Madagascar’s Powerful Political Arch-rivals Never-ending Face-off
44 Years old former Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina has been declared the Winner of a hotly contested Presidential Vote Run-off against his Arch-rival 68 Years old Marc Ravalomanana who is the sitting President. Andry has garnered 55% against Marc’s 44% of Total Votes according to Madagascar’s Election Commission INEC .The two
Andry Rajoelina (Former President of Madagascar) and now the President-Elect
emerged as the Top Contenders in the November 7,2018 Presidential Race but none garnered a majority of Total Votes cast leading to the December 19,2018 Run-off between them.
Surprisingly;the two bitter rivals have in the past served as Presidents of this impoverished Indian Ocean Island that heavily relies on Agriculture for survival.Marc Ravalomanana rose to power in June 2002 after being declared the winner of a disputed election against Madagascar’s long-time President Didier Ratsiraka leading to a deadly post-election violence.He ruled until the year 2009 when he was Toppled and Ousted by Andry Rajoelina who was then the Mayor of Antananarivo in an Army assisted Coup that installed him as President after a Violent Political Strife. Andry ruled until 2013 when another Election was to be held and Marc Ravalomanana returned from Exile strong and ready to to take on his bitter rival Andry.
In fear that the two were just about to once again plunge the Country into a deadly Civil and Political unrest like the had done in 2009;huge pressure from the international Community was mounted on the two to shelve their ambitions.The two were eventually barred from contesting for the Top Seat in the 2013 Presidential Election.Upon this,Andry endorsed his ally Hery Rajaonarimampianina who went ahead and won the Election taking over from Andry who stepped out on January 2014.Hery has been the President since then To Date when he is now expected to hand over Power to Andry in about 10 days once Madagascar’s High Constitutional Court Confirms his Win as declared Today by the Election Commission.
Both Marc and Andry had earlier claimed Victory in this Poll accusing each other with Electoral Fraud and Malpractices which now makes the Future of this Island Nation Tense with Fears that the Constitutional Order and Calm installed in 2014 could be disrupted should Marc decide to reject these Results and call for Protest.
Marc Ravalomanana (Former President of Madagascar)
Of A Country That Lives A Lie of its Name;Naturally Rich But Lives In Extreme Poverty
Today we take you to the second largest Country in Africa whose untapped 1000+ Minerals deposit is estimated to be worth over $25 Trillion which makes DR Congo the Wealthiest Nation in the World in terms of Natural Resources.DRC is the Worlds biggest producer/reserve of Cobalt and among the biggest producer/reserve of Copper and Diamond among other Minerals.Despite the immense Natural Wealth;the Democratic Republic of Congo is shockingly among the Top Ten Poorest Countries in the World with over 80% of its Population living below $1.25 a day.This is greatly attributed to a critically dysfunctional Political and Economic Fabric coupled with incessant interference from Foreign imperialists whose only interest is in its rich Minerals Reserve.There are over 25 Foreign Mining Companies in DRC .
Despite being called the “Democratic” Republic of Congo,this Country has NEVER had a ‘Democratic Election and Transfer of Power’
The National Flag of the Democratic Republic Of Congo
since it Regained Independence from Belgium 58 Years ago.Power Transition here has been characterized by Coups and Political Assassinations.The only Political Leader who rose to Power through a Democratic Pedestal was the late Patrice Lumumba who after winning most seats with his Pre-Independence Coalition Allies on May 1960 Elections that were overseen by the Colonial Master was Appointed the Country’s first Prime Minister and De Facto Head of Independent Government to be,a week to the Country’s Independence.After Full Independence Patrice being the Nationalist he was managed to convince his Coalition Partners to Appoint Joseph Kasavubu as a Ceremonial President making him the first President of Independent DRC. Upon assuming Power Kasavubu turned against his Comrade Patrice and Ousted him out of Government in September 1960 setting him up to former Colonial Masters and Western Powers who were already threatened by Lumumba’s Black Nationalism and Pan-African Ideals.It is believed the three Powers ganged up against him and plotted his Assassination in 1961.
President Kasavubu continued ruling until 1965 in his 5th Year in Power when Congolese Army General Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko Toppled and Ousted him and installed himself as President.Mobutu reigned Dictatorship for 32 Years until 1997 when Rebel Forces led by Laurent Desire Kabila Toppled and Ousted him.Desire Kabila then installed himself as the President.Barely 5 years later,the Strongman President Desire Kabila was shot and killed by his Bodyguard on January 2001.Desire Kabila was quickly replaced by his Son Joseph Kabila who was then 30 Years Old that very Month.
Joseph Kabila also a Strongman was the President of DRC since the Killing of his Father in January 2001 to January 24,2019 when he handed over to the current President Mr.Felix Tshisekedi.Mr.Joseph Kabila’s due term was set to expire on December 2016 but he refused to leave and postponed Elections which saw the return of Violent Militia Groups in DRC.
