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Revolution of Smiles: Thousands of Algerians Hit the Streets

The past few weeks have seen renewed demonstrations in the build-up to the February 22 anniversary of the first nation-wide protests, particularly in the traditionally troubled Kabylie region.

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Thousands of protesters returned to the streets in Algiers as Algerians mark the two-year anniversary of the Hirak protest movement that ousted the country’s long-term president from power in 2019.

The 2019–2020 Algerian protests, also known as Revolution of Smiles or Hirak Movement, began on 16 February 2019, six days after octogenarian Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his intention for a fifth presidential bid in a signed statement.  A months-long movement demanding sweeping reform.

Algerian protesters massed up displaying flags in Kherrata, 200 kilometres east of the capital, chanting slogans against the government: “We didn’t come to celebrate but to set ourselves free,” demonstrating again where it all started two years ago.

The unprecedented leaderless protest is demanding a total overhaul of the ruling system, only suspended rallies in March last year as the coronavirus pandemic forced it off the streets.

Following the protests, especially in Kherrata where it started two years ago and quickly snowballed into nationwide demonstrations, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has announced a government re-shuffle and ordered the release of up to 60 people detained from the Hirak protest movement and vowed to meet all of the Hirak’s demands.

Tuesday’s rally was attended by prominent Hirak figures including Karim Tabbou, who was handed a one-year suspended sentence in December for “undermining national security”.

The past few weeks have seen renewed demonstrations in the build-up to the February 22 anniversary of the first nation-wide protests, particularly in the traditionally troubled Kabylie region.

The protests’ successes were first recorded when former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika gave in to public pressure, announcing in early April his decision to step down after ruling for 20 years.

More protesters have called for a removal of Algeria’s political elites, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression…calling the elections that followed Bouteflika’s resignation a sham.

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Zimbabwe’s Vice President Kembo Mohadi Resigns Amidst Scandal

The allegations became rife since audio recordings of phone conversations allegedly of Mohadi soliciting sex from several women, including a subordinate in his office went viral.

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Zimbabwe’s Vice President Kembo Mohadi resigned Monday in the face of sexual misconduct allegations, apologising for tasks he “failed to do well”.

The allegations became rife since audio recordings of phone conversations allegedly of Mohadi soliciting sex from several women, including a subordinate in his office went viral.

The 71-year-old leader said in a letter posted on the information ministry’s Twitter account “I am stepping down as the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe…with immediate effect”.

He said he chose to leave office “not as a matter of cowardice” but out of respect for the office of the presidency “so that it is not compromised or caricatured by actions that are linked to my challenges as an individual”.

“I have been going through a soul-searching pilgrimage and realised that I need the space to deal with my problems outside the governance chair,” he added.

He restated his denial of any wrongdoing, explaining that he was “a victim of information distortion, voice cloning, and sponsored spooking and political sabotage”. He has decided to take legal recourse.

Read also: https://newscentral.africa/zimbabwe-clamps-down-on-second-hand-clothes-importation-amid-smuggle-surge/

He’s held several ministerial appointments under former president Robert Mugabe and was appointed vice president in 2017 following Mugabe’s removal from office.

Mohadi, a retired soldier and veteran of the country’s liberation war, was one of Zimbabwe’s two vice presidents.

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Akufo-Addo, Wife Take COVID-19 Vaccine Shots

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Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo and his wife, Rebecca were the first Ghanaians to take the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday in a public programme.

Akufo-Addo received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced as a patent by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and said it is safe and will help protect against health COVID-19.

Ghana and Ivory Coast are two of some African countries who have received their first doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine from the Serum Institute of India.

The Nigerian government is also expected to receive four million doses of the COVISHIELD vaccines on Tuesday.

Akufo-Addo’s action is expected to fuel other African leaders’ resolve to lead the way in taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ghana is one of West Africa’s most affected countries.

Africa has recorded close to four million cases of COVID-19 with more than 101,000 deaths recorded.

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Harare City Nurses Resign En Masse over Allowances

Operations in the local council’s clinics have halted due to the mass resignations. The absence of nurses to man various stations has caused authorities to close some of the clinics.

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Harare City Council Nurses Protesting

Over 100 Nurses under the employ of Harare City Council have resigned in protest over the non-payment of their Covid-19 risk allowances.

Operations in the local council’s clinics have halted due to the mass resignations. The absence of nurses to man various stations has caused authorities to close some of the clinics.

The government had pledged a US$75 per month Covid-19 stipend to all frontline health workers in government health centres and local councils.

The Harare City Council nurses complain they are yet to receive the promised allowances and have therefore resorted to mass resignation.  

Harare North MP Markham Allan Norman confirmed the resignations. He has questioned Deputy Health Minister John Mangwiro and requested explanations as to why the government was not paying the nurses as approved.

Kawadzana Polyclinic,Harare

The non-payment of the allowances also affects nurses employed by the Bulawayo City Council. However, there’s no confirmation if they joined in mass resignation. 

Markham said “I would like to clarify on Covid allowances. The Covid allowance for nurses in urban areas as well is not being received. Harare and Bulawayo have both not received at the local government level.”

However, in response Mangwiro insisted government was paying the US$75 directly into the accounts of each frontline worker entitled to the allowance.

Harare City Council runs to main referral hospitals, Wilkins and Beatrice Infectious, which have been repurposed as Covid-19 treatment centre for patients in the capital city requiring admission.

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