Africa – 8 July 2016

Zimbabwe tense amid national shutdown

Tensions still remain high as the national shutdown of public services persists in Zimbabwe.

The industrial action by civil servants in Zimbabwe got off to a slow start on Tuesday, with 14 civil servants unions, including doctors and all workers in the health sector, resolving to go on an indefinite strike. This comes after government failed to pay them their June salaries, because of lack of funds.

Calls made through social media in Zimbabwe for Wednesday’s national stay away have indeed been heeded to.



More than 700,000 Namibians face food shortages in 2016/2017

More than 700 000 Namibians are facing acute food insecurity amid mounting livestock deaths due to the widespread shortage of water and pasture following three successive years of drought, a new government-led vulnerability survey has revealed.

In its “Namibia Rural Food Security and Livelihood Vulnerability Forecast” report for 2016/2017 released this week, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Agriculture said of the 729,134 people facing food insecurity, 595,839 need immediate food assistance.

According to the report, more than 50% of those in urgent need of drought relief food assistance were from the regions of Omusati (110,388), Ohangwena (101,741), Oshikoto (76,903), Oshana (49,150), Kavango West (47,989) and Kavango East (44,107).



Kenya, Israel: Turning over a new leaf one step at a time

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Israel to re-establish its observer status at the African Union (AU) terming the country a critical partner in Africa’s fight against extremism.

Kenyatta said despite past frosty relations between Israel and many African countries, it is important for the continent to embrace new partnerships.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in Nairobi on his second leg of the African nation tour, said Israel is back in Africa and is ready to cooperate on areas of security, agriculture and water resources.



Zimbabwe expects first IMF loan since 1999

Zimbabwe expects a loan from the International Monetary Fund(IMF) in the third quarter of this year, the first since 1999, after paying off foreign lenders by the end of June, the central bank governor said on Wednesday.

President Robert Mugabe’s government last week agreed to major reforms including compensation for evicted white farmers and a big reduction in public sector wages as the government tries to woo back international lenders.



CAR children face ‘staggering’ hunger

Clinging to her toy dog, 18-month-old Clemence Mokbem stares ahead as nurses rush past to tend to crying babies in the hot, overcrowded intensive care ward in a Bangui hospital.

The toddler was taken to the main children’s hospital in Central African Republic’s capital by her teenage mother Anita, after successive bouts of malaria led to fever and weight loss.



Call for Kenya to probe activists killing

Human rights activists are demanding an urgent probe in Kenya into last week’s murder of three men, including a human rights activists.

All three were allegedly killed by police. Amnesty International (AI), together with 34 Kenyan and international human rights organisations, on Monday released a media statement urging the Kenyan authorities to urgently investigate the killings and demanded that those responsible be brought to justice. “The Kenyan authorities must urgently investigate the killing last week of three men, including a human rights lawyer, and ensure that those found responsible are held to account in fair trials,” read the statement.