Thursday, July 30, 2020

(HERALD ZW) President seals historic land deal

COMMENT - So the new government compromised on landreform. The fact is that improvements to land were to be paid by the Zimbabwean government, while the British government was to finance the purchase of the land itself. So ironically, it is the ZANU-PF government that held up it's end of the bargain, while the British government of course reneged on it's obligations - see the Claire Short letter from November 1997, in which she stated:

I should make it clear that we do not accept that Britain has a special responsibility to meet the costs of land purchase in Zimbabwe. We are a new Government from diverse backgrounds without links to former colonial interests. My own origins are Irish and as you know we were colonised not colonisers.

It is still immoral and unethical for the Zimbabwean people to foot the bill to in effect buy their own independence. Therefore, I still say that the British government must compensate the Zimbabwean people, not only for this $3.5 billion, but for the $42 billion plus and counting that their economic sanctions stole from the Zimbabwean people. When will the Zimbabwean people be compensated for economic sanctions?

Comments: Rutendo Matinyarare Speaks out, ZIMBABWE is PAYING COLONIAL TAX, impact of Zimbabwe's compensation.
02:40 Rutendo Matinyarare: "This is actually an illegal and voidable agreement."

UPDATE August 8th 2020

Interview of Takura Zhangazha about the Glocal Compensation Deed.

- MrK

(HERALD ZW) President seals historic land deal

President Mnangagwa witnesses the signing ceremony between Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube (right) and Commercial Farmers’ Union president Andrew Pascoe at State House yesterday

Fungi Kwaramba Political Editor

The 4 000 white commercial farmers who lost their farms during land reform will now be getting US$3.5 billion compensation for improvements after Government and the farmers’ representatives yesterday signed a series of agreements in a ceremony presided over by President Mnangagwa at State House.

The President described the agreements, bundled as the Global Compensation Deed (GCD), as a “milestone” that demonstrates the Second Republic’s commitment to re-engagement and constitutionalism.

Presiding over the signing ceremony of the GCD at State House, President Mnangagwa described the event as “historic” inasmuch as it closed the land reform chapter and sealed its irreversibility, sentiments echoed by the representative of the farmers who said the agreement sent a clear message to investors that Zimbabweans could work together and that the country was truly open for business.

The funding for the GCD will be mobilised by a team headed by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, which includes representatives of the former farmers.

The compensation is for infrastructural improvements that the farmers did on farms, which were repossessed at the turn of the millennium to redress colonial imbalances. These improvements include land clearance, drainage, irrigation trenching, fencing, dams and boreholes, as well as buildings.

The agreements were signed by acting Agriculture, Lands and Resettlement Acting Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri for the Government and by the Commercial Farmers Union, which represents the farmers affected, plus the Southern African Commercial Farmers Alliance, Valuation Consortium (Pvt) Ltd and the Compensation Steering Committee.

The President said land was at the heart of the country’s liberation struggle of the 1960s and 1970s, but the Lancaster House constitution “entailed that land could not be compulsorily acquired during the first 10 years of independence”.

With hands tied by constitutional requirements contained in the Lancaster House constitution, the Government adopted a willing buyer willing seller principle after independence in 1980, but because few wished to sell, success was limited.

The legality of the major land reform thrust of the early 2000s was confirmed in 2013 when an overwhelming majority of Zimbabweans approved in a referendum the present Constitution which incorporates the irreversibility of the land reform but makes it clear that the holders of the appropriated land were entitled to full compensation for their improvements.

Land was not included, and has not been included, in the constitutional provisions or yesterday’s agreements. The land had been seized by the British South Africa Company with backing from the British Colonial Office in the early 1890s through fraudulent land concessions in the east of the country and open war in the west.

Through the Land Apportionment and Land Tenure Acts the settler governments physically removed the original inhabitants. This was the injustice that land reform addressed, along with practical requirements of breaking up large estates.

While land was expropriated in the First Republic, the promised compensation for improvements was never paid. But upon achieving the presidency in 2017, President Mnangagwa pledged that the Second Republic would entrench constitutionalism, the rule of law and respect for property rights, and has since made it clear that this included compensating the white farmers for improvements on the land expropriated, a commitment which culminated yesterday in the signing of the historic GCD.

“The signing of these agreements is merely a building block to what lies ahead. More work must be done. As Zimbabweans, we must all work together for increased productivity, to achieve food self-sufficiency and nutrition; raw materials for our industries and exports for the international market. All of us have a role to play to ensure that our Agriculture Recovery Plan is a success.

“We cannot change the past; we can only learn from it. I therefore, exhort you to build on the goodwill and trust we have developed from experience of negotiating for these agreements, to move forward with the national interest as the overriding principle,” he said.

The President made it clear that the signing of the agreement does not mean that the Government will compensate for the land and that the contract does not create any liability to the country.

On his part Prof Ncube said the compensation will involve mobilising resources within the country and globally using different platforms.

“The agreement is that we create a resource mobilisation committee that I chair and we will travel around seeking funding to finance the compensation needs but of course the compensation is also a way of financing agriculture. We have a strategy and we will unveil it as we go on. We will start (working) this week and the work starts now to make sure that Zimbabwe moves forward,” said the minister.

An emotional president of the Commercial Farmers Union, Mr Andrew Pascoe, said the unity of purpose that Zimbabweans exhibited in coming up with the agreement will make it easier for the country to mobilise resources and catch the attention of international investors.

“Today marks a huge milestone in that today we are coming together and that as Zimbabweans we have decided to put aside our differences and have resolved to work together to resolve this outstanding issue. I am convinced that we as Zimbabweans, if we continue working together in the spirit of unity as we have demonstrated so far, we will succeed and the recovery of our economy will become a reality, and it will bring to an end conflicts that have impacted all our lives. This agreement will send a clear and unambiguous message to both local and international investors that Zimbabwe is really and truly Open for Business,” he said.

After Zimbabwe resolved outstanding issues of the land reform through the signing of the GCD, what remains now is for the farm right-sizing exercise to begin so as to ensure that Zimbabweans benefit from the land.

Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga and Cde Kembo Mohadi, Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo and Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo witnessed the signing ceremony.



Labels: , ,


Read more...

Friday, June 26, 2020

(LUSAKA TIMES) ActionAid Zambia welcomes Government’s move to cancel the Double Tax Agreement with Mauritius

COMMENT - A good move towards actually taxing the foreign corporations that are dragging Zambia's copper out of the ground without paying for it.

(LUSAKA TIMES) ActionAid Zambia welcomes Government’s move to cancel the Double Tax Agreement with Mauritius.
June 26, 2020

Economy ActionAid Zambia welcomes Government’s move to cancel the Double Tax Agreement with...
ActionAid Zambia has welcomed the government’s move to cancel the Double Tax Agreement with Mauritius.

Action Aid Zambia Country Director Nalucha Ziba said her Organisation has for a long time been campaigning for cancellation and re-negotiation of problematic DTAs Zambia has with different countries.

She said a Double Tax Agreement or tax treaty is a legally binding agreement between states, which governs the taxation of cross- border activities; namely investments by a resident of one state in the other state, and vice versa.

Mrs Ziba said Zambia has signed DTAs with different countries such as Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Mauritius (now cancelled) to mention but a few which spell out how companies investing in a country that Zambia has signed a DTA with their country of origin should be taxed.

She has explained that if for instance, if Zambia has a tax treaty with Mauritius, therefore a Multinational Company originating from Mauritius and operating in Zambia will utilize the tax provisions in the DTA between Zambia and Mauritius.

Mrs Ziba however said that in the recent times, Tax Treaties have not only been found to be unbalanced but also a source of tax evasion by most multinational companies, denying the host countries the much-needed revenue.

“For example, some DTAs provides for as low as 0-7 percent tax rate while others have no or weaker anti-abuse provisions”, she added adding that for some time now ActionAid has been calling for revision and/or cancellation of regressive DTAs like the now cancelled Zambia and Mauritius DTA.

She said the DTA between Zambia and Mauritius provided for 0 Percent Withholding Tax on technical fees paid for technical services.

Mrs Ziba said with this provision a Mauritius based Multinational Company, would take advantage of such provisions and not pay any WHT on technical services which is currently capped at 15 percent.

“For example, if this company engaged a sister company from Mauritius to provide technical services at a cost of USD100 million. This company when making this payment (USD100 million) to a sister company will not deduct any WHT. This implies that the entire USD100 million is untaxed. On the Contrarily, if the DTA provided for 15 Percent WHT on technical fees then USD 15 million would be deducted as Withholding Tax and remitted to Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA)”, Mrs Ziba said.

She said Action Aid conducted a study titled “Sweet Nothings” which showed how Associated British Foods operating in Zambia as Zambia Sugar Company took advantage of the international tax agreement between Zambia and Ireland to avoid large tax payments.

Mrs Ziba said Zambia Sugar Company paid over US$47.6 million equivalent to about K209 billion, for management services and purchases to a fellow subsidiary called “Illovo Sugar Ireland” between 2007 to 2012.

She however said that the international tax agreement between Zambia and Ireland (before negotiation) exempted payment of Withholding Tax (WHT) for management
or consultancy services.

She said by channelling this money (USD 47.6million) through their Irish subsidiary, Zambia Sugar avoided paying an equivalent of US$7.4 million between 2007 to 2012.

“It is against this background that we commend the government for the position taken and we wish to encourage government to take a similar position over other unbalanced DTAs”, she added.

She has urged the government to ensure that an impact assessment/cost benefit analysis is done before they are signed and every five years thereafter.

Mrs Ziba said they should not follow the OECD model treaty but develop their own model adding that the government should negotiate for favorable and/or fair DTA’s Withholding Tax rates (10%-15%) which will not only promote foreign direct investment but also ensure that government collects adequate tax revenue.

Shd said all treaties should be negotiated transparently, and draft versions made available to the public prior to signature.

[Read 564 times, 564 reads today]
Related Posts:

Labels: , , , , , ,


Read more...

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

(LUSAKA TIMES) ZCCM-IH to appeal against the Lusaka High Court judgment delivered in favour of First Quantum Minerals

(LUSAKA TIMES) ZCCM-IH to appeal against the Lusaka High Court judgment delivered in favour of First Quantum Minerals
March 31, 2020

ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) has said that the company intends to appeal against the Ruling of the Lusaka High Court delivered on 23 March 2020 regarding a matter the firm commenced in 2016, against First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM Ltd), FQM Finance Limited, Philip Pascall, Arthur Mathias Pascall, Clive Newall, Martin Rowley, and Kansanshi Mining Plc.

In a statement released to the media, ZCCM-IH said that the defendants’ conduct, allegedly, among others, that the defendants on several occasions fraudulently engaged in transactions totaling in excess of $2 billion for the benefit of the FQM Group, is detrimental to ZCCM-IH’s interests and those of the nation, and remained committed to protecting the said interests, adding that it will be appealing against the Ruling.

