Connect with us

Zambian authorities on Saturday deported controversial South African dancer Zodwa Wabantu after authorities vowed she would not be allowed to perform because she dances without underwear, the dancer’s promoter said.

She had been billed to perform at an album launch later on Saturday evening, but was sent back when she landed in the morning at the Kenneth Kaunda international airport.

“I can confirm that Zodwa has been deported back to South Africa by the immigration department,” her promoter Lucky Munakampe told AFP, adding no reasons were given for her deportation.

Immigration department officials were not reachable on their phones for comment.

Zambia’s religious affairs minister Godfridah Sumaili told AFP last week that Zodwa would not be allowed to perform in the country.

“Zambia is a Christian nation where morality and ethics have to be followed. We don’t expect a woman to dance without underwear,” Sumaili said.

Zambia is a largely conservative country where the majority of people practice Christianity.

Last year the censorship board in neighbouring Zimbabwe barred Wabantu from performing at an annual carnival after a protest by a local actress.

Following a backlash, censorship authorities later backtracked and allowed Wabantu to perform at a private venue, but she refused to go saying she was afraid.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

AFRICA UPDATE

JUST IN!! South Africa ignores Nigeria, grants visa-free status to Ghana

Published

on

Ghana is the latest country to be granted a visa-free status by the South African government.

South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs has added Ghana to a list of seven countries whose nationals will be permitted to enter South Africa visa-free. Nigeria was not included despite the large volume of trade between the two countries.

South Africa announced in September 2018, that it was finalising a number of visa waiver agreements with other countries including Ghana to allow travellers to enter the country without a visa.

According to the Minister of Home Affairs, Aaron Motsoaledi, citizens of the seven countries are able to enter South Africa without a visa.

“Tourism will soar if we relax visa requirements for entry into South Africa. We know that Tourism is very important for job creation,” he said today at a briefing in South Africa.

“Out of the 193 countries who are member states of the United Nations, the Department has granted visa-free status to 75 countries. Of these 16 are in our continent and are SADC members and 59 are from all over the world.”

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

Cameroonians disgrace Paul Biya in Geneva

Published

on

Swiss police fired water cannon, tear gas and stun grenades at Cameroonian protesters outside UN headquarters in Geneva Saturday as the crowd surged towards a luxury hotel hosting 86-year-old President Paul Biya, who has been at the helms since November 1982.

Parts of the “city of peace” resembled a war zone, with police wearing gas masks and black riot gear chasing demonstrators through Geneva’s international neighbourhood, shooting tear gas canisters into the gardens of high-end residences where some tried to hide.

About 250 demonstrators, many dressed in military-style garb and draped in Cameroonian flags, initially gathered on a square outside the UN, with laughter and loud music creating a festive atmosphere.

But things turned violent when the crowd suddenly began running towards Biya’s hotel, about 500 metres (1,600 feet) away, chanting “Biya Assassin!” and “Switzerland Complicit” as they attempted to break through tight lines of police backed up by armoured vehicles.

Police used pepper spray and turned a water cannon, mounted on top of a tank, on the demonstrators.

“We are here to demand that Cameroon be allowed to enter the modern democratic era,” said rally co-organiser Robert Wanto, a Cameroonian national who has lived in exile for three decades.

Cameroonian nationals exiled in a range of countries, including France, Italy, Spain, Britain and Denmark were said to have come to take part in the demonstration.

Police had to intervene to rescue a Biya supporter, who walked into the crowd wearing a dress with pictures of the president and shouting insults at the protestors, prompting a large group to attack her.

Geneva police said the demonstration was authorised, but limited to the square outside the UN.

They were not granted permission to march to the five-star Intercontinental Hotel where Biya, who has ruled Cameroon since 1982, is believed to have been staying since Sunday.

But Wanto told AFP before the protest the demonstrators had given Biya an “ultimatum” to leave, and would march on the hotel if he remained there.

