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Kenya launches September Amnesty Month for surrendering of illicit arms.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya’s Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, unveiled the September Amnesty Month for the surrender of illicit arms.

The exercise will be coordinated by the National Police Service and Regional County Commissioners in line with the African Union roadmap.

The roadmap prepared in 2016 aims to help regions and states to achieve the goal of silencing guns in Africa.

Dr. Matiang’i asked the public to use the amnesty period to return the illegal arms.

“Members of the public have an obligation to cooperate with security agencies in the course of this nationwide activity. This is the only way we can end the trend of some of the ravages that such arms have visited some parts of our country,” said Matiang’i.

Three months ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta set ablaze 5144 illegal weapons collected during amnesty month in 2020.

Some were confiscated by security offers, while others were voluntarily surrendered to agencies collecting illegal arms and light weapons.

“By publicly destroying illicit weapons, Kenya once again openly demonstrates that we are determined and ready to face the challenges posed by small arms and light weapons,” said President Kenyatta on June 9, 2021.

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Kenya’s two airports win global awards for excellent customer service.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airport  (MIA) bagged the best airports by size and region awards.

JKIA won the 2020 Best Airport by Size and Region in the 5 – 15 million passengers per year category, while MIA won the 2020 Best Airport by Size and Region in the under 2 million passengers per year category.

This is based on the results of ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Survey. The survey captures passengers’ experience at all airport passenger contact points and attracts the participation of more than 300 airports worldwide.

Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director Alex Gitari received the awards at a ceremony held at the just concluded 3rd Airports Council International (ACI) Customer Experience Global Summit held in Montreal, Canada.

The ACI Customer Experience Global Summit is the leading platform for airports worldwide to share their experiences, best practices, and lessons learned, address challenges and trends, and build on the foundations of a successful airport community.

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Kenyan Government to deworm 4 million children this week.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

The government of Kenya has rolled out a deworming campaign targeting four million children aged 2-14 years in 14 counties.

The three-day event, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Education and Health, runs from today to Thursday, September 16, 2021.

According to the Ministry of Education, Worm infections, if left untreated, interfere with nutrient intake and can lead to anemia, malnourishment, and impaired mental and physical development.

In March 2021, the National School-Based Deworming Program (NSBD) dewormed 2.6 million across seven counties in Western Kenya.

NSBD every year treats at least 6 million children within the 2-14 age bracket in areas at risk of worm infection.

A study conducted by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in 2012 and 2018 showed that the program had been highly effective in reducing worm infections, with the prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) decreasing by 62 percent among children sampled.

The 14 counties are Taita Taveta, Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya, Busia, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira and Narok.

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Cameroon: Separatist Fighters Conflicted over Fifteen Days Lockdown
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris E.N

The Anglophone crisis has been going on since 2016 with no end in the horizon

Separatist fighters in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon who have been fighting for autonomy for the last four years are in disagreement over a supposedly fifteen (15) days lockdown across the Anglophone Regions.

In audios circulating on social media, and heard by this reporter, the fighters are counteracting each other and accusing one another of trying to go against the “lockdowns.”

The supposedly fifteen days lockdown across the North West and South West Regions was purportedly made by the Ground Zero spokesperson and it is to start on September 15 to end on October 2. Just a day after October 1; a day when the fighters claim it is their independence day from “French Cameroun” or “La Republic.”

Two camps have sprung up with one supporting the call for the lockdown while another is completely against it. General Sagad, Colonel Shogi, and GrandPa, all of Fako and one General from Meme (Joker) are all reportedly opposed to the lockdown calls while Field Marshal from Lebialem and others are in support of it.

In audio on September 12, one of Generals Gabonese said there will not be any lockdown inside “Ambazonia” territory for now. “If that will be, we will still come on air and make our people know. But for now, we do not have any lockdown…,” He said, though this reporter could not ascertain his full identity.

He went further to state: “The population should carry out their activities without any fear of anybody. We are out to protect you people and your property and we are out to stand for the people…”

In another audio reportedly to be from Field Marshal, presents a different message. He went further to reiterate that the fifteen days lockdown that has been imposed stays and the dates have been maintained.

“The lockdown starts on September 15 and nothing will change for that. Everyone should stand their ground and nothing will change,” Field Marshal said in the audio heard by this reporter. The veracity of the audios cannot, however, be confirmed independently.

Lockdowns biting Anglophones and not “La Republic”

The outright goal of the separatist fighters is to make sure that things do not function in the English-speaking Regions to make “Yaounde” sit up and take action. But for the past years that lockdowns have been in place, one thing is clear, the local inhabitants in the North West and South West Regions are the ones suffering while things in other parts of the country go on unperturbed.

Move across the North West and South West Regions and the other parts of the country like Littoral and Centre Regions and you will see a completely different picture; it is like night and day especially on the so-called “ghost town” days.

The hustle and buzzing are the other of day in the other Region and inhabitants go about their daily activity trying to put food on their table. Cars, businesses and nightclubs are opened every hour of the day with no signs of any problem.

That is a stark difference from the case witness in the North West and South West Regions where most businesses are almost completely shut down. Shops and businesses are closed with the businesses person fearing reprisals from the fighters. The economy of the Region that was on the upward trajectory has been battered and in other Regions is completely broken.

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WFP says to cut food aid to South Sudan over funding crunch
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

Juba – The World Food Program (WFP) warned that it will suspend food assistance for more than 100,000 displaced people in parts of South Sudan for three months from October due to funding shortages this year.

The UN food agency said while generous contributions from donors have enabled WFP to reach millions in need with lifesaving assistance, many vulnerable people living in crisis areas continue to suffer from the highest levels of food insecurity and cannot survive without sustained food assistance. 

Over 106,000 people displaced in camps in Wau, Juba and Bor South will not receive monthly food rations due to funding crunch for the next three months and until the new year, according to the WFP.

The agency further said it will resume its monthly food assistance for internally displaced people in those camps from January to September 2022.

“Drastic times call for drastic measures. We are forced to take these painful decisions and stretch our limited resources to meet the critical needs of people who were on the brink of starvation and now risk slipping back into catastrophe if their access to food diminishes,” said Matthew Hollingworth, Representative and Country Director of WFP in South Sudan, in the press statement issued in Juba on Monday.

He said the UN food agency requires an additional 154 million U.S. dollars to provide food assistance in sufficient quantities. 

“If funding levels continue to drop, we may have no choice but to make further cuts as the needs of vulnerable communities continue to outpace available resources,” said Hollingworth.

The WFP representative said the three-month suspension is part of a broader reduction in food assistance that the WFP announced in April across all camps that affects 700,000 refugees and internally displaced people who now receive half the caloric contents of a WFP food ration.

Food insecurity in South Sudan has increased in the last few years and now affects more than 60 percent of the country’s population, according to the UN.

This situation was blighted by the current conflict and climate change (floods) in the restive country.

The revitalized peace agreement signed by the warring parties September 2018 has marked the three years without unified forces, not ending the 2013 political conflict which has killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted four million people from their homes, before ruined the economy in the East Africa’s youngest nation.

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Impact of COVID-19 on food security: the plight of Ghanaian female farmers.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jessica Ahedor

File Picture. Women farmers at work in Northern Ghana (Photo: Eileen Bogweh Nchanji).


Women contribute about 70% of Ghana’s agricultural production, marketing and processing, yet they face diverse challenges. With the ongoing pandemic affecting every sphere of life, the woes of women in agriculture are deepening in addition to the existing challenges. 

In Ghana, gender inequalities in agricultural work exist in land possession, access to seedlings, modern inputs, seeds, training and education, financial and extension services, and more. These discrepancies hinder the productivity and earnings of Ghanaian women in agriculture.

Available literature by the Ghana statistical service shows that during the 1st and 2nd waves of the pandemic, 2 out of every 100 persons in Ghana as of June 2020 were either severely or moderately food insecure. These people are aged between 15 years and older, and are forced to reduce the number of meals taken in a day due to scarcity of food and money. The report also indicated that 1 out of every 10 people suffers severe food insecurity in households across the country.

“Some 47.7% of the population in Ghana as of June 2020 was affected by moderate or severe food insecurity. This corresponds to individuals living in households where at least one individual aged 15 or more was very likely forced, at times during the 30-day lockdown period, to reduce the quality of their diet, due to lack of money or other resources. This figure includes 9.5% estimated to be affected by severe food insecurity”.

Although there were regional disparities of food insecurity, the biggest decline in access to food in estimated food insecurity was observed in Northern Region, one of the largest staple foods producers of the country.

Farmer group, Agrisolve Ghana, with a women workforce of about 10,000 in production, processing and marketing of maize and soya beans across the five Northern regions, says the impact of the pandemic is so evidenced in this year’s farming season. As a result, there is decline in production mainly due to difficulties in accessing finance from institutions as they are skeptical about financing agribusiness as a result of the pandemic.

According to an Agrisolve Ghana official, “Access to credit is critical to every sector, and so as it is for agribusinesses. So with COVID affecting everything financial firms are reluctant in funding for our activities. This year, things are really tough for us”

Additionally, the astronomical increment in prices of farm inputs – fertilizer and pesticides, among others, tripled causing hikes in production costs, the official said.
Elorm Goh, Executive Director of Agrisolve, said not only did the pandemic affect production but transportation and hauling of the produce to various markets was badly affected thereby pushing demand for food items.

 “We rely mostly on trucks from Burkina-Faso to transport the goods from the North to the South, but the restriction, and closure of the borders is affecting the movement of trucks from the North to the South. The bad nature of the roads in the North is affecting transportation of the wares to the various markets in the South,” Goh said.

“We at Agrisolve produce about 10,000 metric tons of maize annually but if we produce this much and we don’t have the means of storage, couple with the challenge of bad roads when transporting it to the markets it has a direct bearing on food prices,” she stated.
Ghana imports 98 per cent of her farm inputs, hence during the pandemic when COVID restrictions were in full force (and as is still the case in some countries), demand for inputs went higher reflecting on prices in the markets.

Kojo Queyson is a middle man who owns and retails fertilizer and agro-chemicals at Assin Fosu a suburb of Central Region. He said the 25 kilos fertilizer cost 53 cedis last year with government subsidy but that this year, there is no subsidy from government due to non-payment and liquidity issues. As a result, open-market sales stand at 192 cedis while retail price stand at 110 cedis.

Clearly, there is an increment of 100 percent in fertilizer price in less than 12 month and this is having dire consequence on food prices in general, he maintained. 
Adjoa Arhin, a farmer at Abura – Aseibu, says aside the climate change issues, the pandemic affected the timely provision of farm inputs and the seeds to farmers. “Because government’s interventions of farm inputs delays, we could not plant within the stipulated time to get the right results. Food prices had gone up this year and there is no money to buy them as well,” Arhin explained. 

Ernest Teye of the department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Cape Coast, says the pandemic has and is continually hitting hard on many smallholder farmers who are mostly women because storage as part a food chain channel has been affected resulting in panic buying.

“Storage facility as a part of the food chain has been challenged and for many decades nothing is being done about it. The result is the post -harvest loses we see annually. There is no means to haul proceeds and we are not doing processing as we ought to. So, during the restriction there was panic buying for the little available food items shoring up prices,” Teye laments.

In our part of the world, we have little regards for research, talk less of implementing its findings. Even though we saw an opportunity as well as a limitation, many Ghanaians could not take advantage of it,” he bemoaned.

This suggests that locally made dried foods like cassava floor, flakes and other food items can be preserved with the available sunlight for emergency situation so as not to hit the food insecurity threshold.n


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Being D deficient in abundance of sunlight – the fate of Africans
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jessica Ahedor

Africa is known to be one of the continents that bask in a chunk of the world’s sunshine annually. This, experts say, is because most African countries are located on the equator where sunlight abounds. However, factors like lifestyle, culture, diet, skin pigmentation, variation in the ozone layer and geographical area, influence the full utilization of vitamin D among its populations on the continent.

Also known as “sunshine” vitamin, Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is essential for the normal functioning of the body including the intestine, skin, bone, parathyroid glands, immune system, pancreas, and even the healthy growth of a developing fetus. It is produced through skin exposure to sunlight and also from diets which are enriched with Vitamin D, like sea fatty fish or egg yolk.

But according to experts, Vitamin D status is gained mostly by exposure of the skin to sunlight for 10 -15 minutes, twice a week than from dietary intake of vitamin D sources. This is because food sources are limited, particularly when the food supply is not fortified with vitamin D.

However, vitamin D toxicity can as well compromise human health especially when the body cannot regulate the excess amount of vitamin D. As such, it is estimated that up to one billion healthy individuals are living with hypovitaminosis D globally.

Available literature by Reagan M. Mogire et al, of Kenyan Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Centre for Geographic Medicine, shows that many children in sub-Saharan Africa have a high burden of rickets and infectious diseases as a result of vitamin D deficiency. This means, one out of every 7 children living in Africa is vitamin D deficient.

Micah Mathiang’i, a senior lecturer at the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Amref International University, Nairobi, Kenya, hinted that the phenomenon is becoming common among the populace in Africa cities. While there are adequate serum Vitamin D levels for improving healthy bones and preventing conditions like rickets among children and reducing the risk of type1diabetes, cardiovascular diseases among adults, children of working-class parents are at a higher risk, he stated. 

In Ghana for instance, the situation is no different. It is the reality of many working mothers waking up early in their quest to go about daily activities to escape systemic hindrances like vehicular traffic among other challenges to keep up the needs of life. As a result, many of them miss on the sunshine vitamin.

Speaking to some Ghanaians to ascertain their level of knowledge about the “sunshine” vitamin reveals many have the general view about an existence of a nutrient that comes from the sun, but they are not aware of the timing and the exact type of vitamin.

Mrs. Nketiah-Brown, in Kasoa – a suburb of Central Region – says she knows there is a vitamin that comes from the sun early morning but she is not sure of the type. “I was told by my grandma the early morning sun is good for the body but I don’t really know what vitamin it gives. But for the time I am told the early morning sun,” she explains.

Although the condition is without isolated symptoms, it is a pre-deposing factor of many communicable and non-communicable diseases, making it difficult to figure out the role it plays in any condition that threatens human lives.
A publication in the Journal of Nutrition and metabolism by Samuel Asamoah Sakyi, et al, confirms a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency of 43.6% among healthy Ghanaian populace despite having access to 4 – 5 hours of sunlight per day.

The lead author of the paper, Samuel Asamoah Sakyi, explains that the sun gives 80 percent of the vitamin D needed by every healthy human in addition to the 20 percent derived from diet. Unfortunately, the result of our study inferred that the depletion of the ozone layer might be one of the determinants affecting the quality of the current vitamin D available and its utilization in persons in Ghana.

“Additionally, the timing of the sunshine vitamin is 9 to 10 am daily but many people miss out on it. So, clearly, we are not getting enough from the source that gives us maximum vitamin D, hence the need for us to add the supplements to stay healthy’’.   




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There Is No Justification For Akufo-Addo’s Refusal To Use Ghana Presidential Jet – Ablakwa.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

A leading member of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has fumed again about the cost of the President’s travels.

The Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency bemoaned the ‘wastage’ associated with the President’s external flights and is therefore calling for a national policy on presidential travels to deal with ‘the rape of the public purse’ by President Akufo-Addo. His recent backlash comes on the back of President Akufo-Addo’s recent trip to Germany to negotiate a deal with Pfizer to help in the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In expressing his concerns about the cost involved in the travel, the enraged legislator stated that Akufo-Addo has acquired an insatiable desire for flying in luxurious aircraft, leaving Ghana’s presidential jet, the Dassault Falcon 900-EXE to lie in waste, despite its pristine condition.

The Falcon, according to Okudzeto Ablakwa was used by ex-Presidents Atta-Mills and John Dramani Mahama, and hence he sees no reason why Akufo-Addo will abandon the Falcon, irrespective of its functional state. In his view, this ostentatious preference by the President comes at the expense of the ordinary Ghanaian, and must therefore be curbed immediately.

In expressing his frustrations, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa further argued that Ghana’s official presidential aircraft can embark on similar destinations to Europe and hence he’s unable to fathom why the President willfully abandons the country’s presidential jet for expensive charters that only hurt the public purse.

According to him, following the public outcry that greeted the President’s expensive charter some weeks ago, he would have expected the President to heed to the calls of Ghanaians and flown in the presidential jet, which is comparatively cheaper; but instead, the President threw caution to the wind and went for another top of the range VIP luxury charter, known as the Boeing 737-900ER BBJ3.

He further went on to state that, if the government is dealing directly with the operators of the LX-DIO, then it is costing the Ghanaian taxpayer at least US$14,000 per hour. However, if the government is leasing the aircraft via brokers or middlemen the Ghanaian taxpayer is being billed between US$18,000 and US$22,000 per hour.

Okudzeto Ablakwa also estimated that if the conservative rate of US$14,000 per hour is applied, the two trips to the UK and Germany which require some 28 hours of travel distance in and out plus an additional 13 hours of pick up and drop off time, will cost the taxpayer a whopping US$574,000.00; equivalent to 3.46 million Ghana Cedis.

This according to him is outrageous, the reason for which a national policy on presidential travels should be adopted to curb such ‘needless’ expenditures.

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Credible , fair and free elections in Zimbabwe blocked by Security forces since 1980.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Members of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC) protest against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which they accuse of plotting to rig for ruling ZANU-PF party, in Harare, July 11, 2018.Photo credit VOA

On a fair playing ground it has been openly learnt that Security forces inhibit and block free , fair elections in the country . This has been the game since 1980 .This is horrendous to take note of amid reports that these quasi -Judicial people have since Robert Mugabe time intimidated forcefully on voters between 1983 and 1987 , in the year 2000 ,  heavily more in 2008 battling ZAPU PF and  MDC and a small opposition parties born out of ZANU PF .The likes of the inside partises to say were Zimbabwe Union of Democrats , ZUD and Zimbabwe Unity Movement , ZUD respectively by a daughter of the party Margeret Dongo former Member of Parliament and Edgar Tekere former  1980 to 1989 Minister of Economic Development and Man-Power Planning .

Dewa Mavhinga a close source entailed to the Pan-African-Visions this week came up witha report from which a story circulating around was published . It was extracted from a Crisi in Zimbabwe Coalition report . President Mnangagwa is advised to stop security forces from intervening in elections run after every five years in the country .

”The Zimbabwe authorities need to reform security forces completely. There is urgent need to end their involvement in partisan politics. It must be ensured that they are completely professional, act constitutionally in Rights respecting manner”

” For any civil societies and social movements or citizens to campaign , freely in a democratic manner , in order to hold free , credible elections , the elephant in the room of Zimbabwean politics must be removed .”

The intervention of state security in politics started in in 1983 and ended briefly in 1987 . Robert Mugabe the former President deployed section of the army brutally trained to squash the heat of the ZIPRA forces trained under Joshua Nkomo who had sadly lost the 1980 Elections when Mugabe got 57 percent versus Joshua Nkomo 20 percent votes.

Section of the army called fifth brigade was trained by North Korean instructors named  then ” gukurahundi , meaning , sweep the chaff and rubbish off ” . This caused disturbances, abuse of human rights in the Midlands and Matebeleland provinces of which the two were ZAPU PF strong-holds . There was brutal , massive violence which led to the death of 20,000 civillans a case in discussion causing winds in the country under the Gukurahundi massacre. The brigades destroyed ZAPU PF bases in the two provinces until Joshua Nkomo finally joined ZANU PF . In 1987 , Government of National unity was formed on 22 December . He was later swirn as Vice President of Zimbabwe , 1987 to 1998 , when he died .

The Zimbabwean government later called for an amnesty to relieve all those who had been involved in human rights violations . This relieved the Central Intelligence Organisation personnel and soldiers who had committed heinous crimes . More violence was witnessed in 2000 following launch of MDC in 1999 . Joshua Nkomo had recently died in 1998 not a happy man at all , it was learnt that he was duped  by the unity accord which was supoosed to go in favour of him to take power as well after a period of ten years .

The military still has been a resisting force that has deadenned voices of the people , voters of their concerns and grievances at large . Robert Mugabe created a wave of trailling of massive disturbances that led to the death , maim and injuries of civillians . Batch of soldiers were deployed to DRC late 90’s , excombattants payed billions in  net total this leading to problems the country faced , languishing the nation in hunger , poverty and vulnerability . This contributed to the crisis we have .

Scandals were exhumed , soiled up and information destroyed by Mugabe government which was involved in grant massive corruption in  in DRC , Mozambique wars where it sent soldiers to help in military hand . United Nations report notes ,

” The key strategist in DRC activities is President  Mnangagwa who was the Minister of State Security . He won strong support from the military and the central intelligence  for an aggrieve policy in the Democratic Republic of Congo , DRC ”.

Further on unleashing of political violence rocked in 2008 , leading to massive maiming , hands cut short sleeved and long sleeved to those who suppoerted MDC opposition . There were 36,000 displacements , total of 5,000 people severely tortured and 200 killed in 2008 . This is just first hand information . There is more to it than meets the eye .

SADC election observer mission revealed serious injuries occured , fatal incidences , death and brutal torture characterised the election .

” The period leading to run-off  election was characterised by politically motivated violence .This resulted in loss of lives in rural areas of ZANU PF strong-holds where there were a number of settled supporters belonging to the party ”,

it concludes

” Zimbabwe is party to the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections established to promote  free and fair , transparent , credible and peaceful democratic elections “.

Crisis Coalition report urges Mnangagwa now to move on in a new different direction in coming up with credible , fair elections . The new regime ushered in a new democratic government meant to respect the rule of law , rights of the people and social justice must come with reforms to bring to the people a fearless campaign come 2023 so that people can vote freely , democratically , in a credible , accountable and transparent way .

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Niger: Armed groups are increasingly targeting children in troubled Sahel border area – report.
September 14, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jean-Pierre Afadhali

Children are increasingly being killed and recruited by armed groups in the troubled Sahel’s region at Niger’s borders with Mali and Burkina Faso, said Amnesty International in a new report.

The report titled: “‘I Have Nothing Left Except Myself’: The Worsening Impact on Children of Conflict in the Tillabéri Region of Niger” released on Monday 13 Sept. documents the impact of the conflicts in Sahel region amid rising armed violence that involves armed Islamic Groups Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) and the al-Qaida-affiliated Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).

According to the human rights organisation both armed groups operating in the West African region have committed war crimes and abuses including the murder of civilians and targeting schools. “Many children are experiencing trauma after witnessing deadly attacks on their villages. In some areas, women and girls have been barred from activities outside the home, and risk abduction or forced marriage to fighters,” the report noted.

Matt Wells, Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Deputy Director, Thematic Issues said in Niger’s Tillaberi region, an entire generation is growing surrounded by death and destruction. “Armed groups have repeatedly attacked schools and food reserves, and are targeting children for recruitment,”

The report is released barely two days after armed men on motorcycles shot and killed 11 civilians in an attack on the village of Gnarba Kouara, in Tillaberi. Six of the victims were from the same family, according to Finger Lakes Times, a news website.

Amnesty International Report says that armed groups have killed more than 60 children in Niger’s Tri-border Area in 2021. The rights body says ISGS, which operates primarily on the border with Mali, could be responsible for most of the large-scale killing.

Children who had narrowly survived attacks on their villages, interviewed by Amnesty International described how masked fighters on motorbikes opened fire targeting mainly men and older boys. “We all are used to hearing gunshots and to seeing [dead] people layered on top of [dead] people.” One boy was quoted as saying in the report released today.

Some children have experienced nightmares as result of rising violence in the troubled tri-border area. “Sometimes I have nightmares being chased by people on motorbike or seeing Wahab pleading with [the attackers] again.” Says a boy who witnessed the murder of his 12-year-old friend who was quoted by Amnesty International researchers.

Meanwhile armed groups continue to recruit children near the border with Burukina Faso. Witnesses said JNIM has targeted younger men and boys aged between 15 and 17, and possibly younger, noted the report.

The Human rights organization is calling on Nigerien government and its international partners to urgently take action and monitor and prevent further abuses and protect the basic rights and protect all affected by the deadly conflict with focus on children.

Amnesty International says an estimated 13.2 million people in the three countries will need humanitarian assistance this year, and around 1.9 million people have been internally displaced.

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Kenya Pavilion handed over at Expo 2020 Dubai.
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenyan Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina, on Monday, September 13, 2021, received Kenya Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Under the theme “Feeling Energy”, the Kenya pavilion reflects the vitality, love, the desire for innovation, and the patriotic energy of the Kenyan people in building the Kenyan brand.

Kenya is one of 192 countries participating in the 2020 Dubai World Expo, which is scheduled to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2021.

Kenya will use the expo to showcase trade and investment opportunities in line with the four major development agendas: manufacturing, food security, universal health care, and universal affordable housing.

This East African country will also showcase its tourism opportunities, economic diversification, and potential as a major exporter of goods, services, talent, innovation, and a rich culture to the world.

“This for us is a great opportunity to show the world we are here, and we are forced to reckon with. It is a clear testimony that Kenya is ready to join the league of Nations to collaborate, exhibit, showcase and sell to the world products that are truly and authentically Kenyan,” said Betty Maina, thanking the UAE Government for supporting Kenya’s participation by providing a sponsorship package that catered for the design and construction of the Kenya pavilion.

During the expo, Kenya will also diversify and integrate exports to the UAE and the Middle East.

The main products include horticulture (fruits and vegetables), coffee, tea, meat and meat products, logistics, flowers, edible nuts, tourism and sports services, etc.

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Vice President Of Ghana, Dr Bawumia Loses Mother.
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Hajia Mariama Bawumia, the mom of Ghana’s Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has died in the capital, Accra on Monday 13 September 2021.

She had been hospitalized in a medical facility in Accra over the past few weeks.

A native of Kpasenkpe in the West Mamprusi District, Hajia Mariama was one of the first northern female students to gain admission to the prestigious Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast in the Central Region.

During her 80th birthday in 2019, Dr. Bawumia in a Facebook post described her as “the pillar of my life.”

“I always thank the Almighty God for giving me such a caring and supportive mother. She has always been there for us. The pillar,” he said in the post.

Hajia Mariama Bawumia was born on September 15, 1939, and died at the age of 81.

She died two days away from her 82nd birthday.

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Mozambique:President Guebuza’s advisers denie receiving bribes from Privinvest
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Former president Armando Gubuza’s chief political adviser says that the $1.7 million he received from the Lebanese shipbuilding group Privinvest was a gesture of “solidarity” from his friend Jean Boustani, the Privinvest salesman accused of paying bribes to Mozambican officials, in response to difficulties the defendant said he was facing at the time.

Renato Matusse is accused by Mozambique’s public prosecutor of having received $2m from Privinvest for his role as a facilitator for Privinvest’s interests in Mozambique, and as an intermediary in the maritime protection project that culminated in the illegal borrowing of $2.2 billion.

Matusse, however, denies the charge. He explained to the court that he received only $1,660,000 from Privinvest in 2013, following a conversation he had with Boustani in 2012 in which he shared the “concerns and difficulties” he was facing.

“He sent this money voluntarily and in solidarity in the context of our friendship,” said Matusse, saying the payment was “totally separate from the maritime project.” The prosecution’s indictment is problematic, Matusse said, because he claims he had no power to influence the former head of state.

The friendship with Boustani, according to Matusse, emerged when the two met in 2012 in President Guebuza’s office. He said he did not know who took Boustani there, and chose not to answer questions regarding the meeting’s agenda. Asked about the current state of their friendship, he said that it “naturally cooled down”, admitting that that happened right after the receipt of the values ​​from Privinvest.

The money received by Matusse was not sent directly to his bank accounts. He identified the goods he intended to purchase and forwarded the vendors’ account details to Boustani, who in turn transferred the respective purchase amounts directly to their accounts.

Asked why this method was used, Matusse replied that it was a “matter of convenience” to avoid receiving it in his account and then sending it to the sellers of the apartments, properties and vehicles he bought. The court also asked whether the assets in question, which he did not register in his name, are the “concerns and difficulties” that he had mentioned. Matusse declined to answer, saying it was a “very intimate matter.”

The prosecution claimed, however, that the financial transactions were intended to hide Matusse’s connection with the money, and to hide its origin.

Asked why the money came from Privinvest if it was a gift from Boustani, Matusse said he could not answer because he had just given Boustani the account numbers of the people and institutions that needed to be paid on his behalf.

When confronted with emails and documents regarding Proindicus sent to his email address by Privinvest, as well as others about financing sent by Andrew Pearse, the Credit Suisse banker structuring the financing, Matusse said he used to ignore them because they didn’t concern him.

He said he felt unable to tell Boustani that he was not interested in receiving the project emails, as he wanted to cultivate a relationship with Boustani as he could be an “important guide” for Mozambique to “penetrate the Arab world.”

President Guebuza’s private secretary admits receiving €750,000

President Armando Guebuza’s private secretary Ines Moiane admitted receiving €750,000 from Privinvest, but denied the money was linked to meetings she arranged between President Guebuza and Privinvest executives, in the context of the maritime protection project that culminated in the illegal contracting of loans worth $2.2bn.

Moiane admitted to the court on Thursday that she arranged, inside and outside Mozambique, roughly six meetings between President Guebuza and senior Privinvest officials, including the group’s head Iskandar Safa, but denied that she received any reward or bribes for the work.

She said that the €750,000 she received through the company created by her long time friend Sergio Namburete referred to the sale of land owned by her to Privinvest, which at the time intended to build an apartment building in Maputo city.

“It was a private deal after a conversation between me and Jean Boustani, in one of the visits he made to President Guebuza’s office” said Moiane. “I had proposed that they build a 20-storey apartment building on my land, and in exchange give me five apartments in the building, but they refused and said they preferred to pay me in cash,” she added.

Asked by the court why the contract for sending the money to Mozambique did not mention her name or the transfer of the land, Moiane said she did not know. The contract in question, for a ‘civil construction project’, was signed in November 2014 between Namburete and Logistics International Abu Dhabi of the Privinvest group, and led Privinvest to send €877,000 to Namburete, of which €750,000 was passed on to Moiane.

The prosecution, meanwhile, showed a series of emails and documents about the marine protection project sent by Boustani to Inês Moiane’s email address, with copy or knowledge of Ndambi Guebuza, who is also a defendant in the trial accused of having received $33m for his role in convincing his father to approve the project. Moiane said she could not answer why Ndambi was included in state affairs, and that only Boustani could answer that.

Prosecutor Sheila Marrengula wanted to know if Ines Moiane sent emails or her affairs to President Guebuza and she replied that she did not remember. The same question was later asked by the Mozambique Bar Association, and Moiane this time answered that she never discussed the project with President Guebuza.

Confronted with some of her statements in the preparatory instruction phase indicating her involvement in the project discussions, she asked the judge not to consider those hearings further allegedly because at the time she responded “under pressure.”

Moiane avoided talking about her connections with Privinvest and her role in the maritime protection project that ended up involving the “hidden debts” companies Proindicus, MAM and Ematum — only answering questions related to her receipt of the money, and what was done with it.

Elias Moiane, Ines Moiane’s nephew, is also a defendant and was briefly questioned on Thursday. He managed the money received from Privinvest on his aunt’s behalf, using it to buy apartments in Maputo. Ines Moiane said at the hearing that she directed her nephew to do that because she was “very busy.” Elias Moiane also confirmed the statements in his brief interrogation.

The apartments were then rented and the amounts were paid to Elias Moiane who, in turn, transferred the money or withdrew it in cash and delivered it to his aunt, Inês Moiane.

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Kenya:You must have high integrity, lawyers told
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Chief Justice Martha Koome

Kenya’s Chief Justice Martha Koome has called on advocates to act in a manner that upholds professional, personal, and social ethics.

The Chief Justice spoke on Monday during the admission of 96 lawyers to the Roll of Advocates of the High Court. The ceremony was held at the Supreme Court Gardens in Nairobi.

She urged the new lawyers to adhere to high ethical standards, especially when dealing with financial issues with clients.

“Money is important, but you will come to realize that when you come to my age that it doesn’t mean much as long as you have met your daily requirement. The excesses will not mean much as they will not give you the peace and the tranquility that you need,” said Chief Justice Martha Koome.

CJ Koome cautioned the 96 that they risk being struck off the list should be exhibit greedy in their line of duty.

“Such unethical conduct goes against the conduct the ethic of what we call in Kenya “utu”(humanity) that underlies our constitutional order. I hope yours will be the generation of lawyers that put a stop to such practice,” she added. 

She urged them to go the extra mile to ensure the marginalized in the society, such as the victims of Gender-Based Violence, have access to justice.

“I can assure you in the community you live [in] there is always something for us to do for either a child, teen or the youth in order to pull up one another. In the society you will find people who are in dire need for legal advice, go the extra mile to ensure the vulnerable access justice,” she said.

She further asked the newly admitted lawyers to offer solutions to the problem of case backlog and delayed delivery of Justice.

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Tanzania : President Samia reshuffles Cabinet, takes in ex-SADC SG
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Prosper Makene

President Samia Suluhu Hassan

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan has made a mini cabinet reshuffle by introducing four faces. 

President Samia made the reshuffle on Sunday after bringing in former SADC Secretary General Stergomena L. Tax who is  appointed  minister for Defence and National Service replacing Elias Kwandikwa who died. 

Samia has also brought in her cabinet January Makamba as new Minister for Energy replacing Dr Medard Kalemani whose post was terminated. 

Others on the list are Ashatu Kijaji who appointed as Information, Communications and Technology’s Minister in replacement of Dr Faustin Ndugulile whose post was terminated. 

In an effort to bring efficiency in her government, the President has also appointed Professor Makame Mbalawa as Works and Transport Minister replacing Dr Leonard Chamuriho. 

In another development, the President has appointed Eliezer Feleshi as Attorney general replacing Adelerdus Kilangi who has been appointed as an Ambassador. 

The new appointees will be sworn in by President Samia on 13th September, Chamwino State House Dodoma

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Burundi: Surge in COVID 19 Cases As Schools Set To Reopen .
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Egide Harerimana

Thaddée Ndikumana deplores the surge in COVID -19 positive cases .

In a press release of issued on 9 September, the Burundian health ministry announced that covid-19 positive cases have increased in the last two weeks. The pandemic hits as the 2021-2022 school year is expected to start on 13th September.

“The covid-19 epidemiological situation is marked with an increase in number of positive cases, more especially in the city of Bujumbura and other urban areas of the country,” said Thaddée Ndikumana, Burundian Minister of Public Health.

He added that the data of the last two weeks show that the positivity rate has jumped from 3% to 5%.

For him, the main reason is the ignorance of preventive measures as well as other high-risk behaviors and practices that promote the virus spread.

The minister of public health also said that some people disobey self-quarantine instructions after testing positive for covid-19. “There are also people who once tested positive for covid-19 do not show up for treatment and continue to circulate as if nothing happened,” he added.

Thaddée Ndikumana called on the population to respect all measures to curb covid-19. One of those measures is to regularly wash hands with clean water and soap or chlorinated water. He also reminded people to keep physical distancing in public places and wear a mask that covers nose, mouth and chin.

The cabinet meeting that took place on the 8th of September also expressed a concern over the increase of covid-19 positive cases. “In urban areas, there are more people who violate barrier measures against covid-19. Consequently, there has been an increase in positive cases during the dry season,” reads the press release issued after the meeting.

The cabinet also decided that ceremonies and feasts be held only at weekends to limit the spread of covid-19.

It called on all ministers to mobilize the staff in their ministries over mandatory respect of barrier measures to halt spread of the virus.

Screening centers shouldn’t be zones of contamination

Schools shall open on this 13th of September despite the growing number of covid-19 positive cases in the country.

Screening for pupils who attend boarding schools has started on 10th September and will end on 14th September 2021 in the whole country.

In Bujumbura city, there has been a high number of people who undergo a covid-19 test at the three screening centers since the last weeks. Adding a number of pupils has complicated the job. Some people fear that screening centers may also serve as high-risk zones of contamination.

On the first day of testing boarding schools’ pupils, measures to stamp out covid-19 were violated at different screening centers in Bujumbura, the economic capital of Burundi. 

11 a.m. on the 10th of September at the screening center based at Ruziba hospital in the urban commune of Muha. In front of tents where the screening is conducted, girls and boys were in small groups. They talked, laughed and sometimes shook hands. Many did not wear masks. And others wore them inappropriately. They couldn’t cover the mouth and nose. Physical distancing did not exist. A big crowd could be seen in front of the tents where they waited for results. 

“There is much disorder. I brought my children to test for covid-19 but I am afraid they may contract the virus on the spot”, said a woman met at the same screening center. She also deplored insufficiency of washing kits as there was a high number of people who frequented the place.

According to her, respect for barrier measures should be everyone’s concern. “Otherwise, the screening centers are likely to be zones of contamination,” she regrets.  

The situation was the same at another screening center operating in Bwiza locality of urban commune of Mukaza. Because of a high number of people, measures to prevent covid-19 were breached. Many pupils had no masks. There were long queues without physical distancing. Contamination risks were, in fact, enormous.

Barrier measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not respected at screening centers in Bujumbura city

“The ministry of health should find another center for the exclusive screening of the pupils. This center already welcomed a large number of people every day. Adding students is risky,” said one person met at the center.  

He called on the ministry in charge of public health to ensure that screening centers are not source of covid-19 spread.

At the screening center operating near Kamenge hospital in the north of the city, students were many to have coronavirus screening. Like at other centers, physical distancing was not respected.

“The field is large enough to host those who come for covid-19 test. However, respect for barrier gestures remains a concern,” said a member of staff. He regretted that some people downplayed covid-19 pandemic. 

The minister of health called on students and pupils to keep doing regular covid-19 tests at hospitals and health centers nearby their schools.

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GHANA:OVER 1,000 YOUTH MASS UP AT YEA JOB FAIR TO SEEK JOB OPPORTUNITIES.
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Scores of youth have massed up at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) Job Fair in search of jobs from several employers.

The youth, numbering over 1,000, were seen standing in long queues at the Accra International Conference Centre, with many of them struggling to enter the building to secure jobs with companies.

The primary objective of the YEA Job Fair is to provide opportunities for job seekers to go through live interview sessions to get employed by the participating companies from the private sector.

 One of them said, “I was here as early as 8:00am, and it’s almost 1:00pm. The experience has been very tough because there is no organization at the place, and we are all just here rushing in and coming out.”

According to some of the youth they got to the venue around 9:30 am to 1:00pm and still have no access into the building.  They were been asked to do registration, but nothing seems working at the center.

 Thousands of Ghanaian youth thronged the El Wak Sports Stadium in Accra to participate in a documentation and medical screening process for recruitment into the Ghana Armed Forces.

However, this has been the trend for some years now, depicting the growing levels of youth unemployment in the country. From as early as 4:00am, applicants started a queue that stretched for over four kilometer’s.

This was after the announcement from the Ghana Armed Forces informing the public of the commencement of a recruitment exercise back in May.

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PRESIDENT AKUFO ADDO COMMISSIONS YAM, CASSAVA PROCESSING FACTORY.
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has on Thursday, September 9, commissioned a food processing factory at Adonkwanta in the Krachi East Municipality of the Oti region.

The factory, CH Foods under the brand name CH Global Limited is a Ghanaian-owned company and has become the first-ever factory to be built in the Oti region under the government’s flagship One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) Programme. The company currently has 52 direct and over 200 trained factory hands as workforce and would be engaged in yam and cassava processing.

