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Fifa executives have unanimously agreed to publish a “legally appropriate version” of a report into allegations of World Cup bidding corruption.

However, world football’s governing body insisted Russia and Qatar will stay as hosts of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments respectively.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter said he asked the executive committee to vote in favour of publishing the report.

“We have always been determined the truth should be known,” he said.

“That is, after all, why we set up an independent ethics committee with an investigatory chamber that has all necessary means to undertake investigations on its own initiative.”

Uefa president Michel Platini called for publication of the Garcia report as soon as possible.

“I have always battled for transparency and this is a step in the right direction. Let us hope that the report can now be published as quickly as possible. The credibility of Fifa depends on it.”

Only a disputed summary of Michael Garcia’s 430-page report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups has been published.

Blatter on 2022 World Cup:

“It would really need an earthquake, extremely important new elements, to go back on this World Cup in Qatar.”

Releasing the full report, which is likely to be heavily redacted to preserve witness confidentiality, is a change in Fifa policy.

However, it will only be published once ongoing investigations into five individuals are completed.

Those five are:

  • Spaniard Angel Maria Villar, a Fifa vice-president;
  • Belgian Michel D’Hooghe;
  • Thailand’s Worawi Makudi;
  • Former executive committee member Franz Beckenbauer;
  • And former Chile football leader Harold Mayne-Nicholls.

“We need to ensure that we respect the rules of our organisation and that we do not breach confidentiality in a way that will prevent people from speaking out in the future,” added Blatter.

The 78-year-old Swiss insisted later that there was no reason for Russia and Qatar to lose their rights to stage future World Cups.

“At the current time, there is no reason to go back on our decisions,” he told a news conference following a two-day meeting of Fifa’s executive committee in Morocco.

“The two World Cups are in the calendar, the only thing missing is the precise dates for 2022, but these two World Cups will take place.”

Addressing Qatar specifically, he added that only an “earthquake” could change Fifa’s decision to hold the 2022 tournament in the Gulf state.

“It would really need an earthquake, extremely important new elements, to go back on this World Cup in Qatar,” he said.

Garcia was appointed Fifa’s independent ethics investigator in 2012 and spent two years investigating all nine bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups following claims of corruption and collusion.

The American lawyer travelled the world speaking to bid officials and appealing for evidence of wrongdoing.

He eventually submitted a report to Fifa in September 2014.

Fifa subsequently released a 42-page summary that cleared Russia and Qatar of corruption.

However, an unhappy Garcia claimed it was “incomplete and erroneous”.

Earlier this week, he resigned, citing “lack of leadership” at Fifa.

Blatter, seeking a fifth term as Fifa president, conceded his organisation had been “in a crisis” but insisted: “The crisis has stopped because we again have the unity in our government.”

 

BBC sport

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by

Mwizenge S. Tembo

Author of “Satisfying Zambian Hunger for Culture”.

Professor of Sociology

Huge peaceful public demonstrations have gone on for many days from coast to coast in protest of white Police officers killing unarmed black men. Three of the numerous cases are so outrageously tragic. A twelve year old African American boy Tamir Rice was playing alone with a toy gun in a public park. The video shows the Police Cruiser driving up to him within feet and the boy was shot dead in less than two seconds. Eric Garner in New York gasped for his breath as he said 11 times “I can’t breathe” as one of the more than 5 police officers  chocked him to death because of he was allegedly selling loose cigarettes or mishanga; loose cigarettes in my native country of Zambia.

John Crawford was a 22 year old African American  man playing with a harmless bb gun in a Walmart store. The victim had no chance. The video shows he was on his cell phone talking to his girlfriend and not even paying attention. He wasn’t threatening any one. The police shot him dead within less than 10 seconds. In both of these cases all it took was for a white person to call the police saying there was a black man with a gun. These cases are now just an endless epidemic. What has gone wrong? Are the police racist, out of control, and trigger happy?

We cannot arrive at useful solutions unless we understand what is going on beyond these tragic incidents. If you are looking for one quick simple answer such as because of the “racist white police” or “the black victims resisted arrest and were thugs and deserved to die”,  you may need to rethink.

