colonial

Britain's role in extracting continent's resources

In October, the skulls of a few of the Namibian victims of the 1904-1908 German colonial genocide were finally returned home. To some it represents the symbolic closure of a tragic and dark chapter in the country’s history but for many the repatriation of the 20 skulls – from 11 Nama and 9 Herero victims aged between 4 and 35 – is just the first step towards atonement for the appalling crimes perpetrated during the brief but brutal German colonial era.

Inequalities exhibited in Zimbabwe are largely attributed to the racial dominance of the white settlers in the colonial period (1890 - 1980) and the manner in which scarce resources are being distributed to and accessed by different groups in the post-colonial period. These inequalities mainly relate to access to land and the labour market as well as the provision of basic social services (health, education, housing and sanitation). Of the above, the land issue has throughout history remained central to racial, income and gender inequality discourse in the country.

I never met Dawid Kruiper or ‘Oupa Dawid’ as he was universally known. Not in the flesh, at least. However, the legend of this great elder, healer and leader of his people was inescapable, so large did it loom. Today that spirit has passed on. But the example of Dawid Kruiper, leader of the San, will continue to inspire his people – and all who struggle in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds for justice and dignity – for generations to come.

I was supposed to meet Oupa Dawid – just last month.

Strike leader arrested and RENAMO skirmish

Law Association to challenge colonial law in court

Petty colonial era laws target poor and marginalised

There are fears that conflict might be looming between Malawi and Tanzania over the ownership of a portion of Lake Malawi – or rather of the oil reserves that are believed to lurk beneath its waters. The dispute arose 55 years ago but receded after Malawi made it clear that Tanzania did not have any rights over any section of the Lake. However, tensions remained – and Tanzania has steadfastly stuck to the old colonial name for the lake, referring to it as Lake Nyasa.

Data gathered during the audit of pre-trial detainees in Malawi suggests that the yearly exposure of the population to prison on remand could be as high as 1 in 100. One of the key concerns raised in the audit was that a significant number of people were on remand for outdated or petty offences such as being a ‘rogue and vagabond’, touting or loitering.

Since independence from colonialism and white-minority regimes, individual African countries have, in the context of the global order, suffered from inequality in power – these include the rules, architecture, culture and ideas – in relation to their former colonial powers and other industrial nations. This has been manifested in global policy-making where African countries have generally had a limited voice.

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