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Africa: Why did the dictator fail to act? Robert Mugabe ignored the alarm bells from the Zimbabwean military and the Zimbabwean people. November 18, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Uncategorized.
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A military intervention this week signaled the end of Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule of Zimbabwe. Geoffrey York reports from the streets of Harare on why it happened and whether the change will usher in a new era of hope

Nov. 17: In his first public appearance after being placed in military custody, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe arrives to preside over a student graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University on the outskirts of Harare. While still nominally Zimbabwe’s leader, Mr. Mugabe has seen a swift fall from grace this week after 37 years in power.

Nov. 17: In his first public appearance after being placed in military custody, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe arrives to preside over a student graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe Open University on the outskirts of Harare.

BEN CURTIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS


In the end, it was the human weaknesses that proved the undoing of the world’s oldest dictator. Arrogance, pride, stubbornness and obsessive family loyalty – a mundane collection of ordinary frailties, but they were enough to bring down a ruler who had dominated Zimbabwe for 37 years.

The signs of a looming military coup must have been obvious to Robert Mugabe. His top generals were against his plan to give a senior government post to his unpopular wife, Grace. The once-petty feud between her and the commanders was growing increasingly bitter, and she was insulting and mocking the military men and their political allies.

Mr. Mugabe controlled a vast security apparatus, including a secret police agency that would have certainly told him of the warning signs from the army.

 Yet he didn’t even need an intelligence report. By early this week, the likelihood of a military intervention was a secret to nobody. Senior military officers called a press conference, issued a public threat to the Mugabe regime, and announced that they might need to step in. The ruling party responded with nothing more than a haughty verbal reprimand.

Two days later, the army commanders launched their takeover. But even when the armoured vehicles were rolling into Harare, the President did nothing.

Why did the dictator fail to act? At the age of 93, while his health was declining and he needed help to walk to a podium, he was still alert and lucid. But he ignored the alarm bells from the Zimbabwean military and the Zimbabwean people. He was convinced of his popularity, believing in the results of rigged elections, without realizing that his authority was hollow and crumbling.

Zimbabweans who have watched him for decades have little doubt that it was Mr. Mugabe’s own imperious egotism that led to his downfall. He saw the danger signs, yet his supreme confidence led him to assume that he could swat away the threats with yet another sacking or another arrest.

“Big people tend to over-reach, and he over-reached himself,” says Earnest Mudzengi, a political analyst in Harare.

“His system had collapsed around him. Surely he should have known. It’s a sad end for him. He led a guerrilla warfare in the 1970s, the people looked up to him – and now they’re chasing him away.”

Tendai Biti, a former finance minister who worked with Mr. Mugabe in government from 2009 to 2013, says the autocrat was destroyed by his own pride. “Hubristic arrogance,” he told The Globe and Mail. “He was in power so long. He became so comfortable, complacent and over-confident. He’s stubborn, and he forgot the nature of the state around him. This is a military state, a state of securocrats. He forgot that he was just a representative of a securocratic state, and it will always dump you if you don’t serve it. So they fired him.”


Related:-

The New York Times: ‘Mugabe Must Go’: Thousands in Zimbabwe Rally Against Leader

Protesters in Harare, Zimbabwe, on Saturday demanding that President Robert Mugabe step down after a military intervention. CreditJekesai Njikizana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans gathered in the capital on Saturday, hooting, whistling and hugging soldiers as they called for President Robert Mugabe to give up power, days after a military takeover placed him under house arrest.

In scenes perhaps unthinkable only months ago, people marched side by side with members of the military — who rode armed tanks — and the protesters hailed the Army as setting them free from Mr. Mugabe’s 37-year autocratic rule.

“Mugabe must go, and his goons must leave. We have been victimized by Mugabe for too long,” said Nigel Mukwena, a 24-year-old student of political science at the University of Zimbabwe.

Others took selfies of the military at the rally, which converged on Zimbabwe Grounds, known as the site of addresses by Mr. Mugabe and other icons of the nation’s liberation. The scenes, and the celebratory air, were a seminal shift for the country’s 93-year-old leader — Africa’s oldest.

Brezhnev Malaba, assistant editor of The Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, tweeted in the early hours of the march: “There are decades in which nothing happens; and then, suddenly, there are days in which whole decades happen. Zimbabwe is at that moment. Astonishing scenes here in Harare.”

For some Africans, Mr. Mugabe remains a nationalist hero, a symbol of the struggle to throw off the legacy colonial rule. But he was also reviled as a dictator known to resort to violence to retain power and to run a once-robust economy into the ground.