He pointed out that Biya had made it a habit to stay at the pricy Intercontinental during long visits to Switzerland, where he reportedly comes for medical treatment.

“He thinks it is OK to come here and spend billions of our money when our country is economically sick,” Wanto said.

Another protestor, 43-year-old Axille Fofou who is exiled in France, said she had come to voice her “indignation” at the man who has “taken the Cameroonian people hostage”.

“In Cameroon, people have nothing, and he is here, spending tens of thousands of euros (dollars) each day. It is unacceptable,” she told AFP.

“Switzerland should not support this dictator. By letting him stay here, they are complicit in horrible crimes,” she added.

Outside the hotel, dozens of suit-clad men believed to be part of the president’s security detail stood guard.

Over the past week, there have already been several scuffles with small numbers of demonstrators outside the hotel and even inside the lobby.

An attack on a Swiss journalist by Biya’s supposed security staff sparked a diplomatic incident, prompting the Swiss government to summon Cameroon’s ambassador in Bern on Thursday.

“The dictator must be senile to want to transport the violence he unleashes on his country on a daily basis to the soil of a democratic country,” Wanto said.

Cameroon, a former French colony, has faced a succession of crises and is wracked by a deadly conflict between separatists and government forces in its English-speaking west.

Opposition leaders have faced mass arrests, and rights groups claim detainees are tortured and many disappear.

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

ANC wins South Africa’s election with 57.5%

Published

on

The final tally of the South African election is out, with the ruling African National Congress (ANC), winning 57.51% of votes cast.

The website of the Electoral Commission, which showed 100 per cent capturing of the 17 668 318 votes cast, showed that the ANC polled 10,026 047 votes, which is less than the 11 million votes won in 2014.

Analysts said the electoral performance was the worst since the party came to power in 1994, with legendary Nelson Mandela as president.

The biggest opposition Democratic Alliance got 3,618,992, representing 20.76% of the votes, also lower than the 22.2 per cent or the 4 million votes won in 2014.

ANC rebel, Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Party came third with 1,881,331 votes, representing 10.79 per cent of the votes cast. In 2014, EFF got 6.35 percent of the votes.

With 26,779, 025 people registered to vote, turnout was estimated at 65.99 per cent.

According to the electoral body, 235,449 votes were voided in the 22,924 of the voting districts captured, out 22,925.

 

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

Algerians demand sweeping change as President Bouteflika era ends

Published

on

Flag-waving Algerians have celebrated the resignation of veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, but vowed Wednesday to keep protesting to demand sweeping change to the country’s political system.

The 82-year-old’s departure, announced on state media late Tuesday, followed weeks of massive demonstrations that have shaken the North African nation.

Car horns sounded on the streets before jubilant crowds converged in the centre of the capital Algiers to cheer his departure.

Many Algerians have never known any president other than Bouteflika, who held power for two decades but was rarely seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013.

‘TOO LITTLE, TOO LITTLE’

Protesters in Algiers welcomed his departure but said they were determined to continue demonstrating, rejecting any transition that leaves power in the hands of the “system”.

“I want my daughter to remember this historic day. Bouteflika’s gone, but it’s far from over,” said 35-year-old Amal, who wore a T-shirt with the slogan “I am against the system” and vowed to march again on Friday.

For 44-year-old engineer Hamid Boumaza, Bouteflika’s resignation was “too little, too late”.

“Bouteflika’s departure is no longer enough. We want them all to go. We want full freedom and we will march for as long as necessary.”

‘DEMOCRATIC CHANGE’

Algeria’s Constitutional Council said Wednesday it had accepted Bouteflika’s resignation and informed parliament that his post was officially vacant.

Some 20 Algerian civil society groups said they would refuse a transition of power that kept the same structure in place, calling for protests Friday for “democratic change”.

“Bouteflika’s resignation… is a first victory… but it is not enough,” they said in a joint statement.

Algeria’s constitution says that the speaker of the upper house of parliament, currently 77-year-old Abdelkader Bensalah, should now act as interim leader for up to 90 days during which a presidential election must be organised.

