Africanews RSS free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 15:40:00 +0000SADC urges US, EU to lift Zimbabwe sanctions SADC Chairman, President John Magufuli, has appealed to the international community to scrap sanctions against Zimbabwe, saying the country has already opened a new page and is ready to move forward. Speaking during his maiden acceptance speech after assuming the SADC chairmanship, the Tanzanian Head of State said when you chop a hand from the body, the whole body gets affected. He said the problems that face Zimbabwe, literally face all countries in the region. “Zimbabwe has been under sanctions for years, but we need the world to understand that when you chop a hand, the whole body gets affected,” he said. He appealed to the international community to lift sanctions it imposed on Zimbabwe, and called for other SADC member states to stand together to make sure that sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West are lifted. President Magufuli said the sanction have not only been hurting Zimbabweans, but people from the entire bloc. “We should unite to support Zimbabwe against sanctions imposed by western countries, because they (sanctions), are hurting Zimbabweans and people from across member states,” he said. European Union (EU), sanctions on Zimbabwe were first imposed in 2002, by Common Position 2002/145/CFSP. The sanctions comprised of arms embargo, as well as an asset freeze and travel ban on targeted people and entities. The current EU sanctions on Zimbabwe is imposed pursuant to Council Regulation (EC), No 314/2004 (as amended) and Council Decision 2011/101/CFSP (as amended), and likewise consists of an arms embargo and targeted asset freezes and travel bans.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 15:40:00 (Eric Oteng) declares state of emergency in two eastern provinces after intercommunal clashes President Idriss Deby declared a state of emergency in two eastern provinces on Sunday after violent intercommunal clashes left dozens dead earlier this month. The state of emergency will run for three months in Sila and Ouaddai regions where 50 people have died since August 9 in fighting between cattle herders and settled farmers, the president’s office said. “From now, we will deploy military forces who are going to ensure the security of the population in the region,“ Deby said while on a trip to Sila. “We must disarm all the civilians who have weapons in their hands,“ he said. Eastern Chad is in the grip of a cycle of violence between nomadic camel herders — many from the Zaghawa ethnic group from which Deby hails — and sedentary farmers from the Ouaddian community. Drought and population growth have aggravated the conflict.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 14:25:00 (Eric Oteng) 330 migrants rescued off Libyan coast Libyan navy announced on Sunday that it had rescued 335 migrants and rescued the body of a person in separate operations north of the capital Tripoli as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean. “A coast guard patrol rescued 57 illegal migrants on Saturday on a wooden boat 40 nautical miles north of Zouara, including 17 women and nine children,” General Ayoub Kacem, the Navy’s spokesman, told AFP. They come from Ethiopia and Egypt, he said. On Tuesday, Libyan Navy patrols “rescued 278 migrants in four inflatable boats northwest and northeast of Tripoli,” General Kacem added. According to the Libyan navy, they included 128 Sudanese, Chadians, Egyptians, Nigerians, Beninese and Eritreans, including 35 women and 11 children. Only one body was recovered by the Coast Guard. Since the fall of dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been plunged into chaos, with a multitude of armed groups and rival political forces. Migrants rescued at sea by the navy are first welcomed by local NGOs, which provide them with care and food, before being taken care of by agents of the anti-immigration body of the Ministry of the Interior of the Government of National Unity (GNA), recognized by the United Nations. The Libyan navy accused the authorities on 9 August of failure and slowness in taking care of migrants rescued at sea, claiming that it could be forced to let them go free once they were brought back to land. Despite the risks that a crossing represents for Europe, migrants take to the sea, preferring to try their luck rather than stay in Libya, where they are subjected to abuse, extortion and torture, conditions frequently denounced by NGOs.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 11:30:00 (Eric Oteng) trade war, Brexit uncertainty pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects-AfDB boss U.S.-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters. The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight. Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on October 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows. Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa of 4% in 2019 and 4.1% in 2020 – if global external shocks accelerate. “We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam. “You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.” The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks. “I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said. “It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance. Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade. “The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said. “The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labour, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”Sun, 18 Aug 2019 10:36:00 (Eric Oteng)'s Renamo alleges member attacked days after peace deal’s former rebel group-turned-opposition party Renamo on Friday said its members came under attack just days after the signing of a historic peace deal aimed at ending years of conflict. Renamo spokesperson Jose Manteigas said dozens of party members have been assaulted by police and members of the ruling Frelimo party across the country, adding that the attacks could threaten the landmark peace agreement. He said Renamo members have been beaten and their houses and other properties torched in the provinces of Tete, Zambezia, Inhambane and Gaza, mainly in night-time attacks since August 8. That was just two days after the much-hailed and long-awaited peace deal was signed by President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo leader Ossufo Momade on August 6. “Unfortunately, contrary to the common desire for peace, national reconciliation, acceptance of different thinking and peaceful political cohabitation, two days after the signing of the Maputo Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, acts of violence and political intolerance were perpetrated by members of the Frelimo party, (and) police… in various parts of the country,” Manteigas said. “These macabre acts are politically motivated” and bring into “question the effectiveness of the agreement,” he told reporters at the party headquarters in the capital Maputo. He added that said senior Frelimo officials, particularly in the northwest of the country, have consistently prevented Renamo from carrying out political activities. The allegations come just two weeks before campaigning begins for general elections on October 15 that Frelimo, the East African country’s dominant political force for more than four decades, is expected to win. After the country gained independence from Portugal in 1975, Renamo fought a brutal civil war against the Frelimo government that left one million people dead before fighting stopped in 1992. Despite the end of the civil war – and the group transforming into a political party – Renamo retained an armed wing. Fresh clashes then erupted again between government forces and Renamo fighters between 2013 and 2016. However Renamo started disarming its armed wing late last month as part of the peace deal.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 10:22:00 (Eric Oteng) to offer automakers tax breaks to set up manufacturing plants will offer tax breaks of up to 10 years to automakers that set up local manufacturing plants, as the government seeks to attract international companies such as Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co. Volkswagen and Nissan both agreed last year to set up auto-assembly plants if Ghana signed off on an official incentive plan, while Renault SA said in January it would consider a similar move. In March, Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki Motor Corp. announced a joint venture to produce vehicles in the nation. Ghana’s move to lure carmakers follows South Africa, which has attracted seven manufacturers including Renault, Nissan and Toyota with tax incentives. That’s produced one of the bright spots of an otherwise moribund economy, accounting for about 7% of GDP. The full 10-year tax break will only apply to companies building whole vehicles in Ghana, though a five year holiday will be available for partial manufacturing, Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen said in a presentation. Import duties on new and used vehicles will be increased to 35% from 5%-20% to encourage the purchase of locally built units, while bringing in cars, which are older than 10 years, will be banned, he said.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 09:44:00 (Eric Oteng) F.A.O. Director-General Jacques Diouf passes away politician and diplomat Jacques Diouf, who was Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) from 1994 to the end of 2011, died at the age of 81. announced Senegalese President Macky Sall. “Senegal has lost one of its most valuable sons with the death of our countryman Jacques Diouf. He was an effective collaborator for me at the beginning of my first term, “the Senegalese president said on Twitter, offering his condolences. Senegal has lost one of its most valuable sons with the death of our compatriot Jacques Diouf. He was an effective collaborator at the beginning of my first term. I salute his memory and offer my heartfelt condolences to his grieving family. Born August 1, 1938 in Saint-Louis in northern Senegal, diplomat known for his pragmatism, Jacques Diouf died in France after a long illness, said his family, quoted by Senegalese media.Married with five children, he had a post-graduate education in France (agronomist degree, master’s degree in tropical agronomy, doctorate in social sciences) and a higher management diploma in New York. 16 years at the head of FAO Appointed Secretary of State for Scientific Research of Senegal by President Léopold Sédar Senghor in 1978, he was deputy for Saint-Louis from 1983 to 1984. He then left Senegal to work at the Research Center for International Development in Senegal. Ottawa, at the Central Bank of West Africa, before becoming, in 1991, ambassador of his country to the United Nations headquarters in New York. Elected to head FAO in 1993, he was to serve three six-year terms. Under his leadership, the UN organization sought the collaboration of the private sector and stars by launching spectacular operations to raise funds for World Food Day. We need to ” let humanity know that it is no longer possible to treat these vital resources as if they were infinite, ” he said about the degradation of land and water in one his most recent interventions as Director General of FAO in November 2011. That same year, while the famine raged in the Horn of Africa due to an exceptional drought, Jacques Diouf said he could not bear to ” see the image of a child who is at risk of starving “, adding: ” We would not wish that for our children, I do not see why we would accept it for the children of others “.