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AFRICA/CARIBBEAN NOW: Let’s Fight Racism, Says SA Energy Minister

In a week in which Indo-African race relations became a focal point, Energy Minister Jeff Radebe appealed to South Africans to unite in their diversity.

Radebe joined several hundred people Saturday on a 15-kilometer social cohesion walk from Phoenix to KwaMashu, hoping to help bridge the growing divide between Indians and Africans, the Durban Sunday Tribune reported June 24.

The “We Are One” walk echoed the “One Nation, Many Cultures” mantra Nelson Mandela championed in the 1990s.

The annual walk took on greater significance in the wake of recent racially charged comments by EFF leader Julius Malema and his deputy, Floyd Shivambu, who said Indians had undermined Africans in the Treasury.

At a Youth Day gathering in Klerksdorp, North West, Malema said most Indians were racist.

In addition, on a recent Kulula flight, Johannesburg resident Alochna Moodley allegedly used a racial slur to describe other passengers. She has since been fired by her company, SMC Pneumatics.

And in Durban this week, Cosatu staged a protest at a garage where a 28-year-old Durban man allegedly doused a Black woman employee with petrol and set her alight.

“Such incidents must be condemned,” Radebe said during the walk. “They do not belong in the new South Africa. Law enforcement and justice must take its course.”

NCEF: Nigerian Christians Could be Extinct in 25 Years

A group of Christians under the aegis of National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF), championed by a former Minister of Defense, retired Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, and Solomon Asemota (SAN), has warned that Christianity in Nigeria may cease to exist in 25 years from now.

Danjuma’s group said that the present generation of Christians may be the last set in Nigeria, the Daily Times Nigeria reported June 23.

With this, NCEF demanded the restructuring of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) before the 2019 general elections. They warned that if the current faulty structure is carried into 2019, it might be too late to preserve Christianity in Nigeria.

According to them, the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria “is openly pursuing an anti-Christian agenda that has resulted in countless murders of Christians all over the nation and destruction of vulnerable Christian communities.”

“Due to the inability of CAN to forge Christians into one indivisible army of the Lord, the Church has been weakened and unable to stand before its enemies,” NCEF said. “Realistically speaking, Christianity is on the brink of extinction in Nigeria. The ascendancy of Sharia ideology in Nigeria rings the death toll for the Nigerian Church. It is therefore imperative that CAN must be restructured, as a matter of urgency, if Christianity is to survive. CAN belongs to every Christian in Nigeria and there is nothing wrong with the association. It is the management that should be revisited and restructured.”

Jamaican PM Backs Review of CARICOM Contribution Scale

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness has embraced the Bruce Golding-led Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Review Commission’s proposal for greater equity in the assessment and calculation of fees payable to the CARICOM Secretariat and agencies by member states.

“As the second largest contributor to CARICOM, Jamaica has taken careful note of the scale of assessed contributions for which we are currently obliged to pay 23.15 percent,” Holness told the Lower House as he contributed to the debate on the report, the St. Kitts & Nevis Observer reported June 24.

“Jamaica has long advocated for the basic principle that each member state of CARICOM should pay its contributions according to its ‘capacity to pay,'” Holness said.

Approximately $1 billion was allocated in the 2018-2019 budget for CARICOM affairs, and in February, Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith disclosed that Jamaica was moving to clear its arrears of just under $500 million.

“What we have found is that penalties and interest are killing us, and we would remain on that debt mill for quite some time,” she said.

Holness also argued that CARICOM needed a stronger financial-management framework in light of the economic realities of member states.

“Undoubtedly, CARICOM must strive to spend more wisely, more responsibly, and in accordance with agreed budget levels,” he said.

Bahamian Security Minister Calls for Fit Officers

Bahamian National Security Minister Marvin Dames is calling for a physical fitness standard to be implemented for law enforcement agencies in the country and particularly within the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Dames made the comments Thursday, June 21 during the Tradewinds 2018 Phase II closing ceremony at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Coral Harbour Base, the Nassau Tribune reported.

He added that the standard is important both from a health perspective and cost-wise.

“You and I have had some discussions in the past about physical fitness and the need for certainly a regional physical fitness standard,” Dames said to RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel. “One that encourages the entire region to come together from time to time, and (call it) a fitness challenge, that will get our men and women in law enforcement to participate and to gain interest in keeping physically fit. Because no doubt there is a need for that. And we know that the military often leads the way.”

Dames said “other forces” are also “crying out” for some physical fitness standard, adding that he has already had discussions with Police Commissioner Anthony Ferguson on the need for such a standard in the RBPF and other law enforcement agencies in the country.

“I think it bodes well for any number of reasons: one, it keeps the officers stimulated and motivated and interested and it builds morale,” he said. “It also saves money, because we don’t have to keep buying uniforms for the same officers [due to] size increase. And so I stand here to say that the people of the Bahamas can expect to see the changes in the physical fitness standards of our law enforcement agencies.”

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