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Weak Parliaments, Corruption and Primitive Banking Systems in Sub Saharan Africa Are a Good Haven for Terrorism

zwnews24 Editor

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Ansar al Sunna is the name of the Islamist group which is wreaking havoc in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique where the government have been using COIN (counter insurgency) and law enforcement tactics to deal with the group since the eruption of violence in 2017. 

Violence in Mozambique has intensified with the increased presence of foreign nations, observably following the discovery of gas reserves whose exploration rights where given to Exxon Mobil, the American oil behemoth.

The modus operandi of this Islamist group has a similar theme as witnessed in North Africa primarily Niger Delta where an increase in western troops primarily from France has seen a spike in violence and increased sophistication of MO, objectives and escalation of demands whilst sources of recruitment seems to be unending and attacks getting daring by the day.


The Mozambican government is tackling the insurgency with the help of the Russians using sophisticated equipment but with less intelligence about the terrain they are operating in and thus the extremists have been able to disarm the poorly trained and coordinated Mozambican army, seizing most military hardware in the process.

Disturbingly, especially for the SADC region, Ansar al Sunna, while intensifying their attacks and proliferating violence, has begun to move inland towards mainland Mozambique (as if in the direction of neighbouring Zimbabwe).

Their agenda seems to be a bit religious even though their presence in resource rich areas raises a worrying pattern following the defeat of IS in Raqqa and Mosul where they had access to oil revenue. 

These extremists are using MACHETES to behead civilians, coupled with firearms which they are utilising to achieve a sinister objective. 

It must be noted that amongst a repertoire of tactics, kidnappings form a critical component of revenue generations of these extremist entities and as such, the US has been warning its citizens to be on the alert within this region.

Mozambique is proving to be inefficient and incompetent at tackling the growing terrorist insurgency since its reaction to this disturbing development has been slow, mechanical and pathetic, not forgetting a media ban on what is happening. 

The mentioned terrorist group is able to recruit from former Mozambican army soldiers and former police members, a pattern which is omnipresent within southern Africa, where, due to economic hardships, soldiers are flocking to greener pastures in search of economic posterity. 

Over and above that, corruption is acting as a risk intensifier and this has raised fears of an all regional escalation, with general evidence to prove that ex Zimbabwean soldiers are behind a slew of armed robberies that occur in South Africa.


The response to this chaos has been reactive and shows a region unprepared with handling this asymmetric threat. Like I warned repeatedly about the MaShurugwi madness, the evolution of violence is systematic, gradual and well-coordinated. 

A review of ‘expert analysis’ by elements from ‘renowned entities ‘ within the region shows lack of appreciation and total divorce to global terrorism trends, architecture and how the threat is manifesting in Sub Saharan Africa and now southern Africa. 

These ‘career analysts’ are responsible for misinforming regional governments, no wonder the pathetic response by SADC and lack of information as to the danger being posed by this extremist violence.

Money laundering forms a critical component of survival of these terror entities but we are thus not as effective as we are supposed to be to deter and mute money laundering because most of our banking protocols within the SADC region excluding South Africa are still using Basel I accords. 

This is why I felt that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is now a threat to regional and national security due to its lack of effectiveness, reactive policies and naivety which only helps promote money laundering.

For example, our stock markets are being used as safe havens for speculation by these terror sleeper cells whilst bitcoin, whose rewards I believe are high in Zimbabwe, gives another avenue for lucrative profits. 

A thriving black-market is just what is conducive to these criminals for them to make and generate revenue without being detected even though expertise and security sense points out to the existence of well-coordinated terror cells not only from the proxy, Ansar Al Sunna but also IS within the region. 

Weak legislation and monitoring have meant that Sub Saharan Africa becomes a haven for their operations as they can be able to generate revenue much easily as opposed to oil rich countries where interests are high and systems are developed and integrated.

No wonder I warned about the need to take me seriously when I was talking about the MaShurugwi issue. Some excitable and less informed characters would think I am a Chipopi defending Zanu PF but I was consistent and unyielding as I sought to enlighten that what we are witnessing is not only politically driven violence but also the evolution of a terror phenomenon which our systems can’t comprehend at this juncture. 

I remember being brutal in my revulsion for our useless Zimbabwean parliament citing that we elect people to sing yet we are faced with a dangerous situation demanding immediate attention. 

