News from Southern Africa

Africa: COVID-19

Like the climate crisis, coronavirus and its spiralling impacts will hit women, the poor and marginalised the hardest – that is not an acceptable trade-off for reducing emissions. The global response needed for the pandemic provides lessons for the action needed to tackle climate change. Governments, movements and society must internalise these principles to address these emergencies with solutions that ensure justice for all.
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Getting Ahead of the Virus Key to Change Course of COVID-19 – WHO Africa

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa, said the reasons the virus has not spread as quickly in Africa as it has in the Northern hemisphere, are not yet clear. But said while WHO is still monitoring and analysing what has been done in different regions, it encourages ”strong early precautionary measures” to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. ”We can only stop this virus through solidarity. And the world is coming together. Donors are stepping up to the plate and providing funding while the private sector in many countries are offering their support as well.”
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Angola Closes Borders Amid COVID-19

Angolan Government has announced the suspension from March 20 00:00 of all commercial and private passenger flights from the country to abroad and vice versa for 15 days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decree is extendable to an equal period of time, depending on the global behaviour of the disease.
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Mozambique closes schools, suspends visa issuance.

President Nyusi has just addressed the nation, announcing new coronavirus prevention measures due to take effect as from Monday, March 23, for the next 30 days. Mozambique will subject all travellers , Mozambicans or foreigners, entering the country to a mandatory 14-day home quarantine.
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Namibia Declares State of Emergency as COVID-19 Fears Deepen

Namibia has suspended its independence anniversary celebrations scheduled for March 21, as well as other public gatherings and international sporting events as part of efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19. Following two positive cases, President Hage Geingob declared COVID-19 a state of emergency, saying the country will go into almost complete lockdown for the next 30 days.
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Extra Water and Sanitation for Informal Settlements, Rural Areas South Africa

The Department of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation has decided to increase the provision of water and sanitation in high-density public areas, informal settlements and rural areas in response to the novel coronavirus. The measure comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National Disaster over the pandemic, closing borders and schools in the country.
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Mnangagwa Declares COVID-19 a National Disaster in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has postponed its 40th independence anniversary celebrations scheduled for April 18, as well as other public gatherings and international sporting events as part of efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Although Zimbabwe has so far not recorded any confirmed case, President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared COVID-19 a national disaster, saying the country had escalated its national response to the virus after neighbouring countries in the region had reported cases.
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More news from the region

Angola: Authorities Expel More Than 500 Illegal Gold Miners in Huambo

Over five hundred national citizens, who were illicitly exploiting gold in 12 areas of the territory of Huambo Province, located on the central region, were removed from these areas, within the scope of Operation Transparency, in progress since 2017.
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Moçambique: Nhongo Threatens a Return to War

Mariano Nhongo, the leader of the self-styled ”Renamo Military Junta”, has threatened that, if the Mozambican government does not negotiate with him, ”there will be war”. ”There is no demobilization, no disarming and no cantonment without the Military Junta”, he declared. ”If the government tries to demobilize a Renamo base, then it has opened space for war. The country will burn.”
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Namibia: Namibia Builds Resilience to Climate Change

Climate change adaptation and mitigation is very costly and requires mobilisation of funds and a good oversight during implementation. To date, more than 10 projects with a cost of N$1,21 billion have been mobilised from multilateral and bilateral sources in Namibia through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and Namibia’s Environmental Investment Fund over the past five years, ending December 2019. Other projects are ongoing.
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Namibia’s #MeToo movement on the hunt to find and punish sexual predators.

When Namibian activist Venicia Shanjenka first saw the tweet naming and shaming a rapist in the tiny southern African country of 2.5 million, she thought it was a brave but isolated act. But one tweet turned into hundreds, and #MeTooNamibia erupted into a growing movement backed by the first lady, Monica Geingos, that is using social media to track down sexual predators, and offer survivors psychosocial and legal support.
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Zimbabwe: MPs Blast Govt for Constitutional Breach in Bid to Return Land Back to Whites

Opposition Members of Parliament slammed the Zanu PF led government for policy inconsistency following a decision by the Emmerson Mnangagwa led administration to seize idle land from black beneficiaries for redistribution to white Zimbabweans. The move was introduced by the government through Statutory Instrument (SI) 62 of 2020. The policy instrument gives the President powers to give land back to the whites. Government, from 2000, embarked on a violent land grab policy in the ostensible bid to right colonial land imbalances that saw a minority white population of European descent in charge of vast tracts of arable land at the expense of native blacks.
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