The military placed Mr. Mugabe under house arrest on Wednesday, effectively ending his long rule, but it allowed him to appear in public on Friday for a university graduation ceremony. The military sought to cast the action as an attempt to rid the president of the “criminals” in his government who have inflicted economic damage on the country.

Photo

Some people took selfies with members of the military on Saturday. Military leaders have insisted that their takeover was not a coup, but Mr. Mugabe was placed under house arrest.CreditJekesai Njikizana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The president’s wife, Grace Mugabe, has not been seen in public since Wednesday. Her recent aspirations to succeed her husband — and her and their sons’ lavish lifestyles — appear to have been a trigger for his downfall.

On Friday evening, a majority of the leaders of Mr. Mugabe’s governing ZANU-PF party, which he had controlled with an iron grip since independence in 1980, recommended his expulsion, according to ZBC, the state broadcaster.

“Many of us had watched with pain as the party and government were being reduced to the personal property of a few infiltrators with traitorous histories and questionable commitment to the people of Zimbabwe,” the party leaders said in a resolution. “Clearly, the country was going down the wrong path.”

Saturday morning, tens of thousands of Zimbabweans — some chanting, “Enough is enough!” and carrying signs emblazoned with “Mugabe must go” — marched alongside soldiers mounted on tank with machine guns.

“Soldiers are being feted as heroes on the streets of Harare,” Mr. Malaba, the editor, said on Twitter. “Euphoric scenes. People are standing next to army tanks and taking selfies. I’ve seen chaps excitedly polishing soldiers’ boots in a gesture of gratitude. This is unprecedented. Historic!”

But a nephew of Mr. Mugabe’s, Patrick Zhuwao, told Reuters on Saturday that the president and his wife were “ready to die for what is correct” and had no intention of stepping down in order to legitimize the military coup. Speaking from South Africa, Mr. Zhuwao was quoted as saying that Mr. Mugabe had hardly slept since the military seized power, but that his health was otherwise “good.”

For many Zimbabweans, the atmosphere was electric and filled with hope. Marchers swarmed to the grounds, and drivers honked their horns. At one point, military aircraft streaked above the crowds.

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Veterans of the independence war, activists and ruling party leaders called publicly for Mr. Mugabe to be removed from office after 37 years. CreditJekesai Njikizana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Benita Mudondo, 57, came to the rally from the Nyanga District, more than 180 miles to the east near the border with Mozambique. “Surely Zimbabwe, our country, is back — the one country we fought for,” she said. “We had given up, but had become worried about the future of our children and grandchildren.”

Her husband, Ernst Mudondo, 67, a war veteran, said, “Our joy only starts today, and we are so happy.”

Their daughter, Michelle Mudondo, 17, said: “We are here as youth to claim back our country, our pride. We want to see our country on a path back to recovery; I look forward to a stable government with a stable economy without shortages of cash.”

For many of Zimbabwe’s university graduates, Mr. Mugabe is the only leader they have ever known, and the march was a platform to express optimism as they looked forward to life without him in power.

“I am here because I want a job, and Mugabe couldn’t deliver,” said Simbarashe Sakuona, 23, who said he had a degree in marketing from Midlands State University. “We were witnessing a bedroom coup as Grace now called the shots. Grace can’t be a leader.”

The prospect that the end of Mr. Mugabe’s era could unleash a crisis on the African continent spurred the South African president, Jacob Zuma, to send diplomats to try to defuse the situation in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Zuma said on Saturday that his country was committed to supporting “the people of Zimbabwe,” according to Reuters. He added that he was cautiously optimistic that the situation could be resolved amicably.

Now, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, the vice president of Zimbabwe until he was fired recently, is in line to become the country’s new leader. Observers say he shares some of Mr. Mugabe’s traits: He is power-hungry, corrupt and a master of repression. His nickname: the “crocodile.”


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Africa: Gambia’s longtime autocratic leader finally leaves the country and go into exile January 22, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh finally left the country on Saturday evening local time after several days of negotiations with West African leaders and Gambia’s incoming government over the terms of his exit from office.

Locals were relieved that his departure managed to take place without a violent resolution as tension had built up while the protracted negotiations carried on. The erratic former leader left from capital city Banjul on a plane headed to Conakry, Guinea, and is expected to leave there to spend his time in exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Many Gambians believe that had Jammeh stayed in the country, he would never have actually relinquished power to the incoming government of president Adama Barrow. Jammeh’s departure brought an end to 22 years of eccentric and repressive rule over a small country which has not made much economic progress under his leadership. Instead, a disproportionately high number of young Gambians have left home to risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach Europe.

