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AFRICA/CARRIBEAN NOW: Kagame Calls for Global Action on Climate Change

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has called for rapid action globally to address climate change and prevent impending negative consequences.

The president was speaking on climate change and the importance of ending plastic pollution in Charlevoix, Quebec, at the recent G-7 summit.

The president highlighted that no nation across the world was being spared the impact of climate change with tens of millions of people’s ways of life disrupted, The New Times, Rwanda’s leading daily, reported June 10.

“The role of oceans in regulating climate change has been severely affected, and the human factor, among others, continues to contribute to this situation,” he said. “That calls for global action. Among other consequences, we may see tens of millions of people on the move, in search of new homes. No country on Earth is unaffected. And none can act alone.”

Noting the continued delays to take action, he said that there was still time to avert continued damage by making interventions that bear the right scale and urgency.

“We have delayed to take action with the necessary urgency and scale, but we still have the time and ability to mitigate the damage and stop the worst scenarios,” Kagame said. “A number of factors should give us the determination to do the right thing.”

Zuma Bringing ANC Down, Experts Say

The infighting in the ANC and former South African President Jacob Zuma’s machinations on the ground will end its two-decade electoral dominance and force it into a coalition government, say analysts.

The ANC has been assured of 60 percent of the votes cast in general elections since 1994, but that could be in danger when the country goes to the polls next year, the Durban Sunday Tribune reported.

The weekend’s aborted provincial elective conference in Empangeni has worried party leaders. The first signs that its grip on the voting public was loosening became evident when the ANC fared badly in the 2016 local government elections, securing only 54 percent of the vote.

The ANC lost three key metros — Joburg, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane — in 2016.

The ANC’s provincial task team coordinator, Sihle Zikalala, conceded the ANC was not ready to start campaigning for next year’s elections without a permanent structure.

“You need stability when you go to elections. We need leadership with authority and power, not just delegated power, to lead the campaign,” Zikalala said.

But with the once-united province of KwaZulu-Natal, previously a drawcard, in tatters, it remains to be seen how the party will fare next year.

The rifts in the ANC in KZN, Zuma’s home province, forced the canning of the ANC KZN provincial conference which led to renewed talk of a split in the party.

ANC national chairman Gwede Mantashe was booed at the aborted conference. Zikalala later apologized to him.

Regional Leaders Lose Faith in CSME Realization

CARICOM members have to become more practical in their approach to the concepts of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME), St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said Friday, the Guyana Chronicle reported on June 10.

The occasion was a two-day shareholder consultation on the CSME at the Ramada Princess Hotel on the lower East Bank.

Gonsalves said that while on paper the plans may seem ideal, they are far from realistic, and regional leaders have begun to lose faith in the realization of the CSME. The CSME is an integrated development strategy envisioned at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM back in July 1990 in Grand Anse, Grenada.

It was designed to benefit the Region’s citizens by providing more and better opportunities to produce and sell goods and services and to attract investment.

According to the Region’s longest serving Prime Minister, there is a lot yet to be done on the Single Market component of the CSME.

He feels that much more can be done in the areas of integration, movement, functional cooperation with respect to health, education, human resources development and foreign policy, but does not believe it is easy to make a clear demarcation between the Single Market and Single Economy.

As it relates to the issues facing the concept of a single economy, Gonsalves does not believe that they would be ironed out “in the foreseeable future.”

He explained that because of the nature of respective economies within CARICOM, and the uneven though combined state of underdevelopment, varying challenges will continue to exist, and it is because of this that he doesn’t believe that the region can move towards a single economy.

Judge Denies Man’s Claim on Ex-Wife’s Properties

A Supreme Court judge has denied a Bahamian man’s attempts to secure an interest in his ex-wife’s $4m home and her 12 condominiums while ordering his ex-wife to pay him $100,000 to “ease his transition” into living without a partner, The Tribune reported on June 8.

Justice Ian Winder, in a written ruling, shot down Garth Bethel’s assertions that he had a one-half interest in both Veronica Bethel’s Ocean West Limited-owned condominium complex and the marital home on West Bay Street. However, Winder ruled that due to the “unequal financial position” of both parties brought on by the divorce, and in accordance with Section 29 of the Matrimonial Causes Act (MCA), Mrs. Bethel will have to make a “lump sum payment” of $100,000 to Bethel within 90 days.

Bethel had submitted that his right to claim half of the home in question was justified by the collective $4.52 million worth of repairs he claimed he pumped into refurbishing Mrs. Bethel’s home when he first moved in with her.

Further, Bethel argued that because his ex-wife used the home in question to secure a $2.5 million loan from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to build the 12 condos, he could thus assert an interest in the complex. However, Winder shot down the former assertion, stating that based on the evidence, Bethel had failed to prove that he was a “man of means” capable of producing such a sum, and that he actually produced 1.8 percent of the $4.52 million, or approximately $80,000.

“This was a man, who at the time of meeting the wife, lived in a home on East Street South with his mother and his siblings,” Winder said. “The lack of credible evidence makes it difficult to accept that the husband was a man of means capable of providing the sums he alleges to have contributed to the matrimonial home.”

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