Thursday, 7 August 2008

ECHOES FROM THE ANGOLAN PRESS (20.a)

Correction (to the note below): On a second thought, I figured that doing two parts of this series would be just too demanding on my time and availability. So, what I decided instead was to do just one take with summaries in English. This would serve both Portuguese and English readers, since the original articles are in Portuguese anyway.

***
From now on, and as far as possible, I will be presenting this series in two parts: one with summaries in English (a) of some of the articles featured and other, as usual, in Portuguese (b).

***

Today the Jornal de Angola publishes President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s address to the nation to mark the beginning of the campaign for the legislative elections:

Today marks the beginning of the election campaign by the political parties and party coalitions that will dispute the 220 seats in the National Assembly at the legislative elections to take place on the 5th September 2008. (…) This moment represents an unprecedented step towards the normalisation of the political and institutional life in the country and the strengthening of the legitimate Democratic State of Rights. From now on, the legislative elections will be organised regularly, with periodical renewal every four years, according to the Constitutional Law. We fought hard to get to this stage and all, without exception, made sacrifices for our country’s stability and territorial integrity.
(…)
Free, fair and competitive elections require the rejection of all forms of intimidation, insult, violation of rights and political destabilisation. I call on all citizens, political parties and party coalitions to maintain a responsible standing, respect the law and the established order, so that the election campaign and the electoral act take place within high standards of civility. Angola can give an example to our continent and the world at large, about how to hold democratic, free and transparent elections. We must not yield to provocations. We will frustrate the predictions of those who, without any basis, say that we will live a climate of insecurity and destabilization. The forces of Public Order are taking all the necessary steps to ensure tranquillity and security throughout the electoral process.
(…)
There is no reason for us to foster any pessimistic or defeatist thoughts. We are a peaceful and freedom-loving people. A people conscious that all great achievements in the political, economic and social domain are only possible with peace, stability and social understanding. The campaign must not be marred by violence. In this competition there are no enemies, just political adversaries, with different political programs and proposals, which will try to obtain the highest number of votes to win the power and exercise it with legitimacy.
(…)
If the political parties in their electoral activities are to respect the legal norms in vigour, we will all win and contribute to the construction of the democratic country of our dreams. I am sure that that is how it will be and that Angola will win.
Viva Angola!

Keneth Muangi, Semanario Angolense’s (SA) correspondent in Johannesburg, writes, in “JES extends hand to Mbeki”, about how the Zimbabwean crisis acted as a bridge to bring Angola and South Africa – two major regional powers often at odds on key policy issues – and their respective Presidents – often perceived as personal rivals – closer to each other and to a clearer standing on their respective roles vis-à-vis the resolution of that crisis:

“(…) For some time Angolan and South African diplomats had been making an effort to reach out to each other. That effort paid off at the AU Summit in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, when the Angolan delegation indicated that Mbeki’s role as sole mediator (of the Zimbabwean crisis) would be respected, even if against MDC president Morgan Tsivangirai’s will. According to our sources, it was partly because of that stance by Angola that the MDC, whose president was recently received in Luanda by Jose’ Eduardo dos Santos, gave up on its demand that the mediation be enlarged to other countries: “Morgan knows that Jose’ Eduardo dos Santos is someone with whom he can talk.”
(…)
Meanwhile, last week, Joao Miranda, Angolan Foreign Affairs Minister, called on the EU to lift all sanctions on Zimbabwe, arguing that “when the main protagonists are negotiating, all obstacles likely to endanger the course of the negotiating process must be removed. Therefore, the European Union should lift all sanctions hanging over Zimbabwe and its leaders.”
The A Capital announces that, for the first time in their political history, Civil Society Organisations will act as observers in the upcoming legislative elections:

“(…) To that aim, the following organisations joined forces to form an Electoral Observatory: Search for Common Ground (SFCG), Plataforma Eleitoral, Universidade Católica de Angola (UCAN), Development Workshop, Open Society, Centro Nacional de Aconselhamento (NCC), Associação Justiça Paz e Democracia (AJPD) e a Rede Eleitoral Angola.”

Finally, Wilson Dada, a veteran Angolan journalist recently turned blogger, in “We, Mr. Keyros' Janitors”, joins other Angolan journalists in expressing outrage at racially insulting articles in the Jornal de Angola, addressed to another Angolan journalist, Victor Silva, the director of Novo Jornal, by Portuguese journalist Artur Queiroz, recently returned to Angola after more than three decades:

“Yes, it is us, the janitors, or the boys, as they used to like (and still like) to call us, who started little by little entering and gradually darkening the editorial rooms, which, meanwhile, were becoming deserted, because they, the “mr. journalists”, had decided to return to where they’d come from.
This happened more than 30 years ago when all here started to change and they, the “mr. journalists”, also started to pack their boxes, trunks and containers because they started to fear the chaos coming from the jungles in the point of the liberating fusils of the “manos kambutas” (guerrillas).
(…)
We (thus) do not criticise anyone that went away to greener pastures. However, we cannot accept, in any way whatsoever, to be condemned for having stayed here in our own land and for embracing journalism as a profession, without having to ask permission to the “senhores” that went away. Even more difficult to tolerate is that one of these “retornados” now with statute of “regressado”, comes here, more than 30 years later, to insult, or try to diminish us, with inconsistent, untrue and dishonest references made all the more grievous by their profoundly racist overtones, considering the value that was (not) given to the figure of the janitor in the colonial dictionary.

