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UK MP reprimanded for taking baby to debate in Parliament – NewsDay

U.K. lawmaker Stella Creasy said she was reprimanded for bringing her three-month-old son to a debate in parliament, in what she called an outdated barrier for working mothers.

Creasy, an MP from the opposition Labour Party, tweeted an email in which she was reminded on Tuesday about regulations that prohibit members of Parliament from taking their children inside the main chamber. It seemed as if “mothers in the mother of all parliament are not to be seen or heard,” she said.

In response to another Twitter user who questioned whether any mother can claim the freedom to take children to their workplace, Creasy said “it’s actually a legal right not to be discriminated against because you are breastfeeding.” She dismissed the criticism as out of step for the “21st century where we make it possible for women to be parliamentarians.”

Another Labour MP, Alex Davies-Jones, tweeted that the rule was a “complete contradiction”, given that she was previously granted permission to breastfeed her baby in the Commons.

Meanwhile, the BBC reported that Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab expressed sympathy for Creasy, saying that the presence of a child “wouldn’t distract me or get in the way of me doing my job.” Creasy has a history of campaigning on parental issues, including better maternity cover, support for parents in politics and a change in rules for proxy voting when MPs are on parental leave.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became the first world leader to take an infant to the United Nations General Assembly in New York during a period in which she was breastfeeding her then three-month-old daughter. – Bloomberg

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Tamil Nadu political leaders condole death of Rosaiah – Times of India

CHENNAI: Chief minister M K Stalin, AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam and joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami, AMMK leader T T V Dhinakaran and V K Sasikala condoled the death of former Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah. He was 88.
The former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh became the 23rd governor of Tamil Nadu on August 31, 2011 and went to serve the state until September 1, 2016. AIADMK-led by J Jayalalithaa was in power during his entire term.
Stalin said he was pained to hear about the demise of Rosaiah, a man of vast experience, knowledge and a veteran statesman. “I offer my deepest condolences to his family and friends in this hour of grief,” he tweeted.
In a statement, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami expressed grief over the death of the former governor, who discharged his duty in a dignified manner.
“He had a lot of respect for Amma (Jayalalithaa). His death is an irreplaceable loss to Indian politics,” the leaders said, while conveying condolences to the bereaved family.
Dhinakaran said that Rosaiah was MLA, MLC, MP, minister, chief minister and governor over his long political career.
Sasikala, the former close-aide of Jayalalithaa, hailed Rosaiah’s efficiency, simplicity and gentleness in treating everyone equally, irrespective of political leanings. “He saw Amma as his own daughter and was very affectionate towards her. He remained supportive to all her efforts for the growth of Tamil Nadu,” Sasikala said.

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OBITUARY: The Douglas Tawanda Munatsi I knew – Trevor Ncube – NewsDay

By Trevor Ncube
Douglas Tawanda Munatsi was a remarkable human being. It is difficult, almost impossible to write about him in the past tense.

Because Doug filled every room he walked into with so much life. In this tribute, because it is more than just an obituary, I would like to reflect on aspects of the Doug I knew, from the personal to the professional and the public.

I knew Doug for over 30 years. He grew to become more than just a dear friend, he was my brother. I am godfather to his eldest son. He and his wife Bindzile are godparents to our daughter Maya. Our families shared many unforgettable moments over the years. Even as we mourn Doug’s passing, we are comforted by these moments. We will always cherish the joy he brought into our lives.

“Mzukulezi how are you and Allbody? You are always in my prayers” was one of Doug’s many ways of greeting me and checking on my family. He was my “Sekuru” because he was Nzou, my late mother being Ndlovu. I will miss Doug on so many levels.

Doug and l joined the Wingate Golf Club at about the same time. We had lots of fun on the golf course. We would go on to take our shared passion for golf to many courses around the world. A round of golf takes quite a few hours to complete, and Doug was the best companion to share that time with.

He had a great sense of humour. Not only did he have us all in stitches with his mischievous anecdotes, he would be reduced to tears as he laughed at his own funny stories. Like all the great conversationalists, many of Doug’s stories had a great shelf life. He retold some of them so many times over the past 30 years, yet their punchlines never lost their sting.

One of Doug’s favourite jokes was about my putting routine. He would demonstrate just how long I stood over the golf ball before putting – each time he would laugh uproariously. Another favourite of his was the day Muchadeyi Masunda had a complete sense of humour failure when I accidentally walked over his putting line.

