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Zimbabwe invited to US-Africa summit despite anger over dreaded CIOs car chase of American officials in central Harare – New Zimbabwe.com

Spread This NewsBy UK Correspondent

ZIMBABWE has been invited to the upcoming United States-Africa leaders’ summit in Washington despite concern over a “dire” authoritarian pivot by the Harare government which has seen a crackdown against political dissent and jailing of opponents.
Although the country remains under United States sanctions, President Joe Biden has invited Zimbabwe to the December 13-15 summit in Washington which is expected to be attended by dozens of African leaders.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is banned from travelling to the US, is expected to be represented by foreign affairs minister Fredrick Shava, who was Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Washington before his cabinet appointment.
Harare’s invitation has however, drawn criticism with the Biden administration accused of rewarding an increasingly autocratic regime whose spy agency earlier this year chased down senior U.S. congressional staffers across the streets of the capital.
“When you partner with bad actors, nondemocratic leaders, you’re sending a clear message to the people in those countries … and giving these leaders more power and legitimacy on the world stage,” Nicole Widdersheim of the Human Rights Watch advocacy organization told Foreign Policy magazine.
However, the summit is coming at a time when the war in Ukraine and the consequent political and economic repercussions have created a new “geopolitical order”.
Analysts also said Washington was trying to avoid a repeat of the diplomatic embarrassment experienced earlier this year when the leaders of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala refused to attend the US-hosted Summit of the Americas, after President Biden refused to send invitations to three autocrats in the region.
For the Africa summit, the Biden administration simply invited all countries in good standing with the African Union.
RELATED:

Foreign affairs minister Frederick Shava expected to represent Zimbabwe
“It avoids any offence on the African side, but on the U.S. side it looks like a betrayal of our values and our policies,” said Cameron Hudson, a former U.S. diplomat and senior associate for the Africa Program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank.
“We took an approach to invitations to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that will enable wide participation in dialogue on shared global priorities,” a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said.
“This summit is an important opportunity to engage with African leaders on shared commitments on respecting human rights and strengthening democratic institutions. As we have in other settings, we will discuss issues of concern and areas where we have disagreements.”
Meanwhile, US senators have since demanded that the Biden administration takes action after Senate Foreign Committee officials were involved in a movie-style car chase in Harare with suspected agents of the country’s CIO.
The officials were reportedly on an official visit to Harare organised with the US embassy to meet human rights advocates and civil society leaders to hear first-hand the deteriorating political situation in the country.
The incident incensed U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who sent a letter to President Joe Biden informing him of the harassment and car chase his staffers experienced. In the letter, he urged Biden to step up U.S. attention on the “dire” repressive political atmosphere in Zimbabwe and boost support for the country’s increasingly embattled civil society organizations and pro-democracy activists.
“This blatant aggression towards congressional staff, one of whom—as the Zimbabweans surely know served as a senior advisor to you for many years when you were Chairman and Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee—was meant to intimidate the staff themselves, and to send a message to the United States: our support of Zimbabweans working to defend democracy is unwelcome by those who hold power,” Menendez wrote in his letter to Biden dated Sept. 12, a copy of which was obtained by Foreign Policy. Menendez did not name the two staffers in his letter.
“Such outrageous behaviour highlights the Zimbabwean regime’s reckless disregard for international norms. If American officials are deliberately targeted, you can well imagine the violence that will be directed to Zimbabweans who dare to criticise the government.”

Spread This News

By UK Correspondent


ZIMBABWE has been invited to the upcoming United States-Africa leaders’ summit in Washington despite concern over a “dire” authoritarian pivot by the Harare government which has seen a crackdown against political dissent and jailing of opponents.

Although the country remains under United States sanctions, President Joe Biden has invited Zimbabwe to the December 13-15 summit in Washington which is expected to be attended by dozens of African leaders.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is banned from travelling to the US, is expected to be represented by foreign affairs minister Fredrick Shava, who was Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Washington before his cabinet appointment.

Harare’s invitation has however, drawn criticism with the Biden administration accused of rewarding an increasingly autocratic regime whose spy agency earlier this year chased down senior U.S. congressional staffers across the streets of the capital.