‘PROTECT THE PEOPLE’

Algeria has largely avoided the turmoil unleashed by the Arab Spring uprisings that brought down rulers in neighbouring Tunisia and Libya.

But discontent, particularly among the young, turned to anger after Bouteflika announced in February that he would seek a fifth term in office in an election that had been scheduled for this month.

He dropped his bid in the face of the mass protests but also postponed the vote, angering Algerians who saw the move as a ploy to stay in power.

Pressure mounted Tuesday when armed forces chief Ahmed Gaid Salah called for the president’s impeachment, insisting the military’s “sole ambition” was to “protect the people”.

BOUTEFLIKA APOLOGY

Soon after, state television announced that Bouteflika had submitted his resignation to the Constitutional Council.

The decision aimed “to contribute to the appeasement of the hearts and minds of my compatriots, to allow them to take Algeria towards a better future to which they legitimately aspire,” his resignation letter read.

Footage showed Bouteflika, dressed in a beige North African tunic and sitting in his wheelchair, handing the letter to the council’s head, Tayeb Belaiz.

In another letter published Wednesday by state news agency APS, he offered his apologies to the Algerian people for “every shortcoming”, but said he was “proud” of his contribution to the country.

“I leave the political stage without sadness or fear for the future of our country,” he wrote.

“God is witness to my sincerity and my loyalty.”

‘AUTHORITARIANISM’

Although credited with helping foster peace after Algeria’s decade-long civil war, Bouteflika has faced criticism for perceived authoritarianism.

Former prime minister-turned-rival Ali Benflis said his departure was the “woeful epilogue” to the past two decades and praised the protest movement as “a peaceful people’s revolution”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised “the mature and calm nature in which the Algerian people have been expressing their desire for change,” said a UN statement.

“He looks forward to a peaceful and democratic transition process that reflects the wishes of the Algerian people,” it added.

The United States said the future of the country “is for the Algerian people to decide”.

Long-time ally Russia called for a transition without foreign “interference”.

TRANSITION

The foreign minister of former colonial power France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said he was confident Algeria’s “democratic transition” could continue “in the same spirit of calm and responsibility” seen in recent weeks.

Algerian business tycoon and long-time Bouteflika backer Ali Haddad was placed in detention Wednesday, days after being arrested while trying to cross into Tunisia with undeclared currency and two passports.

Haddad, described by Forbes as one of Algeria’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, was widely seen as a political tool of Bouteflika.

The judiciary has launched graft investigations and, local media report, banned a dozen Bouteflika-linked businessmen from leaving the country.

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

#Xenophobic Attack: Community Condemns killing Of Nigerian In South Africa

Published

on

The President of the Nigerian Community in South Africa, Benjamin Okoli has criticised the killing of a Nigerian, Ire Chinello by an unknown attacker on 31st of March.

Okoli made this known in a provided information through a statement made available in Abuja, condemned the killing, which he described as cult related as senseless.

According to him, the killing was not a xenophobic attack but a cult related crisis among Nigerians living in South Africa.

He explained that the deceased, popularly known as Ire, was shot and killed at Sunnyside Pretoria, South Africa in what seemed like a cult related killing.

Okoli said: “There has been a spate of cult killing among Nigerians, that had claimed so many lives, as many as no fewer than 25 Nigerians lost their lives over a period of fewer than two years.

“This senseless killing has reduced us to near nothing in the eyes of the South Africans and the police, who see us as killers, cultists, fraudsters and drug dealers.

He further revealed that the South African police never take any Nigerian cases serious after a series of such attacks, “It makes the police not to take our cases serious, having considered it good riddance to bad rubbish.

”Our appeal, however, to the South African authorities is that the police must consider every case and investigate same on its merit with the aim of bringing the culprits to justice,” he said.

However, the Consul General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, South Africa, Godwin Adama, who also condemned the killings declared the cultism related cases as ”an alarming rate.”

