African News

African News (24)

 

The Zimbabwean government says it will not give in to civil servants’ demands for a salary increase as it has to strike a balance between meeting wage obligations and investing in infrastructural development.

The government is also wary of derailing the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff monitored programme, which places emphasis on capping the wage bill.

Civil servants have for the past three years been pushing for salaries that tally with the poverty datum line, now pegged at ZW$40 000 (US$476) per month for a family of six.

Meanwhile, most public servants are earning around ZW$17 000, the equivalent to US$200.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima this week told the Zimbabwe Independent that raising civil servants’ salaries to the same level as PDL would be counterproductive. He said:

That is counterproductive. This is why we are talking about maintaining minimal changes for now because we want to maintain a balance where we can reserve resources for the construction of roads, schools, health facilities instead of paying public servants just to sit without service delivery or infrastructural delivery.

There has to be a painful and sometimes delicate balance between meeting the demand of our public service and maintain some resources for the country.

Mavima was speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing eighth edition of Continental Africa Public Service Day commemorations in Victoria Falls.

A series of wage talks between civil servants’ representatives and government officials have produced very little.

Mavima however, admitted that the government was seized with the issue and was cognisant of the fact it needed to restore value of the employees in real terms. He said:

There was quite some erosion that took place in employees’ salaries due to the necessary transformation of monetary policy that moved us away from the US dollar remuneration to where we introduced the Zimbabwean dollar.

Salaries remained at the same level even the value of the Zim dollar had reduced compared to the US dollar.

So we got to a situation where for example teachers when earning US$500 and got to point of earning an equivalent of US$30 or US$40 per month.

So we understand we have to balance that request with what the country can afford at this particular time.

I’m glad to say that we have moved from that US$40-50 equivalent salary to where we are now around US$200 if you use the official exchange rate.

So we have progressed significantly but we need to find means and ways of increasing salaries and wages of public service in real value. That will make them motivated.

Source: Bulawayo24《》RT

 

Prominent Nigerian Televangelist Temitope Balogun Joshua popularly known as T.B. Joshua has died.

T.B. Joshua died in Lagos on Saturday, June 5 evening. He was 57 at the time of his death.

The cleric’s death was announced on his Facebook page in a statement on Sunday morning. The statement read:

PROPHET TB JOSHUA – JUNE 12th 1963 to JUNE 5th 2021

“Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.” – Amos 3:7

On Saturday 5th June 2021, Prophet TB Joshua spoke during the Emmanuel TV Partners Meeting: “Time for everything – time to come here for prayer and time to return home after the service.”

God has taken His servant Prophet TB Joshua home – as it should be by divine will. His last moments on earth were spent in the service of God. This is what he was born for, lived for and died for.

As Prophet TB Joshua says, “The greatest way to use life is to spend it on something that will outlive it”.

Prophet TB Joshua leaves a legacy of service and sacrifice to God’s Kingdom that is living for generations yet unborn.

The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations and Emmanuel TV Family appreciate your love, prayers and concern at this time and request a time of privacy for the family.

Here are Prophet TB Joshua’s last words: “Watch and pray.” One life for Christ is all we have; one life for Christ is so dear.

A cause of death has not been revealed so far. However, T.B. Joshua’s friend Femi Fani-Kayode shed some light on his death and confirmed the news. He said:

The passing of my brother TB Joshua saddens me deeply. At 3.00 am this morning I was told by one of his daughters that this was fake news & I tweeted as much. Sadly I was misled. 5 minutes ago the same person called me & confirmed the story.

T.B. Joshua was the founder of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN). He was a well-known Nigeria pastor who had a large following both locally and internationally.

Source: Pindula News《》RT

The Nigerian government has suspended Twitter indefinitely two days after the removal of a Tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari for violating the site’s rules.

A statement by Information Minister Lai Mohammed on the suspension cited, “the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

While Mohammed did not spell out what form the suspension would take or give more details on the undermining activities, Punch Newspapers in Nigeria reported on Friday that Twitter was still accessible in the country despite the suspension.

His ministry also announced Twitter’s suspension on the same microblogging site. Read the statement:

The Federal Government has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service, Twitter, in Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, citing the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

The Minister said the Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting l Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.

