card, earning a total of Sh240,000.

He and his colleague showed the teacher how to break the seals in the second week of the examination, when he informed them that he had been impressed by their expertise and would like to know how they did it.

Other than distributing the exam to his students, the deputy principal sent it to a colleague in Nairobi, who in return sent him a total of Sh200,000, the report shows.

Investigators obtained the bank and M-Pesa statements of the deputy principal. The records show that in the period of the exam, the teacher received payments worth about Sh1.5 million, via his Co-operative Bank and M-Pesa accounts.

“Despite the overwhelming evidence,” reads the report, “it is not possible to effectively prosecute the teacher… since he destroyed all the evidence by burning his mobile phone and iPad.”

It is this last admission that most worries the investigators, who say that absence of hard evidence to convict suspects in court means their investigations do not amount to much.

Source : Daily Nation

Veteran Burned Himself Alive Outside VA Clinic

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Kenneth Lipp

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A retired sailor walked nine miles from his home to the facility where he was being treated and committed a fiery suicide.

NORTHFIELD, New Jersey — The last evidence of the life of Charles Richard Ingram III is a circle of scorched earth next to a Veterans Affairs clinic.

Ingram, a seven-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, arrived at the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic around 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. He had been there before for treatment, but this would be his last visit.

The 51-year-old walked nine miles from his home in Egg Harbor, past an American Legion park and a memorial dedicated to military veterans, before finally stopping a few yards short of the clinic parking lot curb. Once there, he doused himself in gasoline and set himself on fire.

A motorist called 911, according to Capt. Paul Newman of the Northfield Police Department, and firefighters arrived three minutes later. A bystander was already at Ingram’s side, trying to extinguish the fire with blankets. Twenty minutes later, Ingram was airlifted to Temple University Burn Center in Philadelphia, where he died that evening.

“I’ve seen people die before with complications associated with minor burns, but he was 100 percent burned,” Northfield Assistant Fire Chief Lauren William Crooks told The Daily Beast. “Gasoline burns extremely hot, so how he survived the short time that he did was in my opinion a little unbelievable, but people react in unpredictable ways to trauma.”

Self-immolation accounted for 0.04 percent of all suicides in the United States in the past 15 years on record. (By comparison, firearms were used in approximately 50 percent of suicides.) The act is most commonly associated with protest, as in the iconic images of Buddhist monks in Tibet and South Vietnam.

Capt. Newman said he was supposed to have the afternoon off but was called in and arrived before Ingram was evacuated.

“Regardless of where you work, that’s a significant thing, one you hope to never have to see in your career,” he said.

On a recent day, a halo of black char crowned an arc of the oblong plot of black dirt in the otherwise verdant field outside the clinic. An oak tree’s trunk was ashen gray at the base and charcoal black above, the sole witness to Ingram’s suicide. The dirt had been raked and the mound dressed in flowers and flags.

Three floral bouquets were laid at the burnt edge next to a stylized cross; a crystal butterfly atop a thin wrought iron pedestal was flanked by two spotless American flags; a pinwheel with metallic red, white, and blue spokes stood beside another bouquet. Someone had placed a single empty bottle of pale ale in front of one of the flags. Altogether it would have resembled a solemn grave had it not been so strikingly scarred by the recent moment of violence there.

“Rich,” as he was known to family and friends, served in the Navy from 1985 to 1992, attaining the rank of chief petty officer. He left behind a wife, Billie, and two children, ages 3 and 5. The day before he killed himself, a local newspaper photographed the kids playing with other locals at nearby John F. Kennedy Park. Two days prior was his wife’s birthday; his daughter’s fourth birthday was two weeks away.

No one answered the door at the Ingram home in Egg Harbor Township on the Saturday afternoon one week after his death. The house number was short its last digit, which was peeling away from the mailbox, the front yard and porch were bare, and a pickup truck, bright white and freshly washed, was parked on the gravel drive beside the house. The blinds of the front window were unevenly gapped in half a dozen places as if habitually peeked through but never properly opened. (Family members said they were not ready to speak when reached by The Daily Beast via telephone.)

