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Change Of Zimbabwe Government ‘Inspires Some Whites To Return To The Land’

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Zimbabwe Government

The change in government in Zimbabwe is inspiring hope among some white farmers, nearly two decades after the start of the sometimes-violent land reform programme, a news report says.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has ruled out reversing land reform, but has vowed to put an end to land invasions and to give white farmers 99-year leases like their black counterparts.

‘Right direction’

Farming couple John and Marie Osborne told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that they see a future for the first time in two decades.

“If the current president does half of what he says he’s going to do, then I think we’re going in the right direction,” John Osborne told ABC.

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The Osbornes saw farmers beaten and killed during the land seizures launched by former President Robert Mugabe in 2000, and had their own farm reduced and parcelled out. But with the change in government, their Australian-based daughter and son-in-law are considering joining them in Zimbabwe.

“So now we’re in the very pleasant position of having our family start to come back and planning for a future,” John told ABC.

Violently evicted 

Another Zimbabwean, Brian Pattison, said he returned to Zimbabwe from Australia to run a mixed-crop farm outside Harare.

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He said his parents weren’t happy with the decision.

“They couldn’t believe that I was going back to Zimbabwe to farm after they had lost their farms,” he said.

But he added: “I’ve got my Aussie passport in my pocket in case I have to go back.”

Well-known farming family, Ian and Kerry Kay are not convinced though. The Kays were violently evicted from their farm, east of Harare, in 2002.

“With no property rights, why would anyone go back? It’d be crazy,” Kerry Kay said.

“You can change the driver but if all the passengers are the same, what difference is it going to make?”

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‘We are one’

Ahead of the July 30 poll, Mnangagwa told a group of white voters in Harare that there was “no discrimination” under the “new dispensation”.

“A farmer – a black farmer, a white farmer – is a Zimbabwean farmer. We should look at it that way. We should begin to develop a culture among our people to accept that we are one,” he said, in comments carried by the state-run Sunday Mail.

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Proposal For UN To Study Climate Technologies Rejected

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Proposal For UN To Study Climate Technologies Rejected

A push to launch a high-level study of potentially risky technological fixes to curb climate change was abandoned at a UN Environmental conference in Nairobi late last week.  Countries, including the United states, had raised objections.

Switzerland’s Environmental Ambassador Franz Xavier Perrez, said that was a huge disappointment.  His country had proposed the UN assessment with the backing of eleven other governments.

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“Geo-engineering” technologies are gaining prominence, and they aim to pull carbon out of the atmosphere, or block some of the Sun’s warmth to cool the earth.

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Supporters say these technologies could help fend off some of the worst impact of runaway climate change, including worsening storms and heatwaves.  Opponents, on the other hand, argue the emerging technologies pose huge potential risks to people and nature and could undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Tanzania: Stiegler’s Gorge Hydro-Electric Project To Produce Thousands Of Jobs

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Tanzania: Stiegler’s Gorge Hydro-Electric Project To Produce Thousands Of Jobs

Tanzanian government is optimistic that the implementation of Stiegler’s Gorge hydro-electric power station would produce thousands of jobs.  It is also expected to generate more than two thousand mega-watts.

Energy Minister, Dr. Medard Kalemani, told the parliamentary committee on energy and minerals that five thousand Tanzanians would be employed as temporary workers, and four hundred others would be employed under permanent contracts.

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Kalemani said the implementation of the project would not only uplift the livelihoods of Mloka villagers in Rufiji district in cost region, and of Kisaki villagers in Morogoro region, it would also enable the supply of electricity to 37 villages in Kibiti and Chalinze.  He said twelve villages will be connected to electricity under Tanzania Rural Energy Agency program.

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African Court Doubles Its Judicial Productivity

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African Court Doubles Its Judicial Productivity

President of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, Justice Sylvain Ore, has said the pan African organ, based in Arusha, has doubled its judicial productivity, and is optimistic it will even do better this year.

Commenting on the on-going reforms at the African Union, initiated under the guidance of the immediate past chairperson, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Justice Ore wanted the court to be a model for internal reforms and an efficiency icon for the rest of the institutions and citizens of the continent.

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The African court was established by the African Charter and began operations in two thousand six in Addis Ababa.  It moved to its permanent seat in Arusha a year later.  It has finalized 48 cases with a hundred thirty-five cases pending.

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So far, 30 countries have ratified the protocol establishing the court, but only nine countries—Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, the Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, Tunisia, and hosts Tanzania—have made the declaration to allow individuals and NGOs to access the court directly.

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