“The killing of Mr Ire Chinello, a case of cult related killing at Sunnyside Pretoria; eyewitness account indicated that he was killed by unidentified gunmen, who fled the scene.

“Cult related killing among Nigerians has assumed an alarming proportion in South Africa,

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

Protesters gather in Algiers as President Bouteflika clings to power

Published

on

Thousands of protesters gathered in central Algiers on Friday, piling pressure on President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika to resign days after the country’s powerful military called for his removal.

The army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Gaed Salah, on Tuesday asked the constitutional council to rule whether the ailing 82-year-old president is fit for office.

Bouteflika, facing the biggest crisis of his 20-year-old rule, has failed to placate Algerians by reversing a decision to seek a fifth term. “Streets pressure will continue until the system goes,” said student Mohamed Djemai, 25.

Protesters have ambitious demands. They want to overthrow an an entire political system and replace it with a new generation of leaders capable of modernizing the oil-dependent state and giving hope to a population impatient for a better life.

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

Cholera cases jump to 138 in Mozambique’s Beira after cyclone

Published

on

The number of confirmed cases of cholera in the cyclone-hit Mozambican port city of Beira jumped from five to 138 on Friday, as government and aid agencies battled to contain the spread of disease among the tens of thousands of victims of the storm.

Cyclone Idai smashed into Beira on March 14, causing catastrophic flooding and killing more than 700 people across three countries in southeast Africa.

Many badly affected areas in Mozambique and Zimbabwe are still inaccessible by road, complicating relief efforts and exacerbating the threat of infection.

Although there have been no confirmed cholera deaths in medical centers in Mozambique yet, at least two people died outside hospitals with symptoms including dehydration and diarrhoea, the country’s environment minister Celso Correia said.

“We expected this, we were prepared for this, we’ve doctors in place,” Correia told reporters.

The government said for the first time that there had been confirmed cholera cases on Wednesday.

Mozambique’s National Disaster Management Institute said the local death toll from the tropical storm had increased to 493 people, from 468 previously.

That takes the total death toll across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi to 738 people, with many more still missing.

Vaccine to arrive

“Stranded communities are relying on heavily polluted water. This, combined with widespread flooding and poor sanitation, creates fertile grounds for disease outbreaks, including cholera,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement.

The World Health Organization’s Tarik Jasarevic said 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccine were expected to arrive on Monday.

The United States Defense Department said on Friday it had authorized an additional $8.5 million in humanitarian assistance for Mozambique, bringing the total to $15 million. About 50 US military personnel have been sent to Mozambique to assist with logistics, including transporting food and medical supplies.

Cholera is endemic to Mozambique, which has had regular outbreaks over the past five years. About 2,000 people were infected in the most recent outbreak, which ended in February 2018, according to the WHO.

But the scale of the damage to Beira’s water and sanitation infrastructure, coupled with its dense population, have raised fears that another epidemic would be difficult to contain.

Continue Reading

AFRICA UPDATE

Uganda Police Probes UN As Relief Food Kills Three

Published

on

Uganda Police is currently investigating a supply of food from the World Food Programme (WFP) after three people died and more than 150 others became sick in recent days, police said.

The food was part of a community feeding programme in the northeast Karamoja region, a semi-arid area where the UN food agency has long provided food aid for people facing poor harvests.

People suffered diarrhoea, nose bleeds and other health problems after eating the food, police said in a statement.

Police are “actively investigating the death of three people…from eating adulterated or poisonous food supplied by the WFP,” according to the statement.

Samples of the food and patients’ urine and blood had been sent to a government laboratory for analysis.

WFP was not immediately available to comment on the police investigation.

The food agency said on Saturday it had suspended distribution of Super Cereal – a fortified blended food – at all its operations in Uganda.

“From the outset, WFP has treated this as a matter of extreme urgency,” the agency said.

Uganda hosts a large population of refugees mostly from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo where widespread insecurity has uprooted hundreds of thousands of people.

Continue Reading

HEADLINES