Numa carta enviada ontem ao Parlamento, Robert Mugabe apresentou a sua resignação do cargo de Presidente do Zimbabwe. Em função disso, os Presidentes de Angola, João Lourenço, e da África do Sul, Jacob Zuma, decidiram anular a deslocação a Harare, que estava prevista para hoje
“Assino esta carta de minha livre vontade e na plena consciência dos meus actos”. Foi nestes moldes que Robert Mugabe terminou a carta que ontem à tarde enviou ao Presidente do Parlamento, Jacob Mudenda, e que, na prática, coloca um ponto final a 37 anos de poder.
Antes, o Parlamento havia começado a discutir o pedido de “impeachement” apresentado pela ZANU-PF para destituir Mugabe da Presidência do país, um processo que se ficou ontem a saber poderia durar várias semanas dada a sua complexidade e pelo facto de ser o primeiro que ocorre em 37 anos de independência.
Mas, a carta que Mugabe assinou e enviou para o Parlamento, segundo o Jornal de
Angola apurou junto de fonte militar que acompanhou o assunto, contempla também uma série de garantias.
A primeira dessas garantias é a salvaguarda da integridade física, tanto de Mugabe como de toda a sua família e a garantia de que não serão alvo de qualquer perseguição judicial.
Outras garantias têm a ver com a “intocabilidade” nos bens que a família Mugabe tem no Zimbabwe ou no estrangeiro e ainda a atribuição de um estatuto especial para o agora presidente demissionário que salvaguarde tudo o que ele fez pelo país.
Ontem de manhã, Emmerson Mnangagwa, mais que provável futuro presidente interino do Zimbabwe, havia divulgado um documento a que o nosso jornal teve acesso e no qual recusava negociar com Mugabe o que quer que fosse.
“A hora não é de negociar. A hora é de Robert Mugabe ouvir o que diz o povo e abandonar o poder, pois se não o fizer, vai sofrer humilhações que colocam em causa tudo o que de bom chegou a fazer pelo país”, referia o novo homem forte do Zimbabwe. Ainda nesse documento, Mnangagwa dizia que está tudo escrito. “Só falta ele (Mugabe) assinar a carta e assim mostrar que respeita a vontade do povo”.
A carta foi assinada ainda a tempo de evitar a sua destituição por via administrativa, ficando agora aberto o caminho para a preparação das próximas eleições.
Isso mesmo começará a ser feito ainda hoje, quando o Parlamento legitimar a ascensão de Emmerson Mnangagwa e fixar o tempo de duração do processo de preparação eleitoral.
Isso mesmo já foi ontem pedido pelo líder da oposição, Morgan Tsvangirai, que em declarações à imprensa disse estar preparado para discutir o futuro do Zimbabwe e para preparar a participação do seu partido, o MDC-T, nas próximas eleições.
Morgan Tsvangirai era apenas um de entre milhares de pessoas que saíram às ruas de Harare mal souberam da resignação apresentada por Robert Mugbe. A festa que tinha começado às portas do Parlamento, com orações a pedirem que o presidente cessante apresentasse a demissão, estenderam-se depois pela cidade, entrando pela noite dentro.
O reino de Marrocos quer ser a nova potência regional africana e conquistar um lugar de relevo no cenário internacional. Assim, e além de regressar à União Africana depois de 33 anos de ausência, aproxima-se da China e da Rússia. Enquanto isso, quer reequacionar as relações com os seus aliados tradicionais, sobretudo a União Europeia. Mas tem uma pedra no sapato: a maka do Sara Ocidental.
Dancer Kala Devi (centre) ushering in Deepavali with lit lamps alongside film stars (from left) Rubini Krishnan, Shaila Nair, T. Shanthi, G. Yamini and Vinita.
KUALA LUMPUR: Singer-actress Shaila Nair has many things to celebrate about this Deepavali, after she was featured in the blockbuster Tamil movie Kabali with Rajinikanth, earlier this year.
