Kofi Annan, the first black African to become UN secretary-general, has died aged 80 in Switzerland, his aides say.
He “passed away peacefully on Saturday after a short illness”, the foundation named after him said on Saturday.
Mr Annan served two terms as UN chief from 1997 to 2006, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for humanitarian work for his efforts.
He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
In a statement announcing his death, the Kofi Annan Foundation described him as a “global statesman and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world”.
“Wherever there was suffering or need, he reached out and touched many people with his deep compassion and empathy. He selflessly placed others first, radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did.”
The diplomat, who was originally from Ghana, died in hospital in the Swiss city of Bern. He had been living near Geneva for several years before his death.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for helping to revitalise the international body, during a period that coincided with the Iraq War and the HIV/Aids pandemic.
Kofi Annan described his greatest achievement as the Millennium Development Goals which – for the first time – set global targets on issues such as poverty and child mortality.
However, Mr Annan was not immune from criticism. His critics blamed him for the UN’s failure to halt the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s when he was head of the organisation’s peacekeeping operations.
Later, after the US-led invasion of Iraq, he and his son were accused of being involved in the “oil for food corruption scandal” that led some to call for his resignation, though he was later exonerated.
Zimbabweans deported from UK are convicted criminals, not deserving to live here – Britain
The British government on Wednesday night deported 14 Zimbabwean nationals, who were described by the Home Office in London as convicted foreign criminals, following what it said was a historic landmark agreement between the two nations to send some Zimbabweans back home.
In a tweet, the Home Office said the deportees were sentenced to a combined total of over 75 years in prison for various crimes, including rape and murder.
The British government, which has deported 7,985 foreign criminals from the United Kingdom since January 2019, says it wants to keep its communities safe from criminals.
Indications are that the country is planning to deport at least 150 Zimbabweans per month, especially those that have committed serious offences and failed asylum seekers.
The 14 arrived at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport early Thursday morning and were whisked away in two buses to a quarantine center in Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare. According to attorneys representing some of the deportees, initially, 50 Zimbabweans were supposed to be deported Wednesday but a number of lawyers intervened, resulting in court injunctions stopping or deferring their deportations in fear that they could be victimized in Zimbabwe by state security agents as they are opposition activists.
In an interview with journalists in Harare, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Frederick Shava, dismissed victimization claims by political activists and attorneys representing some of the deportees, saying they won’t be harmed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
In a tweet, Zimbabwe’s Information Secretary, Nick Mangwana, also welcomed the returnees, saying those who commit crimes will be locked up at the dreaded Chikurubi Prison, a few kilometers away from Harare.
““… 14 Zimbabweans arrived today. They have been taken to ZIPAM (Zimbabwe Institute of Administration and Personnel Management). They will have COVID-19 tests and quarantined for 10 days. After being Covid-19 cleared they will join their families and communities. We welcome these fellow citizens home. They will be safe and the same opportunities availed to everyone else will be available to them.
“We have always accepted our criminals back. We hope those that did their time have been adequately rehabilitated. Should they offend then they will learn that Chikurubi is not Belmarsh prisons. Not everybody is a business talent. Should they be placed ahead of the Zimbabweans already here?”
One of the attorneys representing the deportees, Andrew Nyamayaro said they stopped the flight carrying the Zimbabweans last night for a couple of hours but some of their clients lost the fight to stay in Britain.
Nyamayaro said, “Yesterday there was a deportation of Zimbabweans from the United Kingdom. Originally, it was 50 people that were intended to be deported but after some legal fight some got injunctions, some had removal orders deferred and some had other reasons why they could not be returned to Zimbabwe. There was also a last minute case that went into court around 6:00pm U.K. time and around 8:30pm it was finished which said that the charter flight can proceed but people that had been interviewed for travel documents by the Home Office personal are at risk of persecution if they get to Zimbabwe.
“So, the charter flight was scheduled for 10:00pm but the judge said it can leave after 10:30pm to give a chance to anyone who was on board who was interviewed by the Zimbabwean authorities in the U.K. to leave the plane and then to return to the detention center. I think they did that process. Most lawyers, including ourselves, we then tried to get in touch with the people that had been intended to leave the country but because when they leave the deportation center their mobile phones are taken off them, we could not contact them. It was confirmed this morning that 14 people have now been deported to Zimbabwe and as we speak they are being taken to a quarantine center in Harare at a place called ZIPAM. That’s where they are going to do their isolation there.”
