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Wednesday, 23rd June 2021
9:01:24pm

Southern Africa

Articles related to Southern Africa

Southern African leaders put forward a show of unity on Thursday as they discussed a solution to the Mozambican insurgency.

Leaders of the South African Development Community’s (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security met with Mozambique in a closed session to discuss the recommendations of a technical committee that assessed the threat in the country in April.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, along with current organ chairperson, Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi, and outgoing chairperson, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa met with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi in the Extraordinary Troika Summit.

“We can all attest that it is a key responsibility of any president to keep his or her people safe,” said Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

“It is therefore my fervent hope that the recommendations before us will provide us with a solution for exactly that – to keep our people safe.”

 

Mozambique has in the past rebuffed regional intervention. The March attacks in Palma, and the extraordinary summit that followed, marked a turning point.

Masisi said:During our extraordinary summit of April 2021, we spoke with one voice, that now is the time to act, and act collectively, and decisively as we send a message to these faceless terrorists.

Nyusi, speaking before the next closed session which included Tanzania and Malawi, said the meeting was “a singular moment of our common objectives”.

The leaders will now discuss the decisions taken by the troika.

“We are all aware that the adoption of measures to combat terrorism and violent extremism in our region requires all of us to draw inspiration from the past and a deep understanding of the new dynamics to better devise co-ordinated actions. This exercise is premised on consultations,” added Mozambique’s president.

The April summit of ministers received a report that recommended the deployment of nearly 3 000 SADC Special Forces troops. Yet, while SADC positioned the issue as a regional threat, which must be managed by the leaders of southern Africa, Mozambique’s president has sought help from further afield.

Last month, Nyusi met with Rwanda President Paul Kagame who reportedly also sent an assessment team to Cabo Delgado.

Deployed

He also met with France’s Emmanuel Macron in May, while his defence minister met with his Portuguese counterpart. Portugal has already deployed a military training team to Mozambique following the Palma attacks.

-The Citizen

Botswana’s president has included the country’s private sector in the COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan through Business Botswana (BB), which is Botswana’s apex body for business operators.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi said Wednesday in a statement he has given the private sector in Botswana to procure the COVID-19 vaccine through the establishment of the COVID-19 Vaccine Public and Private Partnership.

“The objective is to jointly develop a National Implementation Strategy on the vaccine procurement and rollout and to advise the government on the mutual engagement with any individual or company that may wish to assist in the vaccine rollout,” he said.

According to the statement, the private sector will facilitate logistics, identify cold chain capacity and the distribution of the vaccines as well as mobilizing resources needed for the procurement and management of the COVID-19 vaccines from all relevant stakeholders.

-CGTN

Botswana, which saw COVID-19 deaths surpass 300 this week, has lifted a ban on alcohol sales and eased curfew restrictions. But President Mokgweetsi Masisi extended an existing curfew.

In a televised address, Masisi said rising COVID-19 cases mean the curfew will continue until the end of March. Botswana introduced a nine-hour curfew in December, but Masisi announced Friday the hours have been reduced to six.

"The curfew period restricting the movement of people will be extended from the 1st to the 31st of March 2021 and will begin at 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily. The government has decided to lift the suspension of the sale of alcohol with effect from 1st March, 2021. Alcohol will be sold to consumers on weekdays only," he said.

Masisi said in lifting the alcohol ban, the government took into consideration the impact on the economy.

"Studies both scientific and anecdotal, have shown that alcohol consumption impairs judgment making it difficult in some cases to adhere to set health protocols. Although necessary at the time, the government has nonetheless been worried by the effect of the temporary ban on the sale of alcohol on the industry, and by extension, the country’s economy," Masisi said.

The country’s alcohol industry employs more than 50,000 people.

Botswana Alcohol Industry Association president Masegonyana Madisa welcomed the decision to lift the ban.

"As the alcohol industry, we have always maintained a certain position, that is government should find a more sustainable approach to this problem that we have, which involves curbing the spread of the virus, which we have in Botswana, and at the same time balancing it with protecting the lives and livelihoods of those in the alcohol industry, including its extensive value chain."

Meanwhile, the country’s COVID-19 Task Force team vice chairperson, Mosepele Mosepele, expressed concern over the rising death toll.

“The unfortunate report that we would like to share is the sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 fatalities. The last time we reported we stood at 254, and unfortunately today we report a cumulative 300 total number of COVID-19-associated fatalities, Mosepele said.

The southern African country has recorded 28,371 COVID-19 cases and 310 deaths.

President Masisi has urged the nation to adhere to COVID-19 protocols as the country awaits the arrival of the first batch of vaccine doses in March.

-VOA

Three weeks after relaxing the stringent lockdown, the Zimbabwe government says it won't hesitate to impose another lockdown.

It's warning citizens against being careless about coronavirus protocols.

The country's COVID-19 infection rate appears to be increasing again.

This after falling to its lowest level in past weeks. 

The country now has over 36,000 COVID-19 positive infections and over 1,500 deaths.

Meanwhile, government says it's targeting to vaccinate 10-million people, including teachers who opened schools last week.

Zimbabwe received Sinopharm doses of COVID-19 vaccine from China recently.

-ENCA

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi met with his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob in Windhoek on Thursday to explore the possibility of collaborating on a water project.

Namibia has already begun talks with an investor who is offering desalination water from the Atlantic Ocean. Being a good neighbour and alive to Botswana's water challenges, Geingob invited him to come and meet the investor to share thoughts on the project, Masisi announced on his official social media pages.

"We are happy with the prospects because we need the water. However, our ministers and technocrats have to determine what is best for us bearing in mind our governance procedures," Masisi wrote.

Botswana had faced water shortage problems in the past with the latest and most severe having been experienced between 2014 and 2016 when Gaborone Dam, which supplies the city metropolis, dried up completely. Being landlocked, the country relies heavily on dam water and hydrological experts have said it has reached its capacity for major dams. This has left the cross-border schemes being the likeliest source to bring more water into the country to meet the forecast for long-term demand.

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