But the 37-year-old said this year’s festive celebration will be a small one for her and her family as a show of respect for the fire victims of the Hospital Sultanah Aminah – where she was born.
“It really makes me think and be thankful about all that God has given me, because it can be taken away just as easily,” she said during a festive photoshoot with The Star.
The actress, who also produced and starred in another film titled Mayangaathey this year, said her family’s celebration would include prayers for loved ones who have passed on and a low-key open house.
“This year, my family will also be visiting a few homes and give out clothes and food to the less fortunate. This is what we want to do this year.
“I am very thankful this year because I got to have my debut in my first Tamil movie, which sort of made me become known in circles outside of Malaysia. Next year I plan to release my own album, so I’m looking forward to a lot,” said Shaila, who is wife to MIC treasurer-general Datuk Seri S. Vell Paari.
For former karate exponent G. Yamini, 35, this will be her first Deepavali with her family after years of competitive sports.
“Usually this time of year I would be competing overseas and last year also I was in Indonesia for a competition. Thankfully Sukma has finished and I can celebrate with my family,” she said.
The two-time Asian Championships gold medallist said she was also thankful for a successful 2016 for Malaysian sports in the Rio Olympics and Paralympics.
Yamini, who now coaches karate, said Malaysia is poised to turn in more medals in the next Olympics, now that karate has been officially recognised as a sport in the competition.
“I feel a bit sad that it didn’t happen during my time but I am happy because it is finally in. My students are still young and we are going to work very hard to get into the Olympics,” she said.
Having left the sport in 2013, Yamini has become an actress, lending her martial arts skills to three movies this year.
IPOH: Compared to the quiet atmosphere in Little India here several weeks ago, last-minute shoppers have been flocking to shops and stalls set up in the area.
Spotted with the most number of customers were those selling Indian snacks and sweets, Deepavali decorations and prayer items.
Even jewellery shops were packed with people.
Kedai Emas Zain Sdn Bhd owner Siti Zubaidah Varisai Mohd said there were many customers in the last few days.
To accommodate shoppers, especially the working group who can only visit after office hours, Siti Zubaidah said they extended trading hours to 7.30pm from the usual 6pm.
Kacang putih seller R. Jaya Parathi is delighted with the lastminute crowd.
“Thank goodness business is finally picking up. And the weather has been kind,” she said.
Spotted buying some Indian sweets from the Jalandar Punjab stall were mother and daughter, P. Kamalam and 21-year-old A. Rashmini.
“This is my third trip here. I’ve gotten mostly what I need except for some snacks and sweets, which I usually buy when it’s near the festival so that they remain fresh,” said Kamalam, 55, who also bought herself several blouses.
At the central market here, people were seen stocking up on raw food ingredients.
Businessman B. Deva, 33, was seen carting bags of fish, meat and vegetables, enough for 20 guests.
“No doubt prices of food have gone up but Deepavali only takes place once a year,” he said.
Hospital cleaner R. Seeniamah, 38, said her family would be feasting on mutton, chicken, vegetables and fish.
“Once a year, my siblings and I pool our money together to pay for the food,” she said.
Retiree S.M. Vishu, 68, said he would be cooking chicken now instead of prawns, which were more expensive.
Lil Wayne is an open book — at least when it comes to one chapter in his life.
On Tuesday, the prolific rapper, who in 2010 was sentenced to eight months in New York’s Rikers Island on weapons charges, released the diary he kept during his incarceration. Gone ’ Til November: A Journal of Rikers Island ( Plume Books) was Wayne’s way of finding “joy in hell.” Now, it stands as a revelation to fans who get a peek behind the curtain of celebrity.
