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Teachers undergo Covid-19 test as schools reopen in Benin

Anselme Amoussou, general secretary of one of the country’s largest labour organisation, said testing remained “insufficient”.

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School children from Avrankou-Houeze school attend a BloLab training in a container with the founder of this non-profit group Medard Agbayazon at Avrankou city hall, in Avrankou, south of Benin, on January 18, 2019.yanick Folly / AFP

The Republic of Benin on Saturday started conducting mass coronavirus testing of teachers ahead of the reopening of schools as part of a plan to loosen measures against the pandemic.

The country is set to end six weeks of travel restrictions to key cities and allow some students back to classrooms from Monday.

Countries across the globe are wrestling with issues of how to roll back restrictions while keeping a lid on the virus.

Benin is among a growing number of Africa nations relaxing measures that have battered their fragile economies.


The country has in recent days seen its tally of confirmed infections double to 284 as testing has been increased.

The authorities said that almost 14,000 tests were carried out between May 3 and 7, with the focus now on teachers and health workers.

So far just two fatalities from the virus have been confirmed.

Students from the final year of primary school through to universities will return to lessons on Monday after six weeks at home.

Masks will be distributed to pupils and nursery schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.

Lecture halls at universities will remain shut to avoid large gatherings and some courses will be delivered online, officials said.

The plan to reopen schools has faced some criticism from unions.

Anselme Amoussou, general secretary of one of the country’s largest labour organisation, said testing remained “insufficient”, an AFP report said.

“The government is aware that it will not be able to screen everyone before school starts,” he said.

“But we ask everyone to be in classes and we did not include students in the testing.”

Benin was one of the first African countries to make wearing masks obligatory in public when it introduced the measures in main cities and towns on April 8.

Politics

Burkina Faso’s President Kabore Wins Reelection

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President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso has been re-elected to lead the West African nation for another five years.

Preliminary results from the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) on Thursday showed Kabore won 57.9% of the vote, while main challengers, Eddie Komboigo and Zephirin Diabre, got 15.5% and 12.5% respectively.

The President needed over 50% to avoid a second round.

Burkina Faso’s election, held on November 22, was largely marred by insecurity that prevented swathes of the West African country from voting.

His main opponents had accused Kabore, who was elected in 2015, of failing to contain Islamist and ethnic violence that forced 1 million people to flee their homes during his first term.

Kabore’s opponents have raised concerns about the validity of the vote count. But the electoral commission has dismissed those allegations and an international observer mission gave the election a mostly clean bill of health.

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President Buhari Will Set Nigeria On Fire If… -Governor Wike

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President Muhammadu Buhari will set Nigeria on fire if he chooses to turn a deaf ear to Nigerians’ demands, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State said on Thursday.

Wike, who spoke on a Channels TV programme, Sunrise Daily, said Buhari should implement the requests made at a meeting between Ministers, Federal lawmakers, and leaders of the six geopolitical zones over #EndSARS protests.

News Central reports that the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, led the presidential delegation. They met with Governors and leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on Tuesday.

At the meeting, the South-South leaders, including the Rivers State governor demanded the restructuring of the country, in line with the principle of true federalism, saying it will guarantee peace, security and stability in the country.

Speaking of the meeting on Thursday, the Rivers state governor said: “I am not a pessimist. I don’t believe that because you didn’t do what you agreed to do yesterday, therefore, you will not do what you agree to do today. Even if he (Buhari) has not done what he told Nigerians he would do, he can say, look, I promised Nigerians yesterday, I didn’t do that and that is affecting my integrity and so, for people who know me, I will implement what I have said.

“People have raised the issue that they don’t think anything will come out of the dialogues. I don’t agree with them. I believe that if the President does not do it, given the opportunity he has now, he will be putting Nigeria on fire.”

He added,“He (Buhari) may not necessarily implement everything the people may want but let the people see the concrete evidence that under President Buhari, he has been able to implement one, two, three, four demands by the people.

“If he (Buhari) doesn’t take this opportunity now to implement some of these requests, I don’t think it will be very good for Nigerians and for his legacy.”

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East Africa Politics News

Uganda Jails Former Presidential Aspirant Three Years For Abusing Judges

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Ivan Samuel Ssebadduka, a former presidential aspirant in Uganda, has been jailed three years by the country’s Supreme Court for using abusive language against the judges, including calling them a “council of fools”.

The 36-year-old was jailed for contempt of court and will spend the next three years in Uganda Government Prison Kitalya.

Ssebadduka had in September filed a petition at the Supreme Court, seeking to stop a requirement for presidential aspirants to collect nomination signatures.

He also wanted the court to suspend the coronavirus safety restrictions issued by the health ministry on the conduct of campaign rallies.

He used the offensive remarks while defending the petition before the judges.

Chief Justice Alfonse Owinyi-Dollo was quoted as saying that criticism against judges should be accurate and fair, and should not infringe on the the rights of others.

On November 11, local media reported that Ssebadduka, a week after he was summoned by the Supreme Court to explain why he shouldn’t be found guilty for contempt of court after using abusive language against Judges, followed up with more insults. He described the Justices as incompetent, saying the accusations of contempt of court are baseless because the justices can’t challenge him legally.

“We didn’t offend you or you’re so-called Supreme Court because it is not a court in the first place. It is a Council of fools…” Ssebadduka’s response to the summons read in part.

He added, “It is very unfortunate that we entrust you with the judiciary because you don’t deserve to be judges. A judge must have judgment but it is very unfortunate that you don’t have common sense, which is common”, reads his response in part.

After the ruling, Ssebadduka was immediately handcuffed by security and driven to his next home of three years.

The Supreme court decision in Uganda is final as it is the last appellate court in the country, and unless the justices choose, for some reason, to review their decision or Ssebadduka gets a presidential pardon, he will be expected to serve his entire jail term.

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