Police maintaining law and order in a city 4th of July Independence Day parade.
Police maintaining law and order in a city 4th of July Independence Day parade.

The first thing that should be clear is that the vast majority of Police Officers in almost all communities perform their jobs very well in keeping the public safe. They follow the rules. But just as in every organization you will get a few rogue officers whose idea of policing may be distorted by racism or the Hollywood movie images of the thrill of shooting bad guys. Otherwise how does one understand the most recent case in which a rookie police officer was reportedly patrolling a public housing stairway with a drawn gun which accidentally fired and shot dead a completely innocent black man? It is common knowledge that we tell children not to run in the house holding a knife, folk, pencil, sharp stick or object? Why would a police officer be running around in a staircase with a drawn gun?

Some of the major reasons why the police are shooting black men are that there are too many guns in America an estimated 270 to 310 million guns or 101 guns per 100 citizens including babies. Forty years ago, many of the poorest neighborhood small time gangs in American ghettoes did not have guns. There may also be an estimated 3 million people today who may have mental illness in America who may need to be institutionalized but they may not be getting medical treatment. Families are managing these people and some are on the streets and are among the homeless population. The US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) says that blacks accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population in 2009; 841,000 black males and 64,800 black females out of a total of 2,096,300 males and 201,200 females in the jail population. These same statistics are used as a justification for police racial profiling of  black men. Lastly, the recent proliferation of digital social media may have weakened both the citizens and the police’s social skills and ability to socially interact with each other in an amicable manner.

So when the police attend to calls, they may be dealing with very highly volatile situations. Many of these black victims in these police encounters are either innocent or deserve a day in court and not to be killed. We may need to think of all these factors before we find a solution to white police officers shooting unarmed black Americans.

 

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by

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

It has always occurred to me that parents create lasting warm memories through the wonderful things they do for their families and especially children during the Christmas season. When these children grow to be adults, they will often return home during the holidays to re-experience that magic. I do not know whether I can ever re-experience my special childhood Christmas magic.

We were a family of nine in a rural village in Zambia in Africa. My father was a primary school teacher who earned a modest twenty kwacha or dollars per month in the early 1960s. How did he and my mother make us all happy at Christmas? Of course some of the food like maize for nshima, beans, and peanuts we grew on land just behind our house. How did my father manage to buy one small gift for each one of us at Christmas? He saved and planned ingenious layaways for the whole year with the local Indian (from India) shopkeeper at Mgubudu Stores. Each of the six girls and mother got an inexpensive dress sewn by local tailor. Designer clothes were out of the question. The boys usually got either a pair of shorts or a shirt.

One Christmas at the old age of eight, my father bought me my first pair of shoes. When I saw them, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I put them to my nose to smell them. They smelt new. Everybody had a big laugh because I did not know which shoe went on the right or left foot. Like a good mom, my mother teased me about my scrubbing my feet really good so that my razor sharp calluses did not put holes in the new shoes. She had a point because there were no socks with the shoes. A pair of socks would have been too expensive.

The most exciting and memorable part of Christmas day in our family was the food. The day before Christmas, my father would buy a loaf of bread, rice, onion, Tiger Oates and a special spice called chikasu. Early in the morning on Christmas day, a chicken was slaughtered. My mother diced the onions and sautéed them in oil with the chikasu spice. The aroma wafted from the kitchen. The smell was so good that it could have killed several starving and emaciated men. We kids would all hang around the kitchen our nostrils sniffing the air around us.  Mother would tease us asking what we were hanging around the kitchen for. Why didn’t we go and play outside, say about a  mile away? She needed elbow room in the kitchen, she would say. She would have this special beam and smirk on her face that said a thousand words that she was happy on this special day.

After church at noon, we would have a large family feast; rice and chicken both cooked with the special chikasu spice, cake my sisters baked using recipes from their domestic science classes at Kanyanga Girls boarding  school. In the afternoon, dressed in whatever best new piece of clothing each of us had, we went to Christmas festivities including a variety of African traditional dances like vinyau, chitelele, and cimtali in the villages.