Here are seven things we learned from our sneak peek. 1HE WAS A SUICIDE PREVENTION AIDE ... BRIEFLY. After earning a perfect score on the pre- employment screening test, Wayne was tasked with monitoring the tier to ensure inmates didn’t try to commit suicide and to alert the on- duty officer about attempts. The rapper soon bowed out to focus on self- care. “It’s truly a new reality for me,” he wrote. “I was actually there when this kid that was in mental isolation tried to hang up. What’s really ( expletive) up is that it all could’ve been prevented if the COs ( correctional officers) would’ve just brought him some water.” But, as Wayne goes on to explain, officers are used to inmates banging on their cells — so much so that it doesn’t trigger alarms. 2HE HEARD HIS SON SAY ‘ DA- DA’ WHILE BEHIND BARS. Wayne’s first son was only a year old when he began serving his sentence. As such, the first time Wayne heard Dwayne Michael Carter III — fondly referred to as D. M. C. III — say “Da- da” was on the phone, a bittersweet moment. 3HE WAS ANXIOUS WHEN HE PLAYED IN PRISON. Wayne may have rocked stages in front of millions of people, but rapping in front of his fellow inmates was another story. “I was nervous as hell,” he admits of his performance for tier mates Charlie and Jamaica. 4HE
CONSIDERED CHRISTIAN RAP ... BRIEFLY. In addition to a landslide of fan mail, Wayne received a compelling letter from a church, urging him to use his artistry to spread the gospel. And for a moment, Wayne considered it. “I would truly have the power of having pop culture turn to God,” he wrote. “I would have straight killers in church every Sunday.” 5HE
MADE $ 20 MILLION WHILE IN PRISON. In the months preceding his sentence, Wayne recorded new music at a feverish pace to stagger releases throughout his sentence. As a result, the rapper outpaced his 2009 earnings, raking in an estimated $ 20 million, compared with 2009’ s $ 18 million. 6JAMAICA
WAS DEPORTED DURING HIS BID. Wayne may have been reluctant to use the “f” word in jail, but by all accounts, Jamaica was a friend. And when Wayne recounts how Jamaica was hauled away, you can sense his guilt. Wayne admits that Jamaica had repeatedly asked if he could connect him with a better lawyer, but the rapper didn’t take it seriously until it was too late. 7JAIL
MADE HIM REALIZE HIS CREATIVITY WASN’T DEPENDENT ON EXTERNAL INFLUENCES. For a book that mostly deals with the day- to- day and only occasionally scratches beyond the surface, Wayne gets particularly introspective at the close. The night before his release, he reflects on the crutches he used to lean on for inspiration: drugs, cars, women. “Once that was all taken away from me, my creativity was put to the ultimate test,” he writes. “And I passed that ( expletive)!”
LAST YEAR, for the first time in history, millennials outnumbered boomers in the Canadian workforce. That’s not going to change. The over-50 cohort has, unfairly or not, pegged the younger generation as being rather demanding and entitled on the work front. So will the ascendancy of the under-35s only deepen the generation gap? Or is it time to retire the G word and the whole dusty notion of a demographic that’s ruled by the calendar? Can’t we all just … get along?
Let’s eavesdrop on a multigenerational scene to find out.
It’s early on a Thursday night in Toronto, and three people walk into a bar called Lo-Fi. Wendel is 29 and black. Don is 64 and white. Angela is 45 and from southeast Asia. They work in the same ad agency and they’ve come straight from the office to celebrate – Don has decided to postpone his retirement yet again, and Wendel’s going to be promoted. Their agency, InOV8, has been trying out a new campaign that targets both millennials and boomers, and they really like this “age-agnostic” approach.
Don happens to be a co-owner of the bar. (Diversify, his accountant urged.) He orders a margarita – Tromba, no salt. Wendel has a craft beer, and Angela asks for something called a Crown and Anchor, made with rye whisky, crème fraîche and maple syrup. It’s on my tab, says Don, smiling. He enjoys these fleeting moments of seniority.
