Tanzania governor considering creating national database for married men in a bid to curb infidelity

Paul Makonda is proposing a national database for married men.

(CNN)The governor of Tanzania’s largest city has announced a plan to create and publish a national database of married men to protect women from “heart breaks.”

Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Paul Makonda said he has received a lot of complaints from women who were abandoned by their lovers after a marriage proposal, and that the planned database will help combat infidelity.

“I have been receiving complaints from women who have been promised marriage by men, yet the men didn’t fulfill the promise. I know women who have been paying bills yet the men walked away …” Makonda said in native Kiswahili. 

“If possible we will set up a database in the regional commissioner’s office in each region that every man who promises a woman marriage, this should be registered in the database which will allow women to check to see whether the person asking is married …,” Makonda said at a Monday news conference.

Makonda said the government is looking at other countries in the Southern African Development Community to understand how they have dealt with such challenges.

CNN has reached out for comment from the governor but hasn’t received a response.

A proposal similar to Makonda’s data base plan sparked debate in neighboring Kenya in August after a governor there vowed to expose politicians who abandon their lovers with children after an affair.

Nairobi’s Mike Sonko posted two telephone numbers on his Facebook page and asked aggrieved women to contact his office with pictures and evidence of affair.

“From today all great women of this country, if there is an MP, Senator, Governor, civil servant or businessman who has impregnated you and denied responsibility send me their details we expose him and seek DNA tests when he’s still alive,” Sonko wrote on his Facebook page.

Buea ‘peaceful’ protest march ongoing(pictures)

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The Mayor of Buea, Ekema Patrick, dressed in black is at the Independence Square with dozens of Buea citizens including council workers ready to take part in the “peaceful” protest as earlier announced.

Reports from Buea say the Mayor is currently at the Governor’s office with thousands of Buea residents. They marching against recent insecurity unrest in Buea and up coming Anglophone conference scheduled to take place in Buea.

Mayor Ekema is quoted to have informed South West Governor, Bernard Okalai Bilai, that the people of the South West  are determined to be freed from threats propagated by extremists, especially those abroad.

Burundi reversing school pregnancy ban not enough to protect girls – campaigners

Campaigners say tens of thousands of girls in Africa are ostracised or shamed for becoming pregnant every year, despite most having no sex education.

NAIROBI, July 31

– Burundi’s rollback on banning pregnant girls and expectant teen fathers from attending school is a victory for child rights, but steps must be taken to curb sexual exploitation and teen pregnancies, campaigners said on Tuesday.

Burundi’s education ministry on Friday reversed a month-old policy under which pregnant teens and young mothers, as well as the boys who made them pