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The new scheduling of the Fifa Club World Cup is "disrespectful" to Africa, according to former Egypt international Mido.

The world governing body's tournament was due to take place in December but is now set to be held from 3-12 February in the United Arab Emirates after original hosts Japan pulled out because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The revised dates clash with the culmination of the Africa Cup of Nations, which will see the continent's national champions decided in the final on 6 February in Cameroon.

Egyptians Al Ahly will be Africa's representatives in the UAE and could be without several players depending on their respective countries' progress at the Nations Cup.

"Fifa deciding to hold the Club World Cup while Afcon is going on is a sign of disrespect to African football," former Ajax and Tottenham striker Mido said on Twitter.

"It wouldn't have been the case with the Euros or Copa America."

The Club World Cup sees the winners of the continental cups in Fifa's six confederations, along with the UAE league champions, compete to become world club champions.

Al Ahly says its participation in the tournament will be impacted as the club expects to have "more than seven players" in the Egypt squad for the Nations Cup, along with three other internationals on duty in Cameroon.

The Cairo-based outfit will write official letters to the Egyptian FA, Nations Cup organisers Confederation of African Football and Fifa on Tuesday, requesting the three bodies "collaborate to resolve the clash of dates" between the two events.

Al Ahly, holders of the African Champions League, will face CF Monterrey of Mexico when they enter the Club World Cup in the second round, which is likely to take place on the same day as the Nations Cup final.

The winners of that match will play newly-crowned Copa Libertadores champions Palmeiras in the semi-finals, while European champions Chelsea take on either Al Hilal, Al Jazira or Auckland City in the other last-four tie.

The Blues may be missing goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and winger Hakim Ziyech if Senegal and Morocco respectively have good runs at the Nations Cup.

Source: BBC

The UN has said that 156 people have so far died from cholera in Niger, three months after the World Health Organization reported an outbreak.

The eastern region of Maradi is most affected with more than 5,400 people infected countrywide.

The region borders Nigeria where 31,425 suspected cholera cases were reported in 22 states.

The rainy season during the month of August, which resulted in poor drinking habits of rainwater infected with all kinds of unsanitary conditions drained by erosion.

This was one of the main vectors for the spread of the epidemic to other parts of the country, especially in the tri-border area between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali.

Source: BBC

Nigerian authorities say 252 inmates are on the run after gunmen attacked a prison in the central city of Jos.

Nine detainees, one prison staff member and one of the gunmen were killed during Sunday's raid, the Correctional Service said in a statement.

At least 10 inmates who fled were rearrested.

The attacked prison is located in an area housing the state headquarters of the country’s security agencies, including the police.

Armed groups - sometimes trying to free their detained members - have frequently targeted Nigeria’s crowded prisons.

More than 800 inmates were freed after gunmen raided two other facilities in recent weeks.

Source: :BBC

China's President Xi Jinping has promised to send to Africa some one billion Covid vaccine doses to help close the "vaccination gap".

The president made the pledge during the China-Africa summit.

Out of the one billion, 600 million doses will come from China directly while 400 million will come from other sources like funded production sites.

China has already been giving doses to African countries.

The recent pledge comes amid the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant that was first detected in southern Africa.

Source: BBC

Zambia Airways has taken delivery of its first aircraft ahead of the commencement of commercial operations on December 1.

The 70-seater Bombardier Dash 8 Q-400, the first of six planes the airline is expected to operate, touched down at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at 13:30 Hours and was honoured with a traditional water gun salute.

Transport and Logistics Minister Frank Tayali was on hand to receive the aircraft after it was handed over to the Zambia Airways crew by Ethiopian Airlines, which co-owns the airline with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

“My ministry welcomes the relaunch of Zambia Airways… Contrary to anxieties and fears, Zambia Airways should not be looked at as coming to kill the private sector. Instead, it will promote competition and the beneficiaries will be the people of Zambia,” Mr Tayali said.

He said the airline would be critical to the growth of the tourism sector and related industries such as hotels and restaurants.

Zambia Airways Board Chairman Mr Bonaventure Mutale said the relaunch of Zambia Airways after an almost 30-year absence was a major milestone in the Zambian aviation history.

“The arrival of the aircraft is a firm statement by the Board and Management that Zambia Airways is commencing operations on December 1. The re-emergence of a national carrier comes with pride to the Zambian people,” Mr Mutale said.

The airline will commence domestic flights from its hub in Lusaka to Ndola and Livingstone five and six times a week, respectively.

The airline will introduce additional domestic routes to Mfuwe and Solwezi and regional destinations to Johannesburg and Harare in the first quarter of 2022.

Source: Lusaka Times

Advocates for National Democracy and Development ANDD has cautioned the government against forcing and making it mandatory for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

ANDD executive director Samuel Banda has since advised the UPND government to respect the bill of rights as guided by the constitution of Zambia, and not force people to get vaccinated.

“Zambia is not a dictatorship, we are a Christian democratic country guided by a constitution that respects an individual’s right to choose,” he said in a statement.

Mr Banda has however encouraged citizens to get vaccinated as one of the ways to combat the spread of Covid-19.

He said getting vaccinated should however not be a forcing matter as the UPND government has made it to be.

He said the government should instead use constitutionally accepted methods to engage people respectfully for them to get vaccinated as opposed to threatening them with punitive measures such as being denied entry into government offices or threatening their jobs if they don’t get vaccinated.

“The UPND government promised the people of Zambia that they will respect the constitution and uphold the rule of law, hence our reminder to them to honor the constitution by respecting the bill of rights.

The government has heightened measures aimed at averting the COVID-19 fourth wave by, among other things, restricting unvaccinated persons from accessing government buildings.

Health Minister, Silvia Masebo announced that measures will come into effect on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021.

Ms. Masebo also announced that wearing masks in public places including bus stations and markets will be mandatory and further announced that access to government buildings by anyone will require the production of a vaccine certificate

Source: Lusaka Times

The jailed ex-Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is due to meet the parents of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, who he was convicted of murdering in 2013.

The meeting is part of a process that could lead to the 35-year-old's eventual release on parole.

The South African has been moved to a different prison nearer to where Mr and Mrs Steenkamp live, officials said.

Pistorius is up for possible release after having served half his 13 years and five month sentence.

But he first must participate in what is called "restorative justice".

Source: BBC

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa has been charged with four counts of fraud by the country's Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

The total amount of money Mwendwa and others, who were not in court, are accused of taking from FKF is just over Kshs 38 million - which is approximately $337,200.

Mwendwa, who has in the past denied any wrongdoing, was arraigned in court in Nairobi on Monday having spent the weekend in jail after his re-arrest on Friday.

He will spend another night behind bars, with a bail hearing set for Tuesday.

According to the police documents the offences took place between 4 March and 31 May this year.

Monday's court appearance comes two weeks after he was released on bail after a previous arrest.

Last Thursday the FKF announced the case against him was over as the court returned his Kshs 4 million (approximately $36,000) bail money.

However, the Kenyan police later clarified that it was not the fraud case which had been closed.

"It was only a miscellaneous application by police to have Mwendwa remanded in police custody for a longer period of 14 days to enable completion of investigation before being charged formally," Kenyan police spokesperson Bruno Shioso told BBC Sport Africa.

It meant that the DCI continued its investigations and eventually arrested him for a second time, with Mwendwa now being formally charged with corruption.

Source: BBC

President Lazarus Chakwera, who is also Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Chairperson, Sunday condemned the international community, especially western countries, for imposing a travel ban on Sadc countries because of the new variant of Covid named Omicron.

Some European countries and the United States (US) have restricted travel from South Africa and seven other southern African countries to try to contain the new coronavirus variant.

Reacting to the ban, Chakwera wrote on his Facebook page: “We are all concerned about the new Covid variant and owe South Africa’s scientists our thanks for identifying it before anyone else did. But the unilateral travel bans now imposed on Sadc countries by the UK [United Kingdom], EU [European Union], US, Australia and others are uncalled for. Covid measures must be based on science, not Afrophobia.”

On its part, Israel reported that the new variant—known as B.1.1.529—was detected in a person who returned to Israel from Malawi, reports which quote the country’s health ministry.

Information Minister Gospel Kazako, who is also government spokesperson, concurred with Chakwera, saying the decision had not been made based on science.

“If you look at the countries [that have imposed travel bans on us] themselves, you will find that there is no consistency. One country is banning four countries, another is banning six and another is banning seven. If the decision is based on science, why are they banning different numbers of countries?

