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Ethiopia's education ministry has announced a temporary closure of all secondary schools to allow students to help in harvesting crops for Ethiopians on the war front, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) has reported.

Education Minister Berhanu Nega said the schools would be closed for a week.

The ministry shared the news on Twitter:

On Monday, the government said more than 1.2 million students were out of school due to the ongoing conflict in the north.

The fighting has also destroyed hundreds of schools.

The government announced a six-month state of emergency in November to contain a Tigrayan rebel advancement towards the capital, Addis Ababa.

Source: BBC

A Kenyan father has sued his adult son demanding 20% of his salary to go towards his monthly upkeep.

Gideon Kisira Cherowo, 73, says he sold his land and most of his assets to pay for his son's education up to university level.

He says the son - now aged 48 - does not support him.

The father who has four sons says only one is employed at the Kenya Airports Authority.

Mr Cherowo's family lives in a mud house in his village in western Kenya.

He alleges that his son has not come home for the last 17 years and the family has asked for his help in vain.

Mr Cherowo told the court that he could not afford the services of a lawyer and brought his youngest son as a witness.

The son told the court that his eldest brother had abandoned the family after landing a job in the capital Nairobi.

Source: BBC

The disgraced former head of world athletics' governing body Lamine Diack has died at home in Senegal, aged 88.

Diack, who was convicted of corruption last year, was president of World Athletics (formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF) from 1999 to 2015.

In September 2020, he was found guilty of corruption and money-laundering, linked to the Russian doping scandal.

A French court sentenced him to four years in prison, two of them suspended.

He was never jailed and allowed to return to Senegal, where he remained under house arrest and was later released on bail.

"He died at home of a natural death," his son, Papa Massata Diack, said.

His funeral is due to be held later on Friday.

Diack's lawyers had previously said he was in poor health and would die if sent to prison.

Despite his conviction he still enjoyed support in Senegal with Cheikh Seck, the owner of Senegalese football club Jaraaf, paying a 500,000 euro ($565,000 or £425,000 bond earlier this year that allowed Diack to return home.

"He was a good man, a great leader. We wanted him to come back home. It took us one month (to gather the 500,000 euros)," Seck, a businessman and former Senegal international goalkeeper, said after Diack's death.

"It was really important, we never imagined he could finish his life somewhere else."

In the past Seck described Diack as: "A worthy son of the nation, an all-round remarkable citizen."

Source: BBC

The Patents and Companies Registration Agency – PACRA- has assured the public that all records kept by the institution are safe following a fire that engulfed the power room yesterday.

PACRA Public Relations and Business Development Manager VAIDA NJOVU says only the power room was affected by the fire.

Ms. NJOVU says the power room is where the Uninterrupted Power Supply -UPS- unit is kept to provide power back up in case the primary source experiences a surge.

She has disclosed that the air conditioner in the power room was yesterday morning changed and could have caused the electrical fault that started the fire.

Ms. NJOVU says investigations into the cause of the fire have been instituted.

She says the UPS system and two air conditioners valued at 500,000 Kwacha were gutted.

Speaking in an interview with ZNBC News in Lusaka today, Mrs. NJOVU said PACRA has invested in a business continuity plan that allows for operations to continue in case of disturbances such as a fire.

She said PACRA has backup services for all records kept and will continue to provide the required services


Source: ZNBC

President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA says government will uphold the principle of non interference in internal affairs of other countries.

President HICHILEMA says the UPND Administration will always be ready to actively participate in all endeavours that foster peace and development.

In a speech read on his behalf by Defence Minister AMBROSE LUFUMA, the President said government will continue to cooperate with other nations to foster development.

This was during the Defence Command and Staff College 23rd Graduation Ceremony in Lusaka today.

President HICHILEMA also said the government is committed to improving the conditions of service for all men and women in the defence force.

He further said the government will support the defence force in constructing the new staff college.

And Defence Services Command and Staff College Commandant Brigadier General OLIVER MUBITA said the 1- hundred and 6 graduates have gained academic and military skills adding that they are ready to take up any assignment.

Brigadier General MUBITA said the graduates comprise people from Zambia and other countries.

He also called on the government to assist with financial resources so that the new staff college can be completed to modern standards.


Source: ZNBC

The African Union council of Ministers has reaffirmed continued support for the sports development agenda in the region as part of continental ambitions.

Youth, Sports and Arts Minister ELVIS NKANDU says Team Zambia has started the Zone 5 regional youth games on a good note as the Boys’ football team defeated the host country Lesotho by two goals to nil in their opening encounter.

NKANDU says he has confidence that the other sports disciplines will equally rise to the occasion, being football for girls, Judo, Swimming, Athletics, Netball, Boxing and Tennis.

He says the Region 5 Youth Games are primary in the development of sports in the region as they encourage young sportspersons to develop towards stages where they can in future represent their nations and the whole region.