Ingram’s last years in the Navy were aboard the amphibious command ship the USS La Salle, one of five vessels in the Persian Gulf when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. Ingram stayed at sea throughout Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He was chief on deck when the La Salle cruised into Ash Shuaybay, Kuwait, on March 12, 1991, the first American warship to enter the newly liberated port.

After retiring from the service, Ingram married Billie Bessler; the two lived briefly in Pennsylvania before settling in the house she still owns in Egg Harbor.

The clinic in Northfield is a community-based outpatient clinic of the VA Medical Center in Wilmington, Delaware. The VA’s Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) serve patients in rural or remote locations who may not be able to travel to main hubs as a result of physical disabilities or psychiatric illnesses. Since most of the specialists, including psychiatrists, only see patients at the hub medical centers, CBOCs schedule “telehealth” appointments: closed-circuit “office visit” teleconferences. (Telehealth was first pioneered in combat medicine to provide troops in places like Afghanistan access to mental health services.) The approach is not intended to work like “phoning it in,” though: The VA’s guidelines for telehealth prescribe an intensive outpatient regimen of weekly sessions taking about five hours each. If Ingram received psychiatric services at the Northfield clinic, as Capt. Newman said, then it is likely he availed himself of telehealth or was waiting to do so.

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, NJ - March 25, 2016. A memorial forms beside charred earth outside a Veterans Affairs clinic, where a 51 year old man set himself on fire with gasoline last Saturday.  He is currently hospitalized in critical condition.  Credit: Mark Makela for The Daily Beast

Mark Makela for The Daily Beast

A memorial forms beside charred earth outside a Veterans Affairs clinic in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, where 51 year-old Charles Richard Ingram III set himself on fire with gasoline last Saturday.

A memorial service for Ingram is scheduled for April 2 at the United Methodist Church of Mantua. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Operation Smile.

Source : The Daily Beast

We Are Partnering The Private Sector To Ensure A Clean State-OYOMA GM

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Although there are unspecified number of challenges confronting environmental sanitation in Oyo state, ranging fro shortage of manpower to obsolete equipment and vehicles, the General Manager of the Oyo state Waste Management Authority(OYOMA), Engr. Joseph Alabi , in this interview with Federationews2day insists that the authority will surmount its challenges. Excerpts :

How has your authority fared in the past few months ?

It has been very  challenging it has been very interesting, because it is when you have challenges that you have aggregate  planning, to go around the challenges that you have. And thank God as at today, Ibadan is becoming neater and neater everyday. We engaged the services of a service provider, who is going to work with us, in the collection of municipal wastes for three months in the first instance. They will still go into the recycling of waste and then in the production of organic fertilizer, all these we are doing to complement the efforts of the private sector participants in residential, commercial and industrial areas, to ensure that the vision of this administration for a aesthetic beautiful and inviting environment for foreign investors is achieved. That is what we are doing.

Also we are proactive too because the rainy season is coming, so we don’t want to leave anything to chance. We don’t want to have any case of flooding. All efforts to avert flood disaster have been put in place, to ensure that residents live in peace and they can go about their daily lives and businesses.

I Showered With Donald Trump at Military School

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Sandy Mcintosh
Hazing, the passion for torture, and fond memories of Donald, back when.

Lately, people who know I went to military school with Donald Trump have been asking, “Did you ever take a shower with him?” They want to know, of course, if he is as well endowed as he claims.

Although I must have been in the same gang shower with him many times, the truth is I never looked. And as far as I know, nobody else did, either.

In fact, as I’ve confessed elsewhere, I have only positive memories of Donald from my school years. Once at military school, when I really needed it, he helped me out of a difficult jam with a brutish barracks commandant who was his role model and whose influence we see in Trump the bullying presidential candidate.

I met Donald when I was 9 or 10 years old. Our families were members of the same Long Island beach club (no blacks, no Jews). Our fathers knew each other and had business connections.

My father was what you would call an enthusiast, and I was often the victim of his enthusiasm. Hired as a fundraiser by a progressive Waldorf school, in which boys and girls learned to knit, bake bread, and sew, my father signed me up. By seventh grade, he had reevaluated anthroposophy and concluded it was namby-pamby educational twaddle and poisonous for his son. Now working for New York Military Academy, he decided I needed a stern corrective. After a positive recommendation from Fred Trump, who had enrolled Donald there a couple of years earlier, I was sentenced to six years up the river, at Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York.

