Opposition protests in KINSHASA (Pic. Aljazeera)


KINSHASA – The DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO is expecting to hold elections to replace President JOSEPH KABILA next DECEMBER, although opposition groups want him out of office this year.
Media reports say CONGOLESE citizens would have gone to the polls in 2017, under an agreement paving way for President KABILA to step down, but the process failed due to persistent squabbling.
The reports quote Independent National Electoral Commission Official JEAN-PIERRE KALAMBA as saying voting will take place on 23 DECEMBER 2018 to choose a president, lawmakers, as well as regional and local authority leaders.
UNION FOR DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL PROGRESS Spokesperson AUGUSTIN KABUYA says his group is against the timetable and demands the exit of President KABILA by the end of 2017.
The media reports say the Electoral Commission has announced provisional results of the presidential election will remain unpublished until 30 DECEMBER, ONE week after the vote.
The ultimate results will then be out by NINE JANUARY 2019, before the new Head of State takes over on the 12TH of the same month to end 16 years of the JOSEPH KABILA Administration.
Media reports say the announcement comes 10 days after the UNITED STATES Ambassador to the UNITED NATIONS, NIKKI HALEY, visited and called for elections next year.
They say AMERICA, BRITAIN, FRANCE, the EUROPEAN UNION and the UNITED NATIONS are among international forces calling on the CONGOLESE Leader to announce election dates.
They further quote Mr HALEY as saying for every day which goes by without holding the polls, a woman is raped, a child has an unwanted pregnancy, children are inducted by armed groups in AFRICA’s SECOND-largest country.
General elections come after the 2016 clashes in which soldiers shot and killed 20 protesters, demanding President KABILA to step down after his mandate expired last DECEMBER, in the streets of the capital, KINSHASA.
DRC has never had a peaceful transfer of power since the fall of the late Dictator MOBUTU SESE SEKO, who ruled and looted the country he had renamed ZAIRE from 1965 to 1997./Sabanews/cam


Swaziland Anti-riot Police at work


MBABANE – Workers at the SWAZILAND Electricity Company have threatened to plunge the country in darkness unless the employer tells them when their bonuses will be paid this year.
The TIMES OF SWAZILAND newspaper says they have staged a demonstration at their ELUVATSINI House Head Offices in the capital, MBABANE.
It quotes the employees as saying they have worked hard and deserve to earn the bonuses, especially because they did not receive their cost-of-living adjustments.
The workers have defied a court order stopping the industrial action after management won an application against the strike, which the employees voted for during a weekend meeting.
They assembled before the ELUVATSINI House and demonstrated, demanding to see Managing Director MESHACK KUNENE, amid strong police presence.
The TIMES says the employees have told Mr KUNENE they want their bonuses for the financial years 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017, for which the Executive and Management have been meeting with no solution.
SWAZILAND Electricity Company workers say they do now trust their managers and want the Managing Director to use his power to pay out their bonuses, or they will switch of the whole Kingdom./Sabanews/cam


JOHANNESBURG – The AU Partnership and Coordination Forum on AIDS, TB and Malaria has reviewed the draft Common AFRICA Position on TB for the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting in 2018.
A statement from the continental group says the Draft Common Position on TB was last month reviewed by the Ministry of Health TB Program Managers in HARARE, ZIMBABWE.
It says the document focuses on SIX pillars: leadership, country ownership, governance and accountability; universal and equitable access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support.
Others are access to affordable and quality assured medicines, commodities and technologies; research and innovation; health financing and strategic information; promoting leadership, country ownership, governance and accountability.
The draft calls for sustained political commitment and for increased leadership, ownership, integration, governance and management of TB programs to promote accountability.
It further calls on governments to intensify TB responses through working with AFRICAN leaders as champions, cross-sector partnerships, increased oversight and accountability, improved monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
The AU says while recognising structural and operational barriers to achieve universal access, the draft calls for Member States to scale up TB programs to reach, find, treat and cure all people with the killer disease.
It also calls for Multi Drug Resistant TB to be declared a global emergency and health security threat, to ensure it can be addressed properly in most affected countries.
The draft calls for access to TB services in congested settings, high risk areas like prisons, mines and areas affected by conflict and humanitarian emergencies, to help guarantee no one is left behind.
The Common AFRICA Position calls for governments to pursue new innovations and ensure access to affordable and quality assured medicines, commodities and technologies for TB.
The draft says governments should strengthen ties with research institutions to enhance innovation and evidence-informed policies and programs as well as increased investments in research and innovation.
AFRICA will also push for increased domestic and international funding to health through innovative financing mechanisms, social health insurance schemes and increased allocations at various levels.
The Common AFRICA Position also calls for improved data to inform policy and programs for TB, while the AU Commission has lined up various consultation conferences ahead of the UN meeting.
TB is spread through the air from person to person, when a patient coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings; and people nearby may breathe in the bacteria and become infected./Sabanews/cam


