Business School faculty join calls for Oxford to cut ties with Zimbabwean finance minister

first_img“The actions of the state are nothing short of abuse in the form of intimidation, beatings, and imprisonment without trial or due process of many hundreds of people. Indeed, there are reports coming out from human rights organisations — both local and international — confirming that children as young as 14 years old have been arrested and denied access to food, water or legal representation. “In response, the government has launched a systematic, violent and repressive campaign against those suspected to be involved with the stay away and the protests. In the last week, we have witnessed the shocking and entirely disproportionate use of state force to quell the protests and to punish protestors as well as opposition and civic leaders. The Said Business School has continued to take criticism from its professors for its association with Zimbabwean Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube. “All of this has been defended publicly (or simply denied) by Professor Ncube. The US, UK, EU and others have condemned the Zimbabwean government’s actions. Speaking to Cherwell, Simukai Chigudu, Associate Professor of African Politics at the Oxford Department of International Development, claimed that he had sent an email in protest to Professor Peter Tufano dean of the Business School. “This crackdown is by no means over. A recent report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (a highly reputed consortium of Zimbabwean human rights NGOS), called ‘On the Days of Darkness in Zimbabwe’, records 17 extra-judicial killings, the vast majority by soldier and police, 16 cases of rape by the same, 26 abductions by suspected security agents, nearly 600 assaults, some of them extremely serious, using whips, chains, iron rods and batons, and nearly 1,000 arbitrary arrests. Professor Alexander said: “My concern was and is that Prof Ncube’s association with the SBS accords him a status and legitimacy that he no longer deserves owing to his defence of the brutal crackdown by the ZANU(PF) government, of which he is a prominent and highly visible part, since 14 January this year. “I believe that these events are of concern to you given that Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance, Professor Mthuli Ncube, is a visiting professor at SBS. As a member of the ZANU(PF) government, Prof Ncube bears indirect responsibility for state-led repression. Professor Alexander confirmed Chigudu’s claims to be true, and stated that Tufano had responded to her e-mail on Wednesday by “[defending] the ongoing value of the school’s association with Prof Ncube.” In particular, Professor Chigudu named Professor of Commonwealth Studies Jocelyn Alexander, Lecturer in African History and Politics Dan Hodgkinson, and Associate Professor in African Politics Miles Tendi as having made an appeal to Professor Tufano. “Having been a student at here in Oxford during which time I worked with both the Africa Society and the Africa Business Network, I know that SBS has previously shown great moral concern for social and political justice in Africa. I urge you to show such moral leadership on this matter.” center_img “That Prof Ncube’s international standing is, under these circumstances, buttressed by his ongoing association with Oxford and the SBS is an affront to all those who have suffered the brunt of the ZANU(PF) crackdown in the past month. “I am writing to urge you to end SBSs association with Prof Ncube and to make clear that your institution condemns the actions of the Zimbabwean government in the strongest possible terms. “The military continues to be deployed and the rule of law has been severely undermined. The Forum writes that, “Since 14 January 2019 there has been a wanton assault on the Constitution by the government, the police, the military, and some magistrates and prosecutors’ (p. 14). “Further still, state security forces have fired live ammunition into protesting crowds causing many to suffer from gunshot wounds and killing at least 15 people. Professor Chigudu elected to share the contents of his letter, which read as follows: “I am writing to you in relation to the deteriorating political and economic situation in my home country. As I am sure you are aware, trade unions and civil society leaders recently called for a mass stay away from work and a peaceful protest in response to a 250% hike in fuel prices instigated by the government. “Moreover, Prof Ncube has made no effort to distance himself from the ruling regime but will in fact attend Davos as a representative of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Ncube, who holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge on “Pricing Options and Stochastic Volatility”, currently remains in his post as a visiting professor at the Said Business School. Professor Chigudu also claimed that similar emails were sent to Professor Tufano by a number of his colleagues. Cherwell has contacted Professor Alexander, Professor Hodgkinson, and Professor Tendi to confirm these claims. last_img read more

Four Drug Companies Reach Last-Minute Settlement in Opioid Crisis, Avoiding Trial

first_imgNearly a half million overdose deaths between 1997 and 2017 are attributed to opioids.AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, McKesson and Teva are involved in the settlement, the details of which are expected later today.It’s not clear if a fifth defendant, pharmacy chain operator Walgreens Boots Alliance, was also part of the settlement. Four large drug companies reached a last-minute $260 million legal settlement over their role in the U.S. opioid addiction epidemic, averting the first federal trial that was scheduled to start Monday morning in Cleveland, Ohio.The trial, set to begin today, came as Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Summit counties were seeking $8 billion dollars for treatment programs and health care expenses.The Ohio counties, 4 drug firms reach $260 million settlement on eve of landmark federal trial over responsibility for opioid epidemic— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 21, 2019last_img read more

