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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Native Americans claiming compesation

Top leftt: Native American Casino, Top right: Nigerian oil gas flares, Top: Zimbabwe Farm. Let it be known that I claim not the above pictures as my own.

It's peculiar, land issues in America and Africa. Think Zimbabwe or the Nigerian Coast, if you will. I don't think people see the similarities in the plight of the African and Native American. It's as if we're on different planets when you read the history books and then listen to the media. I will watch closely as events unfold in the story below...

"WASHINGTON (AFP) - A judge has hinted he would not award Native Americans the 46 billion dollars they have demanded in a lawsuit charging the US government cheated them out of profits from land held in trust since the 1800s. After hearing closing arguments that followed a 12-year marathon legal battle, US District Judge James Robertson on Wednesday indicated he was not ready to endorse an amount in the tens of billions of dollars as argued by lawyers representing the Native American plaintiffs. The judge said he believed what was in dispute was whether the remedy should be in the millions or billions, or "10 digits or nine digits."
Lawyers for the Native Americans said the government had failed to pay out tens of billion dollars in oil, timber, mineral and grazing royalties from lands held in trust by the Department of Interior since 1887.
"Today, 500,000 Native Americans look to Washington with hope," plaintiffs' lawyer William Dorris told the court.
"They are not asking for a handout. They are simply asking for what is theirs."
Judge Robertson said an absence of reliable figures made it difficult to arrive at an equitable amount for the American Indians.
"There is very little hard data on which to base an award that covers 120 years" of collections and disbursements, he said.
Saying he would issue a ruling sometime in August, Robertson asked both legal teams in the meantime to provide more concrete suggestions in writing as to how to calculate an award.
A government lawyer told the court the Native Americans could not support their 46-billion-dollar claim with facts or reliable figures, and said that several hundred million might be owed at most.
The plaintiffs had "failed to provide a credible case" and had relied on an expert witness who used "unfounded assumptions" to come up with estimates employing "selective" data, said government attorney Robert Kirschman.
In an earlier opinion in January at the outset of the trial, the judge said a lack of adequate accounting of trust money did "not mean that a just resolution of this dispute is hopeless."
He wrote that "a remedy must be found for the (Interior) Department's unrepaired, and irreparable, breach of its fiduciary duty over the last century."
Federal courts have previously ruled against the government in related cases, ordering the Interior Department to fix how it managed Indian trust accounts after an audit exposed shoddy bookkeeping.
The origins of the trusts date back to a notorious policy launched in the late 1800s that was designed to assimilate Native Americans and turn them into farmers.
Their land was divided up into individual parcels and held in temporary trust. The policy eventually evolved into a permanent trust, in which Indians were supposed to be paid any royalties from the land.
The lead plaintiff in the case, Elouise Cobell of the Black Foot Indian Tribe in Montana, said US banks would never be allowed under the law to carelessly manage trust accounts the way the government handled the Indians' money over the past century.
And she said the figure put forward in her lawsuit was based on "conservative" estimates, using what government records were available.
"People have not gotten paid," Cobell told AFP. "I think the government is getting a very good deal." "

Sunday, June 22, 2008

We lost but hey, didn't know Malawi could attract such a crowd

2-0 but at least we didn't go down too hard. Big up to our boys!!

Now what is this I hear about Morgan Tsvangirai pulling out of elections. Now this news is like a bee in my bonnet. No opposition? I mean no significant opposition, this is bad news for our region. SADC needs to show it's leadership this time. What a year, Xenophobia in South now this?

And what is this I hear from African American comedians joking about Barack Obama being "almost Black" not funny. Joking about, "Well, he do have some Black tendencies but that's about it!" Pick another joke to get rich by. Now you go'n say I don't know what I'm talking about, I have reason to believe I do. So go on and joke stuff that's smart.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Malawian Immigration Fees, to like them or not to like them, that's the question

Just fyi if you're planning on coming to the land of the Red, Green, and, Black. Ahem, you know we defeated the reigning African Football champions, Egypt, last weekend, right? It's the place to be. At least this is more comprehensive than the immigration jargon in some countries I know (lol) and at least here you don't need to make a lawyer rich( I still don't get all that lawyer stuff) to get the papers you need. I mean, man, why complicate what don't need complication. Y'as heard?