In the summer before I went to NYMA I spent quite a bit of time at the beach with Donald. He had set up a large tent on the beach in front of his family’s cabana. There, along with one of his sisters and his younger brother, Robert, we played cards and gabbed away the days. He told me a little about the military school. The place he described seemed to me dark, violent, and comfortless. He talked as if he loved it.

That fall, as one of what the cadets called “New Guys,” I entered a closed society where ritualistic hazing was the way that conformity was imposed. Typical was a punishment for misconduct or bad grades imposed on newcomers and “Old Guys” alike requiring them to appear in the gang shower where all the taps were turned on to produce a hot fog of steam. Cadets dressed in full, winterized uniforms would be required to stretch out their arms and balance a rifle across them, often an old World War II M-1 weighing 9½ pounds. Cadets were required to hold their positions without moving the rifles for long periods of time, even as the rifle’s weight seemed to increase excruciatingly as the minutes and seconds ticked by. Anyone dropping his rifle was instantly “disciplined,” often with fists.

In addition to the hazing rituals, NYMA’s older boys also punished younger ones for various violations of the rules. Boys being boys, things sometimes got out of hand. During Donald’s senior year, a cadet captain beat his inferior with a heavy metal chain. The victim ran away and eventually wound up in a local hospital. The school’s commandant, head master, and superintendent were forced to resign.

Boys fled the NYMA campus on a regular basis. Some ran away to escape being brutalized by older cadets, many of whom had been sent to NYMA because they were so unruly they couldn’t stay in their schools back home. (This was the reason for Donald’s exile to the academy in the eighth grade.) Others couldn’t handle the way they were treated by the ex-military men who had joined the NYMA staff after seeing combat in World War II. Among them was a barracks commandant named Major Theodore Dobias, whom, as Donald himself recently recalled, “absolutely would rough you up.”

Dobias was a master of psychological hazing, although I doubt that he knew it. One of his efforts to educate us involved posting signs that featured contradictory words of wisdom. One read: “When the Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He writes not whether you’ve won or lost, but how you played the game.” The sign adjacent to it declared: “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing!”

Today Donald offers the same kind of garbled, contradictory communication, which means he can never be held accountable. A case in point was his recent response to Ben Carson’s claim that he recognized “two Donald Trumps.” The candidate said both, “I think there are two Donald Trumps,” and “I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps.”

In addition to his mottos, Dobie tried to turn us into men by making us fight each other. On two afternoons each week he’d set up a boxing ring. The boys he selected to fight were those who had committed violent infractions of the rules and the passive ones whose academic grades were not high enough. I fit into the latter group because of my failure to learn Latin.

“I’m going to teach you how to put up a fight, McIntosh,” said Dobias. “You’re going to learn to take it and give it out.”

For my first fight he paired me with a boy named Scott. He was older than me but much shorter. It seemed an unfair pairing, giving me the advantage. But I learned later that Scott had taken boxing instruction for several weeks from Dobie himself. Before we began, Dobie warned me: “None of your Judo stuff, understand? This is strictly boxing.”

(One of my father’s enthusiasms had been promoting a company called Judo For Boys, Inc. I had studied this art and had been a part of public demonstrations we’d put on in places including the beach club on Long Island, and also at the military school.)

Scott raised his fists, moved in, and began to punch me rapidly all over. I felt I was being stung by a swarm of bees. And it was mortifying to be beaten by this midget. When I couldn’t take anymore, I moved in, reached around his back to snag his trunks, turned my right hip into his stomach and flipped him over. He landed on the mat cursing at me.

After I put Scott down on the mat some boys sniggered, others seemed to be taken aback. Dobie was furious. “I gave you a direct order not to use Judo. Now I’m going to teach you how to box.” He pulled on his gloves and entered the ring. He threw some punches at my face. These were not smashes; more like smacks meant to humiliate. After a few of these, I backed off.

“Want to try using your Judo on me?” asked Dobie, seeking to further embarrass me. “Go ahead. Let’s see you fight. I’ll put you right on your ass.” I’d had enough and put up my hands.