In 2016, ZCCM-IH started the process of claiming up to $1.4 billion from First Quantum Minerals Ltd accusing the firm of engaging in fraud. The claim included $228 million in interest on $2.3 billion of loans that ZCCM-IH said First Quantum wrongly borrowed from the Kansanshi copper mine, as well as 20 percent of the principal amount, or $570 million, according to an internal company presentation, dated Nov. 4, 2016.

ZCCM-IH is also seeking $260 million as part of a tax liability the Zambia Revenue Authority said Kansanshi owed it, as well as the cost of the mine borrowing money commercially that ZCCM-IH said could have been avoided.

In papers filed in the Lusaka High Court on Oct. 28 2016, ZCCM-IH said that First Quantum used the money as cheap financing for its other operations.

ZCCM-IH is triple listed on 3 stock exchanges: the Lusaka Securities Exchange (Primary listing) and on the London Stock Exchange and the Euronext Access (Paris – Marche Libre) (Secondary Listings).

Government holds directly 17.25% shares and its 60.28% shares is held through the Industrial development Corporation (IDC) in Zambia, with the remaining 22.47% held by institutional and private individual shareholders.

ZCCM-IH currently has an investment portfolio of 22 companies, including Kansanshi Mining Plc (20%), Mopani Copper Mines Plc (10%) and Konkola Copper Mines Plc (20.6). Its shareholdings in these companies range from 10% to 100%, with commodities and services that are diversified in nature, including copper, gold, cobalt, coal and power, limestone, mining consultancy, financial services and gemstones.


Labels: , , ,


Read more...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

This Website Is Referenced in medical literature

This website was referenced in the footnotes of the Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation: A UK Perspective, By Hilary Burrage


I'm thrilled about the reference - not so much the subject, which is basically a huge propaganda tool. Female circumcision is very rare, limited to people living in the Sahel where almost no one lives anyway, and then only to people with little education. So why this has been made into a huge defining issue is of course propaganda.

Anayway, nice to show up in literature.

Labels: ,


Read more...

Friday, February 28, 2020

(BLACK OPINION SA) Free electricity in countries with lesser means than SA

(BLACK OPINION SA) Free electricity in countries with lesser means than SA
By admin
Posted on February 28, 2020
By Andile Mngxitama

Don’t let them fool ya nono… free electricity is possible. Countries and cities with lesser means than South Africa (SA) are giving it for free. Here’s the evidence:

1. Turkmenistan gives ALL its citizens free electricity since 1993.
2. Andhra Pradesh in India gives its farmers free electricity since 2004.
3. New Delhi will give all its citizens free electricity from this year.
4. Muammar Gaddafi in Libya gave his citizens free electricity.

In SA these facts and suggestions are significant:

1. 90% of the electricity is from coal.
2. Coal is free.
3. It is Eskom that pays mines to mine the coal (cost plus mines).
4. Household consumption (including fridges, televisions, lights and stoves) is less than 30% of all electricity produced by Eskom.
5. Eskom should sell the remaining 70% of its energy to industry.
6. One foreign company (BHP Billiton) eats 10% of our electricity and pays less than me and you per kilowatt.
7. Brian Molefe stopped loadshedding
8. Loadshedding started again under the Ramaphosa administration to justify privatization.

9. Pravin Gordhan hired a proven incompetent white man, Andre de Ruyter, to run down Eskom just as he had done with Nampak.
10. They are fooling us. Don’t let them fool ya….

SOWETO IS CORRECT, ELECTRICITY IS A RIGHT!

Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF), a radical black consciousness organization. You may access the article ‘Electricity is a right and we must not pay for it’ by clicking here.

Labels: , , , ,


Read more...

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

(BLACK OPINION SA) Pompeo, Hands Off South Africa!

COMMENT: "BLF calls on parliament to stop playing games and to ensure that the land is returned to black people without further delays." There is always safety in numbers. If a million or more people walked not their land at the same time, there wouldn't be enough jails to hold them. - MrK

(BLACK OPINION SA) Pompeo, Hands Off South Africa!
By admin
Posted on February 19, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo credit: The Zimbabwe Mail

Black First Land First (BLF) calls on the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to stay out of South Africa’s internal affairs.

South Africa (SA) is not a 53rd state of the USA. BLF views the statements made by Pompeo on Land Expropriation Without Compensation (LEWC) as acts of imperialist aggression. LEWC shall happen irrespective of the bullying tactics of the USA.

BLF calls on parliament to stop playing games and to ensure that the land is returned to black people without further delays.

Should parliament fail to return our land, BLF shall then embark on full scale land occupations to redress the colonial land theft.
Pompeo must worry about paying reparations for slavery and stop the ongoing mass killings of black people in the USA.

Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)

19 February 2020

Contact Details

Black First Land First Mail: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com

Zanele Lwana
(BLF Deputy President)
Cell: +27 79 986 7225

Reposted from the BLF website.

Labels: , ,


Read more...

(BLACK OPINION) Zimbabwe in crisis, Mnangagwa and Chamisa must talk

COMMENT

- "Zimbabwe has the strategic advantage of education. We are in deep trouble in South Africa (SA) in critical areas in mathematics, Physical Science and English. We need to turn the colonial education crisis around through a four-year intervention so as to put the whole education system on a new footing."

- "We don’t share the notion that Mnangagwa is anti imperialist, he’s not. This government of ZanuPF is not anti imperialist whatsoever. It’s a false notion to claim today that there’s a fundamental ideological difference between Mnangagwa and Chamisa. ZanuPF has to listen to all the voices of Zimbabwe and get back on the revolutionary path. And Chamisa must stop going to America and calling for sanctions. No one should go to America to call for sanctions. We condemn the sanctions against Zimbabwe. No country, no matter what difficult internal processes it may be undergoing, should be subjected to sanctions."

(BLACK OPINION) Zimbabwe in crisis, Mnangagwa and Chamisa must talk
Posted on August 31, 2019
By BO Staff Writer

The following are notes of the input of Andile Mngxitama, President of Black First Land First, during the live broadcast on the Zanu PF Youth League Zone on FaceBook on 27 August 2019:

The question of the border is of critical importance. The African National Congress (ANC) government, continues to unleash the brutality of the police on the people. It does so under the guise of fighting so called illegal immigration and in defence of white monopoly capital (WMC) interests.

A Pan Afrikanist response to the border question is needed. This must include economic integration; protection of the rights of all including immigrants; documentation of all without asking questions; and strategic economic investment in the African Region by SA to promote economic stability. To this end the economies of the SADC region, including Zimbabwe and South Africa, were supposed to be better integrated than they are. It’s shocking that Zimbabwe should be facing shortages when SA has the capacity to provide it with assistance.

The main causes of our current problems are not the approximately 1.5 million African immigrants (about 3%) living in SA. Our problems are caused by colonialism, which continues today.

The DA has called for the closure of South Africa’s borders as a “solution” to the issue. It further demands more SANDF presence at our borders. We reject the proposal to close the borders and to increase the number of soldiers at borders. Militarizing the borders amounts to inciting a genocide against blacks. We have demanded that the SA government keeps the borders open (as a short term solution) and tightens its regulations to address the crisis of undocumented immigrants and potential criminality. We have proposed that the government documents all who enter the country as a free service. This will effectively minimize the necessity of people coming into the country “illegally”. Especially those who want to seek refuge from political unrest but do not comply with the necessary requirements precisely because of the conditions in their country that they are fleeing from. We have further proposed that a minimum wage be applicable for all employed people in SA irrespective of immigration status; and no employer be allowed to employ more than 30% non-South Africans.

On how to deal with criminal elements gaining access to the country, BLF has called for the SA government to strengthen its relations with the criminal justice agencies of other countries as well as with Interpol. We have further demanded that the Department of Home Affairs regularly update its records of all people in the country. This will enable the government to properly monitor threats and any potential threats; and to allocate resources sufficiently. Regarding those that manage to slip into the country “illegally” and are therefore undocumented – we have proposed that the Department of Home Affairs enforces the existing punitive measures. However mechanism must be put in place to assess each case on its own merits.

Zimbabwe has the strategic advantage of education. We are in deep trouble in South Africa (SA) in critical areas in mathematics, Physical Science and English. We need to turn the colonial education crisis around through a four-year intervention so as to put the whole education system on a new footing. In furtherance of Pan-Afrikanism and recognition of the excellent Zimbabwean education system, a process of co-teaching with the O and A levels Zimbabwean graduates must be embarked upon in the public schools that have shown the worst results. We need to build capacity in all the schools including in villages and informal settlements. So these are things that we can do almost immediately so that we can ameliorate the economic crisis.

But all these things cannot happen unfortunately until we have resolved the big political questions. We are satisfied with the proposal that we are making as BLF and we are going to send a letter to the Zimbabwean Embassy making these proposals around the transitional government, general amnesty, and on sitting down with Mnangagwa and talking. On our part, we will call on our government to intervene meaningfully regarding the normalization of the Zimbabwean economy. There cannot be normalization of the economy without resolution of the big questions.

We have serious difficulties understanding the contemporary ZanuPF project. Be that as it may, we still think that we have a big responsibility to get Zimbabwe to work. If Zimbabwe doesn’t work, for those of us who are interested to resolving the colonial question in SA, we won’t succeed. Over and above that, you in Zimbabwe may not see there is a crisis there, but we in SA know that there’s a crisis in Zimbabwe because every second person we meet on the street, in the workplace in SA is a Zimbabwean who left the country because of the economic hardship which offcourse comes from the attack of the radical project under President Mugabe. But today, why must Zimbabwe suffer. Your suffering is no longer consistent, in my view, with the legacy of the black nationalist project brought by President Mugabe. We can’t be beating each other in the street. We can’t be arresting each other. We say, don’t suffer for nothing. Sit down and talk. Mnangagwa (Zimbabwean President) must talk with Chamisa (MDC leader). There’s nothing that stops you.

We don’t share the notion that Mnangagwa is anti imperialist, he’s not. This government of ZanuPF is not anti imperialist whatsoever. It’s a false notion to claim today that there’s a fundamental ideological difference between Mnangagwa and Chamisa. ZanuPF has to listen to all the voices of Zimbabwe and get back on the revolutionary path. And Chamisa must stop going to America and calling for sanctions. No one should go to America to call for sanctions. We condemn the sanctions against Zimbabwe. No country, no matter what difficult internal processes it may be undergoing, should be subjected to sanctions.

ZanuPF doesn’t accept that there’s a crisis in Zimbabwe. That’s a shocking thing. We must not be held behind by bureaucratic dictates. We have to be creative, brave and make the hard proposals. Zimbabwe must work. There’s no question about that, but it must work with these two questions – politics and economics – in an intertwined manner. Yes, the politics and the economics of Zimbabwe cannot be disaggregated and resolved outside of each other. They belong together. So normalize the politics, and normalize the economics together. In SA we argue very hard that we have a role to play and our role is to bring financial help to Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa must make peace with Chamisa under an anti imperialist program that puts blacks first. He must cease attacking the Mugabe loyalists who fled Zimbabwe after the coup. He must allow all exiles to return and grant a blanket amnesty to those accused or convicted of politically motivated crimes. A revolutionary transitional government of national unity, which will put the people first, must be formed. All police brutality and state violence must end!

