Month: June 2013 Page 1 of 3

The next book of Evans K. Chama

Evans ChamaSome time this year Serge presented on this blog my bookA Woman Like Mum, which is the second book after We Fought Wrong Fight, published in 2008. He asked me if there is another book coming, to write a few lines about it. Indeed, another one is coming and I want to present it here.
The working title is Rule of the Boorish. In this book I reflect on some elements that constitute our democracy in Zambia, concentrating especially on abuses, misconceptions that keep our Democracy immature and barren. There are five chapters.
In the first chapter I pose a question: Is Democracy the system of government best suited for Zambia today?  We would also say, are Zambians ready for democracy? Here I make some reflections on events or cases that have made and are still making mockery of our democracy, from the point of view of politicians and also from that of the Zambian general public.
The second chapter, The sickness of our democracy, deals with our today’s crop of politicians, formation of political parties, Elections, Candidates, Campaigns, and voters: how do these elements, as we experience them in Zambia, render our democracy a sham?
Tribes as chronic Ulcer of Zambia, in this third chapter I dare to accuse our tribal identities as a rot in our democracy. The tribal organisation and its dynamics are an opposing force to national identity, and certainly do not render a good service to democracy. Here, I tackle also the question o f tribalism.
The fourth chapter: Perhaps It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Chiefs. Traditional authority is one institution that feeds on tribal identity and sometimes opposed to democracy by its character and manner of operation. Thus, either this institution accepts a thorough transformation or loses its place in today’s society.
In the fifth chapter I deal with something a bit off the line of democracy, Development. Here I propose a perspective of development in which everyone finds one’s place regardless of the work, business involvement or place. It is a people-propelled kind of development, and not the one brought by the government and often from without. Here, the government has only the role of facilitator, animator and motivator. Hence, it is not development or economic growth known only by intellectuals on paper but rather a development in the life of the people themselves based on local resources both material and human.  
By the Rule of Boorish I am essentially proposing a forum, a debate, on our democracy in order to shape it ourselves in the manner that it answers our Zambian needs. With such background, I feel great liberty to throw out ideas without much inhibition for it is all about soliciting debate and exchange of ideas.
Well, Serge, this is the book project I’m working on. I cannot say when it will come out for there is still a rework to be done and as well as finding the funds for publishing.
Evans K. Chama, M.Afr

Missionaries of Africa Ghana-Nigeria JPIC-ED Newsletter – June 2013 Volume 1

Logo Ghana-Nigeria JPIC-ED 2013 Newsletter 2Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. This is to say Ghana-Nigeria JPIC-ED continues to seek the best ways to contribute towards a peaceful and just society living in a clean and suitable environment and evaluating our peaceful coexistence among regions, tribes and nations. With this in mind, we present today our Newsletter focussing on the 125th anniversary of Lavigeries’ involvement in his antislavery campaign. BULLETIN

Clenerius Mutale Chimpali, M.Afr

The challenges of implementing Shari’ah Law in modern times – FENZA conferences

FENZAIn line with its programmed series of conferences for the year 2013, FENZA organized its second conference on Saturday 22 June. The topic of the conference was: Challenges of Implementing Shari’ah Law in Modern Times. To present the theme were Dr Pamela Towela Sambo, Lecturer at UNZA in the Faculty of law, whose well-appreciated talk provided the general framework for understanding law in secular modern times. To present the Muslim self-understanding of Shari’ah law were Sheikh Twaha O. Chiwala and Sheikh Derrick Musa Zemba, Zambian graduate scholars of Medina University in Saudi Arabia, specialized in Shari’ah law and Prophetic Traditions (Hadiths), respectively. Finally, Fr. Felix J. Phiri, a scholar in Islamic studies and a former Lecturer of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome, made a synthesis of the two preceding presentations, highlighting the challenges underlying the efforts of implementing Shari’ah law in modern times. The talks will soon be rendered available on the FENZA website, .
Implementing Shari’ah Law in Modern Times 01The conference started at 14.30hrs and ended at 17.00hrs. After the three presentations, the audience, relatively smaller than usual, about 30 people, joined into the debate opened and moderated by Fr. Romaric Bationo, the new director of FENZA. The presence of Muslims in the audience was noticed and highly appreciated by the Christian participants. The debate had to be cut short due to time limit, leaving some participants still thirsty for more discussion. This conference may have opened the door for more encounters with Moslems around Lusaka
The next conference will be on Modern Slavery at a date to be later determined.