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 09:07:00 (Eric Oteng) Africa beat Argentina in friendly at Pretoria Nkosi scored two brilliant tries as South Africa beat Argentina 24-18 on Saturday in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match in Pretoria. The winger struck in each half for the Springboks, who found the going much tougher than last weekend when they hammered the Pumas by 33 points in Salta to win the Rugby Championship. South Africa have an embarrassment of riches on the right wing with Nkosi and Cheslin Kolbe, who was rested for this match, bidding to start against New Zealand in Japan on September 21 in their World Cup opener. All the other South African points at Loftus Versfeld came from fly-half Elton Jantjies, who kicked a conversion and four penalties. Forwards Guido Petti and skipper Pablo Matera each scored a try for Argentina. Joaquin Diaz Bonilla kicked a conversion and a penalty and Benjamin Urdapilleta a penalty. South Africa skipper and flanker Siya Kolisi showed no ill effects from a knee injury sustained last May before coming off after 53 minutes of his first international appearance this season. Coach Rassie Erasmus wanted Kolisi to concentrate on his personal performance so he did not restore the captaincy. Instead veteran hooker Schalk Brits became, at 38 the second oldest Springbok to lead the team. Although Argentina suffered a ninth consecutive loss, there was encouragement for coach Mario Ledesma from a much improved scrummaging performance, that won several penalties. The Pumas thought they had taken the lead with three minutes left when debutant Lucas Mensa touched down, but the try was disallowed for obstruction by fellow centre Jeronimo de la Fuente. South Africa started with an entirely different team from the one that crushed Argentina 46-13 last weekend in Salta to win the Rugby Championship for the first time. Argentina made 10 changes after being humiliated at home. Springboks flanker Marcell Coetzee was off on 17 minutes and could not return after failing a head injury assessment test. South Africa dominated territory and possession, but had to wait 20 minutes before being rewarded when Jantjies kicked a 22-metre penalty from in front of the posts. Argentina had their first scoring chance seven minutes later. Diaz Bonilla succeeded with a more difficult penalty kick than that of Jantjies. A stop-start half was crying out for a try. It finally arrived on 32 minutes when slick handling allowed Nkosi to step inside one opponent before holding off two others to score. Jantjies struck a post with his conversion attempt leaving South Africa with an 8-3 advantage that did not adequately reflect their superiority. That lead evaporated in additional time at the end of the half when Petti intercepted a pass from scrum-half Cobus Reinach and, showing amazing pace for a lock, scored between the posts. Bonilla converted and the Pumas led 10-8 at the break despite being on the back foot for much of the opening 40 minutes. The highlight of the second half was the second Nkosi try on 48 minutes, which gave the Springboks a lead they never surrendered. Seemingly hemmed in, he beat three Pumas and then dived over Sebastian Cancelliere to raise his Test try tally to seven since debuting last season.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 06:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Kenyan drug trafficker jailed 25 years in the US U.S. judge sentenced a leading Kenyan drug trafficker, Baktash Akasha, to 25 years in prison on Friday after he pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to import heroin and methamphetamine and other crimes. U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan sentenced Akasha, 42. Prosecutors described Akasha as the leader of a crime family called the Akasha organization, a major smuggling operation connecting the poppy fields of Afghanistan to European and U.S. cities. In his guilty plea, Akasha also admitted to bribing officials in Kenya. His brother, Ibrahim Akasha, has also pleaded guilty in the case and is scheduled to be sentenced by the same judge in November. Baktash Akasha took control of the organization after his father, Ibrahim Akasha, was killed in a shooting, according to authorities. Prosecutors had sought a life sentence for Baktash Akasha. His lawyer, George Goltzer, asked for a sentence close to the legal minimum of 10 years. Goltzer argued the lighter sentence was warranted because Akasha was caught in a sting operation and never actually brought any drugs into the United States. “They want a life sentence without an American victim, without drugs in the United States,” he said during the hearing. Just before he was sentenced, Akasha apologized to his friends and family as he asked the judge to show “mercy.” Goltzer said after the sentence that the judge had been “very thoughtful,” but declined to comment further. The case stemmed from a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration probe into the Akasha organization, leading to the extradition of the brothers to the United States from Kenya in January 2017 along with Gulam Hussein, a Pakistani national charged with heading a drug transportation network, and Vijaygiri Goswami, an Indian businessman accused of managing the organization’s drug business. The four defendants were arrested in Mombasa, Kenya, in November 2014 in a U.S.-led sting operation, in which authorities said the Akasha organization provided 99 kilograms (218 lb) of heroin and two kilograms of methamphetamine to DEA informants posing as drug traffickers. A fifth defendant accused of working with the Akasha organization, Muhammad Asif Hafeez, was arrested in London in August 2017. The United States has requested his extradition. The Akasha family has been involved in the drug trade for years, according to U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks. The Satao Project, a private company focused on fighting poaching, has said the Akasha network was also linked to around 30 tons of ivory seizures.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 06:00:00 (Eric Oteng) claims over 2500 lives in the DRC measles epidemic has caused more than 2,700 deaths between January and early August in the DRC, killing more people in seven months than Ebola in one year, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported in a tweet read on Saturday. “The measles epidemic declared on June 10 is the deadliest that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has known since 2011-2012 Between January and early August 2019, it infected more than 145,000 people and resulted in 2,758 deaths” , according to the MSF-DRC tweet dated Friday. “Despite the magnitude of the measles epidemic in the DRC, there is an alarming lack of actors and funds.With $ 2.5 million mobilized out of the $ 8.9 million required for the response plan, the contrast with the urgency #Ebola, which attracts hundreds of millions of dollars, is striking, “adds the humanitarian medical organization. MSF says it is fighting the measles epidemic in 13 DRC provinces alongside local teams from the Congolese Ministry of Health. The measles epidemic is reported in 23 out of 26 provinces in the country, health authorities said in June. “Since the beginning of the year, MSF has vaccinated 474,863 children and supported 27,439 patients,” reads again. Measles affects mainly children from the age of 5-6 months and young adults. The Ebola virus disease has totaled 1,905 deaths since its declaration on August 1, 2018, according to the latest assessment of the Congolese health authorities on Wednesday. In mid-July, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the measles epidemic was killing nearly as much as the other two epidemics combined: Ebola and cholera. The measles epidemic has claimed 1,981 lives, against 1,676 for Ebola and 279 for cholera.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 06:00:00 (Eric Oteng)'s military gets boost from Canada and Japan military is getting a boost of training and equipment from Canada and Japan according to local media reports. Canada will be sending a military plane and 25 soldiers to support Uganda’s peacekeeping missions in the region according to the Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan reports The Monitor. The Canadian plane is meant to transport troops, equipments and supplies to the UN bases in the Democratic Republic of Cingo and South Sudan. Japan will also send its military troops to train the Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) on how to operate heavy engineering equipment in peacekeeping operations New VisionSat, 17 Aug 2019 16:21:09 +0000editorial@africanews.com African countries agree to adopt Kiswahili as a formal language southern African countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have agreed to adopt Kiswahili as a formal language in the region. ‘‘I am appealing to your excellencies to fast track the adoption of Kiswahili to be among the four official languages in SADC...’‘ President John Magufuli is quoted to saying during the opening of the SADC 39th heads of summit at the Julius Nyerere International Center. Incoming #Sadc chairperson John Magufuli reiterates his call for a fast-tracked adoption of KiSwahili as the fourth official language of Sadc. Existing official languages are currently English, Portuguese and French. NamPresidency— New Era Newspaper (NewEraNewspaper) August 17, 2019 Kiswahili would be adopted at the level of Council and Summit, first as a language for oral communication, before eventually being adopted for written official communication within SADC according to the Chairperson of the SADC Council, who is also Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi; reports Southern African Research and Documentation Centre Kiswahili is an official language of the African Union and the lingua franca in most of east Africa and parts of central and southern Africa.Sat, 17 Aug 2019 13:12:27 +0000editorial@africanews.com's opposition coalition, military council sign accord on transitional government’s main opposition coalition and the ruling military council on Saturday signed a final agreement for a transitional government. Sudan’s generals and protest leaders signed the historic deal for a transition to civilian rule that will govern the 39-month transition during a ceremony held at a hall by the Nile in the capital Khartoum. The agreement was signed in the presence of regional and international dignitaries including Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir. The deal establishes an 11-member joint military and civilian council to rule for a little over three years until elections can be held. It will also establish a Cabinet appointed by the activists and dominated by civilians, and a legislative body. The composition of the civilian-majority transition ruling council is to be announced on Sunday. with Reuters & AFPSat, 17 Aug 2019 12:41:22 +0000editorial@africanews.com's National Cancer Institute re-opens after deadly bomb blast’s National Cancer Institute has re-opened to receiving patients at full capacity after recovering from the August fourth deadly bombing. The hospital was closed and transferred patients to Cairo hospitals after the carbomb blast that killed 20 people and injured 47. Cairo University President Mohamed al-Khosht said the process of repairing the damages is on-going however the restoration work for normal operation before the explosion without any under-performance in treatment and operations has now been completed according to the report by Egypt Independent. The hospital will also be expanding to allow for the accommodation of the increasingly large numbers of patients.Sat, 17 Aug 2019 11:11:08 +0000editorial@africanews.com alleged arrest of Nigerian billionaire sparks online outrage promising Nigerian billionaire Obinwanne Okeke has allegedly been arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for conspiracy to commit fraud amount to 12 million US dollars according to local media reports. The Forbes under 30 millionaire and founder of Invictus Group is being charged with conspiracy to commit computer fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud according to Guardian Nigerian President’s head of digital communications Tolu Ogunlessi confirmed the reports through his post on twitter. My jaws are on the ground after reading that DOJ Affidavit. Crazy. Social Media played a significant role in the investigations (Twitter, Instagram, Nairaland) – really intriguing stuff. Talk about an unwitting digital footprint. (First 4 pages of DOJ affidavit below)— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) August 16, 2019 Nigerians took to social media to express their shock of the news of the arrest. Just settling to read this Invictus story. The sad thing about this is that no matter the credibility you’ve built as a Nigerian entrepreneur, the world now has a reason to doubt you. Very sad day for everyone building with true sweat.— Oluyomi Ojo (@OluyomiOjo) August 16, 2019 The story of Invictus Obi and Samson Siasia is a message to the Nigeria Police that not only young men with dreads and tattoos commit crimes. People do Yahoo Yahoo with suit & tie too— The Dámilọ́lá Akínsànyà ?? (@damiakinsanya) August 16, 2019 This Invictus Obi affidavit shows what I have always been saying that Nigerian 419 fraudsters are basic. Their victims are also basic too. How can a company where CFO can authorize millions of dollars in transfer have no endpoint security and transaction authorization security?— Victor Asemota (@asemota) August 16, 2019 No matter how bad Invictus Obi’s fraud is, it isn’t remotely near what Bernie Madoff or Elizabeth Holmes managed to pull off. And no, we are not the worst people on earth. That doesn’t mean we are angels.— Onye Nkuzi (@cchukudebelu) August 17, 2019 Some Nigerians have called out the alleged fraudulent act of the entrepreneur, while others think the Nigerian security agencies to learn from the FBI. But for now, the ball of the future of the business man is in the FBI’s court. Okeke has investment in real estate development, energy and construction. His company, Invictus Group, operates in three African countries, which include Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia, says “Legit”: In May 2017, The African Brand Congress awarded the Invictus Group of Companies Ltd the Africa’s Most Innovative Investment Company of the Year 2017 Award. And in October 2017, he was nominated for Africa’s most prestigious award for businessmen, The AABLA Awards, in the category of Young African Business Leader (West Africa). Okeke is a regular contributor to the Forbes Africa Magazine where he shares his thoughts on entrepreneurship and investment in Africa; GuardianSat, 17 Aug 2019 10:42:28 +0000editorial@africanews.com police arrests Chinese brewing illegal local brew police officers arrested two Chinese nationals during a raid that led to the discovery of thousands of litres of illegal local brew chang’aa in Nairobi. According to the Daily Nation the police made the arrests after a tip off following fears of industrial scale manufacture of the illicit brew. Mr Wang Yalan and Ms Wang Haijian were found with 3,000 litres of chang’aa and 1,000litresof methanol according to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI). Search within the residence of the two suspects; Wang Yalan & Wang Haijian also led to the recovery of several sacks of Sorghum & Rice, Drums of Sorghum mixtures kept to Ferment & several huge Water Tanks. The duo in custody and recoveries secured as Exhibits.— DCI KENYA (@DCI_Kenya) August 16, 2019 TWO CHINESE Nationals found with 800L of #Methanol & over 3000L of CHANG’AA & BUSAA at their residence in Green Park-Machakos were today arrested in an ops by Machakos #Detectives triggered by a tip-off from the Public. A Liquor Processing Plant was also found in their homestead.— DCI KENYA (@DCI_Kenya) August 16, 2019Sat, 17 Aug 2019 09:33:07 +0000editorial@africanews.com bans former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia for life following a match fixing probe Nigeria national team coach Samson Siasia has been banned from the game for life following a match-fixing probe by world governing body FIFA. FIFA said in a statement on Friday (August 16) that the adjudicatory chamber of their independent Ethics Committee found that Siasia was “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.” The 51-year-old Siasia played 51 times as a striker for the Nigerian national team and later coached various national youth sides before a spell as senior coach in 2016. The case is the latest to emerge from FIFA’s long-running investigation into the activities of Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal, who FIFA has called a “known match fixer” and who has admitted such activity in several interviews. FIFA said that he was banned for life “from all football-related activities that is administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level.” Siasia has also been fined $51,000.Sat, 17 Aug 2019 09:03:00 (Eric Oteng) African sex workers call on government to decriminalize trade clients, police harassment, and stigma are just some of the main reasons sex workers and the NGOs that collaborate with them are fighting for the South African government to decriminalize the trade. Sex work has been criminalized in South Africa since 1957 under the Sexual Offences Act, which bans prostitution, brothels, and criminalizes anyone who lives off the proceeds of sex work. More restrictive legislation was introduced in 2007 which criminalized the buying of sex. A report by Human Rights Watch released this month found that criminalization drives sex workers underground where they are often forced to work in unsafe conditions, harassed by the police, and are unable to report rape, assault, or other forms of criminal activity for fear of being prosecuted themselves. However, in a country with a 29% unemployment rate and few economic opportunities for those without tertiary qualifications, criminalization has not deterred people from turning to sex work to support their families. Mbali Khumalo (name changed to protect her identity) is a sex worker and member of a local sex workers movement. “Sex work has been here since my mother, since their mothers and their grandmothers and it’s not gonna change. This industry has been here before us, before you, so I want those who are non-sex workers to just stop judging us. We chose to do this. It’s my body. You can’t tell me what to do.” Khumalo said. Sex workers argue that full decriminalization, which would legalese the buying and selling of sex and the establishment of brothels, is the only option that would keep them safe as it would allow them to report violence to the police without fear. “Our research found a number of very compelling reasons why sex work should be decriminalized. One is that criminalization is inherently against human rights. My right, your right to control your own body, to do what you want if it doesn’t harm anyone else. Your right to privacy, your right to have sex with who you want to as a consenting adult so that’s the first reason. The second reason is that criminalization makes sex work more dangerous, because sex workers can’t report freely to the police because they are forced to work in the darkness, they are forced to work in a hidden way,” said Skye Wheeler, a researcher with the women’s rights division of Human Rights Watch. South Africa is divided on the issue, with some local civic organizations speaking out against the decriminalization of sex work. Katlego Rasebitse is the media liaison officer for the Sisonke sex workers advocacy group. “Decriminalization it will only mean one thing, that you know, there will be an impact on then the law reform in South Africa. Which is hugely debatable now because of, you’ve got, you know, other anti-prostitution organizations that are out there. But, basically it will mean that I would be able to walk into the SAPS shop and say, you know officer, as a male I got raped,” says Rasebitse, who is also a sex worker. Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government would consider decriminalizing sex work. The Department of Health has already rolled out programs aimed at providing healthcare including condoms, HIV testing, and pre-exposure prophylactics (PrEP) to sex workers. However, sex workers have said that the stigma they face in their communities can make access difficult at local clinics.Sat, 17 Aug 2019 09:01:00 (Eric Oteng) in Sudan as agreement to hand over power to the people is set to be signed ruling military and leaders of the protest in Sudan must seal on Saturday a historic agreement paving the way for a transfer of power to civilians, which the population hopes will bring them more freedom and a better life. A ceremony is scheduled for Saturday afternoon in Khartoum on the banks of the Nile for the signing of the documents that define the next 39 months of transition. While the road to democracy may still be long, the mood is one of celebration in the capital, where foreign dignitaries and thousands of Sudanese were arriving on Friday for the occasion. The agreement reached in early August ended nearly eight months of an unprecedented protest movement that led to the fall of President Omar al-Bashir on 11 April, who remained in power for 30 years, before turning against the generals of the transitional Military Council that succeeded him. Concluded through mediation by Ethiopia and the African Union, this agreement was welcomed with relief on both sides, with demonstrators celebrating the victory of their “revolution” and generals claiming credit for avoiding a civil war. In Atbara, a city in the centre of the country where the first rallies against the government’s decision to triple the price of bread on December 19 took place, some danced and sang on the platforms of the station before leaving for Khartoum, according to images posted on social networks. “Civil power,” they chanted, promising to avenge those who perished in the repression of the demonstrations. What comes after the signing? The first stages of the transition should follow the signing with the announcement on Sunday of the composition of the Sovereign Council, the majority of which will be composed of civilians, which will lead the transition. On Thursday, the Alliance for Freedom and Change (ALC), the spearhead of the protest, appointed Abdallah Hamdok, a former UN economist, to become Prime Minister. The Sovereign Council is due to announce on Tuesday if it confirms this in this position. Mr. Hamdok will then have the difficult task of rebuilding the country’s economy, which collapsed after the secession of the South in 2011 deprived it of three quarters of its oil reserves. Inflation and shortages were the driving forces behind the protest. Elections are scheduled for 2022, but many Sudanese are already doubting the ability of transitional institutions to limit the power of the military elite. If they are in a minority among the 11 members of the Sovereign Council that is to govern 40 million Sudanese, it will first be led by a general for 21 months. And the Ministers of Interior and Defence will be chosen by the military. “Political dynamics will be more important than scraps of paper,” says Rosalind Marsden of the London-based Chatham House think tank. “The biggest challenge for the government will be the dismantling of the Islamist (informal) entities that have taken control of all state institutions and key sectors of the economy,” she added. The Ethiopian Prime Minister will participate in the ceremony alongside leaders from other countries in the region. One of the first consequences of the diplomatic agreement is expected to be the lifting of the African Union’s suspension of Sudan in June. General Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, a member of the Transitional Military Council, said on Friday that the signature would “reopen the door to Sudan’s international relations”. The case of Omar al-Bashir The day of signature was also supposed to be the day of the opening of the trial of the former president charged with corruption, but it has been postponed to an undetermined date. On Friday, Amnesty International warned against Mr Bashir’s possibility of escaping a trial before the International Criminal Court, which issued two arrest warrants against him, including for “genocide” in Darfur. “Omar al-Bashir has escaped justice for far too long and victims of heinous crimes are still waiting for reparation,” the NGO said. Within the protest movement, some argue that the agreement is not enough to thwart military power and ensure that justice is also done for the approximately 250 people who died in the demonstrations, according to a committee of doctors close to the protesters. The main groups absent from the signing ceremony will be rebel groups from the marginalized regions of Darfur, the Blue Nile and Kordofan. The Sudanese Revolutionary Front, which brings these groups together, supported the challenge but rejected the constitutional declaration of the agreement, demanding participation in the government and more guarantees for the peace process affecting them.Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:58:58 +0000editorial@africanews.com's opposition MDC party condemns protest crackdown’s main opposition party has condemned police crackdown of a peaceful protest in the capital on Friday. The Movement for Democratic Change leader, Nelson Chamisa said his party backed down from planned anti-government protests to avoid bloodshed but signalled that the opposition would continue its challenge to President Emmerson Mnanagwe. “Today we didn’t want to risk people’s lives by continuing to be confrontational. Because if we had chosen to be confrontational, there would be blood in the streets, but we don’t want to walk on dead bodies to the resolution of our crisis. We can resolve our crisis through peace and that is what we pursue, said the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change Nelson Chamisa.” Police in Harare enforced a clampdown on dissent earlier on Friday, using batons, firing tear gas and water cannon to break up an opposition protest that authorities had declared illegal. The street demonstration was to have been the first in a nationwide series of MDC organised protests set to continue next week. “What you are going to see is a mutation of our strategy because when you are facing a confrontational regime, we must also use tactics that are going to be above them. They can’t be above the people, they can’t defeat the people. Ian Smith tried it and was defeated, Robert) Mugabe tried it and was defeated, President Emmerson Mnangagwa is trying it and he will be defeated, Chamisa noted.” The party accuses Mnangagwa’s government of state-sponsored violence, corruption and economic mismanagement.Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:56:00 (Eric Oteng) rugby duo jailed 15 years each for gang raping singer Kenyan court sentenced two rugby players to 15 years in prison for the gang rape of a female singer at a birthday party last year. The international rugby sevens players Frank Wanyama, 24, and Alex Olaba, 23, were earlier this month found guilty of the rape in a case which highlighted what some activists refer to as a tradition of “rape culture” in rugby. Milimani High Court Martha Mutuku handed down the sentences of 15 years imprisonment saying “a deterrent sentence is necessary.” The trial was held in-camera, so details of the evidence provided were not made public. Mutuku declined a request from the defence lawyers that their clients be allowed to avoid jail time due to their youth and the fact that they had shown remorse. Wanyama and Olaba, who were both university students when the rape took place, play for the Nairobi Harlequins club and have played for the national sevens team in global tournaments. Wanyama captained Kenya’s second sevens team to win the Victoria Sevens tournament in Zimbabwe in March last year, while Olaba has played as a winger for both the sevens and 15-aside national teams. Both were suspended from playing when their trial began. Last year after a series of allegations against rugby players, gender violence activist Nafula Wafula created a petition urging the Kenya Rugby Union to take measures to address accusations of sexual assault, including giving mandatory training to players. “The rape culture that is ingrained in the sports industry must be dealt with accordingly,” she wrote in the petition which gathered just over 10,000 signatures.Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:55:00 (Eric Oteng) mystery around Gabon President's health are eagerly awaiting to judge for themselves whether their President can still lead the country as President Ali Bongo is expected to make a rare public appearance on Saturday’s military parade after ten months of speculations and mystery over the health of President Ali Bongo. President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who has been in power since 2009, at 60 has been shrouded in mystery since he was hospitalized in 2018 calling for much speculations about his ability to perform his duties. Sudden hospitalization On 24 October 2018, Ali Bongo was hospitalized in Riyadh, where he was to participate in an economic forum. On 28 November, the Gabonese Presidency stated that Mr Bongo had had “a malaise” due to “severe fatigue”, and denounced the “fake-news”. The rarity of official communication fuelled concern and rumours, some of which went so far as to announce his death. On November 7, a foreign source close to Mr. Bongo claims that he “had a stroke”. On 11 November, the Presidency announced that Mr Bongo was “in the process of recovering the fullness of his physical faculties”. On the 14th, the Constitutional Court amended the Constitution to address the “temporary unavailability” of the President and authorised the Vice-President “to convene and chair a Council of Ministers”. Moving to Morocco On 29 November, Ali Bongo was transferred to Rabat to continue his recovery. On December 3, images of his meeting with King Mohammed VI were broadcast. The next day, Gabonese channels broadcast another video showing the Head of State receiving, in Morocco, his Prime Minister, his Vice-President and the President of the Gabonese Constitutional Court. On the 9th, Vice-President Pierre Claver Maganga Moussavou acknowledged that Mr. Bongo had had a stroke. During his New Year’s greetings, Mr. Bongo expressed himself on December 31 for the first time in a video recorded in Rabat. “I’m better, and I’m getting ready to find you very quickly,” he says. Soldiers attempt to take over On 7 January 2019, a dozen Republican Guard soldiers attempted a coup de force by calling on state radio for an uprising to “save the country from chaos”. The head of the commando was arrested and two of his men were killed by the security forces. - Quick trips back and forth – On 13 January, a new government and presidential cabinet were announced from Morocco. Mr. Bongo returned to Libreville two days later for the government’s swearing-in ceremony. An official video shows him sitting in a wheelchair with his eyes fixed. Less than 24 hours later, he left for Morocco. On February 25, Mr. Bongo presided over a Council of Ministers in Libreville, where an avalanche of appointments were announced. Videos shot by relatives show him greeting people onlookers from his car. He left 48 hours later for Morocco. A power vaccuum? At the end of February, ten political, trade union and civil society figures signed a “Call to Action” to demand recognition of the “power vacuum”. On March 23, Mr. Bongo arrived in Libreville, where several thousand people had come to welcome him. On the 29th, he headed the Council of Ministers. A video and official photos show him leaning on a cane, chatting with several of his ministers. On 8 June, after six months of silence, Ali Bongo announced, in an eight-minute speech recorded and broadcast by national television, that he had asked his Prime Minister to form a new government. Rumours of death At the beginning of July, the main trade union coalition, Unitary Dynamics (DU), claims, without producing any evidence, that the head of state “is dead”. Four of its officials were arrested ten days later. The leader of the Gabonese Patriotic Front (FPG, opposition) is detained for two days after accusing several of Ali Bongo’s relatives of “manipulating” the president. On Thursday, on the eve of a military parade he is due to attend on Independence Day, Mr. Bongo presided over a tribute to Gabon’s first president, Léon Mba, progressing with difficulty leaning on a cane but smiling and giving a few words in private to officials. All this for the first time in 10 months under the watchful eye of international press cameras.Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:44:56 +0000editorial@africanews.com stockpiling [International Edition] a prospect of a no-deal Brexit increasingly likely, British residents are preparing for what may arise after leaving the EU. Meanwhile, Australia has been talking up a potential trade deal with the European Union. The bilateral trade between the two blocs is worth more than 45 billion Euros a year. Also, Google is facing another antitrust allegation in the European Union this time focused on its job search service. Stay tuned as we will have reports on this and other stories as we retrace the major current events covered by the Euronews editorial team presented by Elayne Wangalwa. elayneshaniSat, 17 Aug 2019 05:10:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Ebola case in DRC's South Kivu province kills woman first confirmed cases of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s South Kivu province was announced on Friday (August 16) days after a “highly probable cure” was found. Two cases, a mother and her child tested positive for Ebola in Mwenga region, close to the provincial capital of Bukavu. Reports indicate that the mother has since died. Théo Ngwabidje, South Kivu Governor told the media: “The victim died. It’s a woman. And one of her children, an infant, is declared positive, but alive, and is being cared for at the moment.” The deceased is reported to have made several trips to Beni, one of the affected towns in North Kivu province. Until now, the disease had mostly been confined to North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Two deaths occured in Uganda in June. The development is expected to worry authorities in neighboring Burundi, who began immunizing medical workers on Wednesday. The World Health Organisation said it had sent teams to provide treatment, trace contacts and carry out vaccinations. With over 1900 dead, the outbreak is the second deadliest on record, after more than 11,000 people were killed in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia between 2014-2016.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 17:16:23 +0000editorial@africanews.com high school leavers rip uniforms: National security reacts this week, the case of students ripping their uniforms after completion of the their high school exams popped up at Burundi’s national security meeting. President Pierre Nkurunziza who led the meeting according to his spokesperson condemned the action joining earlier condemnation by authorities of the school in question. Viral photos on social media showed students who had sort of “redesigned” their school uniforms cutting out portions, some left the ends of their skirts with zigzag shapes whiles the ends of their shirts and sleeves were shredded. The incident is said to have taken place in the former capital city of Bujumbura. The teachers’ association were among the earliest groups to condemned the behaviour. The president’s spokesperson, Jean-Claude Karerwa told the BBC that the president saw the episode as one that had to be dealt with by parents. “Denying a diploma for such behaviour could be too severe,” Mr Karegwa said. This was in response to a threat by a headmaster of the recalcitrant students to withhold certificates of the said students. Months back, school pupils were arrested by authorities for defacing the image of president Nkurunziza in their textbooks. The action led to condemnation by human rights groups and also led to spike in online trolls of the president whose caricatured images were posted on social media.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 17:06:11 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) Shia leader returns after 'rejecting' India medicals El-Zakzaky, leader of the Shia sect in Nigeria has flown back into the country after rejecting medical attention in India. The 66-year-old is head of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, a group that has been banned by authorities in the country. An IMN spokesperson confirmed to the BBC that Zakzaky had arrived back on Friday after less than a week in India where he was supposed to undergo planned medical checks. The BBC earlier this week quoted his daughter as confirming that Zakzaky’s tests showed he was suffering from lead and cadmium poisoning likely caused by a shrapnel in his body from when he was shot by the military in 2015. His team have also expressed grave concerns about the security deployments around him. His daughter said aside armed police outside his room, he was not able to be treated by his own chosen doctors. An IMN statement posited that the decision to abandon the process was because of the “imposition of medical treatment by the Nigerian security forces in collaboration with their Indian colleagues.” It took a Kaduna State High Court order for him and his wife to be allowed to travel out of the country for medical reasons. The federal government has been holding him since he was arrested in 2015. The spokesperson says Zakzaky was whisked away to an undisclosed location after his arrival in Abuja. He is expected to be returned into custody of the national spy agency, the Department of State Services. Members of the IMN have often clashed with security forces in protests demanding his release from custody. The government has flouted court orders granting him bail.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 15:18:22 +0000editorial@africanews.com U-15 make history with CECAFA tourney in Eritrea is hosting ten other countries for the Council for East and Central African Football Associations, CECAFA, under 15 championships. The tournament kicked off today, August 16 and is expected to end in early September. Whiles it will be the first major tournament Eritrea will be hosting, there is history being made by the Ethiopian lads in town for the competition. They will be the first Ethiopian team to play in Asmara in over two decades. They get the feat after a friendly match planned for Asmara between the two senior sides failed to hold last year. There are three groups from the draw that was held in Asmara earlier this month.Most of the teams are neighbours of Eritrea along with the East African sides like Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. According to CECAFA General Secretary, Nicholas Musonye, the aim of the tournament is to develop talents at the grassroot level which is the basic stage in the development of a player. The result of draw is as follows: Group A – Eritrea, Kenya, Burundi, Somalia Group B – Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan Group C – Tanzania, Sudan, Djibouti 0 The South Sudan ?? U15 Junior Bright Stars are off to Eritrea ?? for the 2019 CECAFA U15 Challenge. South Sudan ?? is in group B along side Rwanda ?? Ethiopia ?? and Uganda ??. Their opening fix will be on Sat 17th Aug, 2019 against Rwanda ?? Before facing Uganda ?? on Tue 20th— Town Far Fredo. (@townfarfredo) August 15, 2019Fri, 16 Aug 2019 14:44:30 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) Zimbabwe riot police clamp down on Harare protesters police deployed in the Zimbabwe capital Harare fired tear gas at opposition demonstrators who turned up to protest despite a court order against the action. The main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change, MDC, called off the protest on Friday morning after they failed to overturn the High Court ban on protests. But people who had already gathered in the capital and at the offices of the MDC were violently dispersed. Some were physically assaulted whiles others were also arrested. Social media is awash with photos and videos of the crackdown. Rights groups have condemned the actions which mirror a similar crackdown earlier this year. The army were called in after police reportedly lost control of opposition protesters. The current protest is in respect of increasingly difficult economic conditions in the southern African country. At the start of day, police maintained a heavy presence in the centre of the city as many residents stayed home and shops were shut in anticipation of violence. Police cordoned off central Africa Unity Square, where the demonstrators had planned to gather. Police and government officials warned that the demonstration would be illegal and threatened protesters with jail. The protests will spread to other cities next week, the opposition party said. Photos of police crackdown Police stand beside a woman injured during clashes after police banned planned protests over austerity and rising living costs called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 16, 2019. Police chase demontrators after they banned planned protests over austerity and rising living costs called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 16, 2019 Protesters flee from teargas during clashes after police banned planned protests over austerity and rising living costs called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 16, 2019. Riot police detain a man during clashes after police banned planned protests over austerity and rising living costs called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 16, 2019. Riot police detain suspected opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters during clashes after police banned planned protests over austerity and rising living costs called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 16, 2019. Bystanders assist a woman injured during clashes after police banned planned protests over austerity and rising living costs called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 16, 2019. Riot police detain protesters during clashes after police banned planned protests over austerity and rising living costs called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 16, 2019. Riot police detain a protester during clashes after police banned planned protests over austerity and rising living costs called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 16, 2019. Protesters hold flags during clashes after police banned planned protests over austerity and rising living costs called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 16, 2019.