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Zambian Police Commander Defends Rights Of Protesters

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Zambian Police Commander Defends Rights Of Protesters

A senior Zambian Police Commander has defended the right of six activists to protest. The six are on trial for staging a demonstration at parliament over a 42 million dollars firefighting procurement deal.

In a magistrate court in Lusaka, Province Deputy Police Commissioner Geoffrey Kunda says the accused have the constitutional right to demonstrate as they complied with the law. He added that an attempt to verbally ban the march may have led to the situation and the arrests of the campaigners.

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Kunda said his office failed to respond to a notice given by the protesters signalling their intention to picket parliament during the finance minister’s budget speech last year.

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The six have pleaded not guilty to charges of disobeying a lawful order, and insisted they had a right to protest within the grounds of parliament.

Zambia’s opposition has accused president Lungu of increasingly authoritarian behaviour.

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African News

Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

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Zimbabwe: Government, Civil Servants Agree Salary Deal

Zimbabwe government and civil servants have finally agreed to a salary accord after the government increased its offer to four hundred million dollars, up by fifty million.

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This means government workers and civil servants will each receive an increment of a hundred twenty-nine dollars effective on April the first.

Negotiations for a further salary review, possibly in June, will continue with consideration of other non-monetary incentives.

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Apex council chairperson, Cecilia Alexander, says the welfare negotiations will continue until the welfare of civil servants improved.

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Niger’s Top Court Outlaws ‘Fifth Wife’ Sex-Slave Maids

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Niger's Top Court Outlaws 'Fifth Wife' Sex-Slave Maids

Niger’s top court has outlawed the practice of keeping women as maids and sex slaves known as “fifth wives.”  This ends a decade-long legal battle by one victim that lawyers say could inspire others in the West African nation to seek justice.

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UK-based anti-slavery international, says the “fifth wife” custom, also known as “wahaya,” is when, in addition to the four wives permitted by Islam, rich men take on other, unofficial wives who live as domestic and sexual slaves.

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Thomson-Reuters Foundation says a Nigerien court had initially ruled in favor of the victim’s master, but she appealed the decision.  Last month, the Niger court of appeals ruled that her first marriage was never valid and that all “fifth wife” marriages are illegal.

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Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

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Gunmen Abduct Student Football Team In Cameroon

Gunmen have abducted twenty University of Buea male football team members in Cameroon’s southwest. A report says university Vice-Chancellor, Ngono Horace Manga, has confirmed the incident.

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The Vice-Chancellor is quoted as saying armed men stormed the university’s football ground and ordered the players who were training for an upcoming competition to leave with them.

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Manga also said the kidnappers contacted university authorities and demanded a ransom.  He did not disclose the amount for which they were asking.

No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

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