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Vimbai Tsvangirai fights for her life as tragedy rocks Zimbabwe’s Tsvangirai family again

This accident is a continuation of a trail of tragedy that continues to rock the Tsvangirai family.

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Vimbai Tsvangirai fights for her life as tragedy rocks Zimbabwe’s Tsvangirai family again

The daughter of Morgan Tsvangirai, the late Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and leader of the nation’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Vimbai Tsvangirai is currently in a Harare hospital fighting for her life after a car accident that took the lives of 2 MDC activists late last night.

Her car, carrying four passengers, was involved in a head-on collision after the city of Kwekwe, en route to Harare as the occupants returned from the MDC’s candidate debates held in Bulawayo.

Vimbai Tsvangirai fights for her life as tragedy rocks Zimbabwe’s Tsvangirai family again
The mangled wreck that is Vimbai Tsvangirai’s car / MDC Zimbabwe Twitter Vimbai Tsvangirai / Facebook

Tsvangirai’s campaign manager and organizing secretary for her constituency, Glen View South, Paul Rakanda and her late mother’s cousin Tafadzwa Munzwa were trapped in the vehicle for over an hour before an ambulance and police arrived. According to party officials, the 2 died from their injuries.

An ambulance rushed Tsvangirai to hospital, where she is said to be in a stable condition.

“The president (Nelson Chamisa) and the MDC family is devastated. There was a head-on collision just after Kwekwe. Two people have unfortunately passed away.”

He further went on to say;

“We have lost two committed cadres, two pillars of the party. It’s painful, it strikes at the heart. We pray for the strength of the families, and to everyone.”

“Vimbai Tsvangirai is in a stable condition. She has been taken to the
Avenues Clinic, Harare, while the other passenger has been discharged. We are praying, and we ask the nation to join us in prayer that the day will not get more tragic,” said MDC spokesman, Jacob Mafume.

This accident is a continuation of a trail of tragedy that continues to rock the Tsvangirai family.

The life of Vimbai Tsvangirai’s mother, Susan Tsvangirai was taken at the age of 50 in a head-on collision on 6 March 2009 when a truck belonging to the U.S. aid agency, United States Agency for International Aid (USAID) sideswiped the vehicle she was traveling in with her husband, who was Prime Minister at the time.

The vehicle rolled over three times, and Susan Tsvangirai was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital in Beatrice. Morgan Tsvangirai was able to escape with minor bruises and scratches.

A statement issued by the MDC at the time of this accident said:

“We suspect that this is not a genuine accident and we appeal to Zimbabweans in South Africa to remain calm as facts continue to surface. We strongly believe that these are the evil acts of a few individuals bent on derailing the progress of the inclusive government. We are, however, alive to the fact that a lot of Robert Mugabe’s opponents died in suspicious road accidents involving army trucks.”

Morgan Tsvangirai, however, said he believed that what happened was a genuine accident.

Vimbai Tsvangirai’s father, Morgan Tsvangirai, died after a painful fight with colon cancer on 14 February 2018, at the age of 65. However, exiled MDC founder and activist, Elliot Pfebve shared a statement expressing his suspicions that there was more to his demise.

“(Morgan) Tsvangirai may have been poisoned, in the same way (Emmerson) Mnangagwa was poisoned.

In 2014, I received a tip-off that Zanu PF bought a poisonous metal isotope from Russia destined to eradicate opposition leadership. It is similar to Polonium 210 which killed Alexander Litvinenko in London, but a (slower) reactive poison than Polonium 210 that takes time to kill its victim by inducing cancer”, said Pfebve.

Vimbai Tsvangirai has continued her family legacy by remaining visible and active in both the opposition party MDC and in government as an MP.

As the nation continues to pray for her, the hopes of many are that her speedy recovery will change her family’s tragedy-filled narrative.

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Environment

Uganda’s teenage environmental activist calls for urgent climate change action

Leah Namugerwa has led a campaign to urge Kampala to implement a ban on plastic bags blighting the country

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Uganda's teenage environmental activist calls for urgent climate change action
Leah Namugerwa, a 15 year-old climate activist, holds a placard next to her father Lukwago Cephas in Kampala on September 4, 2019. - Her activism includes striking around the city with a placard in order to raise awareness about climate change and the environment. She also misses out on school every Friday as a protest and has full support from her dad who is also her manager. (Photo by SUMY SADURNI / AFP)

When Ugandan Leah Namugerwa turned 15 last month, she decided to plant 200 trees rather than have a birthday party, in her latest effort to spotlight environmental damage in her country.

Juggling school, protests, and giving speeches in regional capitals rallying for action to save the planet, she is one of a generation of youths inspired by Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg.

“If adults are not willing to take leadership, I and fellow children will lead them. Why should I watch on as environment injustices happen before my eyes?” Namugerwa said in the Rwandan capital Kigali last week, receiving a standing ovation for her address on the climate emergency.

Back in Kampala, she told reporters she was inspired to do weekly school strikes after becoming aware of her own government’s “inaction” on environmental issues, and discovering Thunberg’s sit-ins outside Sweden’s parliament that led to a global youth movement.

Namugerwa was one of several activists with the Fridays for Future movement to receive this week Amnesty International’s highest human rights award for their work.

Uganda's teenage environmental activist calls for urgent climate change action
Leah Namugerwa, a 15-year-old climate activist, holds a placard in Kampala on September 4, 2019. (Photo by SUMY SADURNI / AFP)

She has led a campaign to urge Kampala to implement a ban on plastic bags blighting the country, and sounds the alarm about massive deforestation as well as prolonged droughts and flooding attributed to climate change.

“What made me get concerned and get involved in this campaign is because of the climate change and effects on our lives, like we have experienced high temperatures as never before, we have experienced flooding… diseases are spreading.