For the next couple of weeks, Dobie ordered me to his office regularly. He had been speaking with my Latin teacher, asking if I was improving. The answer was no. “You’ll report to boxing this afternoon and keep reporting until you learn. No lying around your room and hiding.” Pointing to one of his signs, he told me to read it aloud: “Luck is always the last refuge of laziness and incompetence.”

“And you know something?” he taunted. “With me you’re out of luck.”

I endured several weeks of lopsided boxing matches until I felt mentally and emotionally numb. At that point, walking from my building to the Main Barracks, I ran into Donald. He smiled and asked how things were going. I told him about Dobias’s persecution. Donald asked offhandedly: “And you want this to stop?” I told him, yes. I wanted it to stop.

“I’ll have a word with him,” said Donald.

I don’t know what Donald said, or if he said anything, but Dobie shelved the boxing matches. Then three things happened:

First, my Latin grades were rising; Dobie left me alone.

Second, I earned a badge of military school manhood. One night after taps, I was lying in bed, furtively smoking a cigarette. From down the hall I heard footsteps and doors opening. This was the approach of the barracks monitor, who opened doors to make sure cadets were asleep and shined his flashlight on our visible hands in order to be sure they were not getting into trouble under the covers. As he approached my door, I flung the cigarette under my bed and pretended to sleep. After a moment in which the swirling light of his flashlight lit up the room, he moved on. When the door closed I leaned over the side of the bed to retrieve my cigarette and smashed my face on the metal rim of my trash can. The next morning, the skin around my right eye was bruised black and blue.

“Hey, look!” bellowed Dobias as we stood at attention before marching to First Mess. “He’s got a shiner! The Judo kid got into a real fight!”

I tried to explain but Dobias wouldn’t listen. Later that morning, as I passed through the Academic Building on the way to class, the Assistant Commandant and the Commandant flashed approving smiles. In this odd way, I seemed to have been lifted from the echelon of rookie losers, to those of the experienced military school fighters, the winners.

The third thing that happened: Dobie called me into his office one afternoon. I assumed that he was going to congratulate me for earning an A in Latin. Instead, what he told me was crushing: “Your father died yesterday. Your family will be here this afternoon to take you home for the funeral.” I felt a sudden anger, as if I wanted to land a punch right in his face. He went on: “Stand tall. I know you’re man enough to take it.”

When I returned from the funeral I found that I’d been transferred to the upper school barracks. I had graduated from Wright Hall and Dobias.

***

In the years after I left the isolated, hierarchical society of NYMA I had to learn to work in settings that were collaborative and not combative, and where achievement isn’t synonymous with dominance. My schoolmates have reported adapting in the same way.

The exception seems to be Donald, who, thanks to enormous family wealth, could get away with setting his own rules. Today, his bullying style strikes a familiar chord with me and his support for torture reminds me of the (lesser) physical and mental abuse that characterized the culture of the academy.

I never learned what Trump had done to get Dobias off my back. But a story published by Michael E. Miller in The Washington Post seems to shed some light on the matter. Miller had sought an explanation for Trump’s apparent demotion because of a “hazing incident.” In this case, Trump was not the perpetrator but was accused of not paying attention to the conduct of his sergeant.

When Miller asked about the demotion, Trump insisted, “I was promoted. The word is ‘promoted’—mark it down.” Apparently feeling that he needed to underline his contention, Trump later called the reporter back. On the line with them was the 89-year-old Theodore Dobias. Asked by Trump if Dobias would tell the reporter officially that the word is “promoted” not “demoted,” Dobias hesitated.

After 20 minutes, he answered: “Donald Trump wasn’t tough enough on the kids, so he got promoted on the staff.”

Whatever happened, we know that Donald was able, 50 years later, to coerce his old mentor to do his bidding. Perhaps that’s how he sounded when demanding Dobias’s clemency for me.

Source : The Daily Beast

 

Colombia: FARC Pact Risks Impunity for ‘False-Positives’

Ongoing Prosecutions Could be Closed, Convicted Perpetrators, Released

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(Washington, DC) – The justice agreement between the Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) could allow members of the armed forces responsible for the systematic execution of civilians to escape justice, Human Rights Watch said today in a new analysis of the agreement.