There was also the time when my caddy told me off for shanking my shot. What we didn’t know at the time was that my caddy had placed a bet on the game and had backed me to beat Doug. My caddy wasn’t just berating me for my weak shot but was actually upset because I had cost him money. Doug’s personality was so much larger than life that I cannot believe that we will never see or talk to him again. It is all so surreal.

More than a source of laughter, he was a pillar of support. When my mother died in July Doug flew down to Bulawayo to attend the funeral and mourn with us. He was one of the 30 people allowed to be at the graveside under the tight Covid protocols during the devastating third wave. He was that kind of friend who stood by his friends in good and bad times. He was generous and kind.

Our families had a tradition of Friday quality time that spilled over into the following day. Our last time together was for a dinner to celebrate Doug and Bindzile’s  30th wedding anniversary at Wombles in Harare. Time spent with Doug and Bindzile was intellectually stimulating and a nourishment to the soul.

He was consistent. The same values he lived by as a friend and a family man governed his business dealings. Doug was a hard worker, principled and professional – virtues that made him a positive role model to many young people. In Doug they saw somebody whose significant wealth could be traced to the hard work he had put in, and the tangible businesses he had built from the ground up.

As Managing Director of First Merchant Bank he was instrumental in the bank financing my acquisition of 100% control of ZimInd Publishers when my partners Clive Murphy and Clive Wilson disinvested. He also supported my acquisition of the Mail & Guardian in South Africa. He took a lot of flak in Zanu PF circles for supporting me.

I am angry. I am hurting. Doug elected to answer the call to serve his country and temporarily abandon his comfortable life. He did not need the job as the first Chief Executive Officer of the newly constituted Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA). What a thank you to a patriotic citizen. After this how many will answer the call to serve when the message is that the price for principled leadership is life itself.

As l write this Doug’s funeral has been postponed to allow for further investigations into the circumstances surrounding his death. I hope that the investigation will be a thorough and impartial one, conducted by those committed to justice.

I am aware that Doug faced resistance from those opposed to an ethical management style. In my conversations with him, Doug said he wasn’t afraid of those who wanted a corrupt ZIDA. When I said if they failed to compromise him, they would come for him, he responded “then they don’t know me Mzukuru” and dismissed the matter.

Doug did not deserve to die the way he did. From what we’ve garnered so far it appears as if Doug died a most horrific death. The circumstances of Doug’s death are disturbingly similar to those of General Solomon Mujuru.

Difficult to understand like the death of Charles Kuwaza, former chair of the State Procurement board. Difficult to understand like the death of Edward Chindori-Chininga former Minister of Mines and Mining Development.

My prayer is that we get to know what actually happened to Doug early on the morning of Monday the 29th of November 2021, inside his penthouse in Harare. I am hoping that if Doug was murdered his death draws the line in the sand to this impunity. We must bring to an end the assassination and murder of citizens and the failure to investigate and bring to book the perpetrators of these barbaric crimes.

Bindzile and the boys have lost a loving husband and father. Many of us have lost a great friend while Zimbabwe has lost a patriot who was going to positively impact the future of this country through ZIDA. The circumstances of Doug’s death speak volumes about the society that we have become.

The greatest tribute to Doug’s inspirational life is a speedy investigation of how he died. If his death was a hit, as l believe strongly, the culprits must be brought to book. That is our debt to this patriotic and selfless Zimbabwean.

Doug loved God. He attributed his success from very humble beginnings to the Grace of God. In his wife Bindzile he had a praying warrior. They raised their three amazing boys in the presence of God. His love for his wife and family was an inspiration. His legacy will be felt for a long time across not only Zimbabwe but also in South Africa, Botswana and indeed the whole continent.

You have done your bit Doug. Go well till we meet again.

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America and China opened the door for African coups to return – Aljazeera.com

The most recent coup in Sudan has been modified – not undone – by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan’s reappointment of deposed civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.

The coup, which had been widely rumoured in Sudan but still managed to blindside the United States, remains a source of outrage for Sudanese citizens. But Washington is yet to take a clear stance on the issue.

The reaction from American diplomats, who have signalled acceptance of the new arrangement and willingness to turn a blind eye to the continued military dominance of the transition government, has diverged widely from that of Sudanese citizens, who continue to reject military hegemony.

This case highlights the breakdown of the anti-coup coalition that had formed for Africa – a breakdown that has led to military interventions reemerging as a leading method by which power is transferred on the continent.

After decolonisation, competitive elections remained rare for decades in Africa, while military coups emerged as the leading method by which power changed hands. But around the turn of the century, multiparty elections became the norm within African states, while coups were relegated to rare and generally short-lived breakdowns of constitutional order.