Presidential Elections were scheduled to be held on December 23,2018 but the Country’s Electoral Commission CENI postponed the Exercise to December 30,2018 after a strange Fire that broke out on December 13,2018 burnt and destroyed over 8000 Voting Machines and over 5 Million Ballot Papers.A CENI chartered Plane carrying a Consignment of some other Electoral Materials crashed near Kinshasa Airport killing all 6 People on Board hours after delivering the Consignment.This was barely a Week after the Fire Incident.
The Country’s Opposition led by Key Figures one Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi have vowed not to tolerate any more delay of this Election with others saying that this is a scheme by President Joseph Kabila to remain in Control even after stepping down through a Proxy of his Minions believed to be one Emmanuel Shadary who is also a Candidate in this Presidential Election through President Kabila’s ruling FCC Party direct Ticket. Shadary is the Party’s Permanent Secretary,Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Security.He Shadary is on the European Union Watch List with Sanctions for charges of Human Rights Abuse,Arbitrary arrests,detentions,torture and killing of Political Activists and Leftists.
56-Years Old Felix Tshisekedi was announced the Winner of a disputed and contested December 2018 Election with 7 Million Votes against his closest Rival Martin Fayulu who was announced Second with 6.4 Million Votes.While the Credibility of this Election remains in Doubt and Question;DR Congo saw its first Peaceful/Orderly Transfer of Power since its Independence 59 Years ago.
Reigning Miss Uganda 2018 Crowned Miss World Africa 2018
Miss Uganda 2018 Quiin Abenakyo who is now Miss World Africa 2018
22-Years old Quiin Abenakyo is now the winner of Miss World Africa 2018 crowned at the 68th Edition of Miss World 2018 Pageant that took place earlier Today in Sanya City of China.Ms.Abenakyo born in Mayuge District Eastern Uganda who is also the reigning Miss Uganda 2018 became Position 3 out 118 Contestants Globally and was the only African in the Top 5 list of finalists.Others who made to Top 5 are Miss Jamaica,Miss Belarus,Miss Thailand and Miss Mexico.
Miss Mexico 2018 Vanessa Ponce who is now Miss World 2018
Miss Mexico;26-Years old Vanessa Ponce has been crowned the winner of Miss World 2018 after beating all the 117 Contestants.
African Nation Co-Hosts World’s First Sustainable Blue Economy Conference
It has been a Momentous Week as Kenya; an East African Nation in conjunction with Canada and Japan hosted the World’s first Sustainable Blue Economy Conference that brought together close to 18,000 Delegates from 183 Countries around the World.Being home to Africa’s largest Lake that is also the World’s second largest fresh water Lake called Lake Victoria that binds East Africa,that was a well-deserved Onus.That said,there are a couple of really pertinent issues around this blue economic Hub of East Africa that were actually underplayed and under-emphasized.
Heads of State and Governments at the Conference
Delegates at KICC the Venue of the Conference
One of them is the general Maritime Transport Safety across Lake Victoria.Between August and November 2018,East Africa has lost over 240 People through Boat and Ferry accidents Tanzania being the worst hit with the September 20,2018 MV Nyerere Ferry accident claiming over 200 Lives.Uganda is right now mourning the death of over 30 People who perished in a Boat accident on this very Lake barely a Week ago.The National Lake Rescue Institute has in fact positioned Lake Victoria as the most dangerous stretch of Water per square Kilometer according to its annual Figure of Lake Victoria’s Fatalities.Why such a grave matter could not get a commensurate consideration from its respective delegates was worrying.
The other issue is on the hotly contested ownership of the Fish-rich Waters around Migingo Island still on Lake Victoria.This tiny 0.49 Acre Island has been a subject of long-standing Conflict and bad blood between Kenya and Uganda with Communities around it always on a combative mood over this significant fishing area rich in the lucrative Nile Perch.This controversy has over time and again escalated to ugly territorial integrity altercations,arbitrary arrests and detentions.There has been no strategic,inclusive and conclusive effort to solve this Conflict by both parties.This too did not feature during this Conference despite having the Presidents and delegates from the two disputing Countries.
Away from these two challenges that call for an earnest address,the Conference did not end without a notable move from East Africa.The launch of a new Kenya Coast Guard Vessel to protect the Integrity and Dignity of Kenya’s Maritime or what we are now calling Blue Economy Territory days to this Conference is laudable.This is a move that all Nations should consider making towards a profitable,sustainable,secure and efficient Blue Economy.
With over 70% of the Earth Surface covered by Water;a strategic and sustainable investment on the Blue Economy can be the greatest source of Wealth and Income to the World Economy.Let us all support the Blue Economy Revolution.
Images Courtesy;PSCU Kenya.
African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki addressing Delegates at the Conference