Friday, 31 August 2012


There was an army barracks that had on its duty roster 4 soldiers to guard at all times a concrete slab in front of the barracks. The soldiers changed shifts guarding the slabs for many years. Different commanders came and went and the tradition continued.
After many years, a new commander was assigned to the barracks. Amongst the things he did was asking why things were done the way they were. When he asked why soldiers were guarding the slab, he was told, "We've always done it this way. It's our tradition. Our former commanders instructed us to do that."
The commander was adamant on finding out why. He went to the archives to look for answers and he came across a document that had the explanation. The document was very old.  It had instructions written by one of the retired commanders who had even passed away.
The new commander learnt that over 80 years ago, the barracks wanted to build a platform where events could be performed. When the concrete slab was laid, wild animals walked over it at night before the slab would dry. The soldiers would fix it the next morning but when evening came the same thing would happen. So the commander ordered that 4 soldiers should guard the concrete slab for 3 weeks to allow it to dry. The following week the commander was transferred to another post and a new commander was brought in. The new commander found the routine and enforced it and every commander that came did the same. Eighty years later the barracks continued guarding a concrete slab.
What beliefs, attitudes, traditions have you carried on that were relevant to certain people or a certain time and they are still being carried out by you? Is your opinion about yourself, people of a different race, the opposite sex, certain business opportunities, new products etc obsolete? Question the status quo.
The writer, Sandras Phiri is a Life Coach, Inspirational Speaker and Entrepreneur. He is the CEO and co-founder of the Sandras and Lelemba Institute (SLI) that is dedicated to research, education and supporting individuals, organizations and communities in their pursuit of growth. He lives in Cape Town with his wife and 2 sons. He blogs about inspiration, relationships and personal development on


From Emmanuel Banda in Addis Ababa
Vice President Guy Scott is this Sunday expected in Addis Ababa to attend the burial of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi.
Vice President Guy Scott
Zambian Ambassador to Ethiopia Francis Simenda told ZANIS in Addis Ababa today that Dr. Scott and his delegation will arrive in Ethiopia on September 2, 2012 at 07:00hours local time for the burial of the late Mr Zenawi on the same day.
Mr. Simenda said the Vice President will be received at Addis Ababa Airport by Foreign Affairs Minister, Given Lubinga, Tourism and Arts Minister, Sylvia Masebo and Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Christopher Yaluma among others.
He said while Dr. Scott will be representing the Zambian government at the funeral of Mr. Zenawi, Mr. Lubinda will sign the book of condolences on behalf of Zambia tomorrow, Saturday, at the Grand Palace, the residence of the late premier.
Mr. Simenda has confirmed that he received a message of condolences from Zambia’s President Michael Sata, which he subsequently delivered to the government of Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, Mr. Simenda said Ethiopia is deeply shocked by the death of Mr. Zenawi, who passed away in Brussels on August 20, 2012.
He described the late Zenawi as a great leader and Pan Africanist who fought to resolve conflicts in many African countries including Eritrea and Sudan.
Mr. Simenda recalled that Mr. Zenawi led his country from conflict through democracy to economic boom which all Ethiopians and Africans in general will remember him for.
He added that the late Ethiopian Prime Minister fought against illiteracy and hunger in Ethiopia while creating a lot of employment in the country as the economy boomed during his 20 year rule.
And a mood of sobriety has enveloped Ethiopia ahead of the burial of the late Mr. Zenawi.
In the capital Addis Ababa, flags are flying at half mast while radio and television stations are playing solemn music and running programmes related to the success of the country during the deceased leader’s rule.


From Mathews Mudenda in Tehran, Iran
Vice President Guy Scott
 Vice President Guy Scott has arrived in the Iranian capital Tehran for the two day Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) 16th summit of heads of state and government which opens this  morning.
ZANIS staffer Mathews Mudenda reports from Tehran that Dr. Scott arrived this morning at 01:15 hours Iranian time, which is 22:45 hours Zambian time, aboard a British Midlands International commercial flight.
He was received at Imam Khomeini International Airport by officials from the Iranian government.
And speaking to journalists upon arrival, Dr. Scott said Zambia was proud of her contribution and achievements in helping other NAM member countries in the southern African region to attain their independence.
Dr. Scott said during the liberation struggle of many Southern African countries, Zambia hosted armies of liberation movements from countries such as South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia.
He explained that during this period, Zambia had made its position clear that it would not align itself with the West or the East.
Dr. Scott said this was important in the promotion of self determination which he said these countries were now enjoying.
He however said the challenges which NAM members are facing have changed from those that daunted the founding fathers of the movement.
The Vice President noted that NAM was beset with complex challenges which called for concerted efforts for solutions.
He also disclosed that during the two-day summit, Zambia will be given an opportunity to share her thoughts on various global issues.
Various dignitaries including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon are expected to attend the official opening of the summit which will be held under the theme: ‘Lasting peace through joint Global Governance.’