Healthy village  dogs resting and playing. They take advantage of any situation to get a good meal.
Healthy village dogs resting and playing. They take advantage of any situation to get a good meal.

One memorable Christmas incident surrounds the African village tradition of not wasting any food. When a chicken is slaughtered, for example, everything is used except for the feathers. Children clean and roast the intestines and the head and eat them as a snack ahead of the main meal. This was often seen as a preliminary reward for the children for performing the hard and exhausting task of chasing the chicken through the village before it was apprehended. We boys always looked forward to amusing ourselves by using the chicken’s stomach as a soccer ball. We would clean the inside, inflate it and tie it.  We would usually get a good game of chifyawo football going. One Christmas day, my  brother and I had just inflated the chicken stomach and kicked the “ball” about a hundred meters ahead  of us in the village square. We sprinted after it. Six to ten chickens began to also chase the thing. This was not unusual. But from nowhere, our family dog furiously charged the “ball” amidst our screams to “stop!!!”. The village dog knows a good meal when he sees one. He disappeared into the bush with the  “ball”. He reappeared later licking his chops.

 

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By

Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.

Professor of Sociology

I was hardly surprised recently to read that John and Lisa Henderson decided to cancel Christmas in their home. Apparently they had had enough of their children acting up and taking everything including Christmas presents for granted. When they broke the news to their three sons; 5, 8, and 11 year old, there was crying. The parents were going to donate to those in need whatever they were going to spend on Christmas presents.

Scones or buns baked at the nearest store
Scones or buns baked at the nearest store

In a highly prosperous society with material excesses, there is no longer a debate that simplicity in Christmas celebration was tossed out of the window decades ago. To remind myself that Christmas can be simple and happy I go back to memories of my first Christmas which I always remember with nostalgia.

It was during the late 1950s in a village in rural Zambia in Africa. This is the earliest Christmas I can remember.  I was one of more than 15 grandchildren in the Tembo clan. My grandparents were great farmers who provided us with abundant food, including delicious red kidney beans, maize, pumpkins, cassava, sweet potatoes, peanuts, chicken, and an occasional goat meat. But this year there was an air of excitement. Christmas was coming and word got around that we were going to eat something special on that day.

My grandmother had saved One shilling or 12 cents during the year. My aunt walked all afternoon to the Hoya store and came back in the rain that evening. Whatever she had bought was dry and had been obviously carefully concealed all through advance contingency planning. I could barely sleep with anticipation about Christmas and whatever my grandmother was keeping secret.

Early the following morning, as the grand children jostled for position around the open fireplace, two gallons of water were boiled in a clay pot. From a small brightly colored aluminum foil packet, my aunt sprinkled half of some black dry floating substances never seen before. She then poured a whole three pennies or  three cents worth packet of sugar into the pot. She stirred it. The children sat near the pot as adults – uncles, aunts, older cousins – sat a little distance waiting and making a running commentary among them on how excited we kids were.

My grandmother handed each a small rusty metal cup. Adults had larger metal mugs. She carefully and slowly poured a little bit of the dark steaming liquid into the cups enough so that the liquid could go around the many cups. My grandmother unwrapped pieces of golden brown, white and soft edibles which were known locally as scones; pronounced as sikono. She split each piece among four children while adults split halves.

I proceeded to slowly take a sip of the sweet dark liquid followed by a small deliberate bite of the sikono. The whole experience was known as drinking tea with a small piece of a bun and it sent all us kid bonkers with profound sheer joy, pleasure, and wonder. As children this experience could not

Drinking hot tea with sugar and a scone with sweet jam.
Drinking hot tea with sugar and a scone with sweet jam on Christmas Day.

simply be bottled away.

Soon after most of this brief exhilarating event was over, I clutched by now a rather small piece of bun I had saved in my hand and ran outside the house to brag to other admiring friends in the village. “We drank tea and ate scones for Christmas!” I yelled at the top of my lungs as I pranced around. The other kids in the village begged for a piece of the Christmas. I gave each of them a smitten of the bun just enough to wet their mouths. But the kids were thrilled all the same.