I was clear and straightforward that we need new institutions with the wherewithal to face these asymmetric threats whilst at the same time we must not rely on the law enforcement approach being used at this juncture to control anarchy within the mineral sector.

It’s no coincidence that attacks occurred within that sector and just like in Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger Delta etc., and the trend within Sub Saharan Africa is clear.

It’s now high time we have a national coordinated response to this scourge before we are caught napping because at the moment, our military in its current state won’t survive ambush attacks or even full-scale operations aimed at looting weapons from our armoury especially in isolated military outposts.

We need to strengthen our institutions. I have been saying this. Ignore political reforms mantra. What I am talking of is the real business. 

We are in for it, if we don’t strengthen our institutions. Our civil servants are corrupt and you must stand guided that Al Shebaab has been able to infiltrate into Kenya and wage attacks on such institutions like Garisa University and Westgate Mall amongst others due to collusion and corruption. 

A look at the recently released TI Corruption Index paints a gloomy picture since most Sub Saharan African states has been listed among the most corrupt. 

With an average score of around 32/100, Africa ranks as the most corrupt region and Zimbabwe got a very concerning score of 24 while our Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is playing lip service to the threatening prevalence of corruption in our country.

The threat of terrorism is real, immediate and extremely dangerous and thus my advice is that we must be united and engage each other towards influencing policy makers to listen to our voices when it comes to critical issues that affect our society rather than being lured into the trap of Twitter trolls who are only able to divide us without offering solutions.

We must enhance cyber abilities lest we are going to be caught napping when dealing with such a serious issue which demands that we must think on our toes.

Now that the threat is closer to home and attention is being generated, I have been vindicated and so, now I am focusing solely on the evolution of terrorism in Southern Africa since people are beginning to notice the threat, whereas, before, to some, I was just sounding like a broken record. 

Forewarned is forearmed!

Tawanda David Gotami: MBA (UZ), Bsc Hons Intelligence and Security Studies (BUSE), Certificate in Counter Violent Extremism, Insurgency and Cyber Warfare (National Security College, Australia National University), now pursuing a Master of Defence in Asymmetric Warfare with a thrust on Terrorism, Insurgency and Cyber Warfare at Indonesia Defence University. Forensic Science and Crime Scene Investigation.

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Africa

Dr Bohloko, a Pharmacist Who Is Healing the African Continent beyond the Use of Medicine

Brian Kazungu

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Dr Ntseliseng Bohloko

Brian Kazungu, 25/05/2021

As people grow up, what they choose as a profession has a serious impact on how they experience life and how they can make an impact to the world that they live in.

One good example is that in a world where people are troubled by various diseases which affects their ability to be productive and to enjoy life, there those sharp minded boys and girls in our midst who choose to pursue a career in the medical field in order to help take away the pain in others.

As if such a noble pursuit is noble enough for them, you may find the same people engaging in other areas of human life which have got a positive transformative effect in the society that they live in and even beyond.

It is therefore expedient that on this 25th of May, a day that we celebrate and commemorate Africa, a story has to be told of one of her daughters, Dr Ntseliseng Bohloko.

The Lesotho born pharmacist whose humane, and charitable push for a better and inclusive Africa is beyond inspirational continues to inspire and touch many souls through her medical profession and through various Pan African and charitable activities that she engages in.

Despite having a demanding career that comes from having a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pharmaceutics and Drug Design from Potchefstroom University, a Master of Pharmacy from University of Durban plus a Post Graduate Diploma in HIV/AIDS Management from the University of Stellenbosch, she still finds to pursue good social causes in various communities.

She also holds a Licentiate in Pharmacy from Havana in Cuba.

Dr. Bohloko was recently nominated and inducted as a Point of Light under the 1873 Network’s Banking On Africa’s Future 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame.

The 1873 Network is a member-based non-profit organization established in South Africa for the purpose  of provoking, inspiring and igniting new and innovative ways of problem solving in Africa based on connected, equipped and forward leaning voluntary actors.

In accepting her induction into the Banking on Africa’s Future initiative, the Pan African minded Dr Bohloko said “We as Africans need to take hold of what we have in our own countries. Africa is rich but all the resources are being moved from Africa to the so-as developed countries for improvement and they come back to us as finished products.

Africa has resources, Africa has educated its own children in the developed countries. It is time for us the present generation to make use of the knowledge that we acquired in the developed countries and use it to develop and improve on the natural resources that we have as Africans.