Segun Adeyemi @SegunAde88 Special Assistant To The President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture Abuja.

Reuters reports, however, that as of the early hours of Saturday, Twitter’s website was inaccessible in Nigeria on some mobile carriers, while its app and website worked on others.

Meanwhile, Twitter announced in a statement that it is investigating its “deeply concerning” suspension of operations by the Nigerian government, and “will provide updates when we know more.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. tech firm said Buhari’s post threatening to punish groups blamed for attacks on government buildings had violated Twitter’s “abusive behaviour” policy.

In April, the information minister reacted angrily when Twitter chose neighbouring Ghana for its first African office. He said the company had been influenced by media misrepresentations of Nigeria, including reports of crackdowns on protests last year.

Source: Pindula News; Reuters; BBC Africa《》RT

 

A bridge in the central Nigerian state of Kogi, collapsed barely a week after its completion, a development that has left the state’s governor in trouble.

The administration of Governor Yahaya Bello is being accused of using substandard materials in constructing the Ozuma Bridge in Okene which reportedly cost millions of naira.

The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has since called for an inquiry into the governor over the incident arguing that it put the lives of the general public in danger.

There has not been any confirmation of any casualties or the amount of damage following the incident. PDP said in a statement:

The PDP youth also knocked Governor Bello over the collapse of a bridge built by his administration just after one week of construction, noting that such is indicative of the shambolic state of governance in the state under an imprudent and manifestly misguided leadership.

The PDP youths demands that Yahaya Bello should face investigation at the appropriate time for using substandard materials to construct a bridge, thereby endangering lives in the state.

There have been increasing reports of collapsing infrastructure, especially buildings, in Nigeria with some blaming the issue on poor enforcement of construction regulations and the use of substandard materials.

The collapse of the Nigerian bridge come when Botswana and Zambia have commissioned the Kazungula Bridge which is premised on easing access into the SADC region and the whole of Africa at large.

Botswana and Zambia agreed, in principle, with Zimbabwe to have the latter on board after it had left the coalition years ago.

Source: Pindula News; CGTN Africa《》RT

 

By Oliver Samboko

Traditional leaders in the Gwembe Valley are disappointed with lack of seriousness by the Ministry of Mines over oil and gas exploration in the Chisanga Area.

Speaking on behalf of other chiefs in the area, Chief Sinazongwe said they are disappointed with what he described as lack of seriousness on the part of government to explore the oil in the area.

Recently Gwembe District Council chairperson, Paul Chilala also complained that despite the local authority and the traditional leadership in the area giving ZCCM-IH green light to go ahead with the exploration of oil and gas, nothing has been done so far.

According to a sample collected by the Daily Nation last year, and submitted to the Copperbelt University for analysis, it was found to contain 4.0955 percent oil which experts described as a very good yield. The Gwembe oil was discovered by a group of boys herding cattle near the mountains who alerted the traditional leadership in the area on the oily substance in the Jongolo mountains and river bed. And Chief Sinazongwe said the people are tired of waiting for a report from the government on the discovery and therefore called for the speeding up of the process so that the country can start benefitting from the natural resources.

“The relevant Government ministry through ZCCM-IH is not doing enough to investigate the discovery of oil in the region leaving us wondering why it is like this because we are aware that in other regions, the explorations commenced a long time ago,” he said.

Chief Sinazongwe wondered why it has taken Government so much time to deploy experts to the area even after making assurance that the issue was going to be given priority considering that the country was pending huge amounts on importation of crude oil from the Middle East. He said it’s better for ZCCM-IH to indicate so if they are failing to carry out the complicated exploration works so that Government can engage foreign exploration companies to do the work than delaying the process.

Source: Daily Nation《》RT

 

An armed group on Wednesday, attacked Palma, a northern Mozambique town which is less than 25km (15 miles) by road from gas projects worth some US$60bn.

The attack near the gas projects led by oil majors such as Total – happened the same day the French company announced it would gradually resume work at the site after suspending it because of nearby attacks.

Mozambique’s northern-most province of Cabo Delgado has since 2017 been home to a festering armed uprising on the projects’ doorstep, which has escalated in the past year as fighters linked to ISIL (ISIS) began taking on the army to seize entire towns.