“When you partner with bad actors, nondemocratic leaders, you’re sending a clear message to the people in those countries … and giving these leaders more power and legitimacy on the world stage,” Nicole Widdersheim of the Human Rights Watch advocacy organization told Foreign Policy magazine.

However, the summit is coming at a time when the war in Ukraine and the consequent political and economic repercussions have created a new “geopolitical order”.

Analysts also said Washington was trying to avoid a repeat of the diplomatic embarrassment experienced earlier this year when the leaders of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala refused to attend the US-hosted Summit of the Americas, after President Biden refused to send invitations to three autocrats in the region.

For the Africa summit, the Biden administration simply invited all countries in good standing with the African Union.

RELATED:

Foreign affairs minister Frederick Shava expected to represent Zimbabwe

“It avoids any offence on the African side, but on the U.S. side it looks like a betrayal of our values and our policies,” said Cameron Hudson, a former U.S. diplomat and senior associate for the Africa Program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

“We took an approach to invitations to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that will enable wide participation in dialogue on shared global priorities,” a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said.

“This summit is an important opportunity to engage with African leaders on shared commitments on respecting human rights and strengthening democratic institutions. As we have in other settings, we will discuss issues of concern and areas where we have disagreements.”

Meanwhile, US senators have since demanded that the Biden administration takes action after Senate Foreign Committee officials were involved in a movie-style car chase in Harare with suspected agents of the country’s CIO.

The officials were reportedly on an official visit to Harare organised with the US embassy to meet human rights advocates and civil society leaders to hear first-hand the deteriorating political situation in the country.

The incident incensed U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who sent a letter to President Joe Biden informing him of the harassment and car chase his staffers experienced. In the letter, he urged Biden to step up U.S. attention on the “dire” repressive political atmosphere in Zimbabwe and boost support for the country’s increasingly embattled civil society organizations and pro-democracy activists.

“This blatant aggression towards congressional staff, one of whom—as the Zimbabweans surely know served as a senior advisor to you for many years when you were Chairman and Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee—was meant to intimidate the staff themselves, and to send a message to the United States: our support of Zimbabweans working to defend democracy is unwelcome by those who hold power,” Menendez wrote in his letter to Biden dated Sept. 12, a copy of which was obtained by Foreign Policy. Menendez did not name the two staffers in his letter.

“Such outrageous behaviour highlights the Zimbabwean regime’s reckless disregard for international norms. If American officials are deliberately targeted, you can well imagine the violence that will be directed to Zimbabweans who dare to criticise the government.”

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Benin’s ‘Woman King’ in Movies, Real Life – VOA Learning English

The Woman King is an African story told in the form of a Hollywood historical movie.
The movie has won praise for its acting, directing, and for dealing with the idea of female political power. In the movie, women, led by General Nanisca, fight a war that men cannot.
The film takes place in the 1800s in the Kingdom of Dahomey. Today the same area is known as Abomey. The story about female warriors and General Nanisca has echoed over a long period of time in Abomey and in the rest of the country of Benin.
Nan Zognidi is the present-day queen mother of Abomey.
She said she teaches young people the same values that the female warriors did: Girls are equal to boys. Girls are as able and competent as boys.
“They have the same abilities and the same competencies as boys,” she said.

Thuso Mbedu, from left, Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch and Sheila Atim pose for photographers upon arrival for the UK Gala Screening of the film ‘The Woman King’ in London, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (Photo by Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Zognidi’s position of queen mother is fully ceremonial. It helps bring foreign visitors to the area. But before she became queen mother, Zognidi was a women’s rights activist.
Now, she runs a program to teach girls trades that support financial independence. She teaches the history and culture of Benin. She also teaches leadership to young people.
One of these young people is 13-year-old Pkadomi Sylvestre. She said the queen mother taught her how to work on political activities for women’s empowerment.
In the city of Cotonou, a statue of one of Abomey’s female warriors was first shown earlier this year.
The United Nations has said Africa needs more of the examples set by the female warriors of Abomey. That statement comes from U.N. Women, an arm of the United Nations dedicated to female empowerment.
“Women who are involved in politics are not usually positively seen by society,” said area U.N. adviser Soulef Guessoum. She noted that, in Africa, women make up 25 percent of the elected assembly. That number is less than the 30 percent target set by the U.N. in 1995. And it is below the 50 percent that many consider the final goal.
Marion Ogeto is a human rights lawyer who works with Equality Now, a non-profit group that advocates female empowerment. She said the female warriors of Abomey are inspiring.
“This community was way ahead of its time by advocating for an army that is all and only women,” said Ogeto.
She added the story “shows you that they have a woman leader, a woman king, and then she’s in a position where she’s able to sit at the same table as the king as well as all the others and tell the king, ‘This is not how we handle the situation…’”
The queen mother, Zognidi, thinks the most important lesson Abomey’s warriors teach is that “everything that men can do, women can do today. We can’t say that women are weak, it is wrong.”
Women, she said, are as strong as men.
I’m Anna Matteo.