The home affairs office will now be charging a visa for Malawi in United States dollars, and the new requirement is that one has to obtain them from their home country or at a nearest Malawi mission from their home country.A transit visa is at US$50 (K7,000), up from K2,200. At a Malawi mission, the visa would attract US$70 (K9,800).A single entry visa is at US$70, up from K3,000.A multiple entry visa for six months is at US$150 (K10,500), up from K4,500. A multiple visa for one year is at US$250, up from K5,500.A permanent residence permit (PRP) in case of a wife of a Malawian national is K30,000, up from K5,000. PRP in all other cases is at K300,000, up from K80,000. (perhaps we need more foreign wives up in here, lol, lucky you , Malawian men, lol)

Government has split Temporary Employment Permit (TEP) into three categories. A TEP for NGOs is at K60,000, for religious organisations is at K30,000 while a normal TEP is at K100,000 up from K60,000. A TEP caters for two years, but if one wants to extend it for a year, he or she has to pay half of the fees for a particular category, including a processing fee of K10,000.A Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) for six months has been increased from K5,000 to K30,000, a Business Residence Permit (BRP) has been increased from K50,000 to K500,000, a 1000 percent increase.Extension of a visit to Malawi would no longer be free after the expiry of an initial 30 days. A visitor would be charged K5,000.

Citizenship fees in all other cases, except for wives of Malawian nationals is now at K500,000, up from K100,000. However, the Malawi citizenship is now at K30,000 in case of wives for Malawian citizens, an increase of 757 percent from K3,500. A foreigner qualifies for citizenship if he or she has stayed in Malawi for at least five years for a Commonwealth national or seven years for a non-Commonwealth national.The citizenship status is not automatic and an applicant’s name goes through normal procedures up to Minister of Home Affairs who approves them.In case of minors for parents who attained citizenship, the fee is K200,000. Restoration of Malawi citizenship is at K200,000 up from K100,000, renunciation of Malawi citizenship is at K10,000, up from K1,000.However, in all other cases, a citizenship would now cost K500,000, that is for applicants like holders of the business residence permit or permanent residence permits.

Source, The Daily Times.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Victory looks Red, Green, and Black!!

Congratulations Malawi!! Never thought I'd see this day. Kinnah Phiri, siyajabula kakhulu, you're the man!!

Malawi's Russell Mwafulirwa (R) is chased by Egypt's Wael Gomaa (L) during the 2010 World Cup-African Nations Cup Group 12 qualifying match at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on June 14, 2008. Malawi won 1-0. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER

And from BBC:

Egypt stunned in Blantyre

Hassan Shehata's team were stunned in Blantyre
African champions Egypt suffered a shock set-back in their bid to qualify for the 2010 World and Nations Cups, when they were beaten by Malawi.
Hassan Shehata's team looked to have held on for a 0-0 draw, until stoppage time at the end of the game.
But in the third minute of time added on Chiukepo Msowoya grabbed the goal which gave the Flames a famous victory to put them on top of Group 12.
Malawi, DR Congo and Egypt all have six points from three games, with Malawi top on goal difference.
The Pharaohs, reigning African champions, are down in third, and facing a real battle to get into the next round of qualifying.
DR Congo thrashed Djibouti on Friday by 6 goals to nil.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Politix of "Savez-Vous"

Now that cellphone tariffs have been raised so that, as was stated, that "Malawians now should plan talk-time on the phone wisely" -a plastic pox on the one with the big idea. I'm beginning to question the studied person, should communication cost us even more, didn't I hear that we, as a country, are already rather behind?

