Air Zimbabwe remains grounded following promises to be back in the air this week, with flights suspended indefinitely as staff refuse to work until outstanding salaries are paid.
Last week the struggling airline said it resume flights between the capital Harare and the second city Bulawayo and Victoria Falls on Monday, but staff remain on strike due to the non-payment of salaries and allowances.
Air Zimbabwe suspended all domestic flights in mid-January following a strike by employees who were demanding their salaries and allowances that have been outstanding since 2009.
Ok. I'm not very good about time, but that seems a bit long.
Air Zimbabwe acting chief executive officer Innocent Mavhunga told NewZiana that, "The company is addressing the issue as a matter of urgency. It's true that we failed to resumes flights as expected. We failed to reach a compromise on salary issues with workers on time." I can only imagine what these 'negotiations' consisted of. "Back to work, peasants!" "No."
"We are still locked up on negotiations and its difficult to issue a new time frame for resumption of flights, but Air Zimbabwe would be back on air soon," he said on Tuesday. And then his lips fell off.
Air Zimbabwe suspended all flights to South Africa and the United Kingdom in early January to avoid its planes from being impounded by increasingly frustrated creditors owed about US$149 million by the airline. A socialist success story!
On December 12, 2011, an Air Zimbabwe Boeing 767-200 was impounded at Gatwick Airport after American General Suppliers received a court order for US$1.2 million the airline owed for spare parts. The aircraft was only released on December 20 once the debt had been settled, but due to technical problems and a lack of spares the Boeing only left for Zimbabwe on December 24, arriving the following morning.
On December 2, Bid Air Services seized air Zimbabwe's Boeing 737-500 over US$500 000 of unpaid debt. The aircraft was impounded shortly after landing at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, as Bid Air parked a vehicle behind the aircraft to ensure it could not leave. Bid Air later allowed the aircraft to return to Zimbabwe. Got them behind the 8-ball, so to speak.
Other airlines are taking advantage of Air Zimbabwe's collapse. Emirates at the beginning of this month began flying between Harare, Lusaka and Dubai several times a week while Air Namibia, which stopped flying to Zimbabwe 13 years ago, will resume services to the country in May. Gosh, imagine that, capitalism. Rank incompetence being trounced by superior competitors. Gosh, it's like it's some sort of natural law or something.
Air Zimbabwe is facing the prospect of liquidation after being placed under judicial management following its rising debt level. Last month Zimbabwe's High Court appointed a judicial manager for the struggling airline and barred the Air Zimbabwe board from any involvement with the company. The move came after unpaid employees sought an intervention from the courts. Another shining success.
A lawyer representing the Air Zimbabwe workers, Caleb Mucheche, said the airline had failed to pay workers since January 2009 and had accumulated arrears of up to US$35 million by the end of December. You know, the amazing thing is that they continued to work so long. Socialist countries have a numbing effect on the mind. I would have been out of there and looking for a new job the second I didn't get paid.
A bill that would allow property owners to use deadly force to resist police is facing increasing resistance of its own. The proposed legislation would provide property owners the right to use deadly force to stop an illegal entry by law enforcement officers.
Which happens more frequently than the police would like to admit.
Current Indiana law gives homeowners the right to use whatever force they deem necessary to defend themselves and their property against unlawful entry. However, Senate Bill No. 1 is aimed directly at the police and would give property owners the same authority to use deadly force against officers perceived to have made unlawful entry.
Perception being the key. If you hear someone breaking into your home late at night and you use a weapon to defend the wife and kids, and it turns out that the entry artist was a local druggie, then you're a hero. But if it turns out that the people breaking and entering were police, you're charged with murder, even though your actions were exactly the same. Explain how that's right.
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office opposes that bill.
"I think carving out a specific law and putting it in our statutes saying that an individual can do that against a police officer is a recipe for disaster and danger," Chief Counsel Laurel Judkins said.
Forgive me for noting this, sir, but the police officer is at risk for disaster and danger when he kicks in a door in the middle of the night on a 'no-knock' raid. Whether there is a law or not to cover me, if I were a gun owner and someone kicked in my door without announcing who they were, they just might have trouble. That's not a threat, but it is a reality for some homes and some neighborhoods.
And please don't get me started on the ways police invoke the blue wall of silence on these raids, particularly when something goes tragically wrong, such that you can't afterwards figure out the truth and have proper redress.