I suggest and I am very happy to say that we need to guard Africa and incubate Africa so that we can export the finished products to developed countries and bring back the GDP that was God given to Africa.” She said.

Despite being a Pharmacist, she is also heavily invested in charity with various organizations including the Mercy Foundation as its Ambassador in Lesotho.

Mercy Foundation is a faith based initiative which is involved in addressing food security/community development among other charitable engagements coupled with preaching of the gospel irrespective of denomination.

In Lesotho, Mercy Foundation’s milestones includes partnering with LECSA and the Chamber of Commerce to kick start charitable activities. http://www.mercyfoundation.online

Dr Bohloko who describes South Africa as a conglomerate of nations recently decried the existence of divisive mind-sets that seek to bring the continent apart instead of bringing it together in solving Africa’s perennial problems.

Such Ubuntu-ism is what motivated her to join a pro-immigrants’ rights organisation, MIWUSA (Migrant Workers Union in South Africa), previously ZIWUSA (meant solely for Zimbabweans) which fought/ negotiated for the issuing of the four (4)  year Zimbabwean Special Permits (ZSP) which enabled unqualified personnel to enter/work in RSA,  during Minister Gigaba’s tenure.

The success story of such an initiative then inspired her to lobby for the same types of permits for the people from Lesotho, a facility which was also being already enjoyed by fellow Africans from Mozambique by virtue of Mrs Graca Machel being the wife to President Nelson Mandela.

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Africa

Celebrating Work Excellence and The Essence of Life among Africans in Their Diversity through Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF), at The Royal India Restaurant, In Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa

Brian Kazungu

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Brian Kazungu, 24/05/2021

The Banking on Africa Africa’s Future (BOAF), an initiative by the 1873 Network in partnership with Africa Heritage Society is redefining the idea of an African identity by bringing together Africans in the diversity through the 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame project.

BOAF’s focus is on identifying and celebrating what a human being is doing to inspire others by being a point of light and a source of hope to many others regardless of a person’s skin colour, race and ethnicity as a way to simply celebrate good works and the essence of life.

Its 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame project seeks to identify Africans who are pursuing their passions in a way that makes them to stand out and shine as points if light in their communities in order to inspire unity and development in a way that restores the continent’s long lost glory.

The 1873 Network is a non-profit organisation comprised of individuals and corporates who share a common passion and desire to build a new African identity focussing on returning Africa to its 1873 pre-colonial state.

Of lately, a number of the induction ceremonies has coincided with birthday celebrations of some of the inductees thus creating priceless and memorable times where the beauty of human excellence in a given profession is celebrated together with an appreciation of the essence of life.

Up to this day, different people from different backgrounds, races and professions in the African continent has been honoured by the 1873 Network at The Royal India Restaurant in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Royal India Restaurant is a prime hospitality establishment situated in Africa’s richest square mile.

It is well known for its royal touch of excellence in both its cuisine, wines, music, customer service and the refreshing serenity that it gives to its patrons.

Recently, during the 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame inductions, family and friends also gathered to spend a special birthday moment with one of the inductees, Ms Janice Greaver, a business management consultant, entrepreneur and philanthropist who turned 30.

Africa Heritage Society Chairperson, Mr Mutumwa Mawere says that it important to celebrate recognise and celebrate people for their outstanding work not because the same people seek to be honoured but simply because they passionately do what they do in a way which inspires others.

Mutumwa Mawere is a businessman and an author of an eye-opening book titled ‘When Minds Meet’ which gives the world a glimpse on the causes of Africa’s myriad of problems and it also offers solutions on how such challenges can be solved.

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Africa

BOAF 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame Inductees Unapologetic About Their Resolve to Make Africa Shine Again

Brian Kazungu

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Makhotso Michelle Maiko

Brian Kazungu, 19/05/2021

Banking on Africa’s Future – 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame inductees who were honoured at The Royal India Restaurant yesterday for their contribution in re-igniting the flame of Africa’s glory expressed their unapologetic resolve to make the African continent a global economic giant.

One of the youngest inductees, a South African neuro-psychologist and entrepreneur Makhotso Michelle Maiko, who studied in Europe, including in countries such as Turkey and the United Kingdom said that it is now important for Africans to become unapologetic about their development.