“Did the person in question fly straight from Malawi to Israel? The person must have landed in other countries too before arriving in Israel; so, why are such countries not banned,” he said.

Epidemiologist Titus Divala said the bans were, indeed, not imposed based on research.

“The rise of Omicron (B.1.1.529) cases is very worrying but not strange considering the behaviour of SARS-CoV-2. It is also worth mentioning that Covid mutation rates are often higher with conducive environments presented by unvaccinated people. It, therefore, wouldn’t be a surprise to see new variants on the African continent with our limited access to the vaccine. Another important risk factor is immune-suppression, which can be a result of untreated HIV infection, also a not so uncommon occurrence on the continent.

“While the rise of Omicron (B.1.1.529) is very worrying, it is very unfortunate and strange that the countries are already implementing travel restrictions without clinical data on transmissibility, vaccine effectiveness and severity,” he said.

Presidential Taskforce on Covid co-Chairperson Wilson Chalamira Nkhoma said the committee met last Friday after noting rising numbers of Covid cases and deaths.

Nkhoma also said it was likely that the new variant would respond to all the Covid vaccines a bit less but insisted it was worth getting the vaccines.

“What we are seeing is that this variant called Omicron has the most mutations of all the variants we have seen, which means that the response to the Covid vaccine will be less but we still encourage all those who have not been fully vaccinated to do so,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has warned that the resurgence of Covid in some countries within the Southern African region puts Malawi at “an increased risk” of experiencing the fourth wave of Covid.

Minister responsible, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, who is also Presidential Taskforce on Covid Chairpersons, warned that Malawi was at a critical point and that the cases could be from both imported and local transmission.

“We are at a critical point whereby we need to prevent a resurgence of Covid in our country,” said Kandodo Chiponda in the Covid update statement on Saturday.

On Saturday last week, Mwansambo indicated that Omicron is characterised by an increased risk of re-infection as compared to other variants of concern.

Speaking to the BBC, Africa Vaccine Delivery Alliance co- Chairperson Ayoade Alakija, who is based in Nigeria, lamented travel restrictions that some European countries and the US have imposed on countries such as Malawi.

Alakija claimed that the ban was based on politics not on science, which she described as wrong.

Source: The Times Group

President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA has tasked relevant authorities to enforce measures that will recover public resources paid for undelivered goods and services to government.

President HICHILEMA says it is unacceptable that contracts worth about 12-billion kwacha were signed for feeder roads and some contractors were given down payments but no works have been done.

He says over 63-million dollars was also paid for two projects which were never delivered.

Officially opening a Procurement meeting for Ministers and Permanent Secretaries in Lusaka today, the President said the meeting is aimed at encouraging officers to move in and get back the money.

The Head of State said public service procurement is a key tenet to public governance hence needs to be adhered to at all times.

He lamented that public procurement officers, Permanent Secretaries and Ministers became suppliers of public services to government at inflated prices.

The President asked the Ministers and Permanent Secretaries to help restore order in the public procurement process and avoid being found on the wrong side of the law.

He revealed that some Ministers are already under pressure from businesses that have survived on government contracts hence encouraged them to be strong because they risk being flashed out.

President HICHILEMA also stated that Zambia stands NO chance of reconstructing the economy if systems which collapsed are not worked on.

He said public expenditure, procurement of fertilizer, fuel, infrastructure like roads and general procurement have been the major hindrance to economic development and need urgent attention.

President HICHILEMA said Zambians voted for employment, health, education and opportunities which will work with enhanced trade and investments by sorting out challenges.

And Acting Secretary to the Cabinet PATRICK KANGWA said the public service needs serious transformation to promote effectiveness, humility and inclusiveness as part of delivering targets by the new dawn administration.

Mr. KANGWA said a series of four meetings focused on managing results for Permanent Secretaries and decentralization policy implementation among others have been lined up.

He said none of the four meetings is attracting allowances for participants except for NINE Provincial Ministers and Permanent Secretaries for their accommodation and meals.

And in a vote of thanks dubbed “Knowledge is Power,” Justice Minister MULAMBO HAIMBE said the meeting will empower participants with tools to do the right thing in delivering to the masses.

He said attaining necessary procurement tools by Ministers and Permanent Secretaries is key for them as gate keepers of public resources.

 

Source: ZNBC

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