Zambia: Slow but sure, a new sunrise is going up

Also published in The Seoul Times. September 29, 2011

By Patriciah Njambi & Benson Kamary

A new political sunrise in sub-Saharan Africa is seemingly licking away outdated regimes and leaving an aroma of democracy. But this is not to say that democracy is the redeemer of Africa. Not yet. Like any other political system impacted by a corrupted world, democracy can be abused, and seriously so. Even in the West where democracy is hailed as an assuring pragmatic system, it has severally been turned into the ‘tyranny of the majority’ with persecuting claws on the minority and their feeble voice.

Well, at least in the savannah land, the ‘jasmine revolution’ of a kind has just arrived if the recent polls in Zambia are anything to count on.  But unlike the mass action and street battles witnessed in the Arabic Northern regions, sub-Saharan Africa is getting new governments with a reduced violence. Optimistically, minimal or no Read the rest of this entry »

Nairobi Fire: A call for urgent safety measures across Africa

Also published in The Seoul Times

The images of raging fire from Nairobi a few days ago was shocking andthe pictures from its aftermath even more disturbing. But perhaps what might be disappointing is the pattern in which most African governments have provided in the past as a response to slums-related challenges. Will there be seriousness this time around?

The inferno at the Sinai slums near the Kenya Pipeline Company depot in Nairobi is said to have been triggered when a section of oilpipe succumbedto high pressure leading to a spillage. Explosion is claimed to have occurred at the Sinai village where the oil, running through a drainage system, met fire at a time when villagers were scooping oil for various reasons. The outcome of the outburstwascatastrophic with over 100 people dead andmany others still to nursingserious wounds in the hospital Read the rest of this entry »

IAAF false start rule rips athletes of their true being

Also published in The Korea Times, Joongang Daily and The Seoul Times (Sept. 2, 2011)

IAAF false start rule rips athletes of their true being 

“An athlete, after assuming a full and final set position, shall not commence his start until after receiving the report of the gun. If, in the judgment of the starter or recallers, he does so any earlier, it shall be deemed a false start. Except in combined events, any athlete responsible for a false start shall be disqualified”, thus says the IAAF rule number 162.7.

It is the above tenet that has seen big names on track including Christine Ohuruogu, Olympic champion, and Dwain Chambers, former European champion, bowing out of their races here in Daegu. Eight athletes were forced to eat a humble pie by the end of the second day of the world’s biggest athletics championships. But it was the expulsion of the 100 meter world record holder Usain Bolt that instigated a near uproar across the gigantic stadium. Where I was seated, few meters away from a group of Jamaican fans, I heard “tough words” of despondency. Some threw their hands up; others had their heads between their knees – dejected Read the rest of this entry »

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