South Sudan is organizing national football competitions in attempt to promote peace and unity amongst the young nations diverse ethnic groups often seen as divided by tribal conflicts usually associated to cattle theft.
The country is also taking advantage of the exercise to meet requirements needed by international sports associations to gain membership of various organisations. South Sudan’s Football Association is organising competition between various clubs to find the countries best players and teams before finals are held in the capital Juba.
On 18 August Aweil Meriekh club from Northern Bahr El Ghazal State (NBGS) played Nahda Bentiu Club from Unity State. The first match was played in Aweil town, the capital of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, inaugurated by Tong Deng Anei, the state’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. In other leg was played in Bentiu on 27 August.
With the winning team scheduled to play in the national semi-final 9 September was stiff competition.
Meriekh Aweil won both matches and will go on to play in the semi-final on 9 September in the capital Juba.
Garang Akok, Chairman of Meriekh Aweil Club, told Sudan Tribune on Thursday that he always had confidence in his team, which won the last game in Bentiu 2-1.
Abdullah Deng, Acting Director General in the ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture commended the competition and said his ministry encouraged the healthy competition.
He said that their experience of playing a high tempo passing game had made the team "professional and efficient”.
Garang Kuol, Chairman of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State Football Association, agreed with Deng’s argument about preparing adequately for matches.
Tong Deng Anei, Minister of Sports in Northern Bahr el Ghazal said he sees the football competition as an opportunity to promote peace and unity amongst various youth groups across the country.
“This is very important for the youth of the entire country and it should be done through fair competition among the young professional players”, Anei said in a statement.
The Northern Bahr el Ghazal minister further added that “one of importance aspect of this tournament was that it brought exchange visits between the young leaders and develops close relationship among them”.
He congratulated Aweil Meriekh Club for working hard to win and overcoming not only the other team but the treacherous muddy road between Rumbek and Bentiu.
"You have won the trust of the people of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State”, he said in a statement, encouraging the team to prepare "to face the strong teams that include, Akuach of Rumbek, Nasir of Juba and Meriekh Renk”.
He also thanked Nahda Bentiu for having taken their time to come to Aweil despite numerous logistical difficulties and for welcoming Meriekh Aweil in Bentiu.
“You don’t know how much we have appreciated the hospitality you accorded to the team," he added.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Police officers battle riotous youth at Majengo, Mombasa August 28, 2012.
Two policemen were feared dead after youth protesting the killing of fiery
preacher Aboud Rogo hurled a grenade at a contingent of the officers in Kisauni.
A prison warder was killed and 14 other security officers injured as the violence triggered by the killing of Al-Shabaab suspect Aboud Rogo continued for the second day Tuesday.
The riots spread across Mombasa town with mayhem reported in Mwandoni, Bakarani and Bamburi, all in Kisauni, and in Majengo and King’orani areas on the island.
The warder and 13 of his colleagues were in a vehicle that was attacked with a grenade as they rushed in to quell the riots.
The other officers, from the General Service Unit, were injured in battles at Majengo and King’orani.
On Tuesday, a high level team comprising officers from the government and independent agencies was set up to investigate the killing of Sheikh Rogo.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko, appointed assistant deputy DPP Jacob Ondari to coordinate the team that includes representatives from the Independent Police Oversight Authority, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Law Society of Kenya, the Commission on Administration of Justice and the police. (READ: DPP Tobiko orders joint probe into Rogo killing)
As the riots in Mombasa continued, leaders across the political divide called for calm.
They included Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Mvita MP Najib Balala. In Parliament, MPs demanded that details of the killing of Sheikh Rogo be revealed to the public.
They also want a report on why the police had not arrested any culprits despite the crime having been committed in “broad daylight”.
Sheikh Rogo had been named by the United Nations and United States as Al-Shabaab’s chief agent in Kenya, recruiting fighters for the Somali militant group and raising funds.
Eleven of the injured security officers were treated at Jocham Hospital. Two others were referred to Coast General Hospital where the body of the one who was killed was also taken.
The policemen were in a contingent heading to counter marauding youths who had set ablaze Kisauni Presbyterian Church. But as they approached the church compound at Mwandoni, the gang confronted them and a gun-fight ensued.
It is during the fight that one of the rioters hurled a grenade at the police vehicle. A police officer who talked to the Nation at Jocham Hospital said: “One officer is dead, while two are at Coast General Hospital. The rest of the injured are here.”
A witness said: “I saw the police vehicle being hit by the grenade. Two police officers fell down with blood all over.”
Burning tyres
Tension reigned in Kisauni, which was virtually inaccessible after the rioters barricaded the main road using burning tyres.
A lorry-load of General Service Unit officers later sent to the area had to use a detour through Mishomoroni in a bid to access Mwandoni which was the epicentre of Tuesday’s clashes.
Mr Sadique Kakai, Kenya Red Cross officer in charge of disaster in the Coast region described the situation as “really bad”.
“We are even unable to access the hard-hit areas to help those who are injured. The rioters are even turning against us,” he told the Nation by phone.
The battles had earlier been confined to the town, but spread to residential estates after police secured the town centre.
The chaos intensified even as Coast provincial commissioner Samuel Kilele warned that the security forces would deal decisively with its perpetrators.
Mr Kilele, speaking after meeting inter-faith council of preachers in his office, said those causing riots were criminals.
“Criminal gangs are taking advantage of this violence to cause mayhem, damage property and steal from people,” he said, adding that stringent measures had been put in place to ensure normality returned to the island and elsewhere.
The violence, he said, might adversely affect the Mombasa International Agricultural Society of Kenya show, which starts on Wednesday.
Provincial police boss Aggrey Adoli said a team of senior officers from the CID had been sent to Mombasa to assist in investigating the Rogo murder.
Police, he said, had arrested a number of people who they were sorting out based on evidence at hand. He said officers would use ‘‘minimal” force to quell the chaos.
Rogue youths
“We cannot allow rogue youths to spoil the party for everybody just because they are mourning,” he said. To contain the current situation, Mr Adoli said more policemen had been sent to the affected areas.
Police arrested 13 youths suspected to have been involved in the chaos around Mwembe Tanganyika and Majengo ya Musa estates.
The officers were around the two estates to contain the youths who lit tyres on Shariff Nassir Road, disrupting transport around Majengo and King’orani.
Police also cordoned off the Mombasa Pentecostal Church among other churches within Mombasa Island after receiving information that some youths were planning to burn them down.
Reports by Bozo Jenje, Mwakera Mwajefa, Galgalo Bocha, Winnie Atieno, Anthony Kitimo and Mark Agutu
Daily Nation