Ghana Rugby Club Championship kicks off with a difference

first_imgThe 2015/16 Ghana Rugby Club Championship (GRCC) kicked off at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday 21 November 2015 with a series of exciting new events as prelude to the main league matches.According to the President of the Ghana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), Mr. Herbert Mensah who spearheaded the changed format of GRCC match days, the changes were brought in not only to present spectators with a more exciting experience on the day but to make a real and valuable contribution towards the development of the game of rugby in Ghana.The menu for the day included a training session for kids between 9am and 10am followed by a ladies 7s match between 10am and 10:30am, a boys 7s match between 10:30am and 11am and a 2nd division men’s 7s match between 11am and 11:30am.The previews were followed by three GRCC matches between Accra Sharks RFC and Dansoman Hurricanes RFC at 11am, Griffons RFC and Idas Sporting Club at 1pm and finally Titans Sporting Club against UCC Spartans at 3pm. Griffons and Spartans are Cape Coast based teams while the other four hail from Accra.The kids training sessions were conducted by members of the Accra Rugby Club and other members of the expatriate community as part of their commitment to make a greater contribution towards rugby development in Ghana.According to Brice Crewsent, a coach and kids trainer, it is a plus for Ghana Rugby to see women and kids playing at a young age which shows that Ghana Rugby has a brighter future. “I am very happy to be here today at the Accra Sports Stadium to unleash lots of new players with many of the kids being expatriates and I think is good for Ghana Rugby. My mission is to help raise the image of Rugby to much higher levels using my 36 years of experience in Rugby,” he said.Prior to the commencement of the GRCC matches Mr. Mensah also presented match officials, referees and linesmen, with a brand new set of jerseys.In the main GRCC matches Dansoman Hurricanes beat Accra Sharks convincingly with 56 points to 10 while Idas triumphed over Griffons from Cape Coach with a final score of 31 to 5.The last match of the day was a runaway affair when Titans beat the Cape Coast based UCC Spartans 96 to 0.Cosmos Buffaloes RFC enjoyed a “bye” or off day on the first day of the GRCC.”‹ Mr. Mensah said that it has become clear that the quality of training in the CentWest Zone of the GRFU is lacking that of the teams in Greater Accra.“With recent developments in CentWest I am confident that the quality gap of Rugby by the teams of the two Regional Associations will in the foreseeable future be closed significantly,” he said.“Tertiary educational institutions in countries of Top Tier Rugby unions are a very important part of the development framework for Rugby and an important source of players for both junior and senior national teams,” he said.Mr. Mensah said there are many other developments in the pipeline that include the establishment of the Ghana Female Rugby Association as well as the expansion of the youth development at schools under the banner of World Rugby’s “Get Into Rugby” programme.“Till now programmes for Rugby development at schools level have not been very successful due to lack of resources, structure and continuity. The GRFU has reviewed these programmes and has put a new structure in place with assistance from the Ghana Rugby Union Players Association (GRUPA) and we are confident that this will boost youth Rugby development,” Mr. Mensah said.  Mr. Mensah noted that all organisations have the challenge to execute projects and programmes within the constraints of the 3Ms namely Men or people, Machinery of facilities and equipment and Money or funding.“Ghana Rugby as non-profitable institution with very little resourcing available is very much dependent on corporate institutions for donations and sponsorship and I hope that more and more corporate institutions will come forward to benefit from a very positive brand enforcement and increased media exposure through such donations and sponsorships,” Mr. Mensah said.  Mr. Herbert Mensah, President of the GRFU, in talks with the media about the plans and challenges of Ghana Rugby. The first day of the 2015/16 Ghana Rugby Football Union started with kids training in the basic skills of Rugby. Mr. Brice Crewsent, a coach and kids trainer, said that he can only see a bright future for Ghana Rugby given the latest developments.  Mr. Herbert Mensah, President of the GRFU, presented the match officials with a brand new set of jerseys.  As part of the preview events to the first day of the 2015/16 Ghana Rugby Club Championship (GRCC) a ladies team played a 7s match. Ghana Rugby welcomes the selfless contributions by volunteers such as those who help with keeping records at matches. One of the preview events included a men’s 7s match between two 2nd division teams.last_img read more