She said young people “have to speak out.”

“If we don’t, our future is not guaranteed. The current leaders will be gone but we shall be there to suffer the consequences of their inactions.”

A real danger –

The first time she held a protest for climate action was a Friday in February this year, on her own in a Kampala suburb.

Uganda's teenage environmental activist calls for urgent climate change action
Leah Namugerwa, a 15-year-old climate activist, holds a placard in Kampala on September 4, 2019. (Photo by SUMY SADURNI / AFP)

“I felt I was doing the right thing and on the right track but to most people including some of my family members it looked to them as weird. They were glancing at me, shaking their heads in disbelief as I held my placards,” she said.

Now, a group of teens join her every week in missing school to hold their strikes on Fridays.

“Some people have criticised me. They say at this age and on Fridays I should be in classroom not on streets holding strikes. Good thing my parents have supported me. They have encouraged me.”

Namugerwa — who will take part this Friday in co-ordinated worldwide climate protests — said she is heartened by rising interest in environmental issues in Uganda.

“Issues about climate change are not given the priority they deserve… but the debate is picking up now with our campaign.”

Another teen activist who has joined her strikes, Jerome Mukasa, 15, said Namugerwa had opened the eyes of young Ugandans to the environmental crises in their country.

“Before the message on climate and environment was not clear to some us but Leah has simplified it to us, that it is real and a danger to all of us.”

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Culture & Tourism

Moroccan TV show suspended for celebrity guest’s boast of “beating his wife”

No legal action has been taken against Miloudi, despite waves of outrage on social media

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TV show banned in Morocco for promoting violence against women
Courtesy: Chada TV, Morocco.

A Moroccan television show has been suspended for allowing a celebrity guest to boast on air of “beating his wife”, the country media authority said Wednesday.

“Whoever doesn’t beat his wife is not a man,” popular singer Adil El Miloudi said in June on a Chada TV show, Kotbi Tonight, drawing laughter from a fellow guest, actor Samy Naceri, and host Imad Kotbi.

“In Morocco, this is normal, anyone can do what he wants with his wife, hit her, kill her,” he insisted after  Kotbi jokingly said: “It’s forbidden to hit one’s wife all over the world.” 

Miloudi’s remarks amounted to “justification for violence against women, an express incitement to violence, presented in a positive way as a sign of virility… or even recommended behaviour”, the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) said in a statement.

In response to this “explicitly violent speech”, the host adopted a “playful tone” and allowed his guest to repeat his call for violence against women”, it added. The media authority said Kotbi Tonight was to be suspended for three weeks.

So far, no legal action has been taken against Miloudi, despite waves of outrage on social media in reaction to his comments. Misogynistic and sexist attitudes are commonplace in Morocco and rarely condemned by authorities.

Last year, HACA penalised a Chada FM radio show after a commentator said on air that “women who are the most exposed to uterine cancer are those who resort to prostitution or adultery”.

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Culture & Tourism

Ake festival 2019: A festival of arts and books

The preservation of African culture gave birth to the Aké Arts and Book Festival

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Ake Festival 2019 partners News Central
A panel session with speakers discussing at the Ake Festival

What happens when two Afro-optimist giants and pioneers of African cultural advancement form a partnership to host the biggest cultural and artsy event on the continent?

You guessed right. An invitation to an authentic African experience. From October 24-27, the 7th edition of the Aké Arts and Book Festival will take place in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital. News Central will, this time, bring you all the action live from the venue.

Themed “Black Bodies: Grey Matter”, this year’s edition will feature book chats, readings, panel discussions, art exhibitions, films, music, theatre and many more creative expressions through black bodies that genuinely tell the African story.

The Ake Festival –  News Central Story

In the royal town of Ake, Ogun State, South-Western Nigeria, the birthplace of Professor Wole Soyinka, Africa’s first recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, a passion for the preservation of African culture gave birth to the Aké Arts and Book Festival.

For 6 years, the festival, founded in 2013 by renowned Nigerian writer, Lola Shoneyin has converged Africa’s brightest and most artistically creative minds to engage in pro-African discourse.

And this year, News Central hopes to infuse the “Africa. First.” narrative, an important piece in the Ake Festival puzzle for a successful celebration of Africa in all of her uniqueness.

What does Africa. First. mean for Ake Festival?

In a recent interview, Lola Shoneyin revealed her delight in partnering with News Central, a frontier media platform that puts Africa and Africans in the driver’s seat of our stories.

“I love Africa. First…and I love it because it really resonates with me.”

Lola Shoneyin

Africa. First. is a movement by Africans and for Africa! It seeks to put the conversation on African culture and power back on the front burner.  The African culture is vibrantly expressive, uniquely diverse, progressively modern and enviably embodied in Black Bodies and Grey Matter.

Our boldness and power are sourced from the blood of great inventors, mighty rulers and pioneers of civilisations that courses through our veins. African power is rooted in this transfer and it is our responsibility to protect and prolong it.

News Central is proud to pioneer this movement and shared vision to promote the African culture and power at events such as the Aké Fest, using our balanced and Afro-optimist media platform in making these stories accessible to Africans.

As our Director of Content and Programmes, Becky Muikia puts it:

“We give them a voice on a pan-African scale.”

Becky Muikia

Africa, now is your time!

Promoting, amplifying and celebrating the African experience is at the heart of the Aké Festival and News Central partnership.

For four days, come witness a full blend of Afro cultural immersion and untold stories told by hundreds of writers, poets, dancers, artists, film-makers, and other creatives. Join us on this shared journey by registering to attend here Aké Festival.

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All rights reserved. This post and other digital content on this website may not be reproduced, published, broadcasted, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central.

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