Regional News Roundup

Bus kills 19 in SA

The South African government has vowed to carry out thorough investigations into the cause of a bus disaster that killed 19 people in the Vaal

Triangle on Monday morning. Survivors blamed the driver, who lost control resulting in the bus hitting the rails before it plummeted 10 metres to the ground, landing on its side. Transport Minister Ben Martins said Tuesday that authorities would investigate all possible reasons for the tragic incident.

I will lead, not rule

President Joyce Banda promised Malawians this week that she would not rule, but lead them, adding that the country’s political and economic future looked bright. She said Malawi was now part of a global consensus that violation of academic freedom leads to intellectual relapse. She said the country was among the best when it came to the Constitutional recognition of academic freedom. Since inheriting the high office from Bingu

WaMutharika, Banda has endeared herself to ordinary Malawians and the international community for her spirited defence of human rights.

New constitution for Zambia

Justice Annel Silungwe, Chairperson of the Technical Committee tasked with drafting Zambia’s new republican constitution, said this week it would be the best on the African continent. Although Zambia reverted to multi-party politics 20 years ago, its constitution-making process has been fraught with numerous flaws, including lack of political will. Drafts by three Constitutional Review Commissions were all sacrificed on the altar of political expediency because a new republican Constitution was perceived to be a threat to the MMD’s continued hold on political power.

Kibaki rejects degrees law

Kenya’s President MwaiKibaki on Monday refused to sign the controversial Miscellaneous Amendment Bill as passed by Parliament last Thursday, giving a lifeline to MPs who do not have university degrees. Kibaki has returned the Bill to Parliament for amendments. Kibaki said the matter of the consequence of defecting from political parties or changing allegiance between parties is already the subject of court petitions.

Refugees return to Angola

At least 6,137 Angolan refugees in DR Congo had returned home by June 22 as part of the voluntary repatriation process carried out by the government and its partners, UNHCR and IOM, since May 1. The voluntary repatriation of Angolan refugees in the DRC ends on June 30 this year and is expected to see 12,000 returnhome.

Botswana says “No” to court

The Botswana government has refused to follow the High Court’s call for it to reinstate all dismissed government employees in essential services, who took part in a nation-wide strike last year. In a statement released on Monday, Botswana’s Office of the President said, the government had decided to appeal “on the basis of what it believes are errors of both fact and law in the judgment.” The Botswana High Court last week declared as null and void the government’s decision in May 2011 to dismiss essential services employees who took part in an eight-week-long strike starting in mid-April and ordered that all public officers who were dismissed by the government be retrospectively reinstated to the posts they held prior to their dismissal.

Post published in: Africa News

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