To give clarity on the Zimbabwean situation – SA must advance conditional financial support to Zimbabwe, without delay. SA must give financial support on condition that Zimbabwe does the following immediately:

1. Transitional Government of National Unity
2. Amnesty to all and let the exiles return.
3. Release all political prisoners

In the long term, we need economic stability via economic integration. South Africa must show in figures what its contribution is to the front-line states.

Let’s do the Chimurenga! We must get back on the revolutionary path.

Related Posts:


Read more...

Friday, January 17, 2020

(GUARDIAN UK) The African youth boom: what's worrying Bill Gates

COMMMENT - Don't let these population control dirtbags inject anything into your children's veins. They do not mean well. Bill Gates should never have been allowed to turn Windows into a monopoly, and keep tens of billions of dollars of profits. He has been bad for computing, and now he's allowed to unleash American neuroses about being overrun and outnumbered onto the rest of the planet. If anything, Africa is underpopulated because of centuries of colonialism, the slave trade and outright genocide (DRC, Namibia). They're catching up. There are more people in much smaller places like China and India. - MrK

(GUARDIAN UK) The African youth boom: what's worrying Bill Gates
Polly Toynbee
The philanthropist warns that stability in Africa makes a huge difference to the world, and that investing in the health and education of its young people is vital

Polly Toynbee
Tue 18 Sep 2018 05.01 BSTLast modified on Fri 21 Sep 2018 10.51 BST

What worries Bill Gates most? The booming population of Africa looms over his foundation’s latest global survey. By the end of this century there will be 4 billion more people on Earth – and 3 billion of these extra souls will be born in Africa. The challenge, he says, is that “Africa must almost quadruple its agricultural productivity to feed itself. That’s very daunting.”

The philanthropist is torn between sending out a message of hope and a message of fear when I meet him at his foundation’s spacious campus in the heart of his hometown, Seattle.

He is reaching for what works best to revive the west’s faltering conscience in the face of “America first” nationalism and rising pull-up-the-drawbridge populism in Europe. The spirit of generosity is under assault as government aid budgets come under constant sniper fire from right-wing politicians and their media.

Half of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spending goes to Africa. The funds put into the foundation by themselves and fellow philanthropist Warren Buffett now amount to more than than $50bn (£38bn). Until last year Gates, the Microsoft founder, was the world’s richest man. He has now been overtaken by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Gates’ first instinct is optimism. Just consider the astonishing story of how far and how fast people have been brought out of abject poverty in a very short time. Since 2000, a billion people have been taken well over the line of $1.90-a-day wretchedness (£1.45), with the same uplift among those previously living on $3.20 a day.


The foundation’s report bursts with remarkable data – too few people know about the galloping progress of humankind. Take India, where only 18 years ago almost one in five children were not enrolled in primary school – now, 97% attend classes. Look at the indicators on the report’s global scorecard for the UN’s sustainable development goals for 2030, and most things are improving almost everywhere. But there is a marked variation in the future trajectory: progress depends on the level of future investment.

Advertisement
Today, the west takes some persuading that things are getting better, especially in Europe where countries like Britain have suffered a decade of falling real living standards and eye-watering austerity. The upbeat message of Gates – as well as those in his late friend Hans Rosling’s book Factfulness, and Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now – telling us most of the world is on an unprecedented upswing, jars with our reality. Yet it is so: the world has never seen such a rapid rise in prosperity among most of the poor.

Eager to encourage western countries to keep giving aid, Gates is well aware that Britain – as elsewhere – suffers frequent political attacks on its aid budget. The UK, Sweden and Norway are among the few reaching the UN aid spending target of 0.7% of gross national income, and all feel the cold blast of an anti-foreigner political grudge. “If you are saving lives for a very small amount of money, people should feel good about that,” Gates says emphatically, protesting at current cynicism about international aid organisations. Look what can be done, he keeps saying, pointing as an example to the brilliant education system in Vietnam, a poor country whose results outstrip far richer ones.


If Britain needs encouragement, he says, “the data about the impact has been amazing. The UK has been very generous to the vaccine fund, for two miraculous vaccines – one for pneumonia, one for diarrhoea.” These sicknesses are now preventable “at extremely low cost to all the children of the world. The UK led that effort and saved over 10 million lives.” Do people across the UK know that? He admits a failure to spread the good news. “We’re being challenged to explain.” Everyone should know this message of hope. “We’re talking about uplifting the human condition in a fairly dramatic way.”

But if hope doesn’t beat the new nativism infecting the western world, then fear is Gates’ ammunition of last resort. Ignore Africa at your peril. “The stability of Africa makes a huge difference to the entire world.” Here come the threats: “A pandemic like Ebola can spread very fast,” he warns, and many others spread even faster if there are no local health services to contain them.

Migration is the other threat to touch Europe’s politics. Syria was a small country, he reminds us, yet its civil war exodus has “challenged the asylum system”. But watch out because “Africa is another order of magnitude”. The huge African youth boom is a strong theme in the report, where in a world of ageing and shrinking populations, Africa’s demographic bulge could be an asset or a threat. So it would be wise “to make their lives attractive” not just out of “pure human caring”. Invest in Africa’s young, their human capital, health and education, support more productive agriculture, protect subsistence farmers against climate change and see how self-interest blends with good works.

Africa, he always stresses, is not one country. Of its 54 nations, many are leaping ahead, Ghana, Botswana and Rwanda among them. Those causing concern are the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria. On his recent visit he warned Nigerians against the country’s growing inequality, where oil wealth for a few is leaving millions behind. The foundation has spent $1bn so far on Nigeria. He says: “Their health system is worse than poorer countries, their agricultural advice largely broken down.” Government resources are low because “their level of taxation is one of the lowest in the world”.

He sounds puzzled: “You would think politicians would compete on the basis of, ‘Hey, I’m going to run a primary health system really well, I’m going to get vaccination coverage up, I’m going to save lives …’ But other issues about religion and ethnicity come to the fore.”

Gates is something of a political naif. After all, I point out, look at us in the west. Look at the gross and rising inequality in the US and UK, look at the need for better public services, yet politics is all too often about culture wars and identity issues – Brexit for us, guns and abortion for America. Look at the problem of homelessness, with tent cities on the streets of his rich Seattle, a most liberal city, where only 8% voted Trump. Yes, he’s trying to help the homelessness crisis: he gives £350m a year to US causes.


So we reachthe great blond elephant in the room, President Trump, who has stopped funding family planning organisations that also offer abortions, stalling access to contraception where women need it most. Trump also attacked the foreign aid budget, but “fortunately the Congress, including a lot of Republicans, said no”. How much can Gates influence him? Here, he steps with the caution of a barefoot man crossing broken glass, anxious to say nothing that could further imperil America’s aid budget.

“We have to work with Trump himself and the whole administration on ‘What is your vision for Africa?’ And as a human being who cares about human beings, as a country who doesn’t want to go fight foreign wars or deal with pandemics that are out of control …” Did that pitch work? What helped was the famous warning of Trump’s defence secretary, General James Mattis, that soft power – state department diplomacy and aid – prevents the need for hard power: “If you don’t fully fund the state department then I need to buy more ammunition.”

Is Trump persuadable? Gates pauses to pace a cautious reply: “Yes, one of the things you can say, a plus or minus, is in very few areas does he have a fixed ideology. If there’s something where he feels he can look smart … particularly if it’s doing things in a different way than was done before, then yes, I think he’s open-minded.”

But the truth is that it would be hard to find two mega-wealthy men further apart in their view of the world, their mission or their morality than Trump and Gates. While Trump slashes tax for the rich, Gates constantly calls for the wealthy to be taxed more. “The fact that people aren’t for an estate tax [inheritance tax] is kind of mind-boggling to me.” He says creation of hereditary aristocracies dampens dynamism. “It’s amazing we allow people to have gigantic amounts of money when the state should take more of that.” He wants higher tax on corporate profits too. Famously, he boasts he has paid $6bn in tax, more than anyone on Earth, “and gladly so”.

He sounds perplexed by the forces of darkness that fail to see the need for equality at home and globally, that oppose redistribution through taxes and that sneer at the spirit of philanthropy. Surely, he says at the end of our interview, “the improvement in the world is something people should be excited about”.

The Now generation is a series produced in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. You can read more about it here


Read more...

Sunday, December 15, 2019

(NATURE) Khoisan hunter-gatherers have been the largest population throughout most of modern-human demographic history

COMMENT - According to the authors, the Khoi-San population was the largest population of all human beings for most of human history. - MrK

(NATURE) Khoisan hunter-gatherers have been the largest population throughout most of modern-human demographic history
Hie Lim Kim, Aakrosh Ratan, George H. Perry, Alvaro Montenegro, Webb Miller & Stephan C. Schuster
Nature Communications volume 5, Article number: 5692 (2014) Cite this article

Abstract
The Khoisan people from Southern Africa maintained ancient lifestyles as hunter-gatherers or pastoralists up to modern times, though little else is known about their early history. Here we infer early demographic histories of modern humans using whole-genome sequences of five Khoisan individuals and one Bantu speaker. Comparison with a 420 K SNP data set from worldwide individuals demonstrates that two of the Khoisan genomes from the Ju/’hoansi population contain exclusive Khoisan ancestry. Coalescent analysis shows that the Khoisan and their ancestors have been the largest populations since their split with the non-Khoisan population ~100–150 kyr ago. In contrast, the ancestors of the non-Khoisan groups, including Bantu-speakers and non-Africans, experienced population declines after the split and lost more than half of their genetic diversity. Paleoclimate records indicate that the precipitation in southern Africa increased ~80–100 kyr ago while west-central Africa became drier. We hypothesize that these climate differences might be related to the divergent-ancient histories among human populations.

Introduction

Following the rise of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa ~4,000 years ago, Bantu-speaking subsistence agriculturalists spread rapidly throughout much of the sub-Saharan African continent1. Today, the census population sizes of these groups are orders of magnitude larger than those of sub-Saharan African hunter-gatherers, such as the Khoisan-speakers of the Kalahari Desert region in southern Africa2. Yet Khoisan populations have maintained the greatest nuclear-genetic diversity among all human populations3,4,5 and the most ancient Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA lineages6,7, implying relatively larger effective population sizes for ancestral Khoisan populations. While clues exist as to recent demographic histories (following the Bantu expansion) and interactions among sub-Saharan subsistence agricultural and hunter-gatherer groups, including evidence of admixture8,9, we know much less about the early (i.e., prior to the Bantu expansion) histories of these populations. In this study, we examine the early history of the ancestral hunter-gatherers and other human populations using analyses of complete-genome sequences from six individuals from southern Africa.

