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JOHANNESBURG � Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is denying his country is in a fragile state and insists it is one of Africa’s most developed despite its plunging economy.
The 93-year-old was speaking Thursday at the Africa leg of the World Economic Forum.
Mugabe, whose health has been weakening, declared that the country he has ruled since 1980 is the most developed on the continent after South Africa.
The once-prosperous Zimbabwe now has a cash crunch so severe that livestock in some cases is being accepted instead of currency.
“Yes, we have problems. But we have resources,” Mugabe said.
Zimbabwe’s economy grew just 0.7 percent last year, and the government has struggled to pay salaries for civil servants.
Mugabe is running again in next year’s elections even as concerns about his health grow.
Source: Voice of America
Joint Press Release: Department of Environmental Affairs of the Republic of South Africa and European Union delegation to the Republic of South AfricaCircular Economy: Creating sustainable jobs and growth while protecting the environmentDr Edna Molewa,…
Pretoria – The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) will host a trade and investment symposium where South African companies will strengthen relations with their Chinese counterparts.The symposium is another platform to strengthen bilateral trade rel…
NAIROBI � Logistical challenges and disputes during Kenya’s primaries last month have raised concerns about the nationwide polls in August and how best to avoid a repeat of the deadly post-election violence in 2007.
When poll results are contested, the final decision often lies with the courts.
“Electoral cases cannot be treated in the same way as other matters that come before the courts, because of their inherent political sensitivity, the high public interest in their outcomes, the intense bursts in which electoral petitions are filed and the short time limits within which they have to be dispensed,” said Irene Khan, the director general of the International Development Law Organization.
The IDLO, along with Kenya’s judiciary, released recommendations ahead of the August elections, in which Kenyans will be voting in local, parliamentary, gubernatorial and presidential races.
Political tensions have been climbing since last year over the organization of the upcoming polls, and fears of violence have been climbing as well. Disputes over the results of the 2007 election killed more than 1,000 people.
But Khan says there is reason to be optimistic this year.
“In an environment marked by ethnic tension and low public trust in political institutions that had triggered the post-election violence in 2007, the successful management of election petitions by the Kenyan judiciary was one of several key factors responsible for the relatively peaceful elections and transfer of power here in this country in 2013,” she said.
The report says 188 petitions were filed in 2013 challenging the results of those polls, but the courts managed to finalize all the disputes within the mandated six-month period.
The judiciary is prepared for issues that may arise in August, Keriako Tobiko, Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions, said in a statement.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions has put in place measures to deal with electoral offenses which include the constitution of a team of 105 prosecutors to be active in electoral offenses” according to the statement. “They have been trained and they are spread all over the country in all the 47 counties and 120 court stations. The Director of Public Prosecution again has put in place a 24-hour call center that is manned by prosecutors, and this call center is also a secretariat that acts as a rapid response team to all electoral offenses.”
The IDLO says a strong dispute-resolution system is key to avoiding violence and ensuring the legitimacy of results, but voters must understand the system.
“Electoral justice should not be restricted to elites or well-resourced petitioners,” Khan said, “but must be made available to all those who feel disenfranchised and excluded. And here the judiciary plays an important role in its public outreach activities, to inform and to engage.”
However, lack of faith in the independence of the judiciary remains a challenge, according to skeptics.
Source: Voice of America
Speaking to the press during his mission to Ethiopia, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today highlighted the need for greater and freer civic space, with broader latitude for the contributions of critical or dissenting views to decision-making in the country.
All governments need to be held to the mark by independent media and the vital action of civil society and human rights defenders, High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said at a press conference in the capital, Addis Ababa.
I am convinced the Ethiopian Government will find its most important and productive investment will be in the rights of the people, which build strong and safe societies.
In his remarks, the UN rights chief hailed the contributions of the Horn of Africa country ranging from its contributions to UN peacekeeping efforts as well as its commitment to protect the human rights of its people as illustrated by its accession to a number of human rights treaties and their reflection in the Ethiopian constitution.
He also expressed that the work of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission was heartening and called on the Government to continue further steps to grant the body more independence.
However, speaking on the unrest in the country in November 2015 and August 2016, and the response of the security forces, Mr. Zeid urged the authorities to allow access to UN human rights officials to visit the affected region and establish the facts.
The extremely large number of arrests � over 26,000 � suggests it is unlikely rule of law guarantees have been observed in every case. I believe my staff ought to be given access to the affected areas, and I renew my request, he added, noting that he would continue to follow-up on the case.
The High Commissioner also spoke on the importance of economic, social and cultural rights and stressed that progress on these rights would translate into civil and political rights advances.
He also offered his support and that of his Office, OHCHR, to the Government and the people of Ethiopia in confronting the challenges posed by the drought plaguing large parts of the region.
During his visit, High Commissioner Zeid met with a number of senior Ethiopian officials, including the Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, Ministers, legislators, and human rights officials and defenders.
Also, while in Ethiopia, the UN top human rights official signed a Memorandum of Intent with the Government to strengthen OHCHR Regional Office in Addis Ababa programmes on capacity building for stakeholders across the region, including Ethiopia.
During his mission, Mr. Zeid also met with Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and other senior African Union (AU) officials, with whom he discussed human rights priorities with the AU, as the regional bloc’s new leadership develops its vision and frameworks for impact across the continent.
Source: UN News Centre
NELSPRUIT, South African Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says a lack of resources remains a major setback in the fight against cross-border crime.The Minister said this when she visited South African National Defence Force (SANDF) personnel de…