What do I know? i should confess, I used to look forward to 9 pm in the land of the West, then at 9 pm sharp I could clip that ear-piece to my ear and talk endlessly on the phone, don't even ask about the week-ends. Free calls!! I once pulled a 5 hour phone call -free of charge, thank you very much. I was looking forward to that happening here, you never know, it's good to keep hope alive, it just might happen, first though, ahem, as was said, I need to learn to plan my talk-time on the phone wisely. WHATEVER!
Bring the tariffs back down!!!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gates' Rules

"Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school". He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1
Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2
The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3
You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4
If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6
If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7
Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8
Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9
Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10
Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11
Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Monday, June 9, 2008

On Xenophobia in Mzansi (South Africa)

I have been thinking some on the xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Some Malawians have already returned home and I hear thousands more are on their way. My take on it? First off, I disagree with those who say, “It’s about time, Malawians always want to develop other countries so good for them this happened, they need to be reminded Malawi needs to develop too, bring them on home!!”

We need Malawians out and about in various countries, to learn some skills that can help us here in development. The wrong attitudes to have are:
1. Jealousy: from people who hate on those working out there and are so happy that the Xenophobic attacks happened
2. Inferiority complexes: By those out there who hate their own identity as Malawians and will take on below minimum wage jobs as long as it’s a job outside the country.

I should say, I was so happy for South Africa’s winning of the World Cup Bid but hey, this just helps me to be more and more concerned about the kind of people that are living in South Africa right now. I mean, Bantu on Bantu violence, really, for jobs?…man (not that Bantu on other races violence is any better.) I lived in Swaziland for some time and I faced some resistance being a foreigner.

Come on Black folks let’s stop this hating, that’s why the White folks’ “divide and rule” theory works on us…

Well, now I’m beginning to think about the Mexicans working in the US en masse…a little voice comes to my mind, “the border crossed us…” I’m not a politician, ahem…Peace to the world!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Malawi win 8-1 in Soccer (Yay!) and Basketball events over the week-end...

First off, good to see the Central Zone Basketball back in business. The seeding took place over the week-end; games were played simultaneously at Silver Stadium and Community Center. Yours trully was the time-keeper for some of the games played. That was a great honor not taken for granted, thank you much Cezobal. I don't know if the results are out yet. The giant teams right now reside in Blantyre but I think with co-operation and more co-operation Lilongwe teams can do well at the national level.

As for Soccer, Congratulations Malawi and new coach Kinnah Phiri for the sound win of Djibouti. Malawi's Flames and Djibouti's Shoremen of the Red Sea played in Blantyre and the result: 8-1. Believe that!

Free Tampons, pictures of orphans on FaceBook profiles and general foreign nastiness

I suppose we've got Madonna to thank for, ahem, putting Malawi in the spotlight. Shall I say it's now fashionable to pity Malawi,
"Hey, where are you folks sending the money you are running for?"
"Malawi of course, oh, those poor, poor orphans, plus that hunger situation and the attempted coup..."

Now they are bringing free, all of the sudden the African (read Malawian) girl child just woke up from thousands of years and discovered, "I don't know what to use when I get a period." Psych! I'm not denying the presence of orphans, for there are many nor am I denying the fact that cloth sanitary pads may not be as hygienic as disposable items but hey, why do you have to make girls the object of your ad campaigns and orphans a money spinning industry. If you want to help, help just don't blow your own horn so loud that you leave a ringing in my ear!!

What has made the Buckaroo so mad today? FaceBook profiles of people who think it's so cool to flash the world pictures of the orphans they encountered here in their orphan "care" work. What upsets me is that, and I am speaking from experience since I am in the same field, if you care enough for that child you will honor their dignity by presenting them to your world in a way that they would be proud of, especially when they are older. Not on FaceBook with all the dirt and snot and torn clothes, IF YOUR ORPHANAGE IS REPUTABLE, WHERE IS THE SOAP AT?? AND THE HAIR BRUSH??? Please give me a break, if you are serving them, they should look different if you have enough money left over from your African service to spend on DSL and keep your facebook running and your digital camera charged.....The PETULANCE!!

OK, I have said what I needed to say, now let me hold my peace. Dangnabbit, I was supposed to wax lyrical about the Flames victory over Djibouti (Shoremen from the Red Sea) and Central Zone Basketball's (CEZOBAL) events. Well, I'll have to wait until I'm calmer...