Subscriptions, Current Issue & Back Issues

Shop Website | Annual Subscriptions | Back Issues |

Tag: Africa

Grace Mugabe: Why is the President’s wife at the centre of Zimbabwe’s crisis?

He’s 93. She’s 52. And they’ve both been put under house arrest by Zimbabwe’s army.
At the centre of the crisis currently gripping Zimbabwe is President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace.

Her rise from political obscurity to become the front-runner to succeed her ageing husband appears to have prompted the country’s military to step in, with tanks on the streets and Mr Mugabe confined to his home.
The military insists it hasn’t staged a coup, but is rather targeting “criminals” around Mr Mugabe.
And that has been taken to be a reference to supporters of the first lady.
Find out who she is and how she got to the position she’s in.

Grace from obscurity to front runner
Their affair started as Mugabe’s wife lay dying
Mr Mugabe admitted in a fly-on-the-wall South African television documentary that they started an affair while his first wife, Sally, lay terminally ill with kidney disease.
Sally died in 1992, after which Grace and Robert married in 1996. They have three children.
Ms Mugabe has been a fierce defender of her ailing husband, declaring that he could run as a “corpse” in next year’s election and still remain in power.

Her rise to potential president had been swift

Ms Mugabe addressed her first political rally in 2014, just months after being nominated to head the ruling party’s women’s league.
Since then she has openly indicated her interest in taking the presidency herself, even publicly challenging her husband to name a successor.
“Some say I want to be president. Why not? Am I not Zimbabwean?” Ms Mugabe said at a rally in 2014.
She has the support of party leaders in their 40s and 50s (the so-called “G40”) and appears to have the support of the party’s youth wing.
She represents a generation change; unlike many top ZANU-PF leaders, Grace played no part in the 1970s armed struggle which rid Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia, of its white-minority government.
After the purge of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, the path looked like it had been cleared for her to succeed her husband.
She appeared positioned to become one of Zimbabwe’s two-vice presidents next month.
Her life of luxury has seen her dubbed ‘Gucci Grace’
The 52-year-old first lady is unpopular among many socially conservative Zimbabweans for her lavish spending on mansions, cars and jewels.
Last month, she went to court to sue a diamond dealer for not supplying her with a 100-carat diamond that she said she had paid for.
Her lavish spending has touched a nerve in a country whose economy has fallen apart, and has earned her the moniker “Gucci Grace”.

READ THE REST:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-16/who-is-grace-mugabe/9156340

The “entire foundation of the seed system in Africa” may now be in Monsanto’s hands.

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tanzania#/media/File:Tanzanian_farmers.jpg

Farmers in Arusha region, Tanzania. Credit: Fanny Schertzer

In exchange for developmental assistance, the Tanzanian government has amended legislation to enforce protection of intellectual property rights and facilitate land access for commercial investors, like big agriculture companies Monsanto and Syngenta. The accordance was sparked by the formation of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) at the 2012 G8 summit.

Unfortunately, certain stipulations of NAFSN agreements are serving to play into government corruption, disparage traditional ways of life and make it easier for big agriculture to prey on lesser developed countries. This is now the case in Tanzania, where efforts to preserve sustainable small farming and local economy are being derailed by the complicated and scary new shift.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tanzania#/media/File:Tengeru_market.jpg

Tengeru market, Tanzania. Credit: Fanny Schertzer

Michael Farrelly of the Tanzanian organic farming movement (TOAM) explains

“If you buy seeds from Syngenta or Monsanto under the new legislation, they will retain the intellectual property rights. If you save seeds from your first harvest, you can use them only on your own piece of land for non-commercial purposes. You’re not allowed to share them…you cannot sell them for sure. But that’s the entire foundation of the seed system in Africa”.

If Tanzanian farmers are convicted of illegally selling or trading patented seeds, they could receive a prison sentence of more than 12 years, a fine of over €205,300, or both. “That’s an amount that a Tanzanian farmer cannot even start to imagine. The average wage is still less than 2 US dollars a day”, says Janet Maro, leader of Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania.

According to the U.N.’s Farm and Agriculture Organization (FAO) figures, currently, over 80 percent of the food in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia is produced by small-scale farmers. Across the continent, efforts have been made to fight off the advances made by Monsanto, in order to preserve tradition, protect land and avoid becoming dependent on big corporations. Earlier this year, the Indian government started promoting the use of indigenous seed and simultaneously publicizing Monsanto’s illegally profiting on toxic Bt cotton seed.

Monsanto is working its way towards global domination with their genetically-modified seeds and health and environment damaging chemicals, insisting their methods are the only way to keep up with the growing demand for food. By creating a monopoly on seed, putting farmers in debt, and bribing governments to back off, Monsanto will ultimately destroy biodiversity entirely and control the world food supply. 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Tanzania#/media/File:School_kids_in_Tanzania.jpg

Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/nafsn-outlaws-traditional-seed-trading-…

Thanks to Saru G at the Con Trail

%d bloggers like this: