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These vehicles are believed to belong to those abdcuted - they were found on the Kaduna-Abuja highwayImage caption: These vehicles are believed to belong to those abdcuted - they were found on the Kaduna-Abuja highway

Police in Nigeria's north-west state of Kaduna say an unknown number of people have been kidnapped and one person shot dead by suspected armed gangs along a highway linking the state to the capital Abuja.

The Sunday afternoon incident has triggered tension in the country’s capital and neighbouring states.

Videos emerged on social media showing several empty vehicles stranded on the highway - it is feared their occupants were kidnapped.

Kaduna state police spokesman Mohammed Jalige told the BBC that security forces have been deployed to the location after a team of government officials visited the scene of the attack on Monday.

The police declined to give the figure of those kidnapped.

But eyewitnesses said at least 40 people were kidnapped, and five others killed near Katari village.

A relative of one of the victims said that his brother’s car and those of several other travellers ran into an ambush set up by the armed men along the highway.

The attackers shot sporadically into the vehicles forcing them to stop.

The occupants of the vehicles were abducted and taken into the nearby forests while some who were hit by bullets died or were left lying in their pool of blood, witnesses say.

Katari is said to be one of the most notorious havens of kidnappers along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.

Although the Nigerian government says its crackdowns on kidnappers, referred locally as bandits, have led to the successful rescue of hundreds of abducted victims and the arrest of some of the kidnappers, this latest incident appears to indicate that citizens continue to live in danger and road travellers remain at the mercy of the attackers.

Source: BBC

LeBron James has been suspended for one match for the first time in his career after clashing with Isaiah Stewart as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.

The pair clashed as LA came from 17 points down to win 121-116.

James and Stewart were both ejected for their roles in the fracas - only the second time in James' 19-year NBA career he's been ejected from a game.

Stewart will miss two games for his role in the clash.

The incident happened in the third quarter. LA's James appeared to strike Pistons centre Stewart in the face as they battled for a rebound, leaving him with a large cut near his right eye.

Stewart then repeatedly had to be held back by team-mates and coaching staff as he tried to retaliate.

Both were then ejected from the game after an official review.

On Monday the NBA said Stewart was suspended for "escalating" the incident and "repeatedly and aggressively" pursuing James. James was handed his suspension for "recklessly hitting Stewart in the face" and "initiating" the altercation.

James will serve his suspension on Tuesday when the Lakers travel to play the New York Knicks.

"Everyone in the league knows LeBron's not a dirty guy," said James' Lakers team-mate Anthony Davis after the game. "In fact, when he knew he hit him, as soon as he did it, he looked back at him like, 'Oh, my bad. I didn't try to do it'."

"It was a tough play with Isaiah," said Pistons coach Dwane Casey. "His eye got cracked all the way open and he was upset for a reason. I don't think James is a dirty player, but again, it got them going."

Davis top-scored for the Lakers with 30 points and Russell Westbrook added 26 as the Lakers came back from 17 points down in the second half.

Source: BBC

ZANU PF’s Harare deputy chairperson Godwin Gomwe was once again hauled before the courts for assault after he allegedly unleashed his full wrath on a fellow party member for disrespecting him by talking to him while putting on his cap.

This comes barely two months after he was summoned to court on allegations of assaulting his superior, Goodwill’s Masimirembwa with a chair for side-lining him in one of the meetings held at the party’s provincial headquarters.

Gomwe is being jointly charged with Shelter Gomwe, Collins Gwatidzo and Fungai Rusinamhodzi.

They appeared before Harare magistrate Barbara Mateko on Friday and were remanded to December 9 for trial on $1 000 bail each.

The complainant is Gibson Labani.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), allegations are that on November 9 Labani arrived at Gomwe’s house and saw the accused persons waiting for him.

It is alleged that one of the accused persons called him to where they were seated and, upon arrival, Gomwe asked him why he had built his cabin in front of another cabin closing the entrance to his house.

The state alleges that Gomwe assaulted the complainant as he tried to explain what had happened.

It is further alleged that Gwatidzo also joined in assaulting the complainant accusing him of talking to their leader while wearing a cap.

Gomwe and accomplices, the state said, assaulted Emilia Mashavave on the same day accusing her of recording their conversations on her Itel phone.

It is alleged they assaulted her with booted feet and open palms.

The complainant allegedly fled the scene and sought refuge at Gomwe’s neighbour’s house.

She allegedly lost her phone valued US$45.

The complainants reported the matter to the police leading to their arrest.

Source: New Zimbabwe

KENYANS will be barred from bars, restaurants, and public transport from 21 December if they are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe says.

The measures are aimed at increasing the rate of vaccinations ahead of the festive season.

Less than 10% of the population is currently vaccinated.

Mr. Kagwe raised concern about the slow uptake, saying a 10-day vaccination campaign would begin from 26 November.

Despite the concerns that some African countries have a shortage of vaccines, the Kenyan government is confident that it has enough for its inoculation campaign.

It has so far administered only 6.4 million jabs out of the 10.7 million it has received.

It is expecting a further eight million doses.

In a statement, Mr. Kagwe said Kenya had seen a decline in Covid cases over the last two months, with a positivity rate over the last 14 days ranging from 0.8% to 2.6%.

“The current decline in the number of new infections may be attributed to a build-up of immunity both through natural exposure to the disease and the ongoing vaccination exercise. Nonetheless, we know that it’s not yet time to celebrate.

“We know that during the festive periods many of the known measures against the virus such as social distancing can easily get overlooked as people make merry,” Mr. Kagwe added.

From 21 December, people would have to be fully vaccinated to use public transport – including buses and domestic flights – or to enter hotels, bars, restaurants, and game reserves, Mr. Kagwe added.

The same rule would apply to hospital and prison visits, as well as to government buildings for education, immigration and tax purposes, he said.

Buses are the most common mode of public transport in Kenya

The government has set a target of vaccinating 10 million people by the end of December.

But this is just 20% of the total population, so the majority of the population could potentially be barred from government services.

However, Mr. Kagwe was also quoted as saying that the measures may not always be strictly enforced.

“We have given time for Kenyans to get the vaccine by December 21. As much as we will enforce these measures, accountability on implementing these measures will lie on individuals,” Mr. Kagwe was quoted by the local Standard newspaper as saying.

From Tuesday, people over the age of 15 will be able to get a Pfizer jab.

Over the last few months, vaccination centres have been set up at bus stops and shopping malls to boost inoculation rates in urban areas, but in rural areas people still have to travel long distances to be jabbed.

“It will take me a whole day to go to the health centre to get the jab and come back home,” said a woman in Kabartonjo, a village which, is about a seven-hour drive from the capital Nairobi.

“That means I have to close my stall where I sell vegetables and raw honey for the whole day. What will my children eat at the end of the day?” she told the BBC.

Vaccine hesitancy is also a major problem across Kenya.

“Why don’t they want to also address the fact that there are some perfectly healthy people who died after taking the vaccine?” another woman asked.

Health experts say the jabs significantly reduce the chances of a person getting infected or becoming seriously ill and that the risk of dying from any of the approved vaccines is extremely low.

Source: New Zimbabwe

AS the country gears up for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based-Violence, local film producers Rawsoot Studios, are set to premiere Neria 21, a remake of the popular film, Neria, which remains one of the greatest movies to emerge from Zimbabwe.

Just like the 1991 Neria, the remake explores issues around gender-based violence against women.

The film, which maintains the old narrative, also has a contemporary touch and also tackles issues such as cyberbullying.

“The film is about GBV against women. We also put focus on cyberbullying which is another form of abuse bedevilling society. Our film is a remake and not a duplication of the old film. We are telling the old story in a modern way. Neria 21 has a new cast, crew, production team and ideas,” said Trust Sayi, the Director.

According to Neria 21 Executive Producer, Vimbai Sinchuke they got a nod from the makers of the original Neria.

“We respect original works so we talked to Media for Development International, the makers of the original Neria who are now based in the USA. They gave us the copyrights to remake Neria,” said Vimbai Sinchuke, the Executive Producer.

Neria 21 will premiere at Ster Kinekor in Harare on the 25th of this month

Source: ZBC News

Zambia has recorded 87 new cases of Covid-19 and one death in the last week.

This is compared to 81 cases and 2 deaths the previous week.

Health Minister SLYVIA MASEBO says this marks a 7 percent increase in new cases.

Ms MASEBO says four new admissions were recorded during the week, compared with eight the previous week.

The Health Minister says the testing numbers for the week saw a 6 percent decrease, from 30- thousand 4- hundred and 99 to 28 – thousand 8- hundred and 8 tests.

In a statement to ZNBC News, Ms MASEBO said in the last 24 hours, the country recorded three new COVID-19 cases out of the 2-thousand 4-hundred and 99 tests conducted countrywide.

She said all three new cases were reported from Lusaka, while the remaining provinces did not report any positives from the tests conducted.

The cumulative number of COVID-19 confirmed cases recorded to date now stand at 2-hundred and 10 thousand and 73.

Ms MASEBO said currently the country has 90 active cases.

Source: ZNBC

Patriotic Front -PF -Member BIZWELL MUTALE has written to investigative wings to consider conducting a Forensic Lifestyle Audit on all the Ex-Government officials that served under the previous government.

Mr. MUTALE says the audit should be carried out with immediate effect.

He explains that this will exonerate the Patriotic Front Party and the innocent members from the public accusations of being a party of wrongdoings.

Mr. MUTALE says the audit should determine the source of income for the ex-government officials, before joining the PF party, government and after they joined alongside the assets acquired.

He says those that will be found guilty, the law will take its course in their own personal capacity with their closest associate and NOT the Patriotic Front Party.

Mr. MUTALE says the accusations coming from the Public; do not reflect the Patriotic Front Party as an entity and the members of the PF Party.

The letters have been sent to the Drug Enforcement Commission -DEC, Anti corruption commission -ACC, Zambia Revenue Authority -ZRA and the party President EDGAR LUNGU.

