This week: Is the Barrow administration corrupt? The Minister of Information, Ebrima Sillah, goes to bat for the Government. Also, the Gambia Government and why it is failing on the deliverables - We hear from journalist and social activist, Mama Linguere Sarr. And the man at the international 'vanguard' that helped bring an end to 22 years of tyranny in The Gambia, Jeffrey Smith.
"Cameroon embodies the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, that most people are unaware of," Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of Vanguard Africa told DW.
Vanguard is a nonprofit organization that partners with African leaders and democracy activists to consolidate democratic gains and advocate for free and fair elections in Africa.
Political observers believe that the arguably worsening crisis in Cameroon is largely due to the Biya regime's use of violence and brutality as a first resort.
"By immediately resorting to violence, Biya and the country's governing elite, dumped petrol on a long-smoldering fire, transforming the conflict into the runaway conflagration we see today," Smith says.
"If international donors and world powers were somehow fooled by an orderly election day, and liable to lend support to the government thereafter, those illusions were effectively shattered when the military opened fire on protesters," said Jeffrey Smith, executive director of Vanguard Africa.
"Many people talk about the plundering and the looting, human rights abuses that took place under Mugabe's rule. He was not alone in that. While the regime talks about Zimbabwe being open for business, this is the same group of people that systematically destroyed Zimbabwe's economy over nearly 40 years," said Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the nonprofit group Vanguard Africa.
We talk with Jeffrey Smith of Vanguard Africa about sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, and why exactly Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga is delivering a special message to Russia.
According to Jeffrey Smith, head of Vanguard Africa, an advocacy group: “Since August 2016 especially, the acts of violence [by the armed groups] have become more routine and more brazen…at this point, it almost seems as if armed groups and government forces are actively bidding to outdo one another in terms of shock value.”
Jeffrey Smith, executive director of Vanguard Africa, says he has been putting pressure on U.S. authorities to address the issue. "What we are trying to do is raise the necessary international alarm bells, to keep attention focused on his case, as it's not isolated. It is part of a wider crackdown on dissenting voices, on political opposition, and certainly on civil society with reports we have seen coming in of people going into hiding."
Executive Director, Jeffrey Smith of Vanguard Africa concurs. “If you go through the litany of concerns both in the lead up to the elections, during the elections and after the election, namely the brutality, the violence that we witnessed yesterday, indicates that the vote was deeply flawed and does not reflect the true will of Zimbabweans.”
PR is invaluable for changing the African narrative, according to Christopher Harvin, partner at PR firm Sanitas International and co-founder of Vanguard Africa, a pro-democracy nonprofit. “It’s critical,” he says, “to navigate the next steps of economic and social development as the continent strives to elevate its global standing, shape its brand and offset its critics.”