According to the Technical and Operations Director of the company, Fred Darko the company would be exploiting the large yam and cassava production potentials of the Oti region for raw materials, with over 800 tubers expected to be processed daily, once the factory fully starts operations.

He said the decision to cite the company in Oti is to ensure that, “Currently, the company has trained over 200 out-growers in the local community and every single day, we have the local farmers bringing us their harvested yam for us to purchase, which is very good for them, which is enhancing their standards of living with a ready market for their produce.”

The Foods factory project which began in 2018 has been funded by the Exim bank at a cost of GHS10 million. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is currently on a two-day tour of the Volta and Oti regions would be visiting and inspecting other government projects in the two regions.

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Cameroon: MINAT Boss Dangles Prosecution of Police Assaulters
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Paul Atanga Nji, Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration

“…If an individual is caught assaulting a Police Officer, they shall face the heavy arm of the Law. There is no point trying to escape after such an act because a hungry snake shall come for you in your hideout.”

The Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji made the above statement in a communiqué published this Friday, September 10 after frequent assault on a police officer and other security forces by ordinary citizens has been observed for the last weeks.

Images and videos from Douala, Yaoundé have seen local inhabitants assaulting these security officers while in one video, a lieutenant Colonel is said to have been assaulted in a bus. In another video, a private car driver drove over a police officer while another was fighting with a police officer in Douala.

This irresponsible behaviour towards the Police is unacceptable. It should be underscored that the Police is at the service of the population, and more specifically at the service of everyone.

According to the Minister of Territorial Administration, Cameroonian Police is a well-structured and well-organized corps, present at all levels of the Republic: Regions, Divisions and Subdivisions and they work relentlessly to ensure the security of persons and their property.

“In the event of any disagreement between a police officer and an individual, a complaint should be addressed to the Police hierarchy. When the accusations against a police officer are founded, only the Police hierarchy is empowered to apply sanctions against the defaulting officer, per the internal regulations of the corps and in line with the Laws in force,” Minister Atanga Nji said.

“…no citizen or person, regardless of their social status, for whatsoever reason, has the right to assault a police officer on duty. That could be considered jungle justice which we all know has no place in Cameroon. Insulting or assaulting a police officer on duty or refusing to obey instructions is unacceptable.”

“It should be made abundantly clear that from the foregone if an individual is caught assaulting a Police Officer, they shall face the heavy arm of the Law. There is no point trying to escape after such an act because a hungry snake shall come for you in your hideout,” Minister Atanga Nji added.

Such disrespectful and derogatory behaviours towards security officers shall be sanctioned accordingly as stated by Minister Atanga Njie, as provided for by the law.

He said: “In this regard, I would like to restate here the provisions of Section 156 of Law No. 2016/007 of 12 July 2016 relating to the Penal Code, amended and supplemented by Law No. 2019/020 of 24 December 2019, for everyone to get abreast with.”

Section 156: Assault on Public Servant (1) Whoever uses force on a public servant or otherwise interferes with him, shall be punished with imprisonment for from 1 (one) month to 3 (three) years and with a fine of from CFAF 5 000 (five thousand) to CFAF 100 000 (one hundred thousand).

(2) Where the force or interference is premeditated, or where it results, intentionally or otherwise, in harm within the meaning of Sections 277 or 280 of this Code, the punishment shall be imprisonment for from five (05) to ten (10) years and fine of from CFAF20 000 (twenty thousand) to CFAF 500 000 (five hundred thousand).

(4) Where the force or interference results unintentionally in death, the punishment shall be imprisonment for life: (5) where the force or interference is intended to cause death, the punishment shall be death.

The Minister further added that Regional Governors have now been given strict instructions on how to handle irresponsible persons who attack Police officers on duty. Whether this goes a long way to deter local inhabitants from assaulting a police officer or other security forces, is left to be debated upon.

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CAN ZAMBIA FIGHT COVID 19 WITH HERD IMMUNITY?
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

-Currently slightly over 580, 000 are fully vaccinated and 8.4 million citizens need to be vaccinated for herd immunity to be achieved.

By KELVIN MBEWE

Did you know that life has gone back to normal in countries that have vaccinated their citizens against covid-19 by more than half of their population?

The United States of America, most European countries, and Isreal are among these countries.

Over 50 percent of the named countries population have been vaccinated and are going about business as usual.

This is called ‘herd Immunity’ or ‘population immunity’. 

In other words its the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.

 The World Health Organization (WHO) supports achieving ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination, not by allowing a disease to spread through any segment of the population, as this would result in unnecessary cases and deaths.

Citizens in countries that have attained herd immunity are going about life normally with no restrictions.

And the WHO in their news release on September, 2021 says eight in 10 African countries are likely to miss the crucial covid 19 vaccination which states countries globally must achieve herd Immunity by the end of September, 2021.

Who Regional Director Muthindiso Moeti said forty-two of the 54 nations which is nearly 80percent are set to miss the target if the current pace of vaccine deliveries.

“Nine African countries including South Africa, Morroco and Tunisia have already reached the global target set in May by the World Health Assembly. At the current pace three more could meet the target if they speed up vaccinations,” she said.

Who further reports that over 145 million doses of covid 19 vaccines have been received in Africa and 39 million doses have been administered. This translates to 3 percent of Africa’s population.

Zambia on the other hand needs to vaccinate about 9 million citizens before the country can reach herd Immunity status.

Currently only about 600,000 of its citizens are fully vaccinated. This means that the country needs to vaccinate 8.4 million citizens to reach herd immunity.

Despite this deficit in achieving herd immunity, the country’s vaccination program remains voluntary.

Will Zambia manage to meet the herd immunity target?

To date about four thousand(3,596) citizens have died in Zambia of covid-19 related cases according to the Ministry of health permanent Secretary for technical services Kennedy Malama in a statement on August 31, 2021.

Community based TB/HIV/AIDS Organization(CBTO) says Zambia is still very far from reaching herd immunity as most citizens are still skeptical about getting vaccinated.

CBTO advocacy manager Mumba Ngoma said this when he addressed journalists and other health stakeholders at a meeting hosted by the Media Science Cafe(MESICA) a group of science journalists and other stakeholders.

Mr Ngoma said people in Europe and USA are now able to attend social gatherings without wearing masks because over half of their population have been vaccinated.

“The majority of people that have died in the states and the United kingdom are those that where not vaccinated, about 9million Zambians have to be vaccinated if we want to go to stadiums without restrictions and without masks,” he said.

He wondered why Zambians are saying vaccines are meant to kill Africans by the western world when most medicines and essentials come from there.

“When antiretroviral drugs where introduced most people said they where meant to kill Africans but it turned out that most of those that took them are still alive and those that didnt take them are dead. Anything in this world has an effect, especially medicines and most of the medicines that we take comes from the western world, we would have been killed a long time ago,”he said.

And the Ministry of health is aware that it is still far from reaching the required number of vaccinations.

Dr Malama says despite the deficit in vaccinations the country’s vaccination program will remain voluntary.

“We have noted a growing shift in policy in some countries which have introduced mandatory vaccination and requesting for proof of vaccination for access to public spaces. We will however continue amplifying the overwhelming evidence that vaccination protects one from developing severe covid-19,” he said.

He however said the Ministry is taking the vaccinations closer to the people to reach out to many.

“To ramp up uptake and take the service closer to the people, we are focusing on heightening campaigns through our static and outreach sites in coming weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile some locals are still skeptical about getting vaccinated despite the risks of severe covid 19 illness.

“I will only be vaccinated after observing how other people will react to it,” said Oscar Kasweka.

And resident Marvis Tembo said she is not yet sure about getting vaccinated because the vaccines where developed too quickly.

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UN committed to work with Zimbabwe on initiatives to build and maintain peace
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Maria Ribeiro

United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator for Zimbabwe Ms Maria
Ribeiro has reported that international body remains committed to
working closely with the people of Zimbabwe and the country´s
authorities in support of initiatives aimed at building and
maintaining peace.
  Ms Ribeiro made the remarks at a recent interface with the
Parliamentary Committee on Peace and Security. The virtual event was
held on 10 September, 2021 as a prelude to the commemoration of the
International Day of Peace which is annually marked on 21 September
2021.
 “It is my pleasure to join you and share some reflections and remarks
with you and dialogue with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on
Peace and Security.As you know, the UN Charter adopted almost 76 years
ago, has essential element on Peace. The very first Article of the UN
Charter reminds us that the United Nations was formed to maintain
peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations, and
to promote social progress, better living standards and human rights,”
she said.

  She also said that it is  often thought   the UN´s mandate on peace
as being peacekeeping, conflict resolution, the opposite to conflict
and the end of war.

  Ribeiro said that  peace is more than that and  is creating the
enabling environment for all to build sustainable livelihoods and
social dynamics that promote human rights, equity, economic, social
and political opportunities for all.
  She said that peace is nurtured and precious and needs the buy in of
all, hence the Secretary General´s Agenda on Prevention and the peace
and human right dimensions in the SDGs and Agenda 2030.

Under the 2030 Agenda, UN Member States committed to “promote peaceful
and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to
justice for all and build effective, inclusive and accountable
institutions at all levels”


The global theme for this years’ International Day of Peace is
Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.

The theme focuses on the impact of COVID-19. It highlights the need
for nations and communities to think creatively and collectively about
how to build forward better from COVID-19 and how to build resilience
and create a more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and
healthier Zimbabwe and the world.

  It is reported that COVID-19 remains a threat at all levels of
society to peace and security.
 “We have seen that there has been an increase in violence within
homes and communities.There is an increase also in discrimination,
hate speech, and misinformation.Confronting this Global Pandemic
should serve as a reminder that in order to be able to recover, we
must make peace and co-existence with one another a central priority,”
Ms Ribeiro said.

 She also invited the chair and  members of the peace and security
parliamentarian portfolio, to  join the UN Secretary General’s global
campaign called #OnlyTogether.