KAGERA – President JOHN MAGUFULI of TANZANIA has come out strongly to condemn the straying of herds of cattle from neighbouring countries into reserved forests.
The DAILY NEWS says he has ordered the seizure of all the illegally grazed animals within the preserved lands as per the national laws.
President MAGUFULI says neighbouring countries should also take similar moves against livestock from TANZANIA grazing in their reserved forests, in order to ensure good land management and use.
He has addressed delegates to the launch of the BUKOBA Airport in KAGERA Region, saying TANZANIA had now turned into a grazing land for animals from outside.
The DAILY NEWS says President MAGUFULI has made his comments amid reports saying livestock from neighbouring countries have entered BURIGI Game Reserve in KAGERA.
It says the government has been working on registration of all animals in the country to establish the needs for grazing land, but entry of animals from outside has disturbed the exercise.
The cross-border grazing has distorted the data collected, leading to excessive numbers of cattle against the size of land allocated for pastures.
President MAGUFULI says former public ranches should be used productively instead of being hired out to other pastoralists, because the State will take them back for reallocation to serious investors.
He has commended donors for their appreciation of the good work by the government; like the World Bank, which has provided 57-MILLION US dollar for the expansion of KIGOMA, TABORA and BUKOBA airports.
World Bank Program Leader ANDRE BALD says the economy of TANZANIA is growing at a good pace, and the country is among the fastest growing economies in East AFRICA./Sabanews/cam


Five people killed in this accident after a 60 seater bus fell into a ditch at Zolozolo in Mzuzu this afternoon (Pic. Nyasa Times)


BLANTYRE – Motor vehicle drivers in MALAWI will now pay hefty fines for traffic offenses, as the government moves to reduce accidents on the highways.

The NYASA TIMES newspaper says the crimes range from driving a vehicle without a driver’s licence, ignoring traffic police officers to dangerous overtaking.

It says the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services now requires motorists to pay 30-THOUSAND kwacha, up from 10-THOUSAND kwacha, for driving without a Certificate of Fitness.

Driving without a driver’s licence or professional permit now calls for 100-THOUSAND kwacha, up from 10-THOUSAND kwacha; dangerous overtaking is now 50-THOUSAND kwacha, up from 10-THOUSAND kwacha.

Exceeding speed limits will now cost 50-THOUSAND kwacha as opposed to the previous FIVE-THOUSAND kwacha fine and ignoring traffic police is punishable by 200-THOUSAND kwacha, up from 20-THOUSAND kwacha.

The Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services says the new fines have also come after an increase in the cost of services and materials it uses to serve the general public efficiently.

It has issued a statement saying continued violations of road traffic laws has shown the current fines and penalties are not deterrent enough, hence the increase.

The TIMES says MALAWI has recently seen a rise in the number of road traffic accidents in which many people have been killed and many others seriously injured.

It says ONE accidents that happed recently in MZIMBA District killed 21 soldiers and injured a number of others after their vehicle overturned at a bend due to over speeding.

MALAWI adopted the Traffic Information System in 2000 to capture, process, and store data for use in the issuance and renewal of drivers’ licences, motor vehicle licences, and road permits, and to keep information on weighbridges./Sabanews/cam


Drivers continue killing people due to recklessness (Pic. Namibia)


WINDHOEK – The NAMIBIA Roads Authority says drivers in the country continue to be reckless and are causing road accidents, despite measures to end the problem.

National Road Safety Council Executive Secretary EUGENE TENDEKULE has given as an example events on the WESTERN BYPASS in the capital, WINDHOEK.

He says the authorities have since reduced the speed limit to 80 kilometres per hour here, but most drivers still overtake other vehicles at unsafe speeds on this road.

Mr TENDEKULE says motorised road users are also generally impatient, pointing fingers at others and often even overtaking on the left side – driving over the yellow line.

He says traffic authorities have also issued tickets worth more than 230-THOUSAND NAMIBIA dollars to such drivers, in addition to other punishments, as appropriate.

The Roads Authority will erect more speed reduction and danger warning signs on accident-prone roads in the coming TWO weeks ahead of the festive season.

Mr TENDEKULE says they will close intersections at the WINDHOEK COUNTRY CLUB, PROSPERITY and HEGEL Streets and re-design the BRENT CARLSON Intersection to allow north-bound, right turn lanes.

He says the National Road Safety Council has secured some 400-THOUSAND NAMIBIA dollars for more traffic lights to be installed.

The PRIVATE SAFETY FORUM and WINDHOEK City Police have also embarked on an initiative to educate pedestrians on how and where to cross the road safely.