Between 2002 and 2008, army brigades across Colombia systematically executed as many as 3,000 civilians to make it appear they were killing more rebel fighters in combat in what are known as “false-positive” cases. Under the justice agreement announced with FARC, a newly created Special Jurisdiction for Peace would handle most – if not all – false-positive killings. Provisions in the agreement allow authorities to waive some criminal prosecutions. Other provisions could be interpreted to narrow the scope of commanders’ responsibility for crimes committed by their subordinates. People the Special Jurisdiction convicts could avoid spending any time in prison, and those already convicted by the ordinary justice system could be released.

The agreement is a checkmate against justice.

José Miguel Vivanco

Americas director

“The agreement is a checkmate against justice,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “The web of loopholes and ambiguities in the agreement could guarantee that many of those responsible for false-positive killings, ranging from low-ranking soldiers to generals, will escape justice.”

The government has announced that the Special Jurisdiction for Peace will have “exclusive jurisdiction” to handle crimes committed by the armed forces that were “directly or indirectly related” to the armed conflict. Colombian case-law makes it is likely that many, if not all, of the investigations of false-positive cases carried out by Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office will be transferred to the Special Jurisdiction.

Those responsible for false-positive killings – especially among the lower and middle ranks – could fully escape justice under a provision of the terms announced by the government for state agents that allows a newly created judicial panel to take measures such as suspending sentences or waiving the prosecution of cases involving members of the armed forces who did not have a “major responsibility” for atrocities.

Military commanders, for their part, could benefit from a definition of command responsibility that could be interpreted in a manner inconsistent with international law. Unlike the established definition of command responsibility under international law, the definition in the agreement could require authorities to prove commanders actually knew of human rights crimes by their subordinates, and proving that they had reason to know of, and should have known of those crimes, would not be sufficient.

Members of the armed forces convicted by the Special Jurisdiction face sentences of from two to eight years if they confess their crimes. While the government has yet to fully define the sanctions for state agents, it has announced that these would be very similar to those for FARC members. FARC guerrillas who confess promptly and fully to atrocities will be exempt not only from prison or jail, but also from any “equivalent” form of detention. Instead, they would be required to carry out “restorative and reparative” projects while subject to minimal “restraints on rights and liberties.”

The more than 600 people already convicted for false-positive killings by the ordinary justice system would also benefit from these provisions, potentially allowing dozens to be released.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is closely monitoring false-positive proceedings in Colombia. It could open an investigation if it determines that national authorities are unwilling or unable to genuinely investigate and prosecute cases that would otherwise be within the court’s jurisdiction.

In a report released on March 17, 2016, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights stressed that investigations of false-positive killings should be “initiate[ed], develop[ed], and concluded[ed]” in the “regular criminal jurisdiction,” and noted that “selectivity” provisions that allow authorities to waive the investigation of grave human rights abuses are inconsistent with regional human rights standards.

“The Colombian government has repeatedly stressed that the agreement will safeguard members of the armed forces from new prosecutions, but that is nothing but a hollow promise,” Vivanco said. “If these terms are not fixed, it is very likely that new rulings on false positive cases will be subject to international scrutiny, including by the ICC.”

Source : Human Rights Watch

Fuel Scarcity : Nigerians Are Passing Through Hardships-CAN

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The Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) in the North of Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently address the problem of fuel scarcity, as it had brought in its wake, untold hardship on Nigerians.

This call was made by CAN’s Public Relations Officer, Rev. John Hayab in Kaduna.

Rev. Hayab also said  that the government should reflect on the fact that Jesus Christ died to eliminate the sufferings of mankind and do the needful to eliminate the current hardship being faced by Nigerians.

“What we are saying is that government is meant for the people
and as such government should double its efforts to reducing the pains
inflicted on the average Nigerians by the fuel scarcity in the country.

“The way and manner Nigerians queue, (some even sleep at filing stations)
in the face of this hardship is unacceptable to the leadership Northern
CAN. Northern CAN wants the government to earnestly do something urgent to
avert this ugly situation before it gets out of hands”, he concluded.

 

Zimbabwe: Cabinet Decision Economic Suicide

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INDIGENISATION minister Patrick Zhuwao’s threat yesterday that government will cancel operating licences of companies which have not complied with the country’s controversial empowerment laws after a cabinet resolution on Tuesday is a tragic move which will sound the death knell for the economy. It was tantamount to tolling the bell for economic destruction.