Several security sources, who requested anonymity, told the AFP news agency that Palma was under siege. One military commander based in the capital Maputo said two groups of “militants” concomitantly attacked a police checkpoint and residential neighbourhoods. Said another military source in Palma:

Government forces resisted but then they had to flee. The militants are using heavy, new weapons that we have never seen before.

It is also reported that a plane about to land in Afungi town near the Total operation was forced to turn back because of a “heavy weapons attack”.

Since the beginning of the fight in Cabo Delgado over three years ago, about 2 300 people have lost their lives while 355 000 people have been forced to leave their homes.

The armed group last year managed to take control of entire towns, including Mocimboa da Praia, used as a transit point for goods and workers related to the gas developments and Palma’s proximity to the projects means it has even more strategic importance.

SADC has recently been criticised for not failing to take befitting action in time.

Source: Al Jazeera《》RT

 

By Ruth Chayinda

Zambia's Home Affairs Minister, Stephen Kampyongo says the application of the Public Order Act will be done fairly to all political parties.

Kampyongo further says political parties should also take heed of the covid-19 guidelines ahead of the August elections.

He says the police will hold engagements with various stakeholders ahead of the general election, stating that parties have already been holding conventions.

The Minister says it is important that political parties and the police engage on mutual respect so that there is order and peace ahead of the elections.

Kampyongo said this during Sunday interview that aired on ZNBC TV1.

He said the provision of the law is clear and aimed at managing public procession ahead of the elections.

Kampyongo noted that there is need for freedom to be expressed in the confines of the law so that there is balance between freedom and order.

He also urged the public to use the social platforms responsibly and not attack governance institutions or bully individuals.

And, Kampyongo said Government has made significant progress in the implementation of the safe city project which has seen some public places in Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe having surveillance cameras.

Kampyongo said the surveillance cameras will enhance security in the country and reduce crimes because it is the modern way of policing.

Source: ZNBC《》RT

 

Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings has died in Accra Thursday morning, local media reports.

He is said to have passed on at the nation’s premier hospital, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Jerry Rawlings had been on admission at the hospital for about a week for an undisclosed ailment. There are rumors that he died from COVID-19 complications, but this has not been confirmed.

Local online news portal, Graphic Online reports that Rawlings felt sick after his mother’s burial about three weeks ago.

As a former Ghanaian military leader and subsequent politician, Rawlings led a military junta from 1981 until 1992.

He then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana from January 1993 to January 2001.

The late former president initially came to power as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup in 1979.

Before this, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government in 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.

After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on December 31, 1981 as the Chairman of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC).

In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first President of the 4th Republic.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years. Rawlings was 73.

Source: Africa News《》RT

Popular South Africa-based preacher, Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary have been released after they were arrested last month for alleged money laundering.

Magistrate Thandi released them on a 200 000 South African Rand ($12 500; £9 600) each, ordered the couple to report to a police station every Monday to Friday until the end of the case, and to surrender the title deed of a property.

Bushiri was allowed to continue preaching but was warned that he was not allowed to make threats against witnesses.

The duo is facing charges of fraud, theft and money laundering in connection with an investment scheme of about $6m but they deny any wrongdoing.

The arrest of the Bushiris saw several other preachers including United Kingdom-based Uebert Angel mobilising Christians around the world to rally behind the duo.

Bushiri’s supporters who were gathered outside the court rejoiced when the duo was released.

Source: NZ《》RT

Zimbabwe Never Retrieved The 82 Bodies swept Away A Year Ago By Cyclone Idai


Washington post


It was the deadliest cyclone to ever hit southern Africa’s coast — but it wasn’t the winds that brought calamity. A year ago, the relatively weak, meandering Cyclone Idai made landfall not once but twice in Mozambique, both times slowly churning its way to the mountainous border with Zimbabwe. For a combined nine days, torrential rain fell across a vast region.
Landslides wiped out entire hillside villages in Zimbabwe.

Many people who lived there were plunged along with their homes into rivers that soon rose high enough to sweep away yet more villages in the lowlands and deposit lifeless bodies as high up as the canopies of the trees of the flood plain of central Mozambique’s Buzi River.

