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Zim Protests: Police Armed With Truncheons, Guns, Teargas Canisters Patrolling Streets In Harare

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'We'll Never Seize Zim Assets Despite The Country Failing To Settle Debt Arrears,' - China

Zimbabwe police arrested trade union leaders and scores of activists nationwide on Thursday ahead of planned marches over the country’s worsening economic crisis, lawyers said.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights spokesperson Kumbirai Mafunda told AFP that Peter Mutasa, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) – the country’s largest trade union – was among those detained, along with activists in three major towns.

Mutasa had called for protests in Harare on Thursday despite a police ban on public gatherings in the capital due to a recent cholera outbreak.

ZCTU planned a national strike to protest against sharp price hikes, a new tax on electronic transactions and daily shortages ranging from fuel to bread as Zimbabwe’s economy endures a fresh bout of chaos.

“I confirm the arrests of ZCTU president Mutasa and secretary general (Japhet) Moyo at their offices and scores of other unionists in Harare, Masvingo and Mutare,” Mafunda told AFP.

“The constitution provides for the right to demonstrate and petition.”

‘Zimbabweans are suffering’

Scuffles erupted as police arrested the ZCTU leaders after they addressed a crowd outside the unions’ headquarters in the capital.

Before his arrest, a defiant Mutasa told journalists: “We are demonstrating peacefully against hardships. We are here to make the authorities know that Zimbabweans are suffering.”

Large numbers of police were on duty in Harare armed with truncheons, guns and teargas canisters while water cannon trucks were parked on some streets.

Zimbabwe’s moribund economy has hit new lows in recent days with shops struggling to stock shelves, medicine running out and long queues outside petrol stations.

The local “bond note” currency, which in theory has the same value as the US dollar, has been in freefall in recent weeks, raising fears of a return to the hyper-inflation that wrecked national finances in 2009.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took power last year after Robert Mugabe was ousted by the military, has vowed to ensure essential daily goods are available.

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African News

Kenya Committed To Improving Aviation Infrastructure

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Kenya Committed To Improving Aviation Infrastructure

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta says the government is committed to improving the country’s civil aviation infrastructure.  He credited the industry with enhancing the country’s economy and national development.

He said at the eleventh forum of the international civil aviation organization air services negotiation meeting in Nairobi that the aviation industry contributes four tenths of a percent to the country’s gdp.  He also said the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi provides seventeen thousand direct and more than half a million indirect jobs.

Kenyatta said about eight in ten tourists visiting Kenya use air transport.

He said these are some of the reasons his government is committed to investing in aviation infrastructure to help the industry play its critical role in the economy.

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2 Persons Killed In Clash Between Security Forces And Protesters In Togo

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2 Persons Killed In Clash Between Security Forces And Protesters In Togo

At least two persons were reported killed in Togo over the weekend after security forces moved against protesters. Opposition has accused the government of using what it called “regime soldiers” it says opened fire on the demonstrators.

At least two persons were killed in clashes between Togo’s security forces and protesters.

Authorities reported finding a dead protester in Lome with an open wound in his left eye that indicated a bullet entry. Another dead body was also reported, this time with no bullet wounds.

The protests intensified after the government called for parliamentary elections to be held in late December.  Opposition is against the polls.  It has demanded reforms of the national electoral commission, and a two-term limit for presidents.

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Cameroon Law Graduates-Turn-Musicians Sing For Peace

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Cameroon Law Graduates-Turn-Musicians Sing For Peace

Two Cameroonian Law graduates, who are now musicians, have been traveling through the country’s English-speaking regions singing messages of peace they believe will touch the rebels and help end the separatist conflict there.

The singers started their group in October when they both lost family members and friend in the secessionist struggle in the English-speaking regions.

The duo sing in both English and French reminding people about the grave repercussions of war, and urging all sides to embrace peace.

The conflict has claimed hundreds of civilian lives. Thousands have been internally displaced, and thousands more have fled, many to neighboring Nigeria.

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