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 14:00:00 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) senator takes pay cut, donates $10,000 monthly to constituency Darius Dillon, a Liberian lawmaker has unilaterally opted for a pay cut in the light of economic crisis that the West African country was facing. Lawmakers currently earn in the region of $15,000 but Dillon says he has asked to be paid $5,000 monthly with the remaining $10,000 going into development of his constituency. The opposition senator recently won a by-election beating the ruling party’s candidate said he will take a third of what is currently being earned by his colleagues with the two-thirds going into social development. At an introduction ceremony on Thursday he said: “During the campaign I announced that we will fight to reduce our salaries. I announce today that considering the economic crisis Liberia is going through, I Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montsorrado County will only accept a salary in full sum of only $5,000. “Any amount over this will be deposited in an escrow account to go towards social development program of the county. I urge my colleague in the legislative, executive and judiciary branches to kindly consider doing same… “In these times of economic crisis our constitution says national leaders should craft national policy for the national good. It is time for us to look in that direction,” he added. The current president George Weah was a senator for the Montsorrado County before winning the presidency in early 2018 after a run-off with then vice-president Joseph Boakai. The Senator also declared that he had assets worth not more than $75,000 and had deposited all necessary documents with the relevant authorities. He said his office will ensure that the details of the declaration are made public in the coming days. According to the World Bank, over half of the country’s population live below the poverty line with public servants earning as much as $125 a month.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:03:39 (Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban) opposition picks economist as first post-Bashir Prime Minister’s main opposition alliance will nominate economist Abdalla Hamdok to serve as prime minister in the country’s transitional government, sources told Reuters on Thursday. Sudan’s sovereign council, which will be sworn in on Monday, will appoint the prime minister based on the nomination from the opposition alliance, the Forces of Freedom and Change, according to a constitutional declaration agreed on earlier this month. The opposition alliance will also nominate Mohamed Alhafiz Mahmoud as public prosecutor, sources said, and Abdelqadir Mohamed Ahmed as head of the judiciary. Hamdock has held several leadership posts within Sudan and Africa. His nomination is the first step in the implementation of a power-sharing deal between the opposition and the ruling military council scheduled to be signed on Sunday. The Sovereign Council will be formed on August 18 and Hamdok’s appointment will be made official on the 20th. He is expected to appoint his cabinet the week afterwards. REUTERSFri, 16 Aug 2019 10:16:44 +0000editorial@africanews.com opposition shelve protest after court ban’s main opposition MDC party succumbed on Friday to pressure from what it labelled a fascist government, calling off a street protest as armed police set up roadblocks and barred access to its Harare offices. Friday’s demonstration was to have been the first in a series planned by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which accuses the government of corruption and economic mismanagement. The protests are widely viewed as a test of how President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has so far this year failed to make good on promises of political and economic reform, responds to dissent in a country tainted by a long history of repression. Police late on Thursday banned the Harare event and said anyone taking part would be committing a crime, and a High Court judge early on Friday dismissed an application by the party to overturn that ban. The ban, which the MDC would not appeal, had exposed the government’s “true colours,” party Vice President Tendai Biti told reporters outside the court. “The constitution guarantees the right to demonstration … yet this fascist regime has denied and proscribed this right to the people of Zimbabwe,” he said. “...We have jumped from the frying pan into the fire after the coup of November 2017… We don’t accept the conduct of this regime, the conduct of Mr Mnangagwa.” Rhodesia is back! Rogue regimes always collapse.— nelson chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) August 16, 2019 Elected after the armed forces intervened to oust Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa has said he aims to break with the long legacy of repression that characterised much of his predecessor’s 37 years in power. But the economy is mired in its worst crisis in a decade, and Mnangagwa is struggling to convince the growing ranks of poor citizens that his government’s austerity measures and reforms can trigger a recovery. Zimbabweans had also expected last year’s vote to usher in a new dawn of expanded political rights and an end to the country’s international pariah status, but instead, the elections left the country more polarised. APPARATUS OF THE STATE In January, a violent security crackdown in Harare against fuel demonstrations left more than a dozen people dead. Days ahead of the planned Harare demonstration, six political activists were abducted from their homes at night and beaten by armed men, a coalition of rights groups said. On Friday, the apparatus of state was out in force again and the city’s streets were unusually quiet. Reuters witnesses saw police and armed soldiers searching buses, taxis and private vehicles at checkpoints and randomly asking for identity documents. More than a hundred opposition supporters chanted party slogans and sang near a square in central Harare where protesters had been set to assemble, but were chased away by baton-wielding police. One woman was taken to hospital by ambulance after sustaining a deep gush on her head. Police also blocked roads to the MDC headquarters. Most businesses, including banks, were closed as workers stayed at home. A major supermarket chain nearby that had opened, quickly closed its doors fearing tensions would escalate. Anger is mounting as Zimbabweans grapple with soaring inflation, rolling power cuts and shortages of U.S. dollars, fuel and bread. In a letter to church leaders published on Friday in the state-owned Herald newspaper, Mnangagwa said the economic hardship had its roots in sanctions imposed by the West more than a decade ago as well as a severe drought this year. He also said MDC leader Nelson Chamisa had rejected his invitation to dialogue meant to resolve Zimbabwe’s political and economic problems. Chamisa has said he will only sit down with Mnangagwa if there is a neutral arbiter. “The doors of national dialogue are still open to all political leaders including to the leader of the MDC,” Mnangagwa said. While political leaders argue, wages and pensions continue to be eroded by triple-digit inflation, bringing back bad memories of the hyperinflation of a decade ago, which forced the country to ditch its currency. REUTERSFri, 16 Aug 2019 10:03:56 +0000editorial@africanews.com the Africa Basketball League [The Morning Call] journalist Wahany Johnson Sambou speaks to the president of the Basketball Africa League Amadou Gallo Fall about NBA’s plans for bringing professional basketball to Africa on a permanent basis.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 08:47:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Africa fuel prices to rise again [The Morning Call] in South Africa are expected to dig deep into their pockets following the rise of fuel prices. The country’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy announced last Monday the prices will rise by 11 cents. The Automobile Association confirmed on Thursday that the price of petrol could increase by up to ten cents a litre starting September. This is due to the sudden weakness of the rand that has put pressure on the fuel price and left fuel consumers in the country at the mercy of international oil markets. South Africans would have been looking forward to a likely fuel price reduction next month as international oil prices have actually dropped significantly since the beginning of the month.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 08:37:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Mystery over dead carp fish [The Morning Call] is mystery in Gabon over the death of thousands of carp fish in the Ogooué river. It is the second time this is happening after hundreds of the fish, were spotted floating belly-up on the lakes of the river in July. Authorities then imposed a ban until the end of August on fishing and trade in carp while investigations were carried out. Locals denounced this ban arguing it was a plan to kill the local economy. For generations, the fish has been a source of livelihood for several locals. And they question why the phenomenon is only affecting this fish species.