Correction (to the note below): On a second thought, I figured that doing two parts of this series would be just too demanding on my time and availability. So, what I decided instead was to do just one take with summaries in English. This would serve both Portuguese and English readers, since the original articles are in Portuguese anyway.

***
From now on, and as far as possible, I will be presenting this series in two parts: one with summaries in English (a) of some of the articles featured and other, as usual, in Portuguese (b).

***

Today the Jornal de Angola publishes President Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s address to the nation to mark the beginning of the campaign for the legislative elections:

Today marks the beginning of the election campaign by the political parties and party coalitions that will dispute the 220 seats in the National Assembly at the legislative elections to take place on the 5th September 2008. (…) This moment represents an unprecedented step towards the normalisation of the political and institutional life in the country and the strengthening of the legitimate Democratic State of Rights. From now on, the legislative elections will be organised regularly, with periodical renewal every four years, according to the Constitutional Law. We fought hard to get to this stage and all, without exception, made sacrifices for our country’s stability and territorial integrity.
(…)
Free, fair and competitive elections require the rejection of all forms of intimidation, insult, violation of rights and political destabilisation. I call on all citizens, political parties and party coalitions to maintain a responsible standing, respect the law and the established order, so that the election campaign and the electoral act take place within high standards of civility. Angola can give an example to our continent and the world at large, about how to hold democratic, free and transparent elections. We must not yield to provocations. We will frustrate the predictions of those who, without any basis, say that we will live a climate of insecurity and destabilization. The forces of Public Order are taking all the necessary steps to ensure tranquillity and security throughout the electoral process.
(…)
There is no reason for us to foster any pessimistic or defeatist thoughts. We are a peaceful and freedom-loving people. A people conscious that all great achievements in the political, economic and social domain are only possible with peace, stability and social understanding. The campaign must not be marred by violence. In this competition there are no enemies, just political adversaries, with different political programs and proposals, which will try to obtain the highest number of votes to win the power and exercise it with legitimacy.
(…)
If the political parties in their electoral activities are to respect the legal norms in vigour, we will all win and contribute to the construction of the democratic country of our dreams. I am sure that that is how it will be and that Angola will win.
Viva Angola!

Keneth Muangi, Semanario Angolense’s (SA) correspondent in Johannesburg, writes, in “JES extends hand to Mbeki”, about how the Zimbabwean crisis acted as a bridge to bring Angola and South Africa – two major regional powers often at odds on key policy issues – and their respective Presidents – often perceived as personal rivals – closer to each other and to a clearer standing on their respective roles vis-à-vis the resolution of that crisis:

“(…) For some time Angolan and South African diplomats had been making an effort to reach out to each other. That effort paid off at the AU Summit in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, when the Angolan delegation indicated that Mbeki’s role as sole mediator (of the Zimbabwean crisis) would be respected, even if against MDC president Morgan Tsivangirai’s will. According to our sources, it was partly because of that stance by Angola that the MDC, whose president was recently received in Luanda by Jose’ Eduardo dos Santos, gave up on its demand that the mediation be enlarged to other countries: “Morgan knows that Jose’ Eduardo dos Santos is someone with whom he can talk.”
(…)
Meanwhile, last week, Joao Miranda, Angolan Foreign Affairs Minister, called on the EU to lift all sanctions on Zimbabwe, arguing that “when the main protagonists are negotiating, all obstacles likely to endanger the course of the negotiating process must be removed. Therefore, the European Union should lift all sanctions hanging over Zimbabwe and its leaders.”
The A Capital announces that, for the first time in their political history, Civil Society Organisations will act as observers in the upcoming legislative elections:

“(…) To that aim, the following organisations joined forces to form an Electoral Observatory: Search for Common Ground (SFCG), Plataforma Eleitoral, Universidade Católica de Angola (UCAN), Development Workshop, Open Society, Centro Nacional de Aconselhamento (NCC), Associação Justiça Paz e Democracia (AJPD) e a Rede Eleitoral Angola.”

Finally, Wilson Dada, a veteran Angolan journalist recently turned blogger, in “We, Mr. Keyros' Janitors”, joins other Angolan journalists in expressing outrage at racially insulting articles in the Jornal de Angola, addressed to another Angolan journalist, Victor Silva, the director of Novo Jornal, by Portuguese journalist Artur Queiroz, recently returned to Angola after more than three decades:

“Yes, it is us, the janitors, or the boys, as they used to like (and still like) to call us, who started little by little entering and gradually darkening the editorial rooms, which, meanwhile, were becoming deserted, because they, the “mr. journalists”, had decided to return to where they’d come from.
This happened more than 30 years ago when all here started to change and they, the “mr. journalists”, also started to pack their boxes, trunks and containers because they started to fear the chaos coming from the jungles in the point of the liberating fusils of the “manos kambutas” (guerrillas).
(…)
We (thus) do not criticise anyone that went away to greener pastures. However, we cannot accept, in any way whatsoever, to be condemned for having stayed here in our own land and for embracing journalism as a profession, without having to ask permission to the “senhores” that went away. Even more difficult to tolerate is that one of these “retornados” now with statute of “regressado”, comes here, more than 30 years later, to insult, or try to diminish us, with inconsistent, untrue and dishonest references made all the more grievous by their profoundly racist overtones, considering the value that was (not) given to the figure of the janitor in the colonial dictionary.

2 comments:

Cho said...

I look forward to reading this series.

There's a lot of interesting happening in Angola, I am surprised we are hearing very little on the economic renewal taking place and the impact that will have on your institutions going forward....

Or perhaps the bloggers are talking but just not in English!!

Koluki said...

You're welcome!