Zhuwao announced cabinet had resolved to enforce the law which provides for the cancellation of operating licences for non-compliant companies across all sectors of the economy.

“On Tuesday 22 March 2016, cabinet unanimously passed a resolution directing that from 1 April 2016, all line ministries proceed to issue orders to licensing authority to cancel licences of non-compliant businesses within their respective sectors of the economy,” he said. “Well, laws must be adhered to. We must never breed lawlessness as a nation. The failure to adhere to the laws of our land must attract immediate consequences that must be severe and dire enough to ensure that the law is respected and adhered to.

“It is re-assuring therefore to law-abiding Zimbabweans, whose aspiration is that they must own their economy through indigenisation and economic empowerment, that cabinet has boldly spoken against such lawlessness that has continued to deprive the indigenous majority ownership of their economy.”

Mugabe’s told the ruling Zanu PF’s party annual conference last December that indigenisation would be enforced even more vigorously.

“There are companies in this country that still refuse to accept our empowerment policy within the mining sector.

But certainly, come January 2016, that stubbornness and resistance should end in 2015,” he said.

Mugabe and his ministers can play to the gallery all they can, but their ill-advised move will only succeed in further damaging an already wrecked economy. Forcing foreign companies to close down will be economic suicide. It will have devastating consequences.

Of late Zimbabwe has been receiving investment delegations streaming in mainly from Europe, United States, Scandinavian states and African countries, but all of them complained about the indigenisation policy. Although there has been a variation of the policy over the years, investors’ fears have not been allayed. The latest volte face can only make things worse.

Only recently the International Monetary Fund advised Harare to comprehensively revise its indigenisation laws to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and get new funding as part of its economic recovery process. All sensible people have been saying we need to improve our investment climate, the ease of doing business and remove a red tap to get investment.

At a time when government must be thinking of seriously of doing this, cabinet, the main policy-making body, decides to drive the final nail in the economy’s coffin by resolving to close companies which refuse to comply with a manifestly daft law.

The net effect of this decision — which endorses racketeering by regulation — will be grave economic destabilisation and sabotage on a huge scale. In fact, it is tantamount to official internal economic subversion or self-imposed sanctions. It’s simply catastrophic.

Soure : Zimbabwe Independent

Keeping Promises : The Nigerian Way

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Investors are reluctant to invest in the country. Multi-national companies which have been in Nigeria for several years are already relocating to neighbouring countries, due to the energy and infrastructural crisis that have rendered businesses prostate.

To further compound the bad situation, multiple taxes have for long, not been an incentive for investors in the states of the Federation. This, has resulted in several companies divesting from the country, for several reasons including insecurity.

Smaller countries like Benin Republic are following the Ghana model to  be investment friendly, while taking advantage of the unabated flight of companies from the shores of Nigeria.

Economic experts at different fora have repeatedly lament the positive outlook of the Nigerian economy in the 1970s, which successive administrations failed to build on.

Asian investors are replacing other investors fleeing the country, with their sharp practices, slave labour and exploitation. For maximum benefits on their investments ,the  Asians subject Nigerians to long hours of work without leave or holidays.

Despite all these, Nigerians take solace in the assurances given by President Muhammadu Buhari, while receiving his certificate of return from the then Chairamn of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Pro. Attahiru Jega.

President Buhari had said in his acceptance speech, titled, ”The Die Is Cast”, ”Our nation wrestles with many challenges including insecurity, corruption and economic decline. I pledge to give you my best in tackling these problems. The good people of Nigeria your obilgation does not end in casting your ballot. I seek your voice and input as we tackle these problems. This will not be a government democratic only in form. It will be a government democratic in substance and in how it interacts with its own people”.

”I ask you to  join me in tackling these and other challenges we face. Along the way, there will be victories but there may also be setbacks. Mistakes wiil be made. But we shall never take you for granted, so be rest assured that our errors will be that of compassion and committment not wilful neglect and indifference”.

Already, electricity tarriffs have been increased by  45 per cent, while electricity supply remain epileptic, in addition the state of infrastructure in the country is not encouraging enough to attract unimpressed investors.

Wll the present administration eventually be democratic in substance ? Nigerians are hopeful.