Previously, we reported the complete-genome sequences of a Namibian-Khoisan hunter-gatherer and a Bantu-speaking individual from Southern Africa, along with the exome sequences of three Namibian-Khoisan individuals10. In the current study, we sequence the complete genomes of five Namibian-Khoisan hunter-gatherers and one Bantu speaker, using the Illumina HiSeq platform to an average coverage of ~27–55-fold per individual (see details in Methods). We also include eight publicly available whole-genome sequences in our analysis (Table 1). Our analyses, using the genome sequences, reveal a larger effective population size for the ancestors of Khoisan following their split from non-Khoisan populations ~100–150 kyr ago, with a relatively dramatic population decline for the non-Khoisan populations. The divergent-population histories may be explained by concomitant-paleoclimate changes across Africa.

Table 1 The 14 complete-genome sequencing data sets.
Full size table
Results
Genetic origins of southern African individuals
In order to examine the genetic ancestries of the six individuals, we applied ADMIXTURE11 and EIGENSOFT12 to the genotyping data set of 419,969 nuclear single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes from 1,448 worldwide individuals along with genotypes extracted from the 14 genome sequences for the same SNP loci (Supplementary Table 1). Figure 1 shows the results for selected populations, emphasizing our six individuals. Entire results are shown in Supplementary Figs 1–3. On the basis of the ADMIXTURE result, Khoisan populations include two different ancestries, northern Khoisan and southern Khoisan, with evidence of past gene flow within the Khoisan and/or between the Khoisan and non-Khoisan, except for the Ju/’hoansi population (Fig. 1a). Individuals NB1 and NB8 belong to the Ju/’hoansi (Fig. 1c) and appear to have only northern Khoisan ancestry (Fig. 1b). We also applied a different method13, which uses linkage disequilibrium decay, to detect admixture between the Ju/’hoansi and other populations and show the result in Supplementary Fig. 7.

Figure 1: Genetic relationships of six southern African individuals and worldwide populations.
figure1
(a) Population structure in human populations was inferred by ADMIXTURE11 using 417,593 SNPs from 490 individuals. (b) The ADMIXTURE plot for the 14 complete-genome data sets is shown separately. (c) Genetic relationships of our six southern African individuals and various African populations were estimated by the PCA analysis12 on the basis of the 417,593 SNPs from southern African and Yoruba populations. NB1 and NB8 are closely clustered with the Ju/’hoansi group, which was sampled from the northern Kalahari region in Namibia. The Ju/’hoansi samples are furthest from the Yoruba populations. MD8, from the northwestern Kalahari region, clusters with the !Xun, which belong to the same language group. KB1 and KB2, from the Tuu-speakers of the southern Kalahari, are close to the !Xun and /Gui and //Gana who lived in the central Kalahari region, but are not clearly related to them. Hence, we do not have any population data that is closely related to these two samples. ABT, a southern African Bantu, clusters with the southeastern Bantu samples.

Full size image
Inference of local ancestries along the genome using three-independent methods confirmed the exclusive Khoisan ancestry in the NB1 and NB8 genomes (Fig. 2, Supplementary Figs 4–7 and Supplementary Table 2). For the other Khoisan genomes—KB1, KB2 and MD8—the three methods and ADMIXTURE consistently assign 0.6–2.4% of each genome to western African ancestry (Supplementary Fig. 6 and Supplementary Table 2). ABT includes both western African and southern Khoisan ancestries, similar to the southeastern Bantu-speaking population (Fig. 1a). These results suggest a recent history of gene flow between the Khoisan and non-Khoisan populations, consistent with several other studies3,5,14,15,16, as well as, our previous report10 (Supplementary Fig. 8). However, we show here that two of the Ju/’hoansi genomes, NB1 and NB8, have no signature of admixture from non-Khoisan ancestries. Therefore their genome information allows us to access early population history of modern humans.

Figure 2: The local ancestry estimation for individual genomes.
figure2
Along the genome, local ancestries are inferred by PCAdmix40 for NB8 (a), ABT (b) and NA18507 (c) and are illustrated on the genome map. Blue, red, yellow colors indicate the Khoisan (combined northern and southern Khoisan), western African and European ancestries, respectively. Light purple color represents undetermined ancestry that is not significant enough to estimate the ancestry. The western African haplotypes shown in the NB8 genome are not detected by the other two different methods (Supplementary Fig. 6 and Supplementary Table 2).

Full size image
Population-history inference
The Pairwise Sequentially Markovian Coalescent (PSMC) model17 was applied to the 14 whole-genome sequences in order to reconstruct the history of changes in effective population size (Ne) over time. We used a typically reported mutation rate, 2.5e−08 per site per generation (generation time=25 years) (ref. 18), to scale Ne and time (see details in Methods). The patterns of change in Ne are consistent among the four populations (Khoisan, Yoruba, European and Asian) prior to ~0.2 myr ago, declining in all cases from 2 to 0.5 myr ago and recovering by 0.2 myr ago (Fig. 3a). All four populations appear to have experienced bottlenecks in the period ~30–120 kyr ago (Fig. 3a), but the declines in Ne varied widely among them (Fig. 3b–e). The Khoisan Ne, the average of the two Ju/’hoansi genomes (NB1 and NB8), has been the largest since ~120 kyr ago and declined to 74% of their original peak Ne observed at about ~100–150 kyr ago, while the average Ne of the three Yoruba genomes declined to 31% of their original peak, followed by a slight recovery to 43%. The average Ne of each of two European and two Asian genomes declined even more, to only 9 and 8% of their original peak, respectively (Fig. 3a).

Figure 3: The changes in the effective population size on the basis of the 14 individual genomes.
figure3
(a) The average Ne of each of four populations (see Methods). The pink shadow indicates the period where the changes in Ne varied most among the four populations. (b) Ne changes of five Khoisan genomes, (c) Ne changes of three Yoruba and one Bantu genome, (d) Ne changes of two European genomes, and (e) Ne changes of three Asian genomes. Four genomes sequenced to a relatively low coverage were corrected using the FNR option provided by the PSMC package. Estimates both with and without corrections are shown.

Full size image
We performed simulations to assess the robustness of these PSMC results under various demographic models. Genome sequences were generated by simulations under a simplified model of the population size changes inferred by PSMC from the Khoisan and Yoruba genomes. PSMC was applied to the simulated sequences, and we confirmed that the PSMC inference reconstructs the given model (Supplementary Fig. 9). Several reports have found evidence of recent admixtures between the Khoisan and non-Khoisan populations15, a population structure within the Khoisan5,15 and the Bantu population expansion within Africa1. Since the PSMC only estimates changes of effective population size and does not account for population structure, we used these simulations to examine effects of recent demographic events on the PSMC estimates. The PSMC estimates from the sequences simulated under the models including recent demographic events are not significantly different from the estimate from the sequence simulated under the model without those events (Supplementary Fig. 9). These simulations demonstrate that the large Khoisan Ne and Yoruba population decline that we estimated from the Ju/’hoansi and Yoruba genomes are not a result of the recent demographic events.

In addition, we could infer the divergence time of populations from the PSMC analysis, using male X chromosomes17. The earliest human population split has been known to be between the ancestral Khoisan and the ancestors of the other human populations and was estimated to take place ~110–150 kyr ago (refs 16, 19). Our PSMC analysis and a Bayesian inference19 support similar estimates, ~120–150 kyr ago (Supplementary Fig. 10) and ~95–130 kyr ago (Supplementary Fig. 11), respectively.

On the basis of these results, we can reconstruct early history of modern-human populations. After the earliest split, between the ancestral Khoisan and non-Khoisan populations ~100–150 kyr ago, the ancestral Khoisan population maintained their high genetic diversity, while the effective population size of the non-Khoisan continued to decline for 30~120 kyr ago and lost more than half of its diversity. The ‘Out of Africa’ migration ~40–60 kyr ago (ref. 20) accounts for the observed population split between African and non-African populations, and the subsequent smaller effective population size of non-Africans compared with non-Khoisan Africans.

Climatic changes in Africa
We focused on environmental changes during the time period of the dramatic decline in effective population size observed in our analysis of the Yoruba genomes, compared with the Khoisan. Climate changes may have impacted populations in west-central Africa, contemporaneous with environmental conditions that did not change or even improved for populations in southern Africa. Paleoclimate records and numerical models point to three modes of African precipitation variability (each with distinct causes, temporal and spatial scales) that fit such a pattern (Fig. 4).

Figure 4: The climate changes in the African continent.
figure4
Modes of African rainfall variability characterized by opposite changes in precipitation along the north–south axis. With the exception of the light green area over southwestern Africa, colors and patterns refer to modelled results. Symbols refer to proxy records. Local conditions during particular periods are given by dates in front of some legend entries. Stadials have millennial time scale and were recorded several times around ~100 kyr ago. The names of our six southern African and Yoruba (YRI) individuals refer to their sampling location. References for this figure are indicated in Supplementary Table 3. The original map was retrieved from d-maps.com and edited by authors.

Full size image
First, there is ample proxy evidence that much of Africa tends to be drier under glacial conditions21,22. Climate models show this to be due to mostly colder north Atlantic waters, stronger northern-hemisphere trade winds and weaker summer monsoons22. The exception, registered in many climate archives, are the wetter conditions found over southwest Africa during the glacial ~25–115 kyr, believed to be brought about by an increase in winter storm activity in the region23. Analysis of oceanic sediment show a significant increase in moisture over southwest Africa between ~100–120 kyr ago, the initial stages of the last glacial24.

Second, precession of the Earth’s axis of rotation generates a ~23 kyr cycle in summer insolation. Models and proxy-data show that this affects monsoon intensity leading to changes in African rainfalls that are out of phase between the hemispheres25. Oceanic and lacustrine archives indicate that the period between ~87–94 kyr ago was marked by increased precipitation in southern Africa accompanied by drier conditions over the central, western and eastern portions of the continent, and that these changes correlate to variations in summer insolation caused by precession26,27.

Third, stadials—millennial time scale events characterized by cooling in the northern-hemisphere high latitudes—have also been related in both models and proxies to rainfall increases in southern Africa accompanied by drying over central and western areas28,29. A particularly wet period recorded in the southern tip of the continent at ~91 kyr ago has been associated with this mode of precipitation variability29.

Discussion
On the basis of the parallel found between climate changes with the divergent-population history within Africa, we propose the following hypothesis regarding early human history. Modern humans may have originated anywhere in Africa and spread across the continent, with continuous gene flow among the populations. From ~100–150 kyr ago, the human species was geographically structured within Africa and eventually differentiated genetically owing to limited gene flow. At or after the time of the population differentiation, a drier climate began to affect the western and central, but not the southern regions of the African continent. This potentially contributed to a relatively severe decline in the western African populations (ancestors of the current Bantu-speaking populations) while the size of southern African populations, ancestors of the current Khoisan, was maintained or declined to a much lesser degree. Non-Africans, the majority of modern humans alive on the planet today, represent a subpopulation split from the ancestral non-Khoisan African population3,8,15, and their genetic diversity further dramatically decreased during their migration from Africa to Eurasia (Supplementary Fig. 12).