Henry Wilkins in Benin wrote this story for VOA News. Anna Matteo adapted it for VOA Learning English.
______________________________________________________________
Words in This Story

echo –n. a repeated sound or idea that goes on for a long time
dedicated –adj. giving very strong support or loyalty to something
advocate –v. to argue in support of a cause or policy
inspiring –adj. causing people to want or create something or to lead their lives in a different way

The Woman King is an African story told in the form of a Hollywood historical movie.

The movie has won praise for its acting, directing, and for dealing with the idea of female political power. In the movie, women, led by General Nanisca, fight a war that men cannot.

The film takes place in the 1800s in the Kingdom of Dahomey. Today the same area is known as Abomey. The story about female warriors and General Nanisca has echoed over a long period of time in Abomey and in the rest of the country of Benin.

Nan Zognidi is the present-day queen mother of Abomey.

She said she teaches young people the same values that the female warriors did: Girls are equal to boys. Girls are as able and competent as boys.

“They have the same abilities and the same competencies as boys,” she said.

Thuso Mbedu, from left, Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch and Sheila Atim pose for photographers upon arrival for the UK Gala Screening of the film 'The Woman King' in London, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (Photo by Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP)


Thuso Mbedu, from left, Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch and Sheila Atim pose for photographers upon arrival for the UK Gala Screening of the film ‘The Woman King’ in London, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (Photo by Scott Garfitt/Invision/AP)

Zognidi’s position of queen mother is fully ceremonial. It helps bring foreign visitors to the area. But before she became queen mother, Zognidi was a women’s rights activist.

Now, she runs a program to teach girls trades that support financial independence. She teaches the history and culture of Benin. She also teaches leadership to young people.

One of these young people is 13-year-old Pkadomi Sylvestre. She said the queen mother taught her how to work on political activities for women’s empowerment.

In the city of Cotonou, a statue of one of Abomey’s female warriors was first shown earlier this year.

The United Nations has said Africa needs more of the examples set by the female warriors of Abomey. That statement comes from U.N. Women, an arm of the United Nations dedicated to female empowerment.

“Women who are involved in politics are not usually positively seen by society,” said area U.N. adviser Soulef Guessoum. She noted that, in Africa, women make up 25 percent of the elected assembly. That number is less than the 30 percent target set by the U.N. in 1995. And it is below the 50 percent that many consider the final goal.

Marion Ogeto is a human rights lawyer who works with Equality Now, a non-profit group that advocates female empowerment. She said the female warriors of Abomey are inspiring.

“This community was way ahead of its time by advocating for an army that is all and only women,” said Ogeto.

She added the story “shows you that they have a woman leader, a woman king, and then she’s in a position where she’s able to sit at the same table as the king as well as all the others and tell the king, ‘This is not how we handle the situation…’”

The queen mother, Zognidi, thinks the most important lesson Abomey’s warriors teach is that “everything that men can do, women can do today. We can’t say that women are weak, it is wrong.”

Women, she said, are as strong as men.

I’m Anna Matteo.

Henry Wilkins in Benin wrote this story for VOA News. Anna Matteo adapted it for VOA Learning English.

______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

echo –n. a repeated sound or idea that goes on for a long time

dedicated –adj. giving very strong support or loyalty to something

advocate –v. to argue in support of a cause or policy

inspiring –adj. causing people to want or create something or to lead their lives in a different way

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Ben Bruce Reveals Plans To Produce Genevieve Nnaji’s Movies – THEWILL NEWS MEDIA

Senator Ben Bruce.