Jammeh, 51, had agreed 24 hours earlier to step down nearly two months after losing a general election to Adama Barrow. Jammeh initially agreed to hand over peacefully soon after the elections only to change his mind. His final agreement to step down and leave the country only came after soldiers from neighbor Senegal crossed the border under the auspices of the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS).

The focus for Gambians has now turned to calling Jammeh to account for some of his alleged human rights abuses. A joint declaration issued on Saturday by ECOWAS, the African Union, and the United Nations sparked controversy among Gambians because it seemed to prevent Gambia’s new government leadership from seizing assets and property from Jammeh that he acquired while president, and to allow Jammeh return to the country whenever it suits him:

ECOWAS, the AU and the UN will work with the Government of The Gambia to ensure that former President Jammeh is at liberty to return to The Gambia at any time of his choosing in accordance with international human rights law and his rights as a citizen of the Gambia and a former head of state.

Though the joint declaration is not likely to be legally binding, responding to it will still be a tough early test for president Barrow, who was sworn in on Jan. 19 at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal, after Jammeh refused to step down.

While many ordinary Gambians welcome the country’s first peaceful transition of power since independence in 1965, they also hope Barrow will investigate some of the claims against Jammeh, particularly human rights abuses. In an interview on Saturday with the BBC, Barrow said he was looking into creating a truth and reconciliation commission similar to one established in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid in 1994.

 

 

Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh finally left the country on Saturday evening local time after several days of negotiations with West African leaders and Gambia’s incoming government over the terms of his exit from office. Locals were relieved that his departure managed to take place without a violent resolution as tension had built up while…

via Gambia’s longtime autocratic leader finally leaves the country and go into exile — Quartz

21 Century Social and Economic Apartheid: In the TPLF variant of Apartheid System of Ethiopia, the Oromo are making the Majority of the Prisoners April 6, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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From the outset TPLF defines itself as a liberator for one specifically racially defined group. And still after two decades on power, irrespective of its ostensible claim that it is under the umbrella of EPRDF, people of the same origin monopolistically has held the whip-hand; and the whole country has been cash cowed by one specific racial group while the majority is being treated as impediments.

The apartheid nature and characteristics of TPLF’s policies and behavior is as covert as possible to throw the majority into total muddle until it is too late. To put it bluntly, the fledgling apartheid system of TPLF is emerging through a frog boiling tactic.

The TPLF’s apartheid system can be described as a subtle state action designed to secure and maintain the Tigrian domination by furthering their Economic and Political interests through control over the majority Non-Tigrian population.

The following categories make the necessary, sufficient, and defining characteristics of the emerging tender-plant apartheid system in Ethiopia:

1. Economic Interest

Furthering the Tigrean economic dominance is mainly achieved through a threefold economic sabotage: i.e.,

Through the creation of Tigrian tycoons in every facet of the economy;
By building extractive business empire;
Through emasculation of Non-Tigrian business firms.
Let’s see each of the above points in detail.

1.1 The incubation of the Tigrian Racketeers: Unlike the loosely dispersed and individualistic Non-Tigrian business men, the Tigrian racketeers are a highly organized kleptomaniacs that are exclusively nurtured by the under-table action of the government in a way that:

– Favoring to get loan from state-owned banks with least or no collateral;

– Facilitating the bureaucratic process in the Custom office with least search procedure while this government office intentionally delays the items that belonged to the Non-Tigrian business men.

– Government toleration for their criminal act of tax evasion.

– For the Tigrian importers, letter of credit will be processed easily and access to hard currency is almost unlimited; whereas the Non-Tigrians must wait a minimum of 4 to 6 months since their application.

– The government has granted them key business sites under low bid.

– The government conducts special training programs and video conferences to create situational awareness among them and update them with first hand information. At this point, we must not forget that nowadays information is equivalent to money.

On top of that, they have been informed /’’trained’’/ and equipped with the following racketeering tactics.

1. Insider Trading: Obviously all key governmental positions are occupied by the Tigrian; which means any policy or information particularly related with business reaches to the Tigrian racketeers before the crowd gets it so they adjust everything in advance to suit to the new condition. And due to such a prior knowledge they net millions from insider trading.