Her conviction about Africa’s potential is anchored on her vast experiences in the realities of life across the continent and her exposure to other economies which are comparatively performing better across the world.

“I am proudly South African, Turkey speaking, lived in Lagos, and grew up in the dust streets of Cameroon and Ivory Coast as well. I really-really epitomise the African diaspora.” She said

Makhotso who revealed that she lives and breathes Pan Africanism also highlighted that the African continent already has all the social capital that it needs for it to rise as long as there is a systemised and integrated ecosystem to help in the pursuit of such an objective.

“What is important is really creating a systemised and integrated ecosystem for Africa. I like calling it the capital triad which is a combination of social, economic and intellectual capital. I think we have got all the resources which but they are very fragmented, and so, I think, Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF) is an incredible initiative.” Makhotso added.

Her fellow inductee, the Cuban trained Lesotho born Pharmacist, Dr Ntseliseng Bohloko, who is also a member of a charity organisation, Mercy Foundation, said that this is the time for Africans to utilise the knowledge that they have towards adding value to God’s given natural resources.

“We as Africans need to take hold of what we have in our own countries. Africa is rich but all the resources are being moved from Africa to the so-as developed countries for improvement and they come back to us as finished products.

Africa has resources, Africa has educated its own children in the developed countries. It is time for us the present generation to make use of the knowledge that we acquired in the developed countries and use it to develop and improve on the natural resources that we have as Africans.

I suggest and I am very happy to say that we need to guard Africa and incubate Africa so that we can export the finished products to developed countries and bring back the GDP that was God given to Africa. Dr Bohloko recommended

Mr. Fakir Hassen, a veteran retired media practitioner and a renowned author who under the Mandela administration was part of the South African team to be commissioned to UNESCO in the United States of America said that Africa is his home.

The 68 year old Hassen of Indian ancestry, expressed that even though he is proud of his rich Indian cultural heritage, he is a South African and an African because since father and himself were all born in and bred in South Africa following the arrival of his grandparents into the country in the early 1900s as endangered labourers.

In describing the Africa he wants to see, he heighted that as inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, he dreams for an Africa which is not stereotypical and where there is education for all and an Africa where poverty, hunger and corruption is eliminated.

He encouraged the sharing of knowledge especially through literature citing that information which is not shared has less value.

Kenyan born Corporate Executive, Mr.  Shayless Panchmatia who was also inducted expressed his willingness to help people in the mining industry especially the diamond sector to fully benefit from their engagement when it comes to this precious mineral rather than to be exploited in their own continent.

While speaking at the same event during his induction, wine specialist, Ronald Mkize, from the world renowned South African wine company, Graham Beck, expressed his excitement on the fact people were drinking the locally produced Graham Beck wine at the event.

“What makes me happy is that everyone here tonight understands the idea of Banking on Africa’s Future because I have seen people drinking a locally produced product here.” Ronald said

In expressing the power and potential of Africa as a giant, Ronald who has vast experience in the wine business, highlighted that Graham Beck is a South African brand which is locally and internationally recognised since it was selected for both the Mandela and Obama’s inauguration.

The 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame induction ceremony coincided with another inductee, management consultant, media personality, philanthropist and business woman, Janice Greaver’s birthday, where she turned 30.

Fellow inductee, South African musician of Indian descent, Mr Bushan Dass who sang Janice a birthday song in the Indian language as a show of inclusivity in the rainbow nation was described by BOAF’s Director of Programs, Mr Jagjit Singh as an ornament in the music industry which must be honored.

Mr. Singh who said that now is the right time to remember all the beacons of hope in Africa also added that the Banking on Africa’s Future initiative is premised on the need to ignite the fire of hope and positive action which can inspire others.

The Guest of Honor at the event, Dr Ladislas Agbesi, the President of the Pan Africa Business Forum expressed his excitement over the identification and celebration of people who are recognized as shining stars in the African continent.

Dr Agbesi described the African continent as the most beautiful lady in the world at the moment and encouraged African governments to concentrate on their role of providing state security as well as managing policies and leave the rest to the private sector.

Africa Heritage Society Chairman, Mr Mutumwa Mawere who is spearheading the initiative through the 1873 Network, a non-profit organization established in South Africa for creating innovative ways of problem solving in Africa said that Africa belongs to all those who live in it.

He also expressed gratitude to all the people who are making the 10 000 Points of Light – Hall of Fame initiative a huge success.

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