Behind the counter is Rooster, a 30-year-old musician-slash-bartender from Vancouver. He’s got a beard the size of an oven mitt, an MBA from Queen’s and his recent startup (home delivery by electric bike of fruit smoothies) has not taken off. He’s also learned that most musicians earn less than panhandlers. So like many of his peers, Rooster survives by bartending. Which he kind of enjoys. But he keeps a USB of his songs handy in case someone important drops by.
Luckily, he has an intern, Sofi, 22, who helps stock the bar. Sofi is from Iran and is studying to be a pharmacist. Don is old enough to remember paid internships, so he pays Sofi minimum wage, for which she is grateful. This means that by working four other part-time service jobs, she can afford to rent a tiny apartment above a Subway shop.
The bar has a big poster of Grimes on the wall, Japanese anime playing on small TVs and a chrome karaoke stage up front. It’s pretty hip for someone Don’s age – but then, he and Wendel like to think of themselves as a slightly less hip version of another cross-generational pair of buddies, 29-year-old musician Drake and
Norm Kelly, the 74-year-old Toronto city councillor. Despite their age differences, Drake and Kelly share several core values, including full-out civic pride in their hometown and a passionate belief in the Raptors. Drake tutored Norm in the power and glory of Twitter, and Norm finally learned the meaning of the word “diss.” Just like Wendel got Don to stop holding his phone vertically when he takes pictures. Reverse mentorship: it’s the way of the future.
Drake’s international success has also demonstrated a millennial paradigm: he went global by staying close to home. His lyrics are rooted in the local. He could have shot his most recent video anywhere in the world. Instead, he chose The Real Jerk, a family-friendly Jamaican restaurant in the city’s east end. Metaphorically speaking, Drake is still living in his parents’ basement – but look at how it worked out! Let that be a lesson to doubting boomers.
Back at the bar, Angela texts her husband to let him know she’ll be late. No biggie, these outings are part of the job. In the Mad Men era, office and home were kept separate, but now the work/life boundaries have dissolved: it’s all work and all life all the time. Emails fly back and forth on Sunday morning or after midnight. When you’re on the digital time clock, nobody punches out.
In fact, as they wait for their drinks, all three pull out their phones. Angela scrolls while Wendel swipes. The soft blue light from their screens bathes their faces like moonlight. It’s a peaceful scene; here they all are, together but separate. Wendel looks fully engaged with his phone in a way that eludes him in conversation.
After checking her Twitter feed, Angela texts her dog walk- er to make sure the house key is back under the planter where it belongs. Wendel is pondering his options for later on Tinder. Don leans across the bar to show Rooster a YouTube video of a dozen adorable baby sloths in a red plastic bucket.
This digital multitasking is what our socializing looks like now. Technically, there are only three people here, having drinks in a bar. But when you add up the messages flying in and out of their devices, there’s a whole crowd of virtual ghosts in the room. Where Don and his peers grew up scarcely bothering to phone their parents once a month, millennials are in constant touch with each other and their families.
The millennials are surely the most connected generation ever, and many of their values – authenticity, worklife balance, inclusiveness and tolerance – are admirable. The only problem is that the economic realities have not caught up to their values. The system is set up for a fixed hierarchy arranged in cubicles, but many of the young prefer to work from a corner table in a café. And if they have a job-job, when they get a performance review, they review their boss’s performance. They don’t have much patience for authority. The digital revolution has created a new democracy, a level playing field where any kid with an iPhone can leap to the top of the talent pile with a single posting on YouTube. The membrane between anonymity and global fame has become extremely thin, and the concept of “working your way up” has less appeal.
Meanwhile, the political ideals that once defined the boomers have faded – or are they just being reborn, as millennial self-expression writ large? Beyoncé at the Super Bowl, evoking the Black Panthers with militant ThighMaster choreography. Rap singer Kendrick Lamar electrified the Grammies with a fiery pageant of African-American history. The very last (we hope) all-white Oscars took place, shame heaped on its head by the witheringly funny Chris Rock. In Canada, pop music will never be the same after a show-stopping performance by Nunavutborn throat singer Tanya Tagaq at the 2014 Polaris Music Prize awards. Slowly, our culture becomes more multicultural. After decades of bubbling under, issues around race and gender have come to dominate the media.
