One year after Mugabe's fall, Zimbabwe asks ‘What has changed?’
That's the lede story in the Zimbabwean - the newspaper in exile in South Africa and the UK - which calls itself "the voice of the voiceless."
The short answer is "Not much."
The paper reminds readers that hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans danced in the streets to celebrate the end of Robert Mugabe’s repressive rule that had brought ruin to the once prosperous economy. Mugabe, then 92, soon resigned, ending his 37-year rule.
A year later Zimbabwe’s economic problems have worsened and restrictions on basic freedoms remain, it says.
The euphoria at Mugabe’s fall has evaporated. Mnangagwa - that's the new President Emerson - promised Zimbabwe “a new dawn” but to many the country looks depressingly familiar with long lines at the banks to withdraw paltry amounts of cash and shortages of basic goods have led to the rationing of cooking oil, bottled water and beer.
“They played us, we marched for nothing,” the paper quotes one Harare resident as saying - as she stood in a line for cooking oil at a supermarket.
A human rights lawyer told the Zimbabwean “We are moving back to the pre-coup era . . . People are still being arrested for expressing themselves, people are being arrested for dissent and for organising peaceful demonstrations."
“We are not yet Uhuru,” he told the paper - using the popular Swahili word for freedom. “We have a long road ahead.”
The more thing change the more they stay the same.
"Blood sucking parasites"
Even stories in the government owned Herald appear to confirm this.
"The Auditor-General Mildred Chiri has rapped Treasury for failing to account for 1 200 computers worth €1 million donated by development partners and to properly record Government indebtedness, distorting public debt and exposing the Exchequer to fraud," the paper reports.
An editorial in privately owned daily Newsday puts it like this: "Leader are called to serve and not to behave like parasites that suck the blood of their hosts with little regard of the future. But it would appear that our politicians have, in the recent past, become parasitic, neglecting the call of service and concentrating more on the feeding trough that position and privilege has afforded them."
Designed For Driving Pleasure
The Monitor in Botswana reports that "judges are to finally ride top of the range Beemers."
At present judges use Volvo S60s. But they're not happy.
They prefer the top of the range BMW 5 Series.
They reportedly felt that they were being discriminated against in favour of Court of Appeal Judges who were given the German luxury sedans and threatened to sue the government.
Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi is quoted as saying “I am happy to indicate that the long-term problem that you have been experiencing in relation to your transport will soon be resolved. You will soon get BMWs befitting your status as judges."
If you were wondering - the BMW costs 750,000 Pula - around 62,000 euro. The Volvo sells for 490,00 - 40,000 euro.
The Punch in Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that the country’s stolen money was still stashed away in major European cities, the US and other havens around the globe.
Speaking in Paris, Buhari said the bulk of the stolen money could have been invested in the education sector to improve on quality, blaming the elite for looking the other way while the theft took place.
Sex pests beware !
Last but not least, the Standard in Kenya reports that harsher punishments for sex pests are likely to be considered should the amendment to the Sexual Offences Act be re-introduced in Parliament and be approved.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said that it was an embarrassment that the country had more than 500 girls pregnant in school.
He added that he would propose amendments to the laws to add castration as a punishment for anyone found guilty of impregnating school girls in a bid to tame randy men who prey on the young girls.