Thursday, October 23, 2008

A former Anglican archbishop , Njongonkulu Ndungane , of Cape Town has described poverty in South Africa as being worse than ever.

"Never before in the history of South Africa have such large gatherings of people consistently said 'we have no food,'"
said the archbishop. "In a country where huge amounts can be spent on the 2010 soccer world cup or increasing salaries, it is unthinkable that so many can go without food."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nigerian royalty

The Emir of Kano strolls regally along the red carpet with a silver-tipped staff and a jeweled turban that looks like a disco ball, as commoners bow and scrape in his wake. Kano's streets are strewn with trash, and schools and clinics are run down. In northern Nigeria, the emirs have no control over mechanisms of the state such as the police, taxation or criminal justice. But they receive five percent of all funds given to local government.
At the same time, the emirs wield considerable power as the top Islamic figures in their regions.The emirs also oversee the Shariah court system, which rules based on Islamic civil law. In northern Nigeria, governors have imposed the Shariah system in a bid to harness their political fortunes to religious sensibilities.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ugandan evictions

17,000 people were evicted from their farms in Kayunga District, about 200km (124 miles) north-west of the capital, Kampala.

The peasant farmers were forced to leave their homes after their former landlord sold the land to a Kampala businessman, and they did not receive any compensation.

Uganda has witnessed a rise in the number of evictions in recent years.In some cases those evicted lack documentation to prove that they are bonafide occupants of the "kibanja" - a piece of land occupied by a tenant.

70% of the Ugandan population, depend on the land as their primary means of livelihood.

Livingstone Sewanyana, the executive director of The Foundation for Human Rights Initiative blames the government for illegal evictions, citing Kayunga and Kaweri.

"It is the state organs, the state agencies, the government which is actually displacing the people through arbitrary displacements, through investor programmes and through the army,"

Minister of State for Land Kasirivu-Atwooki Kyamanywa says the land problem in Uganda can be traced back to the 1900 Buganda agreement in which land in Uganda was divided between the colonial power, Britain, the Buganda kingdom and local chiefs.