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Mozambique Local Polls Test Peace Process

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Mozambique Local Polls Test Peace Process

Mozambique holds local elections Wednesday that could reveal cracks in the country’s peace process after the ruling Frelimo party was accused of violence and intimidation during the campaign.

The main opposition Renamo party, which has maintained an armed wing since the end of the country’s civil war, is running in the municipal vote for the first time in 10 years.

Renamo fought a brutal 16-year civil war against the Marxist-inspired Frelimo government that left one million people dead before fighting ended in 1992.

In 2013, fresh violence erupted between Renamo rebels and government troops, raising fears of a return to civil war. But three years later, the party declared a truce and opened fresh peace talks.

Renamo is hoping for a breakthrough ahead of next year’s general election.

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“These landmark local elections will test the success of decentralisation measures agreed with the armed opposition and will act as an important political bellwether,” the London-based EXX risk consultancy said in a note.

Several clashes

“The rewards at hand have rendered the political climate in Mozambique both tense and volatile, as highlighted by a series of violent incidents in the pre-election period.”

The 13-day election campaign ended on Sunday after several clashes between rival party supporters.

Renamo supporters say they have faced intimidation and assaults during the campaign.

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“Our members and sympathisers are asking for the party’s leadership (to) intervene in their defence since the police do nothing,” Renamo’s acting leader Ossufo Momade last week.

The vote will be held in Mozambique’s 53 municipalities, 49 of which are currently governed by Frelimo.

The four other municipalities – among them the cities of Beira, Nampula and Quelimane – were won by the second opposition MDM party in the last elections.

New electoral laws

President Filipe Nyusi and Momade have recently made progress on the disarmament and integration of former Renamo rebels into the police and army — a key sticking point in the peace talks.

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Parliament approved new electoral laws in July that means that a simple or relative majority is sufficient for a candidate to win election.

Previously, an absolute majority of over 50% of votes was needed.

The new laws could split the opposition vote.

As well as the internal political tensions, Mozambique has been rocked over the last year by the emergence of an Islamist insurgency in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, which has rich offshore gas deposits.

Scores of civilians and police have been killed in militant assaults despite a security crackdown.

African News

NYSC Introduces Biometric Clearance System To Curb Corruption – DG

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NYSC DG Sulaiman Kazaure

Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Major Gen Suleiman Kazaure, has disclosed that the corps has introduced a biometric clearance system to eliminate corruption and compromise by officials and corps members.

The DG stated this on Monday during a leadership and anti-corruption sensitisation workshop in Abuja, designed to raise a crop of officials that would imbibe good leadership qualities and enthrone a culture of transparency and accountability.

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He also revealed that the scheme had ensured strict compliance with government policies on the treasury single account, integrated personnel and payroll system, and government integrated financial management information system.

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The D.G says the introduction of biometric clearance system for corps members has virtually eliminated all chances of compromise by officials, as well as absenteeism and abscondence by corps members.

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The biometrics system now ensures only deserving corps members are paid the monthly and other statutory allowances.

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African News

Zimbabwe: Party Accused Of Partisan Distribution Of Aid To Victims Of Cyclone

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Zimbabwe: Party Accused Of Partisan Distribution Of Aid To Victims Of Cyclone

Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF lawmaker for Chimanimani East, Nokuthula Matsikenyere, has been sucked into the eye of a storm over the partisan distribution of aid to victims of cyclone idai.

Chimanimani and Chipinge in the south east of Manicaland were the worst affected areas by the storm that left a trail of destruction and more than a hundred forty persons dead.

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Affected villagers have accused ruling ZANU-PF officials, including Matsikenyere, of politicizing the disaster relief donated by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).  They said the aid was given to only ZANU-PF supporters.

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In a heated meeting on Saturday in a village where the relief aid was distributed, Matsikenyere was quoted as openly saying to the disgruntled villagers they deserved to be deprived of the disaster relief because they did not vote for her during last year’s elections.

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The lawmaker later confirmed to a news crew that she directed the aid distribution, but that she was not involved in compiling names of recipients.  She did not admit to saying what the villagers attributed to her.

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African News

Study Shows Millions In Africa Live In Fear Of Losing Their Homes

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Study Shows Millions In Africa Live In Fear Of Losing Their Homes

A new study Prindex shows tens of millions of urban dwellers in Sub-Saharan Africa live in fear of losing their homes against their will.

The study shows that in eighteen countries surveyed, nearly thirty-two million adults in urban areas are “insecure in their rights to their home and land.”

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The study says this means that more than sixty million adults living in urban areas are tenure insecure.  If the trend continues, the study says insecurity could afflict more than two hundred million by 2050.

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Measuring security of tenure is one of the indicators used to assess progress in attaining the first of the sustainable development goals, which is the eradication of poverty.

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Prindex is an initiative launched by two think tanks—the global land alliance, and the London-based overseas development institute.

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