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 08:34:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Liga and Bundesliga kick off announced the names of the nominees shortlisted for the 2018/19 UEFA Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year Awards. The awards will be presented at the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage draw ceremony, which will take place in Monaco on Thursday 29 August. Lionel MESSI (Argentina – FC Barcelona) Cristiano RONALDO (Portugal – Juventus) Virgil VAN DIJK (Netherlands – Liverpool FC) That is the final short list from which the season’s best male footballer in Europe will emerge. Leonel Messi scored 51 goals and finished top scorer with Barcelona who grabbed the la Liga title in the process. Cristiano Ronaldo proved that he can shine in multiple top-tier leagues as he finished with the Serie A trophy and league player of the year award plus top scorer after his first season with Juventus. The Portuguese superstar also showed that he’s a leader at the national team level as well, winning the inaugural UEFA Nations League trophy for his country. The lone defender, Liverpool’s vice captain Vigil Van Dijk guided the team to the champions league title while the center back also finished as the PFA and Premier League player of the year. The 2019/2020 La liga season kicks off later tonight as champions fc Barcelona take center stage against Athletic Bilbao in their opener, at Bilbao’s cathedral. For the tenth season in a row Barcelona has not lost in their opening match as they strengthen their upfront with the arrival of Antoine Griezmann. Rivals Real Madrid visit Celta vigo on saturday, while new boys Mallorca RCD take on Eibar. Valencia vs Real Sociedad. Leganes up against Osasuna while Athletico Madrid hosts Getafe CF. In the same light the season kicksoff tonight in the German topflight. Champions Bayern will receive Hertha Berlin at the Alliance Arena while on Saturday, Dortmund plays host to Augsburg. Moenchengladbach vs Schalke will also animate the weekend. In tennis Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Masters with a 6-3 6-4 win over Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta on Thursday. The world number one will face Frenchman Lucas Pouille later today. Andy Murray continued his rehab from hip surgery with success on the doubles court on Thursday He and partner Feliciano Lopez of Spain dispatched Americans Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock, 2-6 6-3 10-7, to reach the quarterfinals. Murray was knocked out of the singles tournament earlier in the week by Frenchman Richard Gasquet. It was his first time competing alone since his operation. Roger Federer endured one of the most surprising losses of his career on Thursday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, falling to rising Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev in just 62 minutes, 6-2 6-1. The 21 year old Russian is ranked 70th and makes his first quarter finals.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 08:19:35 (Philemon Mbale NSONGAN) to potentially ban 50 import products [Business Africa]’s Ministry of Commerce has announced that the Central African nation would suspend the importation of about 50 products The ministry is yet to provide details about the concerned products and the deadline for the implementation of the ban. According to local media, no less than 12 sectors are concerned, because of the excess nature of local production. These sectors include paints, metallurgy, cement, industrial packaging, cosmetics, agri-food, vegetable oils, palm oil derivatives and the brewing industry. New oil find in northern Congo Two oil companies have discovered the first oil deposit in the northern part of the Republic of Congo. Exploration studies indicate that it could produce over one billion cubic meters of hydrocarbons, including 359 million barrels of oil, being 983,000 barrels per day. This deposit has the potential to quadruple the country’s production. @NyashaKMutizwaThu, 15 Aug 2019 18:15:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com partners on agro industry [Business Africa] African Development Bank AFDB in Nigeria recently met a private sector consortium from China to help attract investment Discussions centered on Chinese direct investments and partnerships with Nigerian agribusinesses as well as ventures with Nigerian state governments and agribusinesses in the development of agro-Industrial parks. The special special agro-Industrial processing zones could radically transform Africa’s agriculture and put an end to food insecurity. Nyasha K Mutizwa speaks to the senior special adviser on industrialisation to the African Development Bank’s President, Professor Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka to understand more. @NyashaKMutizwaThu, 15 Aug 2019 18:15:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com strikes halt traffic at Libya's Mitiga airport, worker killed at the Libyan capital’s sole functioning airport were suspended Thursday after deadly overnight rocket fire, a spokesman for the country’s unity government said. Wednesday night’s rocket fire “killed a guard and wounded several security agents tasked with protecting the airport,” said Moustafa al-Mejii, spokesman for the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA). He blamed the attack on “the militias of (Khalifa) Haftar” whose forces launched an offensive on the Libyan capital in April. Arrivals and departures at Mitiga airport were suspended as a result, Mejii said. Located east of Tripoli, Mitiga is a former military airbase that has been used by civilian traffic since Tripoli international airport suffered severe damage during fighting in 2014. Mitiga is in a zone under the control of forces loyal to the GNA and has often been targeted, leading to repeated suspensions of flights. United Nations envoy Ghassan Salame, in a report to the UN Security Council last month, urged “authorities in Tripoli to cease using the (Mitiga) airport for military purposes and for the attacking forces to halt immediately their targeting of it.” The GNA protested at what it said were “untruths” in the envoy’s report. Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) has encountered fierce resistance from pro-government forces in the battle for Tripoli. A stalemate on the ground in the capital’s southern outskirts has led to a greater reliance on air strikes by both sides. The fighting since April has killed 1,093 people and wounded 5,752 others, according to the World Health Organization. More than 120,000 people have been displaced. The LNA said Thursday its air force carried out a strike against an airfield in Zuwara, a town west of Tripoli, and destroyed two hangars allegedly used to house Turkish drones. “The runway and terminals were spared” at the airfield, which is not open to commercial flights, LNA spokesman General Ahmed al-Mesmari wrote on Facebook. The GNA, however, posted pictures of a huge crater and debris on the tarmac. Libya has been mired in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. Arrivals and departures at Mitiga airport have been suspended.Thu, 15 Aug 2019 14:24:00 (Eric Oteng) of oil at Congo's new field will adhere to environmental standards - Sassou Nguesso President Denis Sassou Nguesso promised Wednesday to exploit the discovered hydrocarbon field in the Cuvette region (north) in an environmentally friendly way, in a message on public television. “I take note (...) of the successful completion of the oil exploration operations carried out under the Ngoki permit, highlighting the presence of quality oil reserves in the northern part of our country,” said Mr. Sassou Nguesso. On August 10, two oil companies presented the characteristics of the first onshore oil field discovered in the Cuvette region. Mr. Sassou Nguesso said that the discovered deposit is located on the periphery of wetlands that support peatlands. “Congo remains fully aware of the need to preserve peatlands, given their impact on global climate balance and the protection of biodiversity,” the Congolese president stressed. “Our country has never violated the obligation to protect peatlands in its lake areas. It has no intention of doing so in the future, notwithstanding the financial compensation announced and still to be received,” he said. The president was speaking in a speech related to the celebration of the 59th anniversary of the independence of Congo, a former French colony, on August 15. The “Delta de la Cuvette” deposit covers an area of 9,392 square metres and could produce up to one billion cubic metres of hydrocarbons, including 359 million barrels of oil, or 983,000 barrels per day. The share of the Congolese State that granted a permit in 2006 amounts to 35%. Two oil companies own the Delta de la Cuvette. These two firms belong to Congolese businessman Claude Wilfrid Etoka, who is very close to President Sassou Nguesso. Both are from this region.Thu, 15 Aug 2019 12:00:00 (Eric Oteng) Africa's debt becoming "unsustainable" - IMF Africa’s public debt, which is approaching rating agencies’ red line of 60% of economic output, is reaching uncomfortable levels, an IMF official said on Thursday. Public finances in Africa’s most industrialised economy are under strain as growth has proved weaker than expected and a clutch of state companies have needed large cash injections. In July, the government said it would give power utility Eskom 59 billion rand ($4.1 billion) of additional financial support over the next two years, on top of an already-promised bailout of 230 billion rand spread over the next decade. That spooked investors and credit agencies. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni warned shortly afterwards that this and other bailouts for state firms would almost certainly push up the budget deficit as well as state borrowing, raising the prospect of emergency external loans. “South Africa has not requested an IMF-supported programme. We do not see a balance of payments need … so as far as we are concerned there’s no need for South Africa to approach the IMF,” the lender’s senior resident representative in South Africa, Montfort Mlachila, told a conference in Johannesburg. Mlachila, however, said the debt trajectory, forecast at 55% of GDP in February by treasury but likely to be revised upwards at the October mini-budget, was worrying. “South Africa has the highest level of debt in its history,” he said. “This is actually quite concerning without a doubt … The public debt trajectory is not favourable and becoming uncomfortable.”Thu, 15 Aug 2019 11:26:00 (Eric Oteng)'s historical Viale castle [Travel] week in Travel, we are head to Togo in West Africa. The country is located between Ghana and Benin. When people talk about Togo, they often mention the Queens of African fabric known as the Nana Benz, they speak of the remains of the slave trade of Agbodrafo or they may speak of the German Cathedral of Lomé. In this heritage. But today we take you to a castle. It’s not Versailles, but the Viale castle. We move through the town of Kpalimé, 120 km northwest of the capital Lomé and a few kilometres from the Togo-Ghana border. Above the town is Mount Kloto, where Château Viale stands, a presidential residence since 1975. Over time, the castle has deteriorated and lost its brilliance. However, its beauty and historical significance keeps it a local tourist attraction. @ChancelaGThu, 15 Aug 2019 10:25:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Kwa na Kwa party officially becomes opposition party [The Morning Call] party of former Central African President Francois Bozize is now officially an opposition party. This follows a meeting on Monday in which party officials decided to break away from the presidential majority and position the party as a democratic opposition. The decision comes 18 months before elections are held. Other issues discussed during this reunion in the capital Bangui was the return of the former leader and founder of the party, who is currently in exile in Uganda. According to observers, Bozize’s return would change the country’s political atmosphere to chaotic, though the Kwa na Kwa party officials refute this.Thu, 15 Aug 2019 10:05:47 +0000editorial@africanews.com sculptor turns discarded bikes into pieces of art Fall from Saint Louis, Senegal has had a passion for bicycles since he was a boy. The 55-year old began by following in his father’s footsteps – repairing bicycles and motorbikes. But even as a child he could see shapes coming out of the bikes that his father made him clean over and over again after they had been fixed. “I would clean a second time around and in my head I would transform them into birds, personalities, anything because bikes have human and animal forms so it is not hard to transform them. there is a saying with bicycles, we say ‘front paw and back paw.’” He says the more he cleaned the bicycles the more he fell in love with them. And with time he turned his visions into reality. Today he recycles abandoned bicycles, using every part to create sculptures effectively extending their usefulness into perpetuity. Meissa Fall, both a sculptor and poet, says he sees it as “closing the circle in the cycle of life”. “With some bikes, including the luggage carrier and everything you can find 2,000 pieces and none of of them work without the other. There is a union, a solidarity, they are together, they are soldered together,” he says. Fall used to ride motorbikes as a youth, tearing through the narrow streets of Saint Louis, an old colonial city on the northwest coast of Senegal whose central architecture is protected by UNESCO. He says he became wiser as he grew older and today prefers to ride at a slower pace on his clean and quiet bicycle. “It is the best invention because it does not pollute, we don’t need to go to the petrol station, and it doesn’t produce any noise, you don’t bother anyone” he says. Meissa’s son, Bassirou, helps his father make a fish out of a bicycle rim. “You know each rim, during its lifetime, has made thousands of laps, just like fish,” says Meissa. Meissa wants to pass on his passion, his art and his skill which he calls ‘cycle of art’ (cycle d’art) to his son to ensure the cycle of creation and repurposing remains unbroken. “I would like to ensure its passed on (transforming the bikes) and eventually make my own inventions,” says Bassirou. For Meissa, turning old bikes into art is an ode to the millions of revolutions of the bikes wheels on the tarmac and dirt roads of the colonial city, a homage to the cycle of life and a legacy he hopes will continue to flow through his children. ReutersThu, 15 Aug 2019 10:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com Africa's Caster Semenya decries lack of women's support African athlete Caster Semenya said Wednesday she has not felt supported by other women in sport. The double Olympic champion was at a women’s conference in Johannesburg where she was the headline speaker. “I think it comes more into the international stage where you see your own rivals, they come with this, what can I call it, these rude responses in terms of me competing against them which for me is not a big deal because what I know is that we are all athletes and we should be supporting each other whether you’re losing or not”, Semenya said. Semenya will not defend her 800-metres title at the world championships in September. This follows a Swiss Federal Tribunal reversal on a ruling that temporarily lifted testosterone regulations imposed on her. She is appealing the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sports which is supported by the International Association of Athletics. In March, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in support for her. ReutersThu, 15 Aug 2019 09:17:24 +0000editorial@africanews.com George Weah losing popularity? [The Morning Call] is going through tough economic times with inflation rates going over 28 percent. The staggering mismanagement and corruption have scared off foreign investors and frustrated donors are withholding funds. Many Liberians are fed up and recently expressed their anger in the Save the state protest with more protests planned. When he came into office, President George Weah promised to tackle poverty and corruption but he is yet to deliver on his promises. For Liberians, the country’s current state is a reminder of the dark days of the 14-year civil war. Could this mean President George Weah is losing his popularity?Thu, 15 Aug 2019 09:14:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com of the day, August 14, 2019 samples the best pictures of the day’s news.Thu, 15 Aug 2019 09:00:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com access to electricity in Africa [The Morning Call] countries in Africa still face frequent blackouts and Cameroon is trying to find ways to solve this challenge. It recently organised a forum in the economic capital Douala whose objective was to to strengthen the managerial capacities of those working in the electricity sector and also to solicit more investment in renewable energy.Thu, 15 Aug 2019 08:59:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com court to rule on Ali Bongo's health [The Morning Call] Gabonese justice system is expected to hear a petition in August to find out if President Ali Bongo Ondimba is fit to continue governing the country or not. This comes after increasing speculation over his health after he suffered a stroke last year. Even after his treatment in Morocco, he has never made a live speech or spoken before the general public. Attorneys in the case say it will be heard by the Court of Appeal in Libreville starting August 26. It should be noted that in March, 10 members of Gabon’s political opposition, civil society and trade union movement filed a suit requesting Bongo be assessed to see whether he was medically fit to continue in office.Thu, 15 Aug 2019 08:58:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com treatment breakthrough [The Morning Call] major breakthrough in the Democratic Republic of Congo! Scientists could be on their way to finding the cure of the deadly Ebola virus. This comes after two experimental drugs showed survival rates of as much as 90% in a clinical trial in the country. The drugs called REGN-EB3 and mAb114 are now being offered to infected patients and the results seem quite promising as you’ll find out shortly. According to the director general of Congo’s National Institute of Biomedical Research who co-led the trial, the results meant that, “from now on, we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable. These advances will help save thousands of lives.” Muyembe has been working with the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health on the trial but it should be noted that the doctor has been researching the Ebola Virus for over fifty years and from media sources, he defines the discovery the achievement of a lifetime. Anthony Fauci directs the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which co-sponsored the trials. And this is what he tells patients suffering from the virus following this discovery.Thu, 15 Aug 2019 08:58:00 +0000editorial@africanews.com tanker explosion death toll reaches 85 death toll from a fuel truck explosion in Tanzania has climbed to 85, a local governor said Wednesday, after 10 more people died from injuries sustained in the horrific blast. A massive fireball engulfed a crowd thronging to collect petrol from an overturned tanker Saturday near the town of Morogoro, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, the financial capital. The initial explosion killed dozens, with others rushed to hospital with burns and serious injuries in one of the deadliest oil tanker blasts in Africa in recent years. A spokesman for the National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Aminiel Aligaesha, said Wednesday that seven more people had died, taking the overall death toll to 82. Another 32 were being treated, including 17 in intensive care, he added. “We are continuing to fight as best we can to save those still alive,” the hospital spokesman, Aminiel Aligaesha, told reporters Wednesday. But later Wednesday, Morogoro governor Stephen Kebwe told reporters the death toll had risen once again. “Three more deaths occurred during the day,” he said, confirming the new toll of 85. The flames swept through a large crowd trying to siphon leaking petrol from a truck that overturned as it swerved to avoid a motorcycle. Officials said the explosion was triggered when a man tried to retrieve the truck’s battery, creating sparks that ignited the fuel. An official inquiry was ordered Sunday into the accident, with a preliminary report expected later this week. It was the latest in a string of such disasters in Africa and at least the third this year. Last month, 45 people were killed and more than 100 injured in central Nigeria when a petrol tanker crashed and then exploded as people tried to take the fuel. In May, a similar incident in Niger killed nearly 80 people.Thu, 15 Aug 2019 08:21:00 (Eric Oteng)