 “It is #OnlyTogether, through genuine solidarity and partnership,
that we can overcome the pandemic and achieve the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development,” she said.

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Cape Verde:Lawyers Call For Transfer of Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab to Praia On Health Grounds.
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Femi Falana, a Nigerian Lwayer and human rights activist represents Mr Saab

Lawyers for detained Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, who has been under detention for the past months, have called on the authorities in Cape Verde to respect the decision of the Barlevento Appeal Court to transfer the Diplomat to Praia due to his deteriorating health condition.

Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab was arrested by the Cape Verdean authorities back in June 2020 while on a special humanitarian mission from Iran. He was arrested at the Amilcar Cabral International Airport on the Island of Sal after a stopover.

“In analyzing the case, based on the content of the medical report and of the supporting documents, the need emerges for the Extraditee to be treated by specialists in the field of oncology, given the stated urgency of the matter and owing to the known lack of specialist Doctors on the Isle of Sal, due to health reasons which cannot be denied by anyone, it seems to us to be justified for authorization to be given to his transfer to the town of Praia, where he can be adequately treated by Doctors specializing in the areas indicated in the report attached to the case papers,” the Berlavento Court of Appeal said in a judgment.

The Berlavento Court of Appeal added: “Moreover, for humanitarian reasons[text obliterated by stamp] …human dignity and the overriding value of our Basic Law, which is directly related to the issue of health for every person, it is also shown to be advisable to grant to the request to create the conditions which guarantee the necessary security in his transfer and the maintenance of the measure of personal coercion to which he is subjected.”

“This being so, and because it appears to us that such a decision will not create major constraints, and even if it does health must come first, the requested transfer of residence by the Extraditee to the City of Praia, Santiago is granted.”

Femi Falana, a lawyer for Alex Saab said in a communiqué address to Mr Moreno, however, said this decision has not been respected. He said: “My colleagues and I are deeply concerned that 10 days since the ruling of the Barlavento Court of Appeal (attached) authorizing the immediate transfer of our client, H.E. Alex Nain Saab Morán, from the Island of Sal to Praia you have yet to respond and act upon this order. The TRB made the order due to the serious deterioration of His Excellency’s health.”

“The National Police is failing to comply with the decision of the Court of Appeal of Barlavento, obstructing justice and attempting to justify its conduct on the basis that it “has to choose between complying with that (TRB) decision or extraditing Alex Saab”. This is not only morally shameful but also legally untenable.”

Alex Saab, a Colombian by birth, is a businessman who provided services to the then Chavez administration and recently to the Maduro government, at a time when Venezuela has been facing severe sanctions imposed by the United States.

Alex Saab was arrested in Cape Verde in 2020 and is yet to be released

The United States has been pushing for his extradition from Cape Verde to the former to stand trial on charges of money laundering. Their push seemed to be gaining ground as Cape Verdean authorities look to send him to the U.S. despite attempts from Alex Saab’s lawyers, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court, and other groups, who say this is America using his powers to marshal other smaller nations and get what they want.

“The decision regarding the possible extradition of His Excellency is not final as he cannot be extradited so long as there are legal remedies that can still be filed or instituted,” Mr Feme Falana added.

“Thus, the failure to comply with the TRB by the National Police amounts to obstruction of justice and places you and your colleagues under criminal and civil responsibility for what happens about the health of His Excellency.”

“My colleague Dr Jose Manuel Pinto Monteiro and his associates have made several attempts to coordinate with you the TRB-ordered transfer including providing you with details of where his house arrest takes place, but to no avail.

“On behalf of the Defense Team I respectfully ask that all arrangements are immediately agreed and his transfer takes place without further delay,” Femi Falana concluded.

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Malawian top banker Thom Mpinganjira convicted in judge bribery case.
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Joseph Dumbula.

Thom Mpinganjira

The High Court in Malawi’s commercial Capital, Blantyre has found business mogul, Thom Mpinganjira guilty in an attempted judge bribery case that he has been facing for two years now.

He has also been remanded at Chichiri Prison pending his sentencing at a yet to be announced date.

Mpinganjira has been facing charges to do with enticing judges who heard the presidential petition case as a constitutional referral to alter their ruling in favour of former President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission.

His arrest followed complaints by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda that some unknown people had been attempting to bribe the judges.

The judges heard the elections case in which the UTM, headed by former Malawi vice President Saulos Chilima and the country’s oldest political party, the Malawi Congress Party led by Lazarus Chakwera petitioned the court for the nullification of the results citing the irregularities that marred the poll in which Peter Mutharika was declared winner.

This was after the Constitutional Court had nullified the elections but waited for the Supreme Court to review the ruling.

But on Friday, Judge Dorothy, DeGabrielle found Mpinganjira guilty, at a time when Mpinganjira’s admirers and sympathisers thronged the premise outside the court carrying placards that argued that the convict faced the charges because he is rich.

In her ruling, the judge said the court aligned itself to the evidence from phone call recordings and printed WhatsApp conversations that were shared between Mpinganjira and the judges he wanted to bribe.

DeGabrielle said that it had been proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mpinganjira had “a parcel” which he wanted to give to the judges in a believed view for them to alter their ruling.

But in his mitigation factor, Tamanda Chokhotho, lawyer for Mpinganjira said his client does not need to be given a custodial sentence between he is an upright man and is supporting a lot of people through his foundation.

He had also said that Mpinganjira’s custodial sentence would imply that many people at FDH Bank would lose their jobs.

However, Reyneck Matemba, the country’s solicitor general who had started persecuting the case when he was the Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau said the mitigations lacked merit.

He said if the convict was upright, he would not have indulged himself in the case saying he wanted to manipulate the justice system.

Matemba later quashed a mitigation factor that Mpinganjira’s situation would lead into job loss saying he had formally resigned from the bank and that its operations are running.

Later, Matemba said an argument that the convict is supporting a local team, Mighty Wanderers as President does not hold any water because he only took up the post two months ago.

There have so far been mixed reactions over the matter with the social media stuck on arguments that the case has exposed an attempted case of a state capture.

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More African Countries Register Russia’s Sputnik Vaccine
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Kester Kenn Klomegah

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is a specialized technical institution of the African Union (AU) that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes.

During the outbreak of the coronavirus, the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), was established by African Union, as a component in support of the Africa Vaccine Strategy and was endorsed by the AU Bureau of Heads of State and Government on 20th of August 2020.

Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), has emphasized: “Africa has to team up with development partners to achieve its 60% continent-wide vaccination in the next two years. I think that is why we should as a collective of the continent, and of course, in partnership with the developed world make sure that Africa has a timely access to vaccines to meet our vaccination targets.”

An official media release in February 2021, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team from the African Union (AU) informed the world that Russia would supply and deliver 300 million Sputnik V vaccines to Africa. That step was intended to support African countries to attain their targeted immunization of 60% of the population by the year-end. That vaccine story disappeared, instead what become so common is the speedy registration of Sputnik V on bilateral basis in various African countries.

According to the latest, Nigeria has become the 68th country in the world to approve the Russian vaccine. The use of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has been approved in Nigeria, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in an official statement.

“The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announces the approval of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control of Nigeria (NAFDAC). Nigeria has become the 68th country in the world to approve the Russian vaccine. Total population of all countries, where Sputnik V is approved for use, now exceeds 3.7 billion people, which is nearly half of the global population,” the statement said.

“Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, and the approval of Sputnik V will provide for using one of the safest and most effective vaccines in the world. Sputnik V is based on a proven human adenoviral vectors platform and is successfully used in over 50 countries. Approval in Nigeria will make an important contribution to the country’s fight against the pandemic,” CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said.

Besides Nigeria, other African countries have registered Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Reportedly, the vaccine has been registered in Algeria, Angola, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Tunisia, the Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe.

Russia’s drive to share Sputnik V vaccine, of course, offers a chance to raise its image and strengthen alliances in Africa. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has made efforts promoting the vaccine using all its channels. But supply and delivery have largely lagged behind, the pledges have simply not been fulfilled. Russian authorities have said oftentimes that they would step up efforts for fruitful cooperation in combating coronavirus in Africa.

Promising more than can be delivered appears to be a universal problem with coronavirus vaccines, and it is a real risk for Russia as well, said Theresa Fallon, Director of the Brussels-based Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies. “They have won the gold medal for creating this very effective vaccine,” she said. “But the problem is how are they going to implement production and delivery?”

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), with profit motivation, has attempted supplying the Russian vaccines through, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, from the Monarch family and a third party in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to a number of African countries. For instance, the Republic of Ghana reportedly signed US$64.6 million contract for Sputnik V vaccine from Russia through Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum. It was double the price from the producer as reported in the media.

On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin has noted, in a speech early September, that advanced countries that produce vaccines against the coronavirus do little to protect humanity from the pandemic.

“The benefits of vaccination are enjoyed mostly by advanced economies. The bulk of the vaccines is made there, and it is used to protect their own population. But very little is being done to protect humanity in the broad sense,” Putin said at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, the Far East of Russia. “This is very bad for the producers, because all this boomerangs around the globe. For instance, in Africa the level of protection with vaccines is minimal, but contacts with the African countries continue. There is no getting away from this. This infection will return again and again.”

According to an official release obtained late February, the Sputnik V vaccine the following advantages:

• Efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6% as confirmed by the data published in the Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals; It is one of only three vaccines in the world with efficacy of over 90%; Sputnik V provides full protection against severe cases of COVID-19. 

• The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors, which cause the common cold and have been around for thousands of years. 

• Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots. 

• The safety, efficacy and lack of negative long-term effects of adenoviral vaccines have been proven by more than 250 clinical studies over two decades. 

• The developers of the Sputnik V vaccine are working collaboratively with AstraZeneca on a joint clinical trial to improve the efficacy of AstraZeneca vaccine. 

• There are no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V. 

• The price of Sputnik V is less than $10 per shot, making it affordable around the world. 

