By Crisford Chogugudza

When Mandela said at his 90th birthday in London that the Zimbabwe crisis was a result of tragic failure of leadership, many hastily concluded that he meant the failure of Mugabe’s leadership, which was true to a point. Mandela’s words had wider implications on both the Zimbabwean leadership and International leadership. Cognisant of the fact that Mandela was literally ‘coerced’ by the BBC to comment on Zimbabwe, as indeed has happened to most African leaders visiting the UK today, he did not give further details about what he exactly meant by ‘tragic failure of leadership’. Those who know Mandela well will confess that he is a leader of rare intellectual qualities, who uses metaphors as a way of expressing his opinions. His messages resonate well with sensible people, the oppressed and disenfranchised.

By Crisford Chogugudza

For a few decades now, Africa has been suffering from persistent food crises due to a number of factors most of which could be avoided. In global terms, food security is perceived to be a basic human right and one which should be defended at all costs. Ironically, in Africa, food insecurity is more prevalent now than ever, with a more hostile environment, many people undernourished and severely dependent on food aid. However, some believe that the underlying cause is just as much persistent poverty as poor productivity. Many agricultural experts blame a variety of factors for the increasingly depressive food insecurity in Africa, and these include the following among other; natural disasters, poor agricultural policies, war and civil conflicts and most importantly a massive lack of interest by the west to invest significantly in African agricultural projects. There is now overwhelming consensus of public opinion amongst agricultural experts that Africa is hypothetically able to feed itself. Africa could even export food if right agricultural policies supported by long term western financial support are put in place. A new package of support modelled in the shape of the acclaimed Marshall plan is urgently required to revitalise the agricultural sector in Africa especially food production.

By Crisford Chogugudza

The political paralysis in Zimbabwe is increasingly becoming a concerning issue not only for Africa but for the entire international community. Zimbabwe is an important member of SADC politically and economically and the collapse of its economy and state can have grotesque consequences for the region. There is currently no way forward as to how to effectively deal with the crisis brought about by President Mugabe’s controversial election on the 27th June 2008. The cost of the political impasse in Zimbabwe has been enormous and the longer it takes to reach a sustainable solution the more Zimbabweans continue to suffer. Apartheid South Africa and the notorious Rhodesian governments were all brought down through negotiations and the same applies to the post independence Zimbabwe crisis. Any suggestions that war and sanctions will bring change in Zimbabwe are unrealistic and ill thought out.

Lincoln, the nation’s 16th president, served between 1861 and 1865. Lincoln was said to have been the illegitimate son of an African man, according to Leroy’s findings. Lincoln had very dark skin and coarse hair and his mother allegedly came from an Ethiopian tribe. His heritage fueled so much controversy that Lincoln was nicknamed “Abraham Africanus the First” by his opponents.

Tomorrow the 4th of November 2008, Obama will be elected the 44th President of the United States. Some say this makes him the first Black President of the United States others say no. Obama Wouldn’t Be First Black President [EDITOR'S NOTE]

Now I realised that what I learnt so far about Sakkwato Caliphate is enormous but also a challenge. I asked myself beside the very thin and narrow folkloric knowledge available to the ordinary man in the street, how many people in the current area once Sakkwato Caliphate actually know about this great Islamic revivalism? How many people realised that we in the 21st century have a lot to learn from the 1804 revolution? How many of us read the books written by the Jihad leaders? How many people can situate the re-introduction of the Shari’a legal system within a wider social-history context in northern Nigeria? Above all what does Shari’a really stands for, for the Muslim ummah? The answer without fear of contradiction is very little. Most of the published knowledge about Sakkwato Caliphate is in the English Language, thanks to the late Professor Abdullahi Smith who initiated the reconstruction of our historiography. Few of the Jihad books were publish in Hausa (Infaku and Nurul-al-bab for example) the language majority can read and appreciate, even those few books published are not in circulation.

Beatrice used her position of religious power to remove all objects and ceremonies which unnecessarily cluttered her religion. Perhaps because this was a movement of the peasantry, simplification of the religion, which translated into less qualifications and a larger following, made more sense. She changed the traditional Catholic prayer "Saive Regina" to "Saive Antonio." The newly formed prayer emphasized that the sacraments of marriage, confession, and baptism were meaningless since God invariably knew one's intention. In light of this revelation, Donna Beatrice burned crosses and nganga objects, which were traditionally used to enhance prayer, labeling them unnecessary fetishes.

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