What Now After Al Jazeera Probe Exposes Zimbabwe’s Gold Mafia?

An undercover probe by Al Jazeera has exposed a criminal network worth billions of dollars through gold smuggling and money laundering in Zimbabwe. Many people were stunned by the first episode of the Al Jazeera documentary Gold Mafia, which centers on Zimbabwe and more disclosures are allegedly on the way, according to the news network.

Key members of the Gold Mafia are allegedly Kenyan preacher Kamlesh Pattni, alias “Brother Paul,” who also smuggles gold out of Zimbabwe, and Uebert Angel, one of Zimbabwe’s most powerful ambassadors, who is accused of using his position to smuggle illegal money into the country. Meanwhile, Henrietta Rushwaya, President of Zimbabwe’s Mining Federation and niece of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is accused of being involved in the purchase of gold for the laundering scam.

Now multi-millionaire businessman Simon Rudland, who was cited as the biggest funder of gold smuggling activities in Zimbabwe during an Al Jazeera investigation, has demanded an apology from the station and indicated he will be suing. Meanwhile, Angel has since said that Mnangagwa’s son, Emmerson Junior and the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa were also recorded during the Al Jazeera investigation. Mnangagwa has not responded to the allegations.

Kenyan Opposition Leader Odinga Calls For Weekly Protests

Veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga is calling for weekly protests, as clashes erupted between police and supporters demonstrating over the country’s cost-of-living crisis.

Odinga had called 20 March’s demonstrations against the government of President William Ruto in protest at soaring prices of basic goods in Kenya and what he said was last year’s “stolen” election.

The opposition leader narrowly lost his fifth tilt at the presidency in the August poll despite being backed by former president Uhuru Kenyatta.

Riot police had earlier fired tear gas and water cannon on Odinga’s motorcade near a Nairobi hotel, where he had been due to hold a press conference before being forced to leave.

Running battles erupted between stone-throwing demonstrators and police in several parts of the capital and at least one other Kenyan city, in the first major unrest since Ruto became president in 2021

Kenyans are struggling as prices for basic necessities soar. The value of the shilling has dropped sharply against the US dollar and a sustained drought has left millions hungry.

Ruto has declared that he will not be intimidated by the demonstrations, saying: “You are not going to threaten us with ultimatums and chaos and impunity, reports Michael Fitzpatrick for Radio France Internationale.

There is Still Hope, But We Must Act Now #AfricaClimateHope

There are multiple, feasible and effective options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to human-caused climate change, and they are available now, scientists have said in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

Africa has long faced the unrelenting and increasingly dire consequences of the global climate emergency but scientists have once again called for global and coordinated action if we are to avoid the very worst impacts of the climate emergency.

The Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report brings into sharp focus the losses and damages experienced now, and expected to continue into the future, which are hitting the most vulnerable people and ecosystems especially hard.

“The greatest gains in wellbeing could come from prioritising climate risk reduction for low-income and marginalised communities, including people living in informal settlements,” said Christopher Trisos, one of the report’s authors.

Attacks on Civilians in South Sudan Remain Rife – UN Report

According to the latest annual report on Violence Affecting Civilians from the United Nations peacekeeping mission there (UNMISS), violence against civilians in South Sudan rose by two per cent during 2022.

“UNMISS calls on the Government of South Sudan to demonstrate political will and step up efforts against impunity, investigate human rights violations and abuses and hold perpetrators accountable, particularly as deadly violence remains an issue of grave concern in parts of the country,” says Nicholas Haysom, UN Special Representative and Head of UNMISS.

The report says the overall levels of documented violent incidents rose by 27 per cent, from 714 recorded acts of violence in 2021, to 982 in 2022, which marked three distinct surges of violence. The UNMISS report said: between April and May, in southern Unity State; between July and September, in Warrap State; and between August and December, in the Greater Upper Nile region.

In announcing the report’s findings, UNMISS urged all South Sudanese parties to focus on the prospects for sustainable peace, security, and peaceful, fair and inclusive elections.

Liberia: U.S. Documents Human Rights Abuses

Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has issued a warning for severe weather including heavy rains for five days over some areas of Dar es Salaam, Coast specifically in Mafia Isles, Lindi, and Mtwara regions. The rains are likely to affect some economic activities and localized floods. The TMA advises residents in the mentioned areas to get prepared.

In 2018, heavy rains wrecked havoc in several parts of the country, exposing fragile disaster management mechanisms and confirming that the government needed to do more to improve Dar es Salaam’s drainage systems.