East Africa


Six police officers have been  arraigned in Mozambique over a poll observers murder. 

The police officers who were said to be members of Mozambique’s elite police unit are on trial for the murder of a well-known election observer.

The deceased, Anastacio Matavele was shot dead in his car in the city of Xai-Xai just before the elections last year.

The suspected involvement of the police came to light after the alleged attackers had a car crash as they fled the scene.

Four police officers have confessed to been part Of the murder. The alleged ringleader is said to be on the run.

A group of youths in Cameroon under the name; Local Youth Corner, are making hand sanitizers and giving them out for free as their way of fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

They stated that their hand sanitizers are made to World Health Organization (WHO) standards. The sanitizers are being distributed mostly in Yaoundé, the capital.

The group’s co-ordinator, Achaleke Christian, explained that their- one person, one hand sanitizer campaign was motivated by the increase in prices and the poor quality of hand sanitizers on the market. 

“Our target is to give 5,000 sanitizers and we just started with 1,000,” he stated.

They also emphasized on hand-washing.

As the number of confirmed cases climbed from 17 to 82 in two weeks during Rwanda’s lockdown, the government in Rwanda has extended rigid lockdown restrictions that were imposed last month to April 19. 

The lockdown which was to end this weekend was extended during a virtual cabinet meeting held by President Kagame, on Wednesday.

It is said that during the extended lockdown, the borders will remain closed and only the entry of Rwandan citizens will be allowed. Goods will also continue to be allowed into the country.

Shops, schools and places of worship will still remain closed and employees will continue working from home. 

Two African nations; Burundi and Sierra Leone have recorded their first cases of coronavirus. 

On Tuesday, Burundi Health Minister, Thadée Ndikumana announced that two citizens have tested positive for the virus after travelling in from Rwanda and Dubai.

While in Sierra Leone, a 37-year-old man who had arrived from France was found to have Covid-19.

The government has stated that it would not announce a total lockdown yet but a year-long state of public health emergency has been declared. Commercial flights have been suspended as schools have been ordered to close.

The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), responds to the devastating locust outbreak in East Africa by providing $8 million in humanitarian assistance to support regional operations to control locusts in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Republic of Kenya, and the Federal Republic of Somalia, by helping to reduce the size of the swarms, this aid is expected to have a positive impact on affected communities throughout the Horn of Africa.

Records have it that this current locust outbreak is the worst to hit East Africa in decades: billions of pests are infesting the region, devouring crops and vegetation, and destroying livestock pastures. The new funding will support locust-control operations across the region, which include ground-based and aerial efforts.

This announcement brings the U.S. Government’s response to the outbreak of locusts to nearly $9 million, including funding already provided to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Ethiopia to control and prevent the spread of the infestation; train more than 300 pest experts and scouts; and provide 5,000 sets of protective equipment.

USAID has disaster experts in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and the Republic of South Sudan are to work closely with these groups to determine whether additional assistance is necessary, based on evaluations made on the ground. The United States also calls upon other donors to contribute funds to the immediate needs of communities throughout the Horn of Africa.

The United States is said to also provide long-term funding to protect food security and livelihoods for the people of East Africa, as well as to strengthen institutional capacity for the detection, surveillance, reporting, and monitoring of locusts and other pests, and for additional preventative programs,

In Arusha, Tanzania, East Africa Countries (EAC) Secretary General, Liberat Mfumukeko, gave his New Year’s Address to the Staff of EAC at the EAC Headquarters.

The process of unifying policies and putting in place the appropriate institutions to attain a single currency for East African countries by 2024 are being carried out in line with the EAC Monetary Union Protocol.

Mfumukeko said the Bill for the establishment of the East African Monetary Institute (EAMI) had already been acknowledged by the Summit of Heads of State, he added that the EAMI would later be transformed into the East African Central Bank that would issue the single currency.

“The establishment of this institute will help to provide impetus towards the formation of the East African Monetary Union, which is the third pillar of our integration,” he stated.

Mfumukeko also disclosed that the Council of Ministers had approved the EAC Domestic Tax Harmonization Policy. He added that the implementation of the policy in a proper manner would reduce tax competition and enhance cross-border trade and investment in the region.

He further urged all EAC Staff to rededicate themselves to serving the region, a task he described as a privilege, adding that they had been recruited competitively based on their unique skills and expertise.