Mafrwestafrica – Lettre du 24 juin 2013

Mafrwestafrica 02Aujourd’hui, les Missionnaires d’Afrique de l’Ouest vous proposent de visiter de nouvelles pages sur leur site :
Dans la rubrique « Témoignages » :
« Expérience d’un étudiant à Abidjan », une lettre de Simplice Traore, originaire du Mali, et qui vient de terminer sa première année de théologie. (lire la suite)
Dans la rubrique « Actualités » :
« Fin d’année à Abidjan » : un article envoyé par le Père Wilbert Gobbo, qui termine cette année son séjour à Abidjan dans notre maison de formation. (lire la suite)
« Le billet du diocèse de Laghouat-Ghardaia, juin 2013 », aussi disponible en allant sur « Maghreb – dernières nouvelles » (lire la suite)
« Le premier évêque Nigérien» un article pris sur le site de l’agence FIDES, à propos de l’ordination d’évêque auxiliaire de Niamey, le 9 juin 2013. (lire la suite)
Dans la rubrique « Vu au sud, vu du sud » :
« L’arbre de vie, le moringa » un article tiré de la revue « Voix d’Afrique » du mois de juin 2013. (lire la suite)
« La Province du Sud de l’Afrique », une invitation à aller visiter le blog de cette province des Missionnaires d’Afrique, qui publie d’ailleurs les informations données sur notre site  (lire la suite)
Dans la rubrique « Justice et Paix » :

« Le Pape contre le travail des enfants », des extraits de la déclaration du Pape François le 12 juin 2013, journée mondiale pour protéger les enfants de l’exploitation. C’est en même temps l’occasion pour nous de donner plus de détails sur la campagne antiesclavagiste du cardinal Lavigerie, et la célébration de son 125ème anniversaire. (lire la suite)

Government – Renamo talks resume, despite raid on arsenal

Club of Mozambique… the attack, at about 03.30 on Monday morning, against an arsenal of the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) at Savane, in Sofala. At least six Mozambican soldiers were murdered in the raid.
No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack… According to a report in the Maputo daily “Noticias”, there were about 30 FADM troops at the arsenal, who were taken completely off their guard by the pre-dawn raid. The attackers made off with an unknown amount of weaponry.
The paper’s report says that five soldiers were killed on the spot, and a sixth died later in Beira Central Hospital. Another is unaccounted for and may also be dead. A wounded soldier is still undergoing treatment at the hospital.
The head of the Savane administrative post, Rosa Bia Luis, had no doubt that the raiders, who wore uniforms, were members of Renamo. She said the attack had caused great tension in Savane, and that some public institutions, including schools and health units had closed their doors because of it.
The wounded soldier told reporters that the attackers had also suffered casualties, but had carried their dead and wounded away with them.
Savane in Sofala Mozambique

From Google Map

Interview with the Iranian Muslim scholar Seyed Amir Akrami

Seyed Amir AkramiNew interview of the antislavery campaign with the Iranian Muslim scholar Seyed Amir Akrami
Amir shares with us his understanding of how Islam faces the challenge of slavery in its old and modern force. He says that “Muhammad was not able to eradicate or abolish the institution of slavery because that was tantamount to making such a radical revolution in his society that his time was not prepared for it. (…) It would be anachronistic to expect the Prophet of Islam to abolish slavery in his time. Drastic social or political changes need time and the confluence of many historical factors and elements to make it possible for them to occur (…) To me the fact that the Prophet of Islam was not able to abolish slavery is not problematic at all but what is problematic is for a Muslim individual or society in our time to argue from that historical fact for the impossibility or undesirability of abolishing slavery in Muslim societies now.”
Amir talks about the challenge faced by religious minorities in Muslim countries, also the situation of women when saying that “injustice or discrimination against women in many societies, and especially in Muslim countries, are modern forms of slavery that we need to be abolished.” He invites us to welcome the mystical tradition of Islam so to be enriched again by its core values.

Pre-Islamic Arabia, including trade routesPre-Islamic Arabia, including trade routes



Des millions d’enfants forcés de travailler comme domestiques dans le monde

Des millions d’enfants forcés de travailler comme domestiques dans le monde
Plus de 10,5 millions d’enfants de 5 à 17 ans travaillent comme domestiques dans le monde dans des conditions qui s’apparentent parfois à de l’esclavage, rapporte le Bureau international du travail (BIT). Une situation qu’a dénoncée avec force mercredi le pape François, au Vatican.
Éliminer le travail des enfants dans le travail domestiqueSelon l’organisme BIT basé à Genève, qui a publié ces données mardi, à la veille de la Journée mondiale contre le travail des enfants, ces millions d’enfants employés par des particuliers constituent une main-d’œuvre vulnérable régulièrement soumise à des sévices physiques et psychologiques de toutes sortes.
« Ces enfants sont loin de leurs familles, ils sont isolés et sont en état de grande dépendance », a expliqué à l’Agence France-Presse la directrice du programme du BIT pour l’abolition du travail des enfants, Constance Thomas.
« Ils travaillent énormément d’heures, n’ont aucune liberté personnelle, et ce travail est le plus souvent clandestin. » — Constance Thomas, directrice du programme du BIT pour l’abolition du travail des enfants
« Tous les enfants doivent pouvoir jouer, étudier, prier et croître, dans leurs propres familles, dans un milieu harmonieux, d’amour et de sérénité : c’est leur droit et c’est notre devoir. » — Le pape François  LIRE LA SUITE
Ending child labourTen million child labourers in domestic work
Millions of children worldwide work as domestic labourers, many of them in slavery-like conditions. New report on domestic work within the framework of the two International Labour Organisation (ILO) fundamental conventions on child labour and the recently adopted instruments on decent work for domestic workers.