In February, peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet published an interim analysis from Phase III clinical trial of the Russian vaccine, showing its 91.6-percent efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. Developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Sputnik V was the world’s first officially-registered vaccine against COVID-19.

Sputnik V was registered in Russia on August 11, 2020 as the world’s first officially registered coronavirus vaccine. Russian vaccines have advantages as no deaths have been reported after vaccination with the Sputnik V, Alexander Gintsburg, Director of the Gamaleya Center, the vaccine developer, said and was reported by TASS News Agency. “As of today, no deaths after vaccination with Sputnik V have been registered,” he said.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia’s sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management is based in Moscow.

In Africa, during first week of September, the coronavirus-related death toll has topped 196,190, while more than 6.9 million recoveries have been reported. South Africa accounts for a majority of coronavirus cases and deaths across Africa – 2,777,659 and 82,261 respectively. The death toll in Tunisia climbed to 23,451, and 664,034 cases have been confirmed. Egypt recorded 16,736 deaths and 288,441 coronavirus cases.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia is ranked second to South Africa (308,134 cases and 4,675 deaths) and is followed by Kenya (235,863 cases and 4,726 deaths) and Nigeria (191,805 and 2,455). The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached almost 8 million in Africa, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Africa. [….]

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Zambia’s forest initiative named as best individual carbon offsetting project in the world.
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Zambia’s government and communities in Luangwa District have been recognized for hosting one of the best environmental projects in the world.


The Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP), set up by BioCarbon Partners (BCP) in partnership with local communities, has  been named as the Best Individual Offsetting Project in the World in the prestigious Environmental Finance  Annual Global Voluntary Carbon Market Rankings.


“Given the high number of forest carbon projects globally, this is a tremendous accolade for Zambia,” said Dr Hassan Sachedina, BCP Founder and CEO, which also received awards for Best Monitoring Impact Report and was named runner up in the overall and Forestry and Land Use Best Project Developer categories.


“This recognition is testament to the Zambian Government’s leadership in creating an enabling environment granting carbon rights to communities.”


  With carbon ownership, communities partnering in the LCFP have set a new benchmark in improving livelihoods and conserving wildlife, while decreasing encroachment and emissions from deforestation.


  It is reported that with the recent IPCC report saying there is unequivocal evidence of negative climate change impact, the example set by communities in the LCFP shows that quality and scalable community forest carbon projects are eminently possible, added Dr Sachedina.


  “Even more remarkable is that through this partnership the same communities are achieving these project impacts while protecting one of the most important remaining wildlife landscapes left on earth in the Lower Zambezi to Luangwa valleys.”


  In 2020 and 2021, while the Zambian economy is estimated to have contracted by 1.2% and thousands of jobs have been lost as a result of Covid-19, the pandemic has placed immense pressure on Zambia’s rural communities, many of whom rely on the conservation, tourism and agricultural sectors.

   While tourism has been pushed to the brink, REDD+ has continued to bring revenue to local communities, with direct payments of K92 million (US$ 4.8 million) directly paid to communities since the pandemic began. 

  It is added that with close to 1,200 jobs created, the multiplier effect of these benefits is up to K129 million (US$ 6.7 million).

  It is also added that over the last five years, household income has increased 171% in the LCFP, demonstrating how durable and successful the REDD+ model has proven to Zambia’s local economy, said BCP.


  “The project has close to about 1million hectares of land which is being protected. It benefits about 217,000 people in 12 chiefdoms; some are in Eastern Province and some are in Lusaka Province. People also benefit through smart agriculture, wildlife conservation and even the forest itself is being protected. And through the years we have seen a lot of positive changes; some of them the benefits that we have talked about. Other things that benefited is the wildlife itself because through this project we have created a wildlife corridor from the North Luangwa and we have seen some wildlife freely moving through this corridor and that has really improved the tourism sector in the area.”, said His Royal Highness Senior Chief Luembe, Chairman of the House of Chiefs.


   “We are incredibly humbled by this recognition in the global rankings.  We are so grateful to everyone who voted for us, without whose commitment this would not be possible. We thank our community and government partners for their central role in these achievements showing that Zambia is far ahead in implementing quality forest protection at scale, and USAID for their visionary catalytic financial support of the project,” said Dr Sachedina.


  “As far as we know, LCFP is Africa’s largest project at over 1 million hectares, and the largest in the world by social impact. We would not have achieved this without USAID support, at a time when green climate finance was scarce. With the IPPC’s report declaring a ‘code red for humanity’, scale, quality and community participation are critical in the climate change fight. The best thing about projects like LCFP is that they embody hope.  People are benefitting; wildlife is benefitting; and the world is benefitting.”
In addition to the world’s best REDD+ project, BCP was received the award for best impact report, and was runner-up as best developer in the forest carbon sector, and runner up as best carbon project developer, overall.


BCP is a leading African conservation social enterprise with a mission to make wildlife habitat conservation valuable to people. BCP employs over 215 people across 13 chiefdoms in Zambia, partnering to help conserve 1.1 million hectares of habitat in critical ecosystems.
Helping to conserve over 500 million trees, and with close to 7 million tons of carbon emissions reduced to date, both BCP implemented REDD+ Projects have been verified against the Verified Carbon Standard, the world’s leading voluntary Greenhouse Gas program. In 2021, the LZRP is the only project in Africa to receive 8 consecutive verifications and only the second in the World to achieve this! While it is also Africa’s first CCBA Triple Gold Project, with ‘Gold’ level verification against all three categories of the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Standard (CCBA) for its exceptional climate change impacts and community and biodiversity benefits. The LCFP has achieved CCBA Triple Gold Validation for exceptional community impact. Awarded Best Individual Offsetting Project and Impact Monitoring Report in the World in the Environmental Finance Voluntary Carbon Markets Ranking 2021, and ranked in the top 0.5% of B Corps globally 2021, BCP offers carbon offsets with World class benefits.

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Zimbabwe:Court Orders Mugabe to be reburied .
September 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

Liberation was hero Robert Mugabe was the first President of Zimbabwe

Controversy seems to follow Zimbabwe’s former president, the late Robert Mugabe even in death. Almost two years to his death, Mugabe’s remains are set to be exhumed and reburied. The news came after a local court ruled that Mugabe’s remains need to be buried at the Zimbabwe National Heroes Acre.

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s former president who ruled for close to three decades died a couple of years back. His final wishes before his death according to close family members was to be buried at his rural home in Zvimba. Mugabe according to close sources wanted to rest in the same place as his kith and kin.

Upon his death however, contestations emerged between his family and the country’s presidium and ruling party ZANU (PF). Mugabe’s family wanted to honour his final wishes and bury him at his rural home while the country’s presidium and ruling party ZANU (PF) wanted Mugabe to be buried at the National Heroes Acre. After several discussions, arguments and at times public spats, the country’s presidium finally gave in and allowed Mugabe to be buried at his rural home.

Over a year later after Mugabe’s burial, a traditional chief from Mugabe’s rural home presided over a traditional court session where a ruling was passed that Mugabe’s widow Grace Mugabe had erred by burying Mugabe in the family home compound. A fine of five cows and a goat was levied against Grace Mugabe and the family was given a grace period of up to 1 July 2021 to exhume Mugabe’s remains and bury him at the Heroes Acre.

Following the traditional court session, Mugabe’s three children challenged the ruling passed and took matters to the magistrates’ court. The hope in lodging an appeal was to have the traditional court ruling set aside. Unfortunately for the Mugabe family, the Chinhoyi Magistrates Court rejected the appeal.

Though the Chinhoyi Magistrates Court rejected the appeal, the Mugabe family lawyer Fungai Chimwamurombe said any reburial plans will definitely not be happening anytime soon as the family is challenging the ruling passed by the magistrates’ court. In a statement, Chimwamurombe said, “The children have a right to appeal. It is a ruling that ought to be challenged.”

The ruling by the traditional court in Zvimba and the subsequent appeal rejection by the magistrates’ court over Mugabe’s reburial plans has sharply divided opinion. There are some who argue that Mugabe – in death – is getting a taste of his own medicine as during his tenure, he forcibly instructed some ZANU (PF) bigwigs to be buried at the Heroes Acre against their wishes. Some of those who were buried at the shrine against their wishes include former Vice President Joshua Nkomo, former Midlands Province governor Cephas Msipa and former minister Enos Nkala.

The Mugabe family has strongly condemned the efforts to rebury Mugabe with some alleging that Mugabe’s body may be used for ritual purposes. Nephew to the late Robert Mugabe, Leo Mugabe said, “You know some people have an inclination for rituals. We are afraid that some people are after his body parts or even his whole body and they want to use that for rituals.”

The worries expressed by Leo Mugabe were echoed by political analyst Farai Gwenhure who said, “Mnangagwa believes the failure to obtain performance legitimacy is because of unhappy ancestors and traditional spirits.”

Director of Information for ZANU (PF) Tafadzwa Mugwadi has however quashed the sentiments expressed by the Mugabe family saying, “The party is not part of whatever that is. The party has no stake in Chief Zvimba’s local traditional court processes. Only them at (the) family level and Chief Zvimba are aware of what is going on… It is therefore absolutely shameless, mischievous and malicious for anyone to try and drag the party into whatever is going on there.”

According to political analyst Alexander Rusero, the contestations surrounding Mugabe’s burial is nothing but a subtle power game by ZANU (PF). Mugabe’s burial to ZANU (PF) “is a case of unfinished business. What is at play is the logistics of power. ZANU (PF) is a party that is so obsessed with the accumulation of power… It is a party that does not take defeat in any matter: be it an argument or an election result. So, the burial of Mugabe at Kutama, to ZANU (PF) is a loss.”  

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Cameroon: CHRDA Calls On Gov’t to Respect Rights of those facing Capital Punishment
September 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

-The Rights organization says opportunity to appeal against the verdict or apply for pardon or commutation of sentence should be accorded

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Barrister Felix Nkongho, President of CHRDA

The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, one of the leading rights groups in Cameroon has called on the government “to ensure that all the rights and safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty should be respected.”