That was my happiest Christmas ever. Later that morning we went to church and in the afternoon watched traditional dances.

Scone or bun with sweet jam.
Scone or bun with sweet jam.

More than forty years  – thousands of cups of tea and loaves of bread, pizzas, hamburgers – later, I have never really forgotten that Christmas. The majority of people in rural parts of the Third World still celebrate this Christmas by eating something special in the whole large family; it may be something as simple as a cup of sweetened black tea and slice of bread with sweet jam.

I have never forgotten that if I do not get any Christmas presents at all, the best way to celebrate Christmas is to share a meal however small.

 

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Drama ensued at the Supreme Court in Lusaka as opposition UPND cadres and supporters overpowered police to gain access to the court grounds.

The cadres further attempted to force their way into the court building to witness their party president Hakainde Hichilema file in nomination for the January 20, 2015 Presidential election.

Police reinforcements called to help quell the ensuing pandemonium watched helplessly as a sea of UPND follower thronged the Supreme Court grounds.
Traffic around the Supreme Court area was jammed as roads around the area were blocked by motor vehicles and huge crowds of UPND followers.

Mr Hichilema who arrived at the Supreme Court accompanied by his wife Mutinta, and party officials, successfully filed in his nomination before acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesa Kunda, who was flanked by Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chairperson, Justice Irene Mambilima .

The 52 year old opposition leader commended ECZ for successfully organising and presiding over the nomination process in view of the huge number of people gathered outside the court building.

Mr Hichilema said he was the only candidate with an imperious leadership track record and pedigree to lead Zambia to greater heights.

He pointed out that it is unprecedented in the history of the country for opposition law makers to reach a consensus and endorse him as presidential candidate.

Mr Hichilema pledged to develop the country by ensuring that resources are equitably distributed and providing an enabling and conducive business environment.

He said his administration will invest heavily in education to develop the required skills necessary to develop the country.

Mr Hichilema said once elected he will immediately ensure that Zambia’s growing international debt accrued by the PF administration to finance infrastructural developments is halted.

He charged that the PF is a violent party and Zambia needs a peaceful leader like him to unite and protect the country from machete-wielding culture of the ruling party.

Mr Hichilema cautioned Zambians against engaging in violence during and after the elections but instead remain peaceful.

Former First Lady, Maureen Mwanawasa, veteran politician, Vernon Mwaanga, former ministers in the Chiluba regime, Dipak Patel and Suresh Desai, and former Justice Minister in the PF government, Sebastian Zulu, were among prominent people that came to witness the opposition leader file in his nomination papers.

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The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) says the country’s constitution does not provide for the removal an acting president by Cabinet through a vote of no confidence.

The Association’s observation follows the vote of no confidence which was recently passed by 14 Cabinet Ministers with the view of having acting president Dr. Guy Scott removed from his position for allegedly endangering the country’s security.

In a statement to Qfm News, LAZ Vice President Linda Kasonde has explained that an acting republican president can only be removed by the natiSCOTT Lonal Assembly through a two thirds majority vote.

Ms.Kasonde says this process is however initiated when it has been found by the majority of Cabinet Ministers that the acting president does not have sufficient mental or physical capacity to discharge the functions of his office.

She says it is then that an investigation is instituted through a medical board appointed by the Chief Justice after which the National Assembly makes the ultimate decision of whether to remove the acting president or not based on the findings of the investigation.

And Ms. Kasonde has also noted that going by article 33 (2) of the country’s constitution which states that all executive powers are vested in the republican president, the President is the one that preside over all Cabinet meetings.

She says the Cabinet quorum is therefore between the President and one other member as Cabinet members only advise the President who has the final say notwithstanding the advice rendered.

The LAZ vice president has further explained that in the ninety days prescribed in the constitution at a time that a substantive president dies and the vice president fills the vacant position, he has the powers to perform executive powers subject to limitations set in Article 38 of the constitution.

She says this entails that an acting president assumes the Cabinet functions of a substantive president.

Ms Kasonde states that Cabinet Ministers cannot therefore properly constitute a cabinet meeting in the absence of the acting or substantive president.


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