At least 82 Zimbabweans were swept into Mozambique, where locals promptly buried them, thinking of the dignity of the dead, rendered unrecognizable by the vicious torrent. But family members have yearned for the bodies of their loved ones to be returned. The government made promises to retrieve the bodies, no matter the challenge of identifying them.

A year later, not one body has been retrieved, and the families that survived have all but given up hope of ever knowing the fates of their kin.

“We need closure. The truth will set us free,” said Julliet Machangira, 26, who lost her two sons, Tadiwanashe, 4, and Lovemore Maute, 12. She and thousands of others remain in camps run jointly by the United Nations and the Zimbabwean government.

“The government promised us money to go to Mozambique to do our own search, but that was the last we heard about it,” she said. “I want to talk to the locals who buried the floating bodies to identify my sons.”

After Idai, bodies litter Mozambique’s fields, and the true death toll may never be known.

The government minister tasked with repatriation and reburial, July Moyo, did not respond to repeated calls and messages.

Because of the haphazard burials that mixed bodies from Mozambique and Zimbabwe, the cyclone’s true death toll is unknown, but it is likely that more than 1,000 died. Many were swept down the river to the sea, making retrieval even harder in some cases. Yet more may have been eaten by the river’s crocodiles.

Only one forensically trained body recovery specialist, Stephen Fonseca of the International Committee of the Red Cross, worked in Mozambique after the cyclone.

With the help of locals, he tracked down where hundreds of victims were buried and recorded coordinates of the sites, leaving open the possibility that they could one day be unearthed and identified. But the challenges go beyond simply finding the bodies.

“This disaster was the opposite of a plane crash, where you know the passengers’ names, you know how many there were,” Fonseca said. “Simply put: not everybody will be found. We don’t know and we will never know how many were swept away, or stuck under debris in the riverbed, for instance. And even if you know where the bodies are, which ones do you exhume? How could you know which ones came from Zimbabwe?”

Heat and moisture also damage DNA over time, and most if not all of the bodies would have been subjected to extremes of both in Mozambique’s tropical climate.
Identification of the bodies might in some cases still be possible, but Zimbabwe’s promise to the victims’ families was a long shot from the start.

Kuda Ndima, 37, also lost two children during the storm — her 12-year-old son, and a baby she was five months pregnant with, which she miscarried after she was swept 300 yards downstream and hit a boulder. The sense of loss she feels is compounded by the government’s inaction.

“They lied to us saying they would help with the repatriation and reburial, but they are doing nothing about it,” she said. “We wish they could even make a grave for the unknown victims, like a memorial. Instead, they are just folding their hands as if nothing has happened.”

Moyo’s local government ministry had also promised survivors new homes, which never materialized — the same goes for many roads and bridges in the region. Along with hundreds of thousands in Mozambique, Zimbabwe’s survivors still live in camps. Most of the displaced were subsistence farmers, and the World Food Program forecast another lost harvest season ahead.

“The upcoming April-May harvest is expected to be relatively good in the region, but few of the 250,000 families whose homes were damaged by the cyclone have been able to return to their villages, let alone rebuild,” said Deborah Nguyen, a WFP spokeswoman.

“Most are enduring high levels of food insecurity, meaning they do not eat enough, borrow what they can from relatives or friends, forage for less-than-nourishing wild foods, and continue to need outside help to survive.”

Both Mozambique and Zimbabwe have weak governments that rely on humanitarian aid to feed large portions of their populations, despite ample agricultural land. Successive floods and droughts have diminished output, but government mismanagement has led to widespread food and water shortages, especially in Zimbabwe.

Since the ouster of former president Robert Mugabe in late 2017, Zimbabwe has been run by Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of Mugabe’s closest allies. He has been accused of the same cronyism and patronage politics that kept Mugabe in power for nearly four decades, and his government faces steep international sanctions that have damaged the local currency and left the economy in tatters.

Mugabe is gone. But his tactics persist in Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxillia, released a statement on Sunday that marked the cyclone’s anniversary in which she admitted that little has been done to help the victims.

“A year on, we are reminded that the effort needed for survivors whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed is still enormous. There are thousands who are still in makeshift shelters who need proper homes,” she said. “There are thousands who need food and clothing and even thousands more who need economic support to engage in farming.”

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