This statement is contained in a communiqué issued by CHRDA on September 9 titled “Statement on the death sentence handed down to 4 accused persons by the Buea Military Tribunal” this September 7 who were accused of committing the Mother Francisca school killing in Kumba that left at least six children dead and scores injured.

“An opportunity to appeal against the verdict or apply for pardon or commutation of sentence should be accorded,” CHRDA said in the communiqué send to Pan African Visions.

Several persons were immediately arrested, suspected of having a hand in the massacre including the proprietor, the principal, the vice-principal who was employed according to CHRDA just 18 days before the incident. The discipline master and the security guard were also arrested.

The accused persons were standing trial before the said Court for charges related to acts of terrorism, hostility against the fatherland, secession insurrection, murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Many families are still grappling with the trauma

12 accused persons stood trial among which five were already in custody at the Buea Central Prison and seven others on bail. Four accused persons were sentenced to five months imprisonment with a fine of fifty thousand FCFA each, while four were slammed the death penalty. Yemeli Gilda, Konte Patrick, Angu Emmanuel and Elangwe Kelvin Eyabe were all given the death penalty while another four were discharged and acquitted.

The death sentence to the four accused persons by the Buea Military Court is unprecedented in the Anglophone crisis and Cameroon in general. The decision to impose the death sentence is happening for the first time since Cameroon last did a similar back in 1997.

“If executed, the state of Cameroon would be joining few other countries around the world still using the death sentence as punishment for a criminal offence,” CHRDA said in a communiqué.

Speaking to one of the acquitted persons who spent six months in jail and was later released on bail before the final verdict, he disclosed to CHRDA that when the unfortunate incident happened in Kumba, being one of the school administrators, the government invited him among other school administrators and told them they were going to be kept at the Buea-Road prison I Kumba for their safety ad security for the time being for the tension to calm down.

After one month, they were transferred to Buea and told they were coming to sign some documents, when they arrived Buea was kept at the Buea Central Prison and later charged at the Military Tribunal.

According to the Rights organisation, Cameroon has ratified several instruments that mention the death penalty and try to advocate for the abolition of capital punishment. The organization, however, notes that the death penalty is not prohibited by the law in Cameroon or any other virtually universal international treaty.

“Even the international customary law on its part does not prohibit the death penalty at the current time, but custom is rapidly changing towards a position in favour of worldwide abolition. At the international level, the most important treaty provision relating to the death penalty is Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which Cameroon has ratified,” the statement continued.

The slain children received a state burial by the state

In the communiqué, CHRDA indicated that despite advocacy for the abolition of the death penalty or capital punishment around the world by the international community, few legal instruments in Cameroon still prescribe some crimes punishable by the death penalty which include among others the Law on the Suppression of Acts of Terrorism in Cameroon adopted on December 19, 2014and Law no.2016/007 of July 2016 relating to the Penal Code.

The following sections of the anti-terrorism law and the penal code defined the specific offences warranting capital punishment. For the law on anti-terrorism, the provisions include inter-alia: Section 2(1) (2), Section 3(1), Section 4 (b), Section 5 (1), and for the penal code, the provisions include: sections 18, 22, 102, 103, 111, 112, 276 and 320.

Equally, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 1984, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights discourages capital punishment.

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Cameroon: “The Ngarbuh Killers Should be Sentenced to Firing Squad” – Chris Anu
September 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Death Sentence on Southern Cameroonians is a Sham, says Chris Anu

Chris Anu, Communications Secretary of “Ambazonia” has called on the courts in Cameroon to give a “death sentence on those who carried out the Ngarbuh Massacre” in the North West Region as a sign of their fairness like they did to those who reportedly carried out the Kumba killings.

He made the statement this September 8 in an audio message after four accused persons were sentenced to death by a firing squad of having carried out the attack and gruesome killing of school children at the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, Fiango-Kumba, Meme Division of the South West Region of Cameroon on September 24, 2020.

Yemeli Gilda, Konte Patrick, Angu Emmanuel and Elangwe Kelvin Eyab were standing trial at the Buea Military Tribunal on charges of acts of terrorism, hostility against the fatherland, secession, insurrection, murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The proprietress Judith Ayanu and her husband Simon Gabriel Shu, Godlove Ekendja, the principal were all given five months jail terms for having failed to report the incident. Meantime, some three persons including Divine Njume and Akwafe Zebedee were all acquitted.

According to Chris Anu, the decision to impose the death sentence on the four persons accused of carrying out the Kumba shooting is completely outrageous after those who committed the attack on Ngarbuh (members of Cameroon’s security forces) have not been given the same treatment for that heinous crime.

“What happened to those French Cameroonian soldiers who have confessed that they carried out the Ngarbuh massacre that killed closed to forty indigenes of Ngarbuh? What happened to them,” He wondered. 

“The shooting in Kumba ends in the death of seven children; the massacre in Ngarbuh ends in the death of close to forty people but as it is always the case, the Southern Cameroonians are sentenced by firing squad and those who killed forty people still walk free.”

Chris Anu went further to state that: “If they (courts) want to tell us that they are free let them sentence the Ngarbuh killers to a firing squad. The mass grave is still there; they have not been judged or sentence for anything but people are framed up in Kumba and sentenced to a firing squad.”

One of the graves of those killed in Ngarbuh

The Ngarbuh attack took place on February 14, 2020, in which at least 21 civilians were killed including 13 children. Government forces and an ethnic Fulani militia were blamed for the attack, according to Human Rights Watch.

“It is highly suspicious that in almost all incidents, the vast majority are deaths rather than injuries, leading one to assume more of an execution-style being perpetrated,” Andrew Pendleton, OCHA’s representative in the North West said about the killing.

The Cameroon government initially denied reports that state security forces carried out the attack. But after much scrutiny and pressure finally accepted that it was indeed carried out by its security forces. A commission was immediately formed and findings made known, though Human Rights Watch said was “flawed”.

“The commission’s findings into the Ngarbuh massacre while flawed are an important first step toward justice for these serious crimes,” Lewis Mudge, Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement back then.

“But this report should not be a stand-alone. A more in-depth investigation is needed to establish a clear timeline of events and to identify all those responsible, including anyone further up the chain of command, to prosecute them.”

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Pragmatic Policies And Measures Needed Address Plight of African Ladies In The Gulf- Dr Princess Ocansey.
September 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Executive Chairperson of the Nekotech Center of Excellence, and Founder of the Nekotech Center for Labor Migration Diplomacy, and also a member of the African Union Labor Migration Advisory Committee, in an interview with Maxwell Nkansah says, African leaders need to come into agreement and regulate a proper systematic measure to favor the young ladies who go to the gulf to work as housemaid.

 According to her, due to the lack of proper regulation from leaders of Ecowas, the situation of abuse of housemaid in the gulf will continue until proper structures are put in place. She further stated that, the government of Sierra Leone has taken a stand on legal migration to make it safe for their person who goes to the gulf for employment purposes.

She added that, the lack of job creation in the country has also increase the rate of young ladies running to the gulf. According to her, the Philippines are earning 400 dollars while Africans are receiving 250 dollars for domestic workers.

Dr. Ocancey continue to say the Ecowas needs to come together and regulate a system that makes policies and operationalize excellent decent work program to break the spell off African Youth Unemployment by matching them with vetted international employers in the gulf.

She stated that, many Ghanaian girls who migrate to Gulf countries through employment agencies end up as domestic hands in the residences of unscrupulous rich Arabs who use them as sex objects at the blind side of their wives. “A lady who craved for anonymity said there have been instances where fathers shared their African sex objects with their children. Women who resist such overtures are subjected to untold physical assaults by their owners as it were.

Unfortunately, many of these girls easily fall for the advertisements about what they stand to gain by taking the bold decision to migrate for the so-called green pastures in the Gulf States of Arabia. Their travel documents are collected by their bosses as soon as they land in their final destinations where they double as domestic workers and sex slaves

She initiated the development of a model international workers program for Ghanaian workers to work legally in the USA. After running successfully for three years, the modal is currently being rolled out internationally to Canada, USA, Australia and the gulf states in partnership with top international recruitment and placement agencies, such as Manpower UK- the largest recruitment agency in the world.

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Embrace agriculture as a profession, African youths told.
September 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta has rallied African governments to establish aggressive measures to attract young people back to farming, dismissing most youth’s perceptions that agriculture is an outdated profession.

Kenyatta was speaking during an ongoing African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Nairobi. Under the theme of ‘Pathways to recovery and resilient food systems, the virtual event kicked off on September 7 and will culminate on September 10.

About 7000, including African Heads of State, agriculture ministers, and agriculture stakeholders and experts, attend this year’s summit. They are deliberating on ways Africa can change food systems and increase progress to eradicate hunger and poverty.

The participants also discuss ways the youth can be incorporated into the agriculture sector to increase food production in the continent.

According to Kenyatta, Kenya re-introduced 4-K-Clubs in schools to show young people the nobility and profitability of agriculture. The Four Ks stands for “Kuungana, Kufanya, Kusaidia Kenya” in Kiswahili, loosely translating to coming together, to act, to help Kenya.

“We are doing this because Kenya’s 31, 218 primary schools and their enrolment of close to 10 million school-going children, offers a vast network through which knowledge about food and nutrition security can be boosted,” said Kenyatta.

Kenyatta said Kenya is committed to increasing the number of young people receiving school-based agricultural education and growing the uptake of digital agricultural solutions among farmers.

On food security, Kenya’s Head of State called on African leaders to prioritize initiatives that will cause inclusive agricultural transformation.

He disclosed that Kenya is working towards expanding the diversity and quality of diets available to its population by investing more fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, and grain production and heighten climate action to strengthen the resilience of the country’s food systems.

Kenyatta also revealed that his administration has been focusing on attaining 100 percent food and nutrition security through crop diversification, e-voucher programmes that support staple crops, livestock, and dairy chains.

Kenya had also prioritized the growth of indigenous food crops and vegetables, developing seed systems for sorghum, millet, and cassava, and establishing flour blending and fortification policies.

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