NKANDU adds that the games also enable young people from different Member States to meet, mix and get to know each other, thereby developing the required community spirit and regional integration.

He says the youth games also help in developing a spirit of fair play and mutual respect among young athletes of the Region, and provide opportunities for countries to unite in working on an agreed common sports programme.

NKANDU is in Maseru, Lesotho, attending the African Union Sports Council of Ministers Meeting on behalf of Zambia.


Source: ZNBC

The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has condemned attempts by some people in authority to influence the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in its investigation of businessman Zuneth Sattar into suspected corrupt practices.

In a statement, which MLS President Patrick Mpaka and Honorary Secretary Chrispin Ngunde, the society says the graft-busting body has to operate independently of any office or person.

The statement says MLS has obtained information suggesting attempts by certain State actors and some individuals at influencing, interfering, directing or misdirecting the bureau on how to conduct its functions in the investigations concerning alleged corrupt dealings by the said businessman.

Recently, courts have issued two rulings concerning investigations surrounding Sattar – one refusing a media gag and the other denying him a restraining order that sought to stop the ACB from cooperating with the United Kingdom’s investigative agencies.

The society reminds all State actors in all the three branches of government that all legal and political authority of the State derives from the people of Malawi as a whole to serve and protect their interests.

“The Malawi Law Society states that any direct or indirect interference or any form of direction to the Anti-Corruption Bureau by any person or officeholder present or past in regards to the conduct of functions of the bureau is an illegality and does not promote the rule of law or protect the public interest in seeking to curb corruption and develop the country for all, “the statement reads.

“The Malawi Law Society states that any direct or indirect interference or any form of direction to the Anti-Corruption Bureau by any person or officeholder present or past in regards to the conduct of functions of the bureau is an illegality and does not promote the rule of law or protect the public interest in seeking to curb corruption and develop the country for all,” the statement reads.

However, in a telephone interview Ngunde said ACB Director Martha Chizuma has not complained to the society formerly or otherwise but they have information of attempts to interfere with the bureau in its work and that is why they are reminding stakeholders that the bureau has to be independent of anybody.

Source: Times News

Chad junta leader Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno has moved up to a higher rank in the military, from a lieutenant general to a general.

On Wednesday, the Chadian leader wore five stars on his uniform and beret as he arrived at a venue outside the presidential palace in a five-star command car.

He previously had four stars, as a lieutenant general.

The presidency’s head of protocol sent a press release on Thursday informing state institutions and the public of the changes.

The junta leader came to power after the death of his father, Idriss Déby Itno, in April. His father had been president since 1990.

Only his father had the rank of a five-star military general before his death.

Source: BBC

Zimbabwe has confirmed the presence of the Omicron coronavirus in the country.

Speaking on state TV, Vice-President and Health Minister Constantino Chiwenga said that it followed genome sequencing but gave no further details.

New Covid cases rose sharply this week, with 712 new cases being recorded on Wednesday and 399 on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the government reimposed curfews and mandatory testing and quarantines for travellers to prevent a fourth wave.

Zimbabwe is among the southern African countries facing travel bans by western countries including the European Union, the UK and the US.

Source: BBC

Zambia has been allocated 302,400 doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines by The Mastercard Foundation and Africa CDC.

The vaccines have been purchased under the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative.

In a joint statement, the two institutions have stated that the shipment is part of a first tranche of vaccines to be delivered under the initiative.

The Mastercard Foundation through Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative is purchasing vaccines for more than 65 million people across Africa and set for distribution within countries by UNICEF.

Mastercard Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer REETA ROY says timely delivery of the vaccines underscores the effectiveness of the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust.

Ms. ROY has called on all actors to step forward to save lives and livelihoods in Africa as more remains to be done to urgently increase vaccination rates.

And CDC Director of Africa, JOHN NKENGASONG observed that vaccinations on the continent are steadily picking up.

Dr. NKENGASONG said the CDC is working hard on the ground to get jabs-in-arms, which is the ultimate measure of success.

Vaccines purchased under Saving Lives and Livelihoods build on a historic agreement negotiated by the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust -AVAT- earlier this year for the purchase of 4-hundred million Johnson & Johnson vaccines as and a more recent agreement
or the purchase of 50 million Moderna vaccines.

The Mastercard Foundation will fund the purchase of 57 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines and is seeking to purchase approximately 17 million Moderna vaccines.

The AVAT mechanism was created to enable African countries to pool together resources to directly purchase vaccines at discounted prices made possible by volume orders.

And African Union Special Envoy STRIVE MASIYIWA said through the AVAT, the AU has secured enough vaccines to vaccinate 4-hundred and 50 million people by September 2022.

Mr. MASIYIWA who is a Zimbabwean billionaire and philanthropist said Africa has met its side of the bargain.


Source: ZNBC

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