And Mr. MUTALE has requested all PF members that were allocated campaign motor vehicles at all levels to be returned to the Patriotic Front Party Secretariat Head Quarters in Lusaka.

He also says there is need for the allocated campaign funds be accounted for to the party, since all the Party campaign activities are over.

This is in a separate letter addressed to the Deputy Secretary General, NIXON CHILANGWA.

Source: ZNBC

The government has retrieved 19 girls from forced marriages out of a total of 22 girls who were married off by their parents and guardians in Shiwang’andu `district.

Shiwang’andu Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Kalale Katele says the issue of early marriage is very rife in the district adding that his office has managed to retrieve 19 girls of the 22 girls from early marriages and has redirected them back into School.

“We have a big problem in this school especially when it comes to the withdraw of girl children who are forced into early marriage and so far we have managed to withdraw 19 girls out of 22 who were married off by their parents, ” said Mr. Katele.

The DEBS disclosed the development when Education Minister Douglas Siakalima paid a courtesy call on newly appointed District Commissioner Maureen Mwamba at her office yesterday.

Mr. Katele further said that at Musonko Primary School 8 pupils all in Grade 7 have been impregnated.

The DEBS further disclosed that the government has brought on board a number of cooperating partners that are rendering assistance to vulnerable children.

He said one of the cooperation partners , Campaign for Female Education ( CAMFED) has sponsored 1,125 girls , while under a programme of Keeping Girls in Schools ( KGS) 244 are being sponsored.

Mr. Katele said 2, 000 girls are expected to be under KGS sponsorship, adding that so far beneficiaries have already been identified.

Meanwhile, construction works on Matumbo Boarding School project with a revised sum project of K67, 000,000 have resumed and the contractor is back on site.

Shiwang`andu District Education Buildings Officer William Luchele said that construction works have reached at 65% completion.

Mr. Luchele added that the scope of works done is ablution blocks, laboratories for Information Technology(ICT), Sciences, Home Economics, a Library and Assembly Hall and Housing Units for Teachers among others.

And Minister of Education Douglas Siakalima said that there is need for Matumbo Boarding School to be completed in order to protect the infrastructure from vandalism.

Mr. Siakalima said this when he inspected progress works at Matumbo Boarding School yesterday.

Source: Lusaka Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leader Peter Mutharika over the weekend engaged people that are aspiring for the party’s top position, a development DPP spokesperson Shadric Namalomba has described as a move aimed at strengthening the party.

Political analyst Mustafa Hussein has since commended Mutharika for initiating reconciliation.

The development comes after, at this year’s Mulhakho wa Alhomwe cultural event in Mulanje District, former president Bakili Muluzi urged Mutharika to unite warring factions in the party.

Namalomba said six presidential aspirants met with the party’s leader in Blantyre on Saturday, when he urged them to stop campaigning and concentrate on party-building efforts.

The aspirants are Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa, former Reserve Bank of Malawi governor Dalitso Kabambe, Machinga Likwenu legislator Bright Msaka, Chiradzulu South Member of Parliament Joseph Mwanamvekha, Prophet David Mbewe and Paul Gadama.

He said aspirants pledged to shelve their presidential ambitions and stop campaigning until the DPP convention dates are announced.

“The aspirants have further agreed to end all camps in the party and that all their media teams will be merged into one media team for the party and to be led by the party’s spokesperson,” Namalomba indicates in a statement.

A year ago, DPP’s central committee expelled Nankhumwa, who is the party’s Southern Region vice-president, secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey and others for what the committee described as “gross misconduct”.

The committee accused Nankhumwa of imposing himself as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament while the others were accused of taking part in the scheme.

Nankhumwa went to court over the issue but, in a statement released by Namalomba, the party claims that Nankhumwa has agreed to withdraw the court case.

The statement further indicates that Nankhumwa remains the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Hussein has said Mutharika’s gesture could be aimed at bringing peace and sanity to the party, which had been characterised by conflicts.

“It is a commendable step, one that can raise some hope that, probably, the party will now start rebuilding,” he said.

Source: The Times Group

Football fans in South Africa have proposed Pitso Mosimane - one of the country's top coaches - to take up the role at English club Manchester United.

After a string of poor performances, the Premier League club sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over the weekend and launched a search for a high-profile manager to turn things around.

Several top coaches have been linked to the vacancy but according to South African tweeters there's only one man for the job.

A photoshopped picture of Mosimane wearing a Manchester United-branded jacket has been shared by several tweeters.

One of them went a step further to match-make - tagging the coach's and the club's accounts.

Mosimane currently manages top Egyptian side Al Ahly.

Last year, he led the side to win a second African Champions League and the team later impressed in the Fifa Club World Cup, reaching the semi-finals.

The 57-year-old previously had great success in the South African league with Mamelodi Sundowns, guiding them to a maiden Champions League win in 2016 as well as five league titles.

It does make you wonder what Manchester United are waiting for...

Source: BBC

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