He said at one of the detention center there was an outbreak of COVID-19 and some of the people who had contact with those with the disease were left at the center.
“People should leave the country in their own volition but unfortunately it was not the case for these 14.”
He said Britain wants to deport about 100 people per month, who committed crimes and those that don’t have legal documents to remain in the country.
On the deportation of the 14 deemed to be criminals by the British, Nyamayaro said, “It’s a balancing exercise. Once someone has committed an offence, it’s the severity of the offences, first offender or when the crime was committed. Some of the people who were deported arrived in the U.K. when they were young and were convicted of drugs cases.”In Harare, video footage of their arrivals monitored on several digital and social media platforms from Washington, showed a couple of people boarding two buses with police monitoring their movements. – VOA
Mbuya Nehanda statue falls rumour dismissed
Mbuya Nehanda is still on her resting place, she didn’t fall as has been reported in a message on WhatsApp that went viral moments ago this Saturday evening.
Pictures of an accident scene depicting that of Mbuya Nehanda locality went viral as fake news mongers married the scene to the statue and claimed it had fallen.
The pictures are not from Mbuya Nehanda statue.
The scenes look similar with the structure at Mbuya Nehanda statue.
Actually the pictures have been taken from the incident with took place in Munhava neighbourhood (Mozambique) where a footbridge collapsed after an accident caused by the lorry.
Watch: South Africans give notice to foreigners to leave SA before June 16
With no sign of economic hardships disappearing in Zimbabwe, those who have escaped to South Africa are living in fear as locals have threatened to chase them if they don’t leave on their own accord.
Warnings of an operation to get South Africa rid of foreign nationals on the 16th of June continue to circulate.
Recently, a video surfaced on social media showing the ogarnisers of the operation dubbed, OPERATION DUDULA serving seven day notices to some foreign nationals to vacate the country.
WE WILL BE REMOVING ALL ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS BY FORCE!!!
SIDUDULA INSIDE SHOPS AND HAWKERS
IF YOU ARE OPERATING ILLEGALLY YOU BETTER PACK AND GO BEFORE 16 JUNE 2021!!!
– reads the notice.
While the poster specifies that illegal foreigners will be targeted it however does not state that documented ones will be spared.
Such attacks, as occurred before, ended up targeting all immigrants regardless of their status.
Dudula which means “push” brings horrific and sad memories of xenophobic attacks that happened in the country in 2015. Many people were killed, some burnt alive, while some were left homeless as their homes were destroyed.
Just like it happened before, the South African Police Services (SAPS) ignored warnings of imminent attacks on immigrants which then led to the bloodshed.
Similarly, at this point, the SAPS or any government have not said anything about the threats on foreign citizens in their country.
In one of the videos circulating online, the pro Dudula Operation people can be heard blaming the loadshedding on illegal connections supposedly done by foreign nationals.
— izim (@izim_og) June 13, 2021
Local truck drivers have been at loggerheads with their foreign counterparts accusing them of stealing their jobs and accepting low wages and inhuman working conditions.
The situation has left the Zimbabwean and other foreign drivers prone to abuse even when they are legally in the country.
Members of a local drivers organisation, well known for violent attacks on drivers and trucks, have been targeting foreign drivers sjamboking them while recording videos which are then spread online.
They do this to humiliate their victims and instill fear on their colleagues.
It's now a game, playing with a man's feelings. So humiliating you may never know how the next victim will respond. This was at Majuba powerstation over the weekend. @SAPoliceService @Dotransport @dewamavhinga @hrw pic.twitter.com/nxKlMfShGT
— SA Trucker (@rsa_trucker) June 7, 2021
No reports of arrest of the perpetrators have been made yet.
For the Zimbabweans and other foreigners in the country, it remains to be seen if they will still call South Africa home after the June 16 2021.
The date concides with South Africa’s youth day when they commemorate the heroics of the youths of 1976 who were massacred by the army after revolting against apartheid.