As described in the Methods, a neutral mutation rate of 2.5e−08 was used to scale the time axis in our PSMC analysis. However, recent studies have reported a lower mutation rate30,31,32 than the one we used. If we use the lower mutation rate, the population-history differentiation starts about 100 kyr earlier, ~200–250 kyr ago (Supplementary Fig. 13). Our hypothesis regarding early human history still holds with this lower mutation rate, as this would put the population-history divergence at or after the time close to the initial stages of the next-to-last glacial ~200 kyr ago (Fig. 4) (refs 22, 24), when an important determinant of precipitation would be changing in a way similar to what happened ~100 kyr ago.

Our hypothesis may explain the distinctive demographic histories among human populations and suggest that the Khoisan hunter-gatherers and their ancestors have been the largest population in terms of genetic diversity throughout modern-human history. This is in stark contrast to the current census size of the Khoisan hunter-gatherers, which is today drastically smaller compared with that of the Bantu-speaking populations. Further research into the population structure of the Ju/’hoansi and related Khoisan groups with larger sample size, therefore, will be essential for a comprehensive understanding of the deep divergence and population history of modern humans.

Methods
Southern African DNA sampling
A study permit was obtained from the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), Namibia. Ethics approval to conduct whole-genome sequencing and analysis was obtained from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) from three institutions, namely the Pennsylvania State University (IRB #28460 and IRB #28890), the University of New South Wales, Australia (HREC #08089 and HREC #08244) and the University of Limpopo, South Africa (Limpopo Provincial Government #011/2008).

Consents of the participants were obtained verbally (and documented via videotape) or in writing. The consent text was provided in English, Afrikaans or via an interpreter in the native language of each participant (Juu- and Tuu-language). Participants agreed that the data generated will be made freely available to the scientific community.

We consented three males and two females from two indigenous hunter-gatherer groups in the Northern and Southern Kalahari Desert. Each was among the eldest members of their respective communities. Inclusion in the study was also on the basis of their narrated-family history, as well as the remoteness of their geographical location, impeding ease of contact with other groups.

The indigenous Kalahari hunter-gatherers included in this study live in scattered family groups in the vast semi-desert regions of Namibia, an 823,145-km2 country on the southwest coast of Africa with ~2 million inhabitants (ref. 10 and references therein). Today Namibia is home to ~38,000 Khoisan people. In detail, KB1 and KB2 are members of a Tuu-speaking group of the southern Kalahari. NB1 and NB8 are Ju/’hoansi of the northern Kalahari region, separated by ~600 km aerial distance. MD8, belongs to the !Xun (!Kung)-speaking group relocated by the government from the Etosha plains region in the northwestern Kalahari. ABT is a direct descendant from the two major-linguistic groups in southern Africa, namely the Nguni-speakers (~60% of the people of South Africa) via his paternal Xhosa ancestry and from the Sotho-Tswana-speakers (~33% of the people of South Africa) via his maternal Motswana ancestry.

Genome sequencing and read alignments
The samples NB1, NB8, KB1, KB2, MD8 and ABT were sequenced to a depth of 27–55-fold using the Illumina HiSeq sequencing platform. The details regarding samplings, DNA extraction and sequencing are the same as described in Schuster et al.10 The genome sequences for the eight other human samples were downloaded from the NCBI Short Read Archive (SRA). These sequences were aligned to the human reference sequence (GRCh37/hg19) using the BWA (version 0.5.9) aligner (ref. 33). All default parameters were used with the exception of ‘–q 15’, which was used to soft-trim the low quality bases at the 3′ ends of the reads. The reads were then realigned using the GATK IndelRealigner (ref. 34), and the potential PCR duplicates were flagged using the MarkDuplicates tool from the Picard suite (Picard, http://picard.sourceforge.net). Sequence-read data for the six southern African genomes that were sequenced as part of this study have been deposited in the Sequence Read Archive under accession PRJNA263627.

SNP and consensus calls
The diploid consensus sequence for the autosomes was obtained using the ‘mpileup’ command. The option ‘–C 50’ was used to reduce the mapping quality of the reads with multiple mismatches. Locations were marked as missing data in the following cases: (a) The coverage at the location was less than three reads or greater than twice the average coverage of the genome; (b) The RMS mapping quality of the reads at the location was less than 10. The consensus for the X chromosome was derived similarly, but the pseudo-autosomal regions (chrX:60001-2699520 and chrX:154931044-155260560) were filtered as missing data. The heterozygous calls in the male X chromosomes were also discarded as errors.

We used SAMtools version 0.1.18 (ref. 33) to identify the locations of the SNPs, using the option ‘–C 50’ to reduce the mapping quality of the reads with multiple mismatches. SNP locations in the nuclear genome were filtered to maintain SNPs for which coverage in the sample was less than that expected using the Lander–Waterman equation35. We filtered out variant locations where the RMS mapping quality was less than 10, or if the SNP quality was less than 30.

Genotyping data sets
We obtained three genotyping SNP data sets from the following sources: genotyping data from HapMap36, HGDP (CEPH, http://www.cephb.fr/en/hgdp), and Schlebusch et al.5 (Supplementary Table 1). We identified the SNPs common to the three data sets. We merged those with the SNPs from our 14 whole-genome data sets. The resulting data set was then filtered to throw away flipped SNPs (SNPs on the non-reference strand) or possible flipped SNPs: the AT-GC SNPs, the triple-allelic SNPs within the merged data sets, as well as the SNPs that were homozygotes within each data set. This left us with 419,969 SNPs.

For this study, we selected only unrelated individuals. Five pairs of individuals, three Ju/’hoansi and two Southwestern Bantu, were identified as highly related, according to the Identical By Descent (IBD) analysis, which was run using PLINK37. The following five individuals were removed from the data sets based on the greatest fraction of missing data: KSP113, KSP116, KSP117, KSP196, and KSP205. Moreover, for analyses in which we identified populations, we removed the genetic-outlier individuals with respect to their populations. To detect outlier individuals, we performed PCA on the merged genotyping data set. We identified two individuals for removal as outliers in their population: HGDP00980 and KSP109. Therefore, we used 419,969 SNPs from 1,462 individuals for our population genetic analyses in this study (Supplementary Table 1). This SNP data set is available on ‘Bushman’ data library on Galaxy38.

Population structure and admixture estimations
We applied the ADMIXTURE program11 to the merged SNP data set to identify ancient population structure and ancestries of the 14 complete-genome samples. To reduce the effects of biased SNPs on clustering groups in the program, we used only 417,593 SNPs having a minor-allele frequency greater than 0.01 in the entire population of the 1,462 individuals. First, we used the entire data set of 1,462 individuals for the analysis with the number of ancestries K=4–14 (Supplementary Fig. 1). The higher K distinguished many isolated ethnic groups in Asia. Thus we ran the program using selected 490 individuals which are composed of African, European and Asian populations (Fig. 1).

Independently, we performed PCA analysis of the SNP genotyping data set, using EIGENSOFT12. We applied the analysis to the entire data set of 1,462 individuals (Supplementary Fig. 2) and then to only African and European populations including Central Asians (n=967) to examine the gene flow between African and European ancestries (Supplementary Fig. 3). To identify origins of our six southern African individuals precisely, we performed the PCA analysis for only African populations (n=274; Fig. 1c). In this analysis, the ≠Khomani and Nama populations were not included because of their recent gene flow from non-Khoisan ancestries, in order to better examine genetic clusters of individuals.

In order to identify admixtures in each of the six southern African individuals’ genome, we applied three methods: HAPMIX39, PCAdmix40 and dpmix41. To prepare the data sets for the run of PCAdmix, we needed to determine phased genotypes. The phased genotype data set of the same HapMap panel ( http://bochet.gcc.biostat.washington.edu/beagle/1000_Genomes.phase1_release_v3/) and the data set by Schulebusch et al.5 For the unphased data sets, we inferred a haplotype phase using BEAGLE42. PCAdmix requires three ancestor populations in order to infer the ancestry of each haplotype. Based upon the ADMIXTURE results, the samples that contained a high proportion (>0.8) of the corresponding ancestry were selected as the ancestral population, because the genetic components of the ancestral populations would likely affect the inference by PCAdmix. We used the Khoisan (n=67), Yoruba (n=85) and European (n=82) populations as putative ancestral populations for inference of ancestry of our Khoisan individuals. For the inference of ABT, we used a southeastern Bantu population with ABT as a test population. For the inference of non-African genomes, we assumed Yoruba, European and Asian (n=81) ancestral populations. We fixed the window size of the haplotype to 40 SNPs and used default for other parameters in the PCAdmix analysis. The estimated local ancestry of our six southern African samples and each from Yoruba, European and Asian samples were illustrated in Supplementary Fig. 4.

Since HAPMIX assumes only two ancestral populations, we ran the program for two sets of ancestral populations (Khoisan/Yoruba and Khoisan/European) independently. Two parameters of lambda and theta were given: the time of admixture and the admixed proportion, respectively. For both runs, we fixed lambda=5, and theta as 0.01 for admixtures from the Yoruba population and 0.001 for admixtures from the European population, according to the results of the ADMIXTURE analysis, which showed no significant admixtures from European ancestry. Before we determined the parameters, we tested several sets of parameters, and the results were pretty robust. The two sets of outputs (Khoisan/Yoruba and Khoisan/European) were unified into a single result set. When inconsistent estimates occurred between the two outputs, such as KHO/KHO versus KHO/YRI, the admixed type (KHO/YRI) was chosen, so that the unified result was biased toward detecting admixtures. When two different admixtures were inferred for one genotype, for example, KHO/YRI versus KHO/EUR, it was classified into the ‘undetermined’ category.

The third method of inferring admixtures was applied, by using the dpmix program41 on Galaxy38. We used the ‘Admixture’ tool in the ‘Genome diversity’ session. The only parameter we needed to determine was ‘genotype switch penalty’: we fixed the parameter of 10, which determined a reasonable length of admixture blocks, after testing genome switch penalties in the 2–20 range. The dpmix program allowed us to assume three ancestral populations, and we used the same three ancestral populations defined for the PCAdmix analysis.

We compared results between those three methods and collected the SNPs for which all three methods supported a consistent ancestry. The SNPs showed inconsistent ancestry among methods were assigned into the ‘undetermined’ category. The consistent results were illustrated in Supplementary Fig. 5, and a comparison between methods was shown in Supplementary Fig. 6 and Supplementary Table 2.

Effective population size inference
We ran the PSMC program17 on each of our 14 whole-genome sequencing data sets in order to infer effective population size. For the run, we used the consensus called using SAMtools as described before. The parameters and options used with PSMC were the same as the ones used in a previous study17. We measured the variance of the estimate by bootstrapping, using the option provided in the PSMC package. We repeated the run 100 times for each of the individuals (Supplementary Fig. 14).