Georg Messer died in Germany

Georg Messer died on the 12th June 2013, at the Hospital of Munich, Germany He was 82 years old of which 56 of missionary life in Malawi and in Germany.
Georg_MesserOur confrere died today, 12.06.2013, in a Hospital of Munich. He had suffered a heart attack. He will be buried on Thursday, 20.06.2013 on the Western Cemetery in München.
Georg Messer was born in Kaltenbaum near Regensburg on 09.08.1930. After completing his secondary education with ‚Abitur’ in Regensburg, he began his formation with the White Fathers in Trier. He did his Novitiate and Theology in s’Heerenberg. There he took his Missionary Oath on 24.07.1956. He did his last year of theology in Montiviot/Scotland. In Galashiels/Scotland he was ordained priest on 16.05.1957.
After his ordination he had to serve as teacher in our minor seminary of Zaitzkofen for one year. On 12.11.1958 he was able to travel to Malawi, where he lived and worked as a missionary for 56 years. Often he had to serve as a teacher in minor seminaries (Kasina and Mtendere). But he also spent many fruitful years as parish priest in several parishes of the diocese of Dedza. In July 2012 he returned to Germany and joined your community in München.
Fr. Rolf Wigger, M.Afr, Sector Secretary

Our Parish in Kindu, DR Congo

Hello! Greetings from Kitwe! When I arrived in Zambia for holidays, from Congo, Serge asked me to write a few lines about the parish where I am working. This is what I have done here.
We are at St Rita’s Parish in the diocese of Kindu, east of Congo. Missionaries of Africa went to Kindu only after our confrere Willy Ngumbi became bishop in 2007 and asked for M.Afr community. There are two communities, at the bishop’s residence we have Bishop Ngumbi and Georges Martin (and a diocesan priest Mathieu Kapuli, the bishop’s secretary).Evans Chama
At 3km from the bishop’s house is our parish community in a township called Tokolote. We are four: Fr Hubert Bonke (German), Valentin de Belie (Belgian), Francis Ankosala, Ghanian (stagiaire) and myself, Evans Chama.
This parish was started by the Spiritans and when they left their house was occupied by a Congregation of diocesan brothers. So for quite some years the parish had no resident priests but had only some priest coming for mass mainly on Sundays. This has marked the parish in some way. One thing I find impressive is that people take the initiative to organise activities, especially the youth, without necessarily waiting for the priests to do things for them. However, there are also aspects that need refining. I give an example.
We have nine small Christian Communities (Mashirika). Every morning, except on Sunday, there is prayer in a form of celebration of the Word (no communion) in each Shirika at O5:30hrs.  There is relatively good attendance, yet, for the daily mass in the parish church you may have 10 to 15 people and most of them come after having attended the celebration in their Shirika. So we are trying to encourage the faithful to appreciate also attending mass and to avoid this “doubling” of prayer. We encourage them also by celebrating mass at least in two Shirikas every week.
At 6km from the parish, we have a fast growing outstation –St John’s Baptist where we also celebrate mass every Sunday.
One challenge here in Kindu, like for the rest of Congo, is the absence of road network. The only means to get out of this forestry area to go to Bukavu or Goma is only by air. Even most of the commodities you find on the market are brought in by air which makes the cost of living scandalously high for a rural place like Kindu. Most of our Christians are rice farmers and they share with us what they produce. We do not buy rice.
Kindu is also served by rail transport. In fact, I have the possibility of travelling by train from Kindu to Lubumbashi. But then, I have to be ready for it. Kindu-Lubumbashi is a journey, if all goes well, of not less a month. If I opt for this transport, I should reserve at least two months for travelling.
Our parish church, constructed some 46 years ago with only the capacity of about 300 persons, has become too small. So we have the project of building a new church but when you think of a pocket of cement shooting up to $50, building the house of God becomes a nightmare for us.

The drama of life

Maurice Aduol Odhiambo 05The drama of life
While watching a film about the Uganda Martyrs, I was touched by the way they were placidly murdered by the soldiers. How can they slaughter fellow human beings like an animal on a charcoal? I am alarmed to see this kind of butchery becoming so casual. Then, I asked myself what the meaning of life is all about. Actually, life is full of drama opposing contrary occurrences.
For instance, doctors are working tirelessly to treat sick people whereas others are being assassinated. While someone is sweating to protect or save the life of a person, someone else is doing his best in order to destroy the existence of someone else as it is happening in war zone countries. Efforts to promote Justice and peace are annihilated by political destabilization of peaceful co-existence. Many couples are unsuccessful in procreating children while millions of abortions are performed. Winning football teams celebrate when losers are saddened.
These few examples tell me that I am constantly squeezed between conflicting realities. What shall I do? Am I simply acting like a spectator within a collective drama? Or, am I willing to face the challenge to do my best to make the world a better place to live in? I see myself becoming co-actors for a better world in a fighting spirit. It is not like a soldier throwing prisoners on a charcoal but as an athlete running to gain the reward reserved for the children of God.
By Maurice Odhiambo, stagiaire, Dombe community, Mozambique

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