They also have foreknowledge on every government auction however the Non-Tigrians get it lately from news papers. For insider information equals ‘’money’’ in a modern market economy, it is a great power in the hands of people who are the most cohesive and organized criminal group like the Tigrian racketeers. As a matter of fact, insider information is illegal both from moral and law perspective.

2. Dual Set of Ethics: In fact, the Tigrian racketeers have been informed directly or indirectly to practice a dual set of ethics:

I. An altruistic set of ethics for themselves and

II. A predatory one for the rest of Ethiopian people.

– They don’t compete with one another for a single niche of market;

– They don’t interfere with the monopoly controlled by other Tigrian racketeer;

– They are barred from underbidding fellow Tigrian racketeer.

– They are always cooperate with one another so as “not to lose the money of Tigray”

3. Team Strategy: Before we go to how they act in team, let’s see the psychological set up of the Tigrian racketeers and the Non-Tigrian business men.

The Non-Tigrian have been conditioned to think that everyone must be judged on his or her merits and that it would be immoral to be biased for his own race. The Tigrian racketeers, on the other hand, have been conditioned from early time of TPLF to think in terms of the good of their race.

Keeping this fact in mind, what they are practicing is through “Infect to insolvency and then wait to takeover” approach. For example, if they need to monopolize certain business sector they allocate a calculated sum of money to under bid the price of item which certainly makes the Non-Tigrian competitor unable to fight with irrationally low price then put the competitor company into insolvency and finally buy the company itself with a giveaway price and will apply “the abuse of dominance” once they control the sector.

In general, a cohesive and powerful team effort, dual set of ethics along with insider information consistently amasses collective power to the Tigrian racketeers over a scattered and individualistic Non-Tigrian.

1.2 By Establishing Extractive Trade Empire: An acronym EFFORT stands for the TPLF’s multi-billionaire trade empire called Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray. It was established by expropriating capital equipments from different parts of the country and by the infamous defaulted bank debts. Currently there is no business sector that is free from the involvement of EFFORT. It stretched from production to distribution, from finance to insurance, from wholesale to retail, from real-estate to horticulture, from mining to IT. Peculiarly, this trade empire hasn’t ever been audited by external auditor nor repays the loan it borrowed periodically.

Similar to the Tigrian private companies, EFFORT is also privileged in the following manner:

– It is awarded government auctions of big projects;

– Favored to borrow in billions without collateral and it is not subject to repayment;

– Equipped with insider information;

– Granted fertile land at a giveaway price by displacing tens of thousands of indigenous people from their ancestral land;

– Granted key mining sites without open bid;

– Market opportunity will be arranged for it by forcing regional and federal offices to buy products which haven’t a relevant importance or in an exaggerated quantity.

Surprisingly, almost 99.9% of the employees in these innumerable companies of EFFORT are Tigrian; which means that majority of the economy is occupied by either the Tigrian private companies or by the extractive trade empire called EFFORT; and they primarily privileged job opportunity for Tigrians. As the complete cycle of economic dominance and privileged labor market portrays, we are under a severe economic genocide.

1.3 Stifling of Non-Tigrians’ Business Firms: Obviously the playing ground is not level; and the whole situation is an uphill battle for Non-Tigrians’ business firms to survive all the barriers that they faced from the government bureaucracy and from economic sabotage of the highly privileged EFFORT companies and the cohesive Tigrian racketeers. Consequently, especially after election-2005 we have seen that many Non-Tigrian businesses have been either liquidated or down-sized.

2. Political Interest

The foremost plan of TPLF was to secede the Tigray region from the rest of the country and to establish a sovereign republic, as plainly stated in Manifesto-68 which was formulated by the triumvirate of Abay Tsehaye, Sebhat Nega and Meles Zenawi. However, through time they inferred that a sovereign republic of Tigray would be a weak and failed state. Then they changed their program to live together as a state-within-a state and TPLF’s role as a Quasi-Occupying Force.

Similar to the case for economic dominance, TPLF and Tigrians maintain their political dominance using racial solidarity as weapon against the Non-Tigrian Ethiopians in the following manner:

2.1. Surrogate Colonization /Repopulation/: The TPLF apartheid system has also been featured with Depopulation andPopulation-Transfer. The annexation of arable lands of the Amhara region like Humera, Welkayt, Tsegede, Alamata, Korem and so on, to Tigray province and depopulating the indigenous Amharas from those places and then replacing with Tigrians is a case in point of the surrogate colonization of the TPLF regime. The expansion of Tigrians is also continuing in west and north Gondar to annex the North Mountains after they learned that the North Heights are fields of Gold and other Precious metals.

