Foreign News


DRC Orders Kinshasa Schools to Re-open



Government in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has ordered schools in Kinshasa to reopen days after violent riots hit the capital.

Last week, Kinshasa was the centre of anti-government protests with activists accusing President Joseph Kabila of delaying to hold elections so as to extend his stay in power.

The week long protests claimed a total of 50 people according to the DRC government although the number has been disputed by the opposition and Civil society.

And now Maker Mwangu, the Congolese Minister in charge of Secondary and Primary education, says that it is high time the schools reopened and embarked on normal business.

He says that loss of time in the education calendar will hurt the children and asked parents to send their children to school.

Mwangu says that arrangements have been put in place to secure the students while on their way to school.

Mwangu says that every day counts and they cannot afford to lose more days. He adds that the ministry will make changes on the education calendar to ensure that the lost time is recovered.

But Crispin Kobolongo, the president of Action Against Vulnerable People (CPSA) in Kinshasa says that the order by the minister is not timely.

Kobolongo says that the minister should have instead engaged the ministries of Defence and that of Internal Affairs to demilitarise the streets of Kinshasa.

He says that the presence of heavy military deployment traumatises children and that even if they go back to school, they will not concentrate.

What started as a peaceful protest later turned violent on the 19th and 20 of September.

Some of the schools lost infrastructure and other vital installations after police and army started cracking down on the protesters who are calling for an end to President Joseph Kabila's 15-year reign.

Kabila has led the DRC since January 2001 when he succeeded his father, Laurent Desire Kabila, who was assassinated by one of his body guards.


17 Drown In DRC




17 people have died and several others are missing following sporadic shooting by drunken Congolese government troops in Beni town in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The victims drowned in water trenches as they tried to flee fearing a rebel attack. Most of the dead include children and women. Paul Kapitula, the Chairperson of Civil Societies in Beni, says the drunken soldiers were dressed in plain clothes when they started shooting in the air prompting residents to flee in panic in fear of an attack by suspected Allied Democratic Force-ADF rebels.

He says the shooting occurred during a heavy down pour, which made residents think the rebels had taken advantage of the rain to trap them in their houses. According to Kapitula, 10 children are still missing. Nyonyi Bwanaka, the Mayor Beni, says all those behind the shooting were picked up.

Bwanaka urges residents who fled to Mangina and Butembo areas to return, saying the situation is under control. Colonel Olivier Hamuli, the North Kivu Province Army Spokesperson, says they are investigating the motive of the shooting by the soldiers.


Zuma survives Nkandla impeachment vote




Parliament in South Africa has voted not to impeach President Jacob Zuma, despite a court ruling against him.

The governing African National Congress (ANC) defeated the opposition-sponsored motion, saying Mr Zuma was not guilty of "serious misconduct".

Last week, South Africa's highest court said he had breached the constitution by failing to repay public money used to upgrade his private home.

The opposition said Mr Zuma was a "crooked" president, not fit to govern.

After a rowdy debate, with MPs heckling and shouting at each other, a vote was called in the lower house, the National Assembly.

The motion was backed by 143 MPs and opposed by 233 and Mr Zuma was not present.

The ANC had denounced the impeachment proceedings as a publicity stunt.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) needed a two-thirds majority - 267 MPs out of 400 - to impeach Mr Zuma.

The party has 89 seats, and the combined opposition 151.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said public anger towards Mr Zuma was palpable, but he did not expect the ANC to back the impeachment motion because corruption had affected the entire party "like a cancer".

"The ANC has lost its way and there's no way back," he added.

Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery rejected the call to impeach Mr Zuma, saying the president was not guilty of "serious misconduct".

:Earlier, opposition MPs called for speaker Baleka Mbete to step down, after accusing her of taking sides.

Ms Mbete rejected their demand, after an adjournment to consult parliamentary officials, but then left her deputy to chair most of the debate.

Mr Zuma has been dogged by allegations of corruption since before he was elected president in 2009.

He was accused of taking bribes over an arms deal but he denied the allegation and the charges were controversially dropped just before he took office.

He later found himself at the centre of controversy over the use of $23m (£15m) of public money to upgrade his private home in the rural area of Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal province.



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