There were a couple of issues relative to the understanding of the PSMC estimates. Since PSMC uses the heterozygote density for its inference, sequencing quality affects the PSMC estimates significantly. Sequence coverage of the 14 genome data sets varied between 19–86-fold (Table 1). Considering the associations of sequencing coverage and number of heterozygous sites (Supplementary Fig. 15), the ABT genome was sequenced to a high enough coverage (27-fold) to identify the heterozygotes. In addition, we designed an experiment to examine the impact of sequencing coverage on the PSMC estimates. We generated eight genome data sets having 10–80-fold sequencing coverage from one Yoruba genome (NA18507), which, at 86-fold, has the highest sequencing coverage, among our data sets (Table 1). Using the eight data sets, we ran PSMC independently. The pattern of changes in the PSMC estimates was very similar among those genome data sets: however the degree of change was shifted toward being more recent and smaller in size as the sequencing coverage was lowered (Supplementary Fig. 16). From this experiment, we found that a sequencing coverage cutoff of 30-fold average is sufficient for robust PSMC outputs. Therefore, half of our complete-genome sequencing data sets are suitably qualified for PSMC analysis (Table 1).

Only four genome data sets used in this study were not sequenced to a higher coverage than the ABT genome: NA12891, NA19238, NA19239 and AK1. The PSMC estimates of these four genomes were corrected, using the ‘false negative rate (FNR)’ option provided by the PSMC package. We used the KB1 genome data set to test the effectiveness of this option. We generated the KB1 genome sequence, having 15-fold sequencing coverage, and ran PSMC (KB1.15X). We used the FNR option to correct the estimates, which were shown to be KB1.15X (FNR=0.1) and KB1.15X (FNR=0.2), respectively in Supplementary Fig. 17. The original KB1 estimate was pretty similar to KB1.15X (FNR=0.2). We ended up using the FNR option for the four genomes NA12891, NA19238, NA19239 and AK1 to adjust the effect of low sequencing coverage on the PSMC estimates (Fig. 3).

The second issue was that scaling the estimates depends upon the mutation rate. Estimates of both effective population size (Ne) and time depend upon the mutation rate assumed in the PSMC analysis. Classically, the mutation rate has been known to be 2.5e−08 per site per generation18, while recent studies reported a lower rate of 1.2e−08 per site per generation30,31,32. In this study, we used 2.5e−08 per site per generation as a mutation rate, because the mutation rate estimated by a Bayesian inference (G-PhoCS; Supplementary Fig. 11) was around 2.5e−08, on the basis of our genome data set. The effect of the mutation rate is described in Supplementary Fig. 12.

In addition, the PSMC estimates for the very recent time period, such as 20–42 kyr ago to present, may not produce accurate estimations, according to the author17 and our bootstrap test (Supplementary Fig. 14). Therefore, we don’t discuss PSMC estimates in relation to recent history ~20 kyr ago, in this study.

Coalescence simulations
In order to confirm a robustness of the PSMC inference (Fig. 3), we performed coalescence simulations. Under several demographic models, nucleotide sequences were generated, using the ms program43. Commands used in this analysis and details are shown in Supplementary Fig. 9. The PSMC program was applied to the simulated sequences to confirm to reconstruct the effective population-size over time as given model and effects of recent demographic events on the PSMC estimations of past effective population size.

The estimation of population divergence time
We used PSMC analysis to infer the divergence time between populations17,44. If PSMC analysis is applied, a hybridized diploid of two haploid sequences from each population, then the time point where the inferred population size increased corresponds to the divergence time. To apply this approach, we constructed each pseudo-diploid X chromosome by combining two male X chromosomes. Supplementary Fig. 10 shows the results of PSMC analysis for pairwise pseudo-diploid X chromosomes. For example, the pairs of the European genome (JW) and each of the Khoisan, Yoruba and Asian populations are shown in Supplementary Fig. 10a. The Khoisan and European pair (JW-NB1) demonstrated a clear increase in their population size compared with the European pair (JW-NA12891) from 150–313 kyr ago, which could be the divergence time of the Khoisan and non-Khoisan populations. All other pairs stayed low in population size relative to the Khoisan and European pair, until 270–570 kyr ago. This result clearly shows the earliest population splits between the Khoisan and non-Khoisan populations, even though the time estimation is approximate.

We also applied G-PhoCS19 to our genome data set to estimate divergence time. We assumed the simplest model, illustrated in Supplementary Fig. 11, to estimate the divergence time of the Khoisan and non-Khoisan population. Both the NB1 and NB8 genomes were used as the Khoisan genome and were applied independently. The NA18507 genome was used as the western African genome. In total, randomly selected 20,000 loci of 1–2 kb-length were used as input data for the G-PhoCS run to reduce computational requirements. To prepare the input data, we followed the filtering procedure described in Gronau et al.19 In order to confirm a robustness of outputs, various sets of parameters (models, priors) were applied to the G-PhoCS run independently. We carried on 100,000 iterations for the burn-in period and an additional 200,000 iterations for the sample collection. The acceptance rates for all parameters ranged 20–70%. The analysis for the samples was performed using Tracer v1.5 (ref. 45). The estimates from the run were pretty robust and are shown in the table in Supplementary Fig. 11. The estimated mutation rate was around 1.0e−9 per site per generation, the same as 2.5e−8 per site per generation, if generation time is assumed to be 25 years. The estimates of divergence time were calibrated by the human and chimpanzee divergence time, 5.6–7.6 myr ago46. The mutation rate was calculated by an estimate of τdiv=6.5e−03, and the human-chimpanzee divergence time (Tdiv) as μ=τdiv/Tdiv.

Additional information
Accession codes: Whole-genome sequencing data generated in this study have been deposited in GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ sequence-read archive (SRA) under the accession code PRJNA263627.

How to cite this article: Kim, H. L. et al. Khoisan hunter-gatherers have been the largest population throughout most of modern-human demographic history. Nat. Commun. 5:5692 doi: 10.1038/ncomms6692 (2014).

Accession codes
Accessions
GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ
PRJNA263627

References
1
de Filippo, C., Bostoen, K., Stoneking, M. & Pakendorf, B. Bringing together linguistic and genetic evidence to test the Bantu expansion. Proc. Biol. Sci 279, 3256–3263 (2012).

Article
Google Scholar
2
Biesele, M. and Royal-/o/oo, K. in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers (eds Lee, R. B. & Daly, R.) 205–209 Cambridge Univ. Press (1999).

3
Tishkoff, S. A. et al. The genetic structure and history of Africans and African Americans. Science 324, 1035–1044 (2009).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
4
Henn, B. M. et al. Hunter-gatherer genomic diversity suggests a southern African origin for modern humans. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 108, 5154–5162 (2011).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
5
Schlebusch, C. M. et al. Genomic variation in seven Khoe-San groups reveals adaptation and complex African history. Science 338, 374–379 (2012).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
6
Semino, O., Santachiara-Benerecetti, A. S., Falaschi, F., Cavalli-Sforza, L. L. & Underhill, P. A. Ethiopians and Khoisan share the deepest clades of the human Y-chromosome phylogeny. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 70, 265–268 (2002).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
7
Gonder, M. K., Mortensen, H. M., Reed, F. A., de Sousa, A. & Tishkoff, S. A. Whole-mtDNA genome sequence analysis of ancient African lineages. Mol. Biol. Evol. 24, 757–768 (2007).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
8
Petersen, D. C. et al. Complex patterns of genomic admixture within southern Africa. PLoS Genet. 9, e1003309 (2013).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
9
Pickrell, J. K. et al. Ancient west Eurasian ancestry in southern and eastern Africa. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. 111, 2632–2637 (2014).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
10
Schuster, S. C. et al. Complete Khoisan and Bantu genomes from southern Africa. Nature 463, 943–947 (2010).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
11
Alexander, D. H., Novembre, J. & Lange, K. Fast model-based estimation of ancestry in unrelated individuals. Genome Res. 19, 1655–1664 (2009).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
12
Patterson, N., Price, A. L. & Reich, D. Population structure and eigenanalysis. PLoS Genet. 2, e190 (2006).

Article
Google Scholar
13
Loh, P.-R. et al. Inferring admixture histories of human populations using linkage disequilibrium. Genetics 193, 1233–1254 (2013).

Article
Google Scholar
14
Li, J. Z. et al. Worldwide human relationships inferred from genome-wide patterns of variation. Science 319, 1100–1104 (2008).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
15
Pickrell, J. K. et al. The genetic prehistory of southern Africa. Nat. Commun. 3, 1143 (2012).

Article
Google Scholar
16
Veeramah, K. R. et al. An early divergence of KhoeSan ancestors from those of other modern humans is supported by an ABC-based analysis of autosomal resequencing data. Mol. Biol. Evol. 29, 617–630 (2012).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
17
Li, H. & Durbin, R. Inference of human population history from individual whole-genome sequences. Nature 475, 493–496 (2011).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
18
Nachman, M. W. & Crowell, S. L. Estimate of the mutation rate per nucleotide in humans. Genetics 156, 297–304 (2000).

CAS
PubMed
PubMed Central
Google Scholar
19
Gronau, I., Hubisz, M. J., Gulko, B., Danko, C. G. & Siepel, A. Bayesian inference of ancient human demography from individual genome sequences. Nat. Genet. 43, 1031–1034 (2011).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
20
Mellars, P. Why did modern human populations disperse from Africa ca. 60,000 years ago? A new model. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103, 9381–9386 (2006).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
21
Barker, P. & Gasse, F. New evidence for a reduced water balance in East Africa during the Last Glacial Maximum: implication for model-data comparison. Quat. Sci. Rev. 22, 823–837 (2003).

ADS
Article
Google Scholar
22
deMenocal, P. B., Ruddiman, W. F. & Pokras, E. M. Influences of high- and low-latitude processes on African terrestrial climate: pleistocene eolian records from equatorial atlantic ocean drilling program site 663. Paleoceanography 8, 209–242 (1993).

ADS
Article
Google Scholar
23
Chase, B. M. & Meadows, M. E. Late quaternary dynamics of southern Africa’s winter rainfall zone. Earth-Science Rev 84, 103–138 (2007).

ADS
Article
Google Scholar
24
Stuut, J.-B. W. et al. A 300-kyr record of aridity and wind strength in southwestern Africa: inferences from grain-size distributions of sediments on Walvis Ridge, SE Atlantic. Mar. Geol. 180, 221–233 (2002).

ADS
Article
Google Scholar
25
Prell, W. L. & Kutzbach, J. E. Monsoon variability over the past 150,000 years. J. Geophys. Res. 92, 8411–8425 (1987).

ADS
Article
Google Scholar
26
Weldeab, S., Lea, D. W., Schneider, R. R. & Andersen, N. 155,000 years of West African monsoon and ocean thermal evolution. Science 316, 1303–1307 (2007).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
27
Partridge, T. C., deMenocal, P. B., Lorentz, S. A., Paiker, M. J. & Vogel, J. C. Orbital forcing of climate over south Africa: a 200,000-year rainfall record from the pretoria saltpan. Quat. Sci. Rev. 16, 1125–1133 (1997).

ADS
Article
Google Scholar
28
Carto, S. L., Weaver, A. J., Hetherington, R., Lam, Y. & Wiebe, E. C. Out of Africa and into an ice age: on the role of global climate change in the late Pleistocene migration of early modern humans out of Africa. J. Hum. Evol. 56, 139–151 (2009).

Article
Google Scholar
29
Ziegler, M. et al. Development of Middle Stone Age innovation linked to rapid climate change. Nat. Commun. 4, 1905 (2013).

