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Zambia

Zambia’s first President Kenneth Kaunda dies at 97.

Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first president and one of the last of the generation of African leaders who fought colonialism, has died aged 97.Kaunda was admitted to a military hospital in the capital, Lusaka, on Monday suffering from pneumonia. His aides said he did not have Covid-19.In the 1950s, Kaunda was a key figure in what was then Northern Rhodesia’s independence movement from Britain.He became president following independence in 1964.  Mr. Kaunda enforced Zambian unity by fostering a cult of personality, creating tens of thousands of civil service jobs. He was a strong supporter of efforts to end apartheid in South Africa, and also a leading supporter of liberation movements in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In later life Kaunda turned his attention to the fight against HIV after one of his sons, Masuzyo, died from an Aids-related disease.Kaunda was a keen ballroom dancer , accomplished guitar player and composer. The government declared three weeks of national mourning with all forms of entertainment suspended

West Africa.

US Supreme Court blocks child slavery lawsuit against chocolate firms.

Nestlé USA and Cargill can’t be sued for child slavery on African farms from where they buy their cocoa.Six African men alleged that they were trafficked from Mali and forced to work on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast.The group say both companies perpetuated that slave trade to keep cocoa prices low.The court ruled 8-1 that the group had no standing because the abuse happened outside the US.But it stopped short of a definitive ruling on whether the Alien Tort Act – an 18th century law – could be used to hold US companies to account for labour abuses committed in their supply chains abroad.About 70% of the world’s cocoa is produced in West Africa, and much of this is exported to America.

It’s estimated that 1.56m African children work on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast and Ghana, according to a report published by the US Department of Labor last year.So in a week that saw the US government make Juneteenth a public holiday which is the celebration of emasipation of African American slaves sees the same government defend American companies still practicing slavery in Africa. So much for progress!?

Rwanda.

Life imprisonment requested against Paul Rusesabagina, Hotel Rwanda Hero.

Rwandan prosecutors called Thursday for a life sentence for Paul Rusesabagina, the man who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” as he faces terrorism charges, while his family says he faces mistreatment and an unfair trial.Paul Rusesabagina, once praised for saving hundreds of Tutsis from the 1994 Rwandan genocide as a hotel manager, faces charges related to attacks by an armed group inside Rwanda in 2018 and 2019.Paul Rusesabagina, a Belgian citizen and U.S. resident, has denied the charges, saying his case is politically motivated in response to his criticism of Rwanda’s longtime president, Paul Kagame.He claims he was abducted last year while visiting Dubai and taken to Rwanda, where he was charged.

Africa Wide

The West Should Come Clean On Atrocities Committed in Africa.

The last week of May 2021 opened a new chapter in the history of Africa-West relations.Some Western countries seemingly admitted that somehow they wronged Africa at some point, hence there was need to be forgiven and to compensate victims or those they wronged.French President, Emmanuel Macron recognised his country’s responsibility in the 1994 Rwanda Genocide; while Germany Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas announced  that his country will only give Namibia US$1,3 billion over a 30-year period for projects to help communities of descendants of the Herero and Nama people.Be that as it may, history has been made and observers are keenly watching the space to see if other Western countries that committed heinous atrocities and genocides in African countries like the British did in Zimbabwe, Kenya,Zambia and South Africa and The Belgiums killing an estimated 13 million Africans in the Democratic republic of Congo. We still have a long long way to go before Africa receive any form of real justice for the crimes against humanity that was perpetrated by Europe and the United States of America.

Ethiopia

Ethiopian looted artefacts withdrawn from UK auction.

Two artefacts that were stolen during colonial-era looting by British forces in Ethiopia have been withdrawn from auction after the Ethiopian government appealed to an auction house selling them to stop the cycle of dispossession.Busby auctioneers in Bridport, Dorset, has withdrawn a leather-bound Coptic bible and a set of horn beakers from a sale yesterday after the Ethiopian embassy in London discovered the items which were taken during the Battle of Magdala in 1868  and wrote to the auction house.In the letter, the embassy said the return of the items would help bring to a close a “painful chapter” of the nation’s history, and said the two Artifacts valued at about $1000 were a small but important part of that story.

Botswana

Steve Harvey Appointed as chief Broadcaster in Botswana

American comedian, actor, author, broadcaster and television presenter Steve Harvey’s company has been appointed for the provision of radio and television production services for a period of three years. The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board made the recent approval following a Department of Broadcasting Services’ request to engage the celebrity’s company, Steve Harvey Global. This announcement has caused mixed  reactions from Botswasa’s youth on social media.