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Botswana executes murderer by hanging despite global pressure

Mooketsi Kgosibodiba was hanged at Gaborone Central Prison “in the early morning hours”, prison services announced

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Botswana executes murderer by hanging despite global pressure

Botswana on Monday hanged a 44-year-old man for murdering his boss, despite mounting criticism from rights groups and the European Union.

Mooketsi Kgosibodiba was hanged at Gaborone Central Prison “in the early morning hours”, prison services announced, in the first execution since President Mokgweetsi Masisi was elected to office in October.

In 2017, Kgosibodiba received a death sentence for the 2012 murder of his employer and his appeal was dismissed in 2018.

Two other people were hanged last year in the face of global condemnation with Amnesty International describing Botswana as the “only country in Southern Africa that consistently executes people”.

“There is no space for the death penalty in a country like Botswana,” said Amnesty International’s Deprose Muchena after Masisi’s election.

Muchena praised Botswana’s “great leadership role” in “denouncing impunity for human rights violations on the African continent” and encouraged the new government to change course on executions.

Masisi’s predecessor, Ian Khama said last year that the death penalty was one tool to combat a rising murder rate and added that the government had “no plans to either abolish the death penalty or impose a moratorium”.

Executions across the world dropped by almost one-third in 2018 to the lowest figure in a decade, said Amnesty.

The death penalty in Botswana has been enforced since independence in 1966.

Amnesty says executions are often undertaken without prior notice — with even family members of the condemned notified only after the execution.

East Africa News

South Sudan Launches Fresh Attack on SPLA-IO Base

South Sudan’s army has on Thursday launched a fresh attack against forces of the main armed opposition group and peace partner, SPLA-IO

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SOUTH SUDAN FRESH ATTACKS

South Sudan’s army on Thursday launched a fresh attack against forces of the main armed opposition group and peace partner, SPLA-IO at the Morota Unified Training centre. 

The deputy spokesman of the SPLA-IO in Juba, Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel said the attack was ordered by General Moses Lokujo who defected from the group to join the SSPDF in September.

According to Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel “… this morning November 26, at about 6:00am, the defected force of Maj. Gen. Moses Lokujo who is now under the command and control of the SSPDF attacked the SPLA-IO component of protection force for Morota Unified Training Centre, in complete violation of the permanent ceasefire,”  

The statement also confirmed the death of one SPLA-IO soldier and two others injured as the fighting continues.

Last week, the ceasefire monitoring body, CTSSAM-VM identified General Moses Lokujo as being responsible for the recent displacement of civilians around Kajo-Keji area. He was also accused of blocking access to a military training camp.

The revitalized peace deal expects all the parties to desist from actions that may obstruct or delay the provision of humanitarian assistance, protection of civilians, or restrict the free movement of people.

The armed opposition group further urged the SSPDF to cease attacks against it while urging that security mechanisms established under the revived peace agreement be implemented to halt the attacks.

He called on the SSPDF command to restrain Maj. Gen. Lokuj from incessant attacks against the SPLA-IO.

“It should also be noted that the forces in Morota Training Centre are not only SPLA-IO forces but a component of the unified forces under the command and control of the JTSC and JDB. Therefore, attacking this force is not only a violation but a direct attack against the Security Arrangement in particular and the R-ARCSS in general.”

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Over 40 People Trapped in Zimbabwe Mine Collapse

Takavarasha said those who were rescued said there were about 40 people in the mine shaft at the time of the incident, and that rescue efforts were ongoing.

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At least 40 informal miners in Zimbabwe have been trapped underground after a shaft in a disused gold mine collapsed, this is according to Zimbabwe’s miners’ federation.

This was disclosed by the head of Zimbabwe’s Miners Federation Wellington Takavarasha who said the incident occurred late Wednesday in the town of Bindura, around 70 kilometres (43 miles) north of the capital Harare.

Takavarasha told reporters that the miners were working inside the unused Ran Gold Mine when a shaft caved in.

Six miners have since been pulled from the rubble and taken to hospital.

Takavarasha said those who were rescued said there were about 40 people in the mine shaft at the time of the incident, and that rescue efforts were ongoing.

Read also: 12 Illegal Miners Feared Dead in Zimbabwean Collapsed Mineshaft

Mining is a major source of foreign currency for Zimbabwe, where gold alone accounts for 60 per cent of exports.

The landlocked southern African country is home to vast gold and mineral reserves, including diamonds and platinum.

The gold sector provides jobs to nearly 10 per cent of the country’s population, according to the International Crisis Group.

Small-scale miners often operate illegally to avoid selling their bullion to the state-owned buyer, Fidelity Printers and Refiners, as they are paid only 55 per cent in foreign currency.

The remaining 45 per cent is paid in Zimbabwean dollars, which is notorious for its weakness.

Accidents are relatively common in decommissioned mines, particularly when the ground is loosened by rain.

 

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East Africa News

80 Final Year Students Quit School in Kenya, Say Principal Was Too Strict

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No fewer than 80 final year students of a secondary school in eastern Kenya left the school in a day over claims the principal, Joseph Makau, was too strict.

The students also told local media that they were tired of studying.

They also raised concerns over the poor diet offered at the school and the recent withdrawal of entertainment sessions that ran on a weekly basis.

Local media also reported that the incident left only 36 final years students in Matungulu Boys Secondary School compound.

The students, who had earlier boycotted meals during the day, were said to have walked out of the school on Wednesday evening without staging any form of a riot.

Makau said some of the students had been undergoing counselling due to the use of hard drugs before the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Those who walked out of the school are suffering from ‘freestyle’ kind of living where they don’t want to adhere to basic regulations for conducive learning. We will remain firm and as a school, we will not entertain any indiscipline that threatens smooth learning.” he said.

Some of the students told local radio stations that the principal was too strict and they were tired of studying. They said they would prefer to come back just to sit for final examinations scheduled for next year.

The principal said parents had been informed and asked to bring back the students.

Schools reopened in October for final-year students after being closed because of coronavirus, while other classes will resume in January.

The ministry of education advised administrators to minimise interaction between students in boarding schools and people outside to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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