Article
Google Scholar
30
Campbell, C. D. et al. Estimating the human mutation rate using autozygosity in a founder population. Nat. Genet. 44, 1277–2381 (2012).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
31
Conrad, D. F. et al. Variation in genome-wide mutation rates within and between human families. Nat. Genet. 43, 712–714 (2011).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
32
Kong, A. et al. Rate of de novo mutations and the importance of father’s age to disease risk. Nature 488, 471–475 (2012).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
33
Li, H. & Durbin, R. Fast and accurate short read alignment with Burrows-Wheeler transform. Bioinformatics 25, 1754–1760 (2009).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
34
McKenna, A. et al. The Genome Analysis Toolkit: a MapReduce framework for analyzing next-generation DNA sequencing data. Genome Res. 20, 1297–1303 (2010).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
35
Lander, E. S. & Waterman, M. S. Genomic mapping by fingerprinting random clones: a mathematical analysis. Genomics 2, 231–239 (1988).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
36
The International HapMap Consortium. International HapMap project. Nature 426, 789–795 (2003).

37
Purcell, S. et al. PLINK: a tool set for whole-genome association and population-based linkage analyses. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 81, 559–575 (2007).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
38
Goecks, J., Nekrutenko., A. & Taylor, J. Galaxy Team. Galaxy: a comprehensive approach for supporting accessible, reproducible, and transparent computational research in the life sciences. Genome Biol. 25, R86 (2010).

Article
Google Scholar
39
Price, A. L. et al. Sensitive detection of chromosomal segments of distinct ancestry in admixed populations. PLoS Genet. 5, e1000519 (2009).

Article
Google Scholar
40
Brisbin, A. G. in Linkage Analysis for Categorical Traits and Ancestry Assignment in Admixed Individuals. PhD thesis, Cornell Univ. (2010).

41
Bedoya-Reina, O. C. et al. Galaxy tools to study genome diversity. Gigascience 2, 17 (2013).

Article
Google Scholar
42
Browning, S. R. & Browning, B. L. Rapid and accurate haplotype phasing and missing-data inference for whole-genome association studies by use of localized haplotype clustering. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 81, 1084–1097 (2007).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
43
Hudson, R. R. Generating samples under a Wright-Fisher neutral model of genetic variation. Bioinformatics 18, 337–338 (2002).

CAS
Article
Google Scholar
44
Prado-Martinez, J. et al. Great ape genetic diversity and population history. Nature 499, 471–475 (2013).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
45
Rambaut, A. & Drummond, A. J. Tracer v1.5.0. Available from http://beast.bio.ed.ac.uk/Tracer (2009).

46
Patterson, N., Richter, D. J., Gnerre, S., Lander, E. S. & Reich, D. Genetic evidence for complex speciation of humans and chimpanzees. Nature 441, 1103–1108 (2006).

CAS
ADS
Article
Google Scholar
Download references

Acknowledgements
We thank Vanessa M. Hayes for her contributions to sampling and logistics during field trips in 2008 and 2009 in Namibia. We thank Margaret Anthony (Penn State University) for assistance in editing our manuscript and Oscar Bedoya-Reina (Penn State University) for his help with analyses of SNP data set. A.M. was partially supported by Unesp’s international visiting scholar program.

Author information
Affiliations
Center for Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics, Pennsylvania State University, 310 Wartik Lab, University Park, 16802, Pennsylvania, USA
Hie Lim Kim, Aakrosh Ratan, Webb Miller & Stephan C. Schuster
Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 60 Nanyang Drive, SBS-01N-27, Singapore, 637551, Singapore
Hie Lim Kim & Stephan C. Schuster
Department of Public Health Sciences and Center for Public Health Genomics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 22908, Virginia, USA
Aakrosh Ratan
Departments of Anthropology and Biology, Pennsylvania State University, 513 Carpenter Building, University Park, 16802, Pennsylvania, USA
George H. Perry
Department of Geography, Ohio State University, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, 43210, Ohio, USA
Alvaro Montenegro
Campus do Litoral Paulista, Unesp—Univ Estadual Paulista, São Vicente, 11330-900, Brazil
Alvaro Montenegro

Contributions
S.C.S. collected samples and generated data and designed the study; H.L.K. and G.H.P. were involved in study design; A.R. and W.M. performed bioinformatics analyses; A.M. analyzed paleoclimate records and literatures; H.L.K. performed population genetic analyses and drafted the manuscript; All authors participated to write the paper.

Corresponding authors
Correspondence to Hie Lim Kim or Stephan C. Schuster.

Ethics declarations
Competing interests
The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary Information
Supplementary Figures 1-17, Supplementary Tables 1-3, Supplementary Methods and Supplementary References (PDF 3635 kb)

Rights and permissions
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Reprints and Permissions




Labels: , ,


Read more...

Saturday, December 14, 2019

(BLACK OPINION SA) UK election: need for new struggle after Corbyn’s defeat

COMMENT - BFLF's excellent take on the destruction of real labour by the New Labour, Conservatives and Murdoch press.

(BLACK OPINION SA) UK election: need for new struggle after Corbyn’s defeat
By admin Posted in Featured International News Politics Posted on December 14, 2019
Photo credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images
By BO Staff Writer

The following article by Moira Leahy and Josh Lees was previously published in the redflag.org.au website.

Every left-wing person watching the British general election results come in will do so with a heavy heart. The new Tory government is set to be headed by the absolute worst elements of the Etonian ruling class – a vicious, racist, anti-working-class regime with the vile Trump-loving Johnson at its head.

Many will draw conclusions similar to those drawn by the ALP and the media here after “Smoko” Morrison’s victory – that left-wing politics cannot appeal to working-class people, that working-class people are increasingly right-wing and racist and that only a Tory/Liberal-lite party can win.

This narrative will be championed loudly by the Labour right who have done their absolute best to undermine Jeremy Corbyn in their efforts to maintain Labour as a neoliberal party absolutely committed to their role as capitalism’s plan B party. They will argue that this result confirms that the sensible centre is the only way forward in politics.

Yet the story of this election is not a wholesale shift to the right in British society – but a dramatic decline in Labour’s vote. Those people who come to bury Corbyn are in large part to blame for this. Alongside their allies in the media, the Lib Dems and the establishment, the majority of the parliamentary Labour party have spent the last 4 years attacking both Corbyn himself and the more left wing policies he has championed. The attacks have been vicious and unrelenting, with Corbyn dishonestly portrayed as an antisemitic, authoritarian, Communist cult leader. At every turn they have undermined the growing left wing sentiment that put Corbyn into the leadership in the first place and saw him achieve the second best post-World War Two swing to Labour in the 2017 election.

They have been as responsible for making this a Brexit election as Johnson – with the aim of using it to crush Corbyn. They will be much happier with this result than they would have been with a Corbyn victory which cemented his position.

They posture as progressive pan-Europeans, but the small-l liberal opinion-makers of the BBC, the Guardian, the Liberal Democrats, and the centre-right of the Labour party have waged a savage campaign to slander and destroy Corbyn – and in so doing, they’ve ensured a heavy majority for Johnson’s reactionary pro-Brexit government. That shows their real priorities. For all their huffing and puffing about Europe, their main priority was stopping Corbyn from having any chance to implement a left-wing economic policy. They have used the most despicable slanders in the service of this cause, notably totally cynical accusations of anti-Semitism against anyone associated with even the mildest support for the Palestinian national movement. The impact of this ideological war will weigh heavily on the broad left in years to come. It was an ultimately successful counter-attack to the ascension of Corbyn to the Labour leadership.

In the past year they have mobilised huge numbers on the streets in the cause of Remain, have succeeded in winning Labour to support a second referendum, and contributed to the polarisation of British politics around this issue – as opposed to the class questions of inequality, austerity, education and the NHS which saw a strong result for Corbyn in 2017. Their strategy has succeeded – not in stopping Brexit, but in ensuring Labour lost votes at both ends.

Working class communities in the Labour heartlands have borne the brunt of neoliberalism since the early 1980s. Both Tory and Labour governments have carried out policies that have further entrenched the vast inequalities in British society that have seen a cycle of unemployment, poverty and neglect. For many of these people, voting for Brexit was a reflection of their anger and bitterness at politicians and the establishment. Labour in their areas represent that establishment – as the local councils, the Mayors and MPs. It was this disillusionment that outrageously created the space for Farage’s Brexit party to portray itself as the voice of the voiceless – a rhetoric reinforced by Labour’s support for a second referendum. The ultimate defection of Labour voters to Johnson’s Conservative Party in those areas, when Labour has been running on its most pro-worker platform in many years, represents a dramatic weakening of class consciousness amongst those long-suffering workers in the years since the Brexit vote. But in this election, many of them just didn’t bother to vote at all.

Corbyn’s early surge pointed to the potential for a different expression of that anger at neoliberalism. Hundreds of thousands of young people especially were drawn to Corbyn’s vision of socialism but that hope was consistently channelled into electoralism instead of mass action and struggle.

It is more accurate to describe British society as polarised than on a right wing trajectory. Corbyn received a positive swing in some constituencies like Liverpool and Manchester. The British Social Attitudes survey in 2019 showed, for example, that 86% of people believe the NHS faces a “major” or “severe” funding problem, up 14 points since 2014. 61% “would be prepared to accept” tax rises to increase NHS spending, up 21 points from 2014.

But aside from one demonstration two years ago Labour failed to mobilise its over ½ million new members into any increase in mass protests or strikes.

Neither did Corbyn put up a serious fight against the continual onslaught within his own ranks – capitulating at different times on the Trident nuclear weapon program, free movement of people, and the deselection as candidates of the Blairite MPs hell-bent on his destruction.

Without an increase of struggle and mobilisation, even popular and radical policies could not overcome the disillusionment sewn by decades of Labour betrayals from the Iraq war and privatisation to the response to the global financial crisis and austerity. This cynicism towards politicians, even more left ones like Corbyn, is in fact based in a certain reality about the world.

Even if Corbyn had won, his parliamentary approach would not have been able to overcome the right wing resistance of the bosses, the media and his own MPs to be able to implement even his moderate social democratic agenda. The woeful experience of reformist governments in Greece and Latin America demonstrates this.

The world is now witnessing an upsurge in struggle from below, from Lebanon to Iraq to Chile to France and beyond. The same anger that puts millions on the streets of Paris, Santiago and Hong Kong exists in London, Glasgow and Manchester.

Corbyn’s Labour received overwhelming support among young people, even in the Leave-voting areas of the north of England and southern Wales, alongside the Remainer stronghold of London. Those young people who tried to vote to defend the NHS, renationalise privatised industry, and reject Johnson’s reactionary politics can play an important role in building resistance to the attacks to come.

But that will be squandered if it is spent in more years of electoral work seeking power on the terrain that most favours the ruling class – building electoral majorities through official politics. That seemingly easy option has undermined the desire to resist austerity and neoliberalism in country after country. Waiting 5 years is not an option. And parliament is not where our power really lies anyway. We need the politics of struggle from below, and revolutionary, not parliamentary socialism.