2.2. Expropriation of Land /Landed Property/ Belonging to A Racial Group: As a matter of the truth, the people of Gambella have been denied its natural right of living on its ancestral land. And clearly we know that more than quarter of arable land of the region has been awarded to land grabbers at a giveaway price by TPLF megalomaniacs. But beside to this, more than 2/3 of the remaining arable land has been expropriated by Tigrian Mechanized-Farm owners in which it left more than 70,000 indigenous people for forcible relocation to the place where the soil is dry with poor quality and with no infrastructure. What worsened the situation was that the deployment of the TPLF mechanized army upon the unprotected civilians to enforce forcible relocation of the indigenous people. As a result, they became victim of genocide, rape and conflagration of their villages by TPLF militias.

2.3. Deliberate Denigration of Living Conditions of Non-Tigrian Racial Groups: This includes:

– Demolishing of business areas under cover story of investment which are mainly occupied by Gurage business men in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Particularly after election-2005, the Gurages have been profiled as “Accomplice of Neftegna” and currently as “Ginbot-7 Sympathizers”; and consequently, they are paying the expensive price ever for the alleged charge.

– Internal deportation and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of the Amhara people from different parts of the country by confiscation of their tenure and property is also one of the cruelest repressions of the racist regime of TPLF in order to break the potential resistance from this group by throwing them into absolute destitution and instability.

2.4. Infliction of Serious Bodily and Mental Harm upon Certain Racial Members: Tens of thousands of political and Conscience prisoners are concentrated in three federal and 120 regional major prisons. They are also found in an unofficial detention centers in military camps including in Dedessa, Bir Sheleqo, Tolay, Hormat, Blate, Tatek, Jijiga, Holeta, and Senqele. Majority of the prisoners are racially Oromo; and their alleged charge is “Sympathizers of OLF”. The number of Amhara, Gambella and Ogadenese political and conscience prisoners are also significant.

The condition of these political prisoners is extremely harsh, overcrowded and life threatening. Besides, the TPLF henchmen often use a series of torture and brutal interrogation to extract confessions including whipping on the soles of feet, over stretching of limbs, slow dripping of water on the head, slandering of their race, pulling out of nails, forcible extraction of teeth, weights suspended on testicles, plunging into spoiled water, solitary confinement in dark cell for long period of time, signing a confession, forced self-incrimination, threatening with injection of HIV infected blood, forcing to denounce others, burning with cigarette, insertion of bottle and hot candle into prisoners’ rectum, drowning into ice cold water for long period of time and beating with rifle butt, stick, whip, belt etc.

2.5. Access: No matter how the Non-Tigrians have the qualification for the high post in the army or the security apparatus or for key government offices, they have already been denied by the unwritten law of TPLF. Access to government-sponsored scholarship at the overseas is also highly secured for Tigrians.

In conclusion, Ethiopia is a country of nations and nationalities. So there must not be room for the socio-political and economic dominance of single race. All the people of Ethiopia must be treated as an empowered citizen. The fledgling Tigrian apartheid system must be nipped in the bud before it sparks the bloody genocide.

As a universal truth, no one ever negotiated successfully from weakness, but from strength. It must be our primary target to be strong. And, I do personally believe that awakening to the truth will make us strong. We are now in the middle of life-or-death struggle; if we fail to break the yoke of TPLF’s apartheid system the future of our people, the continuity of our race and the stability of our country will be at stake.

We have left nothing with TPLF; we have been cornered, humiliated, persecuted, harassed, assaulted, exiled, locked-in jail, tortured, expelled, impoverished by design, confiscated and decimated. We must not have room for the source of all these evil, TPLF, anymore!!! We must fight it by all possible means until we regain our freedom!!! We must struggle desperately until we tear apart the reins of the Quasi-Occupiers!!!

On the other hand, the Tigrians must also do their own homework before they are being treated as:

– Accomplice of Criminally guilty TPLF officials;

– Politically guilty as TPLF Supporters;

– Morally guilty as Tigrians;

– And perhaps, metaphysically guilty as Ethiopians.

Facts about Tigree Domination in the Military
High Ranking Military Officials , see  http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/ethiopia/the-tplf-variant-on-apartheid-majority-of-the-prisoners-are-racially-oromo/

By Dawit Fanta

 

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/ethiopia/the-tplf-variant-on-apartheid-majority-of-the-prisoners-are-racially-oromo/

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