President of the Fraternal Order of Police Sgt. Bill Owensby said metro police serve thousands of search and arrest warrants each year, and in many cases officers make forced entries to arrest suspected drug dealers or violent-crime suspects.
And occasionally break into the wrong home. Or arrest and terrorize innocent people. Who then have little, if any, recurse under the law, and who face police and prosecutors who shrug the whole incident off as just part of doing business.
Now one could suggest that instead of a 'right to resist', we should have a 'right to redress', so that when the police get it wrong the homeowner is promptly made whole and the responsible police officers are terminated from employment. Then perhaps we wouldn't need a 'right to resist'.
"And if one of these (suspects) gets wind that they may have a defense saying, 'I didn't know it was a police officer,' and can kill him, we don't have any ramifications there. We have a dead cop we're burying," Owensby said.
So you make sure, up front and with your best loudspeaker, that the people inside the home know that there are cops outside. Perhaps video shot on a camera where the tape can't be conveniently deleted later would help.
The right to resist legislation has also drawn the attention of domestic violence advocates who fear the proposal could endanger victims and have a chilling effect on police.
"I think if there's hesitancy on the behalf of police to go in that home and protect that victim, then that could really impact that victim's safety. It also sends a message to victims not to call the police because their hands are tied," Coburn Place Executive Director Julia Kathary said.
That is a red herring excuse. The hands of the police are never tied when it comes to rescuing a victim from danger. That isn't the issue here.
The right to resist legislation may face amendments. But opponents call the bill in any form unacceptable.
The proposal now moves to the House for more discussion.
Law and order starts with the police obeying the law. There have been over the years just enough examples of police abusing their powers in these midnight raids to generate legislation like this. Good police departments and police chiefs might want to re-think what they're doing and why.
This seems to be the first push-back against the new post 9-11 police powers. The combination of warrant-less searches, no knock invasions, SWAT terrorizing of households, and absolutely no apologies for even grievous mistakes, trauma and destruction has, in the mind of many people, become intolerable.
There were very good reasons for the 4th Amendment and all the other restraints on law enforcement behavior, created even *before* there were police, as such. And nothing, even the War on Terror and other wars, has changed these fundamental rights.
Police did quite well back when they needed a warrant issued by a judge to search or invade the property or communications of a citizen. And they were not unconscionably constricted by needing probable cause.
And if there was no armed violence, not just the theoretical potential for armed violence, taking place, there was no need for SWAT. If this meant they only worked for a few hours each year, then the question arises were they needed in the first place?
Obviously, they don't understand that this is supposed to make the police CHECK TWICE before busting in to someone's house and terrorizing their family. "Whoops, wrong address" ain't gonna cut it. Gosh, maybe we shouldn't have so many drug warrants in the first place. Change the thinking, people.
Who then have little, if any, recurse under the law, and who face police and prosecutors who shrug the whole incident off as just part of doing business.
You left JURIES out of this equation. Police & prosecutors will do everything they can to leave juries out of this equation. Juries can and will sometimes nullify legal procedures that violate a sense of decency.
Perhaps video shot on a camera where the tape can't be conveniently deleted later would help.
Good luck on that one. Deletion of such records by police & legal officials seems to be a routine nowadays.
the responsible police officers are terminated from employment
Contracts with police unions render that difficult or impossible. Disputes about employment are usually turned over to arbitrators, who frequently overturn such terminations. The most reliable way to 'fire' a police officer is to convict him of a felony, not an easy task.
All the more reason to ban police unions outright.
Teenager told court she was forced to have sex with 21 different men
She said the men made her feel 'scared and awful'
11 men on trial accused of a variety of sex offences against children including rape, trafficking and sex assault
SACHA Baron Cohen's latest alter ego, Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen, responded to being banned from the Academy Awards by threatening the West with "unimaginable consequences" unless the sanction was lifted.
Cohen called US chat show Today in character as tyrannical despot Aladeen to express his "outrage" over the decision by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
"I had to delay 30 executions to do this," he said of his press interview, threatening "oil prices might be raised" if the event organisers did not change their minds.
Rice is a fungible commodity, it will sell just fine on the open market. There is not a glut of unused food in this world, rice is easy enough to sell on the open market. Still, it is a pain to lose a steady customer and have to hock your goods on the world wide marketplace.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.