No related posts.

Labels: , , , ,


Read more...

Monday, December 02, 2019

(LUSAKATIMES) Fred M’membe public discussion on Jobs

COMMENT - Fred M'Membe of the Socialist Party, owner of The Mast (formerly The Post), on the effect of technology and innovation on the destruction of jobs. The alternative is Universal Basic Income and ownership. Jobs may be going, however work will always be there, whatever form it takes.

(LUSAKATIMES) Fred M’membe public discussion on Jobs

Labels: ,


Read more...

Monday, November 18, 2019

JTRIG - Targeting Zimbabwe Through Psyops

COMMENT - This document highlights the fact that international institutions have targeted Zimbabwe for psychological operations, which should be no surprise to anyone, however this is confirmation. - MrK

TOP SECRET

(JTRIG) Behavioural Science Support for JTRIG’s (Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group’s) Effects and Online

HUMINT Operations
Mandeep K. Dhami, PhD
Human Systems Group, Information Management Department, Dstl
10 March 2011

Two of the Global team’s current aims are regime change in Zimbabwe by discrediting the present regime

Labels: ,


Read more...

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

(PATRIOT ZW) Magombeyi’s fake ‘abduction’ …Vanguard fingered

COMMENT - The MDC cannot betray it's origins in the rhodesian security services and their penchant for psychological operations and false flag violence and abductions. Rhodesians like Coltart, Cross, Bennet and Kaye were all over it, and not because they loved democracy any time in their lives. In the early 2000s they committed violence through their Democratic Resistance Committees or DRCs, today they're called Vanguard. - MrK


(PATRIOT ZW) Magombeyi’s fake ‘abduction’ …Vanguard fingered
By admin -October 7, 20190476
Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter

Patriot Reporter

FRESH details have emerged over the so-called ‘abduction’ of Dr Peter Magombeyi.

The 25-year-old Dr Magombeyi, who is also acting president of Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association (ZHDA), was allegedly ‘abducted’ at his home in Budiriro on September 14 2019.

And five days later, Dr Magombeyi surfaced in Nyabira, a few kilometres from the American Embassy.

A source who has close links to the MDC Alliance revealed that in those five days, Dr Magombeyi was housed at Number 64 Palmer Road in Milton Park.

The property is a lodge, Saita Safaris, and reportedly owned by MDC Alliance vice-president Tendai Biti.

“Dr Magombeyi was at 64 Palmer Road in Milton Park, nzvimbo iyoyo ilodge asi irikushandiswa sesafe house, chero Jacob Mafume naObey Sithole vanotogara ipapo (the place is a lodge which has been turned into a safe house for MDC activists including Jacob Mafume and Obey Sithole,” said the source who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation.

According to the source, Dr Magombeyi was taken by Vanguard leader Shakespear Mukoyi and one Bunjira.

When The Patriot visited the lodge, the gate was locked.

There was a sign: ‘Gate locked please ring bell’ and ‘Please do not hoot, press intercom’.

But there was no intercom or bell to ring.

The news crew had to knock for 10 minutes before someone attended to the gate.

Striking about the place is the huge precast wall and electric gate.

Inside and out, there is no signage of the name of the lodge.

Only the brown uniforms of housekeepers had a badge bearing the name of the lodge: Saita Lodges.

The news crew caught a glimpse of an EcoCash payment method with the number 0785 832 700. However the housekeepers said they no longer received ecocash payments as their EcoCash line had been blocked.

The EcoCash number is registered to one Winnie Manungo.

Vanguard behind the abductions?

Leaked MDC standing committee minutes revealed that MDC Alliance is reportedly militarily training its youth.

MDC standing committee is the party’s highest decision making body.

The meeting was held on September 18 2018 from 10hr to 13:45hr.

The party’s treasurer-general, David Coltart, was recorded at the meeting calling on the party to make their youths ‘more militant’.

And it is our understanding that there is a team of MDC Alliance youths scheduled to receive military training in Mozambique nex week.

There are reports that the MDC Alliance recently bought 47 unlicensed guns; FA and pistol type.

The MDC Vanguard has a history of violence.

Sometime in 2002, the MDC formed what they called the Democratic Resistance Committee (DRC), a group that was being trained militarily to cause mayhem on innocent people in the name of ‘regime change’.

White farmers then shared spaces on their farms to train these youths and this training was being allegedly led by the late Roy Bennett (late ex-MP).

The DRC morphed into the Vanguard.

Anyone who underestimated the nature of the militancy of the MDC did so at his/her own peril.

And Vangaurd is led by Mukoyi, the same person who is said to have ‘abducted’ Dr Magombeyi.

Who is Shakespear Mukoyi?

Mukoyi is an MDC Alliance member and leader of the MDC Alliance’s militia known as the Vanguard.

For long, MDC Alliance would deny the existence of Vanguard until last year in May when Mukoyi let the cat out of the bag.

The youth militia is known for ‘carrying an AK 47 and threatening to kill his rivals with it’. Running to the 2018 primary elections in the MDC Alliance, Mukoyi threatened to ‘kill Hwende’ if he (Mukoyi) was not elected House of Assembly Member for Kuwadzana East.

Charlton Hwende was running for the same seat.

Hwende took to facebook to raise alarm after being threatened with death by Mukoyi.

“I received disturbing news that my opponent was moving around with a gun threatening to shoot me. I am mentioning it here so that if anything happens to me people will know what happened to me,” he wrote.

Mukoyi claimed the constituency had apparently been given to him by the party’s presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa, as a ‘token of appreciation’ after

λ From Page 2

he helped him ascend to the party’s presidency.

He helped Chamisa by carrying out acts of violence on Thokozani Khupe.

In 2017, in Bulawayo, members of the Vanguard were implicated in violence at that party’s offices where Khupe and her supporters were holding a meeting.

In February 2018, at the late Morgan Tsvangirai’s burial in Buhera, members of the group allegedly tried to set, on fire, a hut where Khupe and other MDC-T leaders had sought refuge.

The following month, the group was fingered, again, in acts of violence at that party’s offices in Bulawayo.

And, indeed, Mukoyi succeeded in pushing Chamisa to power through violence.

It is reported the gun-wielding Mukoyi slept in a hall where primaries were supposed to be held and threatened to ‘kill someone’ if he was not elected MP.

He is said to have declared that he had already won and no voting would take place, forcing the cancellation of the primary elections.

Mukoyi reportedly vowed he would not allow Chamisa to ‘dump him now after all he has done for him’.

Mukoyi is widely believed to have been Chamisa’s henchman and enforcer ever since the latter took over the reins at the opposition party.

And Hwende also confirmed on his facebook page that the primaries had been disrupted by the Vanguard; posting: “I would like to let you know that our primary election in Kuwadzana east was stopped by the so called vanguard youths led by their leader who was my opponent in the election…I hope the party will look into this matter as my safety is now a matter of concern.”

Ironically, the MDC-Alliance leadership, including Hwende, have all along been claiming the Vanguard is not a violent grouping despite repeated attacks on former MDC-T deputy president, Thokozani Khupe.

On April 9 2017, Mukoyi was arrested and charged for allegedly assaulting a police officer, Emmanuel Jeketera, with clenched fists and booted feet in Glen Norah but was later acquitted at the Mbare Magistrates’ Courts.

Mukoyi was arrested during a church service to pray for peace at the Nazarene Church in Glen Norah.

Prosecutors alleged Jeketera suffered a swollen lower lip and lacerations of the lower lip as a result of the assault.

He has a pending case of carrying an AK-47 during the January disturbances this year.

A litany of violence

At the Chatham House, MDC was built on the philosophy of violence as one of the key strategies for effecting regime change.

In 2000, Tsvangirai was quoted on BBC programme of September 30 saying:
“If you (President Mugabe) do not want to go peacefully, we will remove you violently.”

In 2005, Paul Temba Nyathi of the other MDC made this assessment: “Tsvangirai’s followers seem to be saying to themselves that they can win elections by beating people and by using the crudest methods of intimidation.”

And on July 3 2005, a meeting was held in Bulawayo between the Bulawayo Agenda (BA) and its sponsors the Konrad Adeneur Foundation of Germany (KAD).
It is at that meeting KAD told the BA that they would no longer fund organs which ‘concentrated on talk shows’.

However, they would readily fund ‘brave’ organisations that engage in demonstrations to remove the Government from power.

KAD made it clear that money would be availed only to programmes of confrontation.

In pursuant to the funder’s request, in 2007, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) raided Harvest House, the MDC headquarters.

They recovered 2 000 sharp and piercing objects used in making incendiary bombs, two shortwave radios, 43 Zimbabwe passports with South Africa visa application forms, eight loud hailers, 104 spray guns, propaganda videos and cassettes.

This was just the beginning as the ZRP were to be swamped with reports of political violence, some turning into murder cases.

For example, the killing of Police Inspector Petros Mutedzi in Glen View 3, Harare, in May 2011.

In March 2007 alone, the MDC youths were credited with committing some of the most violent crimes listed below as can be confirmed by police records:

λ March 12: Petrol bombing of Zimbabwe Republic Police, Unit N Police Camp in Chitungwiza.

λ March 13: Petrol bombing of ZANU PF branch chairman’s house in Unit L, Chitungwiza.

λ March 13: A Zimbabwe National Army member and flea market vendors were assaulted by MDC youths.

λ March 13: Petrol bombing of Nehanda Police Post in Mkoba, Gweru.

λ March 14: Four MDC youths petrol-bombed a police officer’s house at Marimba Park Police Station, seriously injuring three female officers.

λ March 18: Petrol bombing of House Number 11 Zanu Yotonga Street, in Zengeza, Chitungwiza, on wrong intelligence that it belonged to a ZANU PF councillor of the area.

λ March 19: A crossborder Toyota Coaster (AAZ 3976) ferrying shoppers from Botswana was stoned and burned at Kuwadzana roundabout along Bulawayo Road, the list is endless.

λ March 23: Petrol bombing of Chisamba Police Station in Sakubva, Mutare.

λ March 23: House Number 2002 Gwinyai Street, St Mary’s, was petrol bombed. The house belonged to a ZANU PF district treasurer.

λ March 24: Muchada Supermarket and Pfukwa Night Club in Warren Park D were petrol bombed. The owner is a well-known ZANU PF member.

λ March 27: Petrol bombing of ZANU PF’s Joshua Nkomo offices in Mbare, Harare, by five MDC youths destroying all the furniture in the process.

λ March 29: House number 6847 Western Triangle, Highfields, was bombed believing it belonged to a ZNA member when it did not.

λ March 30: Petrol bombing of Gumbas Wholesalers on Leopold Takawira Street.

λ March 30: A Mazda B2500 pick-up (647-515V) belonging to a ZANU-PF supporter was petrol bombed at Current Shopping Centre in Budiriro 5.

λ April 3: ZINASU petrol bombed UZ Complexes One and Four dining halls, shattering all windows. The roof collapsed following the attack.

The above cases are an indication that violence is in the MDC’s DNA.

Labels: , , ,


Read more...