Indeed, the greatest and most promising difference between the boomers and the next generation might be the young’s complete embrace of diversity, whether it relates to race, gender, or sexual identity.
When her drink is done, Angela slips on her coat; she wants to get into the office early the next morning. Like most gen-Xers, it’s her diligence on the job that allows her col-
leagues to leave work early and hit the bar like this. Gen-Xers, born between 1965 and 1979, are the hard-headed resilient adults who quietly run everything. They put up with the sporty boomers who never want to leave the party and the stubborn millennials who want to telecommute to work. It’s the gen-Xers who remember to put out the recycling bins – indeed, they invented recycling. They just don’t get credit for it. That might change with the international sparkle of one member of their cohort – Justin Trudeau. The 44-year-old prime minister has elevated the selfie-with-a-citizen to a portrait of a more open, warm-blooded style of governing, and his focus on aboriginal issues, climate change and a gender-balanced Cabinet has set an example for the rest of the world.
Gen-Xers tend not to complain about generational differences because they’re too busy getting on with their lives. (They rode the tail end of a friendlier economy, too.) But the young have good reason to complain; they are up against a harsher, more competitive and unforgiving world. The boomers were born into a carefree young adulthood, with jobs that grew on trees and a stable economy. Millennials now face the anxiety of climate change, unpredictable global markets and a world in violent political flux, gripped by wars and civilian upheaval. The only thing the boomers suffered in their youth was an excess of folk music, STDs and bad coffee.
A word about those STDs here, though. The arrival of the birth control pill in the 1960s, combined with the ridiculous concept of “free love,” created the sexual revolution, a belief that two people (or more) could fall in and out bed without obligation, guilt or consequence. Dream on! That fantasy era was swiftly followed by the lethal early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, when the word “consequence” acquired a new and tragic weight. The pendulum swung back, gen-X had to sweep up after the party and sexual behaviour took a conservative turn. Until the millennials, Tinder and hook-up culture came along. Casual sex is back with a vengeance – made even more casual by our handy digital escape hatches. Getting “ghosted” by last night’s Tinder date (when s/he won’t reply to your texts) is probably just as painful as the days in the so-called sexual revolution, when women had carefree one-night stands and then sat by the rotary phone, patiently waiting for him to call. Sex doesn’t always obey generational rules.
And when did we begin to think in generational terms, anyway? The whole notion of a sharply defined, age-related cohort only goes back as far as our labelling of the “post-war generation.” The children of that wave became the boomers, and it was their rebellion against the risk-aversive values of their parents that created the first generation gap.
The gap was real. As a boomer in my 20s, I wouldn’t have dreamed of sharing my thoughts and fears with my perfectly lovely parents, who stood for everything I wanted to change about the world (then, didn’t).
But was that gap a precedent for future ones – or just an aberration specific to that era? “Talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation,” sang The Who back in 1971. (And we never stopped talking about it!) But now, when I notice how close many young adults are with their parents or when I watch a campus rally erupting in applause for 74-year-old Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, I wonder: maybe the phrase “generation gap” should be retired. Maybe even the word “generation” has lost its relevance. As one 20-year-old woman instructed me when we met to talk about this subject, “Nobody thinks in terms of generations any more. I have friends of every age.”
Back at the Lo-Fi, it’s later in the evening. Angela has gone home. Sofi, the intern, has finished her shift and is doing some homework at an empty table. Wendel and Don have moved a little closer to the bar. Rooster’s playing some obscure R&B Don remembers from high school that Wendel is happy to discover. They’re watching the big flat-screen TV over the bar, where a Raptors game has just begun. The two men agree – if you’re over 40 on the basketball court, well, that’s a problem. But everywhere else, age isn’t what separates us any more.