NAMIBIAN Police statistics show some 200 cases of reckless driving detected in the past TWO months, and the majority of the drivers had no licences./Sabanews/cam


Are primary school kids ready for sex education?
WINDHOEK – Government plans to introduce realistic sex education in primary schools in NAMIBIA has disturbed religious leaders and teachers in the country.
However, Education, Arts and Culture Minister KATRINA HANSE-HIMARWA has defended the idea.
She says more children are being exposed to sexual realities at a young age, therefore Comprehensive Sex Education at primary school level is crucial.
NBC News says religious leaders and teachers have since raised concern that such content will encourage learners to engage in sexual activities even more.
It quotes some teachers as saying topics in the Comprehensive Sex Education syllabus, like same-sex relationships and anal sex, are controversial and even culturally taboo.
They say the content is not appropriate for teaching to children in Grade SEVEN, most of whom are only 13 years old.
NBC News says ONE church leader, Bishop WAHL ABRAHAMS, has also attended the introductory Comprehensive Sex Education workshop held in the capital, WINDHOEK, and was horrified.
It quotes the Cleric as saying the content will be destructive and will severely damage the innocence of primary school children, when they should enjoy being young.
Nevertheless, Deputy Education Director JULIUS NGHIFIKWA says the Ministry has a Constitutional mandate to provide quality education to the NAMIBIAN child.
The NAMIBIAN Government official says the knowledge and education being imparted in the classroom is guided by religious and moral values./Sabanews/cam


Former close allies turn rivals after five decades


HARARE – Fighters of the ZIMBABWE war of liberation have invited former Vice President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA to attend a massive meeting they plan to hold this month.

ZIMBABWE Liberation War Veterans Association Spokesperson DOUGLAS MAHIYA is quoted in the media as saying Mr MNANGAGWA is a war veteran and should join them when they meet on the 18TH of NOVEMBER.

He says the gathering at ZIMBABWE Grounds in the capital, HARARE, will involve the former fighters and all citizens who took part in the struggle for the SADC country against BRITISH colonial rule.

The government this week issued a statement saying President ROBERT MUGABE has dismissed Mr MNANGAGWA from office for allegedly being disloyal, disrespectful and deceitful.

Information Minister SIMON KHAYA MOYO made the announcement at a media conference after a Presidential Youth Interface rally held SATURDAY at WHITE CITY Stadium in the commercial capital, BULAWAYO.

Delegates heard from FIRST Lady GRACE MUGABE, amid booing from the crowd, that Mr MNANGAGWA was working against the Head of State and her own elevation to the vice presidency; yet he imposed his wife onto his constituency when he joined the presidium.

President MUGABE also made the same sentiments against his deputy at the same venue, saying he would not hesitate to boot Mr MNANGAGWA out at any time – which he did within ONE day.

War Veterans Association Spokesperson MAHIYA says the former VP should not attend a ZANU PF Special Congress planned for this DECEMBER and, instead, attend their national gathering.

He says they have invited everyone, including political parties challenging ZANU PF as well as young people who want to see progress in the country, and the organisers have arranged for trains to ferry people from BULAWAYO and MUTARE cities.

The developments in the ZIMBABWEAN politics come as political parties outside government have formed a coalition to contest general elections next year and the Head of State has fallen out with most of his fellow liberation war fighters./Sabanews/cam


Former VP Mnangagwa and wife
President Mugabe and former VP Mnangagwa


HARARE – At least SEVEN out of the 10 political provincial groupings in ZIMBABWE are reportedly calling for FIRST Lady GRACE MUGABE to take over as Vice President.

The development comes after the weekend decision by President ROBERT MUGABE to fire his Deputy, EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, for alleged gross misconduct and disloyalty.

The Head of State signaled his plans after his wife publicly castigated Mr MNANGAGWA, in his presence, before ZANU PF supporters attending a rally her husband was to address in the commercial capital, BULAWAYO.

Ms MUGABE says Mr MNANGAGWA has been working to undermine the authority of his former boss and to foment divisions in the party in which they have ruled the nation since independence from BRITAIN in 1980.

President MUGABE confirmed the accusations when he took over the stage at the NINTH Presidential Youth Interface Rally at WHITE CITY Stadium, claiming the former Vice President had plans to un-sit him and had become a nuisance.

The 93-year-old Head of State says there are groups of people declaring the TWO largest regions of ZIMBABWE, MIDLANDS and MASVINGO provinces, do not belong to him but to Mr MNANGAGWA.

President MUGABE says what has annoyed him most is that the former Vice President has been quiet about the alleged groups and their purported declarations in his name.

The fate of former Vice President MNANGAGWA resembles that of his predecessor, former Vice President JOYCE MUJURU, together with EIGHT Cabinet members, who lost their jobs after the FIRST Lady castigated them on similar allegations.

The dismissal of Ms MUJURU and her colleagues also included the firing of a number of war veterans’ leaders and the bulk of provincial youth chairpersons, who also faced the same accusations of undermining and trying to topple the President.

However, no one has been arrested since the 2014 accusations that threw them out of government and the ruling party; although some of the victims have since been recalled and reassigned to new positions.

Meanwhile, media reports say leaders of the ZIMBABWE Liberation War Veterans Association opposed to the developments in ZANU PF and government had urged the former Vice President to resign from office.

Other stories also allege Mr MNANGAGWA had, in fact, resigned and cleared his offices in the capital before Information Minister SIMON KHAYA MOYO announced the dismissal news.

Ordinary ZIMBABWEANS have been left wondering where the political developments are going to take the battered economy and about the general future of the country at large.

In the meantime, the THREE provinces that are still to announce their stance regarding the appointment of the ZIMBABWEAN FIRST Lady as Vice President are MATABELELAND NORTH and SOUTH as well as the MIDLANDS./Sabanews/cam