This dramatic change, coming in the aftermath of the Cold War, was brought about by a convergence of domestic and international actors. Local populations, fed up with dictatorial and military rule and hopeful for the promises of democracy, forced autocrats and military regimes to step aside. The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) went from being a notorious “dictator’s club” to enforcing democracy and constitutionalism as requirements for sustained membership in the continent’s main political body. Meanwhile, with the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States and other Western powers recommitted themselves to upholding democracy. African strongmen and juntas were left without international backers, leading to widespread, though far from complete, democratisation across the continent.

For a while, the anti-coup consensus held. As popular pro-democracy activism persisted, African militaries were pushed back into the barracks and autocrats were shoved out of office. Coup attempts plummeted, and the military leaders that did seize power, as in Niger in 2010 or Mali in 2012, were swiftly removed in the face of united African, Western and broader international condemnation.

The legacy of these transitions remains in the endurance of competitive multiparty politics in formerly coup-plagued countries such as Ghana and Nigeria. But as coups make a comeback in Africa – with the Wall Street Journal newspaper noting that military takeovers have returned this year to their highest level in 40 years  – it is becoming evident that there is a growing division in the anti-coup coalition that helped democracy emerge in Africa.

Local populations have upheld their end of the bargain, as have regional blocs like the African Union (AU), the successor organisation to the OAU. But the international environment has returned to one that is at best permissive of military takeovers, and at worst actively welcomes them as expedient ways to remove threatening or odious leaders. Backsliding on the part of Western powers, and the rise of autocrat-friendly China, have created an atmosphere that emboldens generals and military cliques to seize power.

A decade ago, the Arab Spring brought the democratisation wave to North Africa, toppling the long-serving dictators of Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Yet, it was the aftermath of Egypt’s transition that began to break down the international consensus against coups in Africa. When the democratically elected government of Mohamed Morsi was overthrown in 2013, the AU quickly condemned the coup. The US and other Western powers, however, prevaricated, concerned about the undemocratic change of power but happy to see Morsi go. The American government publicly declined to call the overthrow a coup, and soon General-turned-President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi found himself in the good graces of the US, while also cosying up to autocratic powers like Saudi Arabia and China.

The crack in the anti-coup coalition created for Egypt in 2013 grew into a chasm four years later, when President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was pushed out of power by his military amid an internal power struggle within his ruling ZANU-PF party. At the time, there was near-unanimity of opinion that Mugabe’s nearly 40-year reign should end. He was pushed out by his former allies, with rumoured support from China, where coup leader Constantine Chiwenga, the commander of the Zimbabwean military, had visited just before returning to Zimbabwe to remove Mugabe. The move was met with relief from Western governments that had long grown tired of Mugabe and approval from Zimbabweans, most of whom had lived their entire lives under Mugabe’s rule.

Still, the AU condemned the military stepping in to remove Mugabe, and Zimbabwean opposition parties and civil society groups warned that the army’s chosen replacement, ZANU-PF stalwart Emmerson Mnangagwa, would be just as oppressive as his predecessor. But the US and other Western nations were happy to pretend that Mugabe’s “resignation” was valid and not made at the point of a gun barrel, and the West quickly accepted the hasty election thrown together to legitimise Mnangagwa.

The ZANU-PF government has maintained its “look East policy,” remaining cosy with China – despite local Zimbabwean anger at Chinese economic exploitation of Zimbabwe’s mineral resources. Pessimistic local predictions about Mnangagwa’s rule have proven true – ZANU-PF remains as oppressive as ever – but the new leader remains propped up by the air of legitimacy granted him by the international community.

Which brings us to today. Sudan’s General Burhan likely had the examples of Egypt and Zimbabwe in mind when he planned the coup, calculating that he could take power and gain the acquiescence of chief powers like the US, which remains willing to replace the pariah al-Bashir with a similarly repressive but less notorious military-dominated alternative, and China, which is happy to work with whatever government brings stability to a longtime economic partner.

Meanwhile, activists, politicians, and citizens continue to risk their lives to fight for true, civilian-led democracy in Sudan (and Egypt and Zimbabwe, for that matter). But the fight for democracy and against military rule in Africa has seen significant setbacks. This year alone, coups have overthrown existing governments or undemocratically installed new leaders in Chad, Mali, and Guinea, in addition to Sudan. While African populations remain overwhelmingly committed to democracy and opposed to military governments, the lack of reliable international pro-democracy partners makes the struggle against military rule much more difficult. But as the sustained anti-military protests in Sudan demonstrate, local populations are willing to continue the fight for democracy, even if they must go it alone.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

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