November 27, (THEWILL) – Media entrepreneur and founder of Silverbird group, Senator Ben Murray Bruce, has revealed that he is planning an upcoming project with Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji.
The actress made her first appearance at an event amid her alleged battle with mental health.
Senator Bruce shared a picture with the actress, taken from the 2022 edition of Creative Africa Nexus, where the actress delivered a key speech.

Bruce took to his Twitter page to make it known that he is working on a deal with her.
Speaking more about the project, he disclosed that they are working on producing her movies, which will be produced at the BMB studios and Eko Atlantic City.
“Working on a deal with @GenevieveNnaji1 so that all her movies will be produced at the BMB studios and FIL academy at Eko Atlantic City”, he wrote.

Senator Ben Bruce
Senator Ben Bruce.
THEWILL APP ADS 2

November 27, (THEWILL) – Media entrepreneur and founder of Silverbird group, Senator Ben Murray Bruce, has revealed that he is planning an upcoming project with Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji.

The actress made her first appearance at an event amid her alleged battle with mental health.

Senator Bruce shared a picture with the actress, taken from the 2022 edition of Creative Africa Nexus, where the actress delivered a key speech.

Bruce took to his Twitter page to make it known that he is working on a deal with her.

Speaking more about the project, he disclosed that they are working on producing her movies, which will be produced at the BMB studios and Eko Atlantic City.

“Working on a deal with @GenevieveNnaji1 so that all her movies will be produced at the BMB studios and FIL academy at Eko Atlantic City”, he wrote.

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Angelina Jolie’s 6 Best And 6 Worst Movies Ranked – Looper

“Alexander” is a nearly 3-hour long historical epic, and we’ll warn you right now that it’s probably not one you’re going to want to sit through. Colin Farrell plays Alexander the Great, the Macedonian king who conquered a vast empire. Jolie plays his mother, Queen Olympias, with whom he has a complicated relationship.

Despite the awe-inspiring history from which the film draws, it doesn’t wind up inspiring much awe in the audience. For one thing, everyone in the film seems to be acting in an entirely different movie. While it’s true that no one really knows what a Macedonian accent would have sounded like, each actor has chosen an entirely different interpretation, leading to a somewhat laughable ensemble performance. Viewers can understand that it might be nearly impossible to create an accurate representation of life during this time period, but the issues is that “Alexander” tries — and fails — at the expense of our own enjoyment.
Farrell isn’t all that believable as one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever known, and frankly, none of the performances make much sense. It’s as if the actors were trying to make up for a surprisingly boring script by making as many theatrical, over-the-top choices as they possibly could. Mainly, the problem is that none of these characters feel like real people. 

While critic Cole Smithey wrote that director Oliver Stone “doesn’t present characters that the audience can believe in,” he also noted that “Angelina Jolie enjoys some early scene-chewing with live snakes.” Sadly though, there aren’t enough snakes in the world to make this film more interesting and we just hope that Jolie does decide to play an Ancient Greek goddess someday in a better movie.

“Alexander” is a nearly 3-hour long historical epic, and we’ll warn you right now that it’s probably not one you’re going to want to sit through. Colin Farrell plays Alexander the Great, the Macedonian king who conquered a vast empire. Jolie plays his mother, Queen Olympias, with whom he has a complicated relationship.

Despite the awe-inspiring history from which the film draws, it doesn’t wind up inspiring much awe in the audience. For one thing, everyone in the film seems to be acting in an entirely different movie. While it’s true that no one really knows what a Macedonian accent would have sounded like, each actor has chosen an entirely different interpretation, leading to a somewhat laughable ensemble performance. Viewers can understand that it might be nearly impossible to create an accurate representation of life during this time period, but the issues is that “Alexander” tries — and fails — at the expense of our own enjoyment.

Farrell isn’t all that believable as one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever known, and frankly, none of the performances make much sense. It’s as if the actors were trying to make up for a surprisingly boring script by making as many theatrical, over-the-top choices as they possibly could. Mainly, the problem is that none of these characters feel like real people. 

While critic Cole Smithey wrote that director Oliver Stone “doesn’t present characters that the audience can believe in,” he also noted that “Angelina Jolie enjoys some early scene-chewing with live snakes.” Sadly though, there aren’t enough snakes in the world to make this film more interesting and we just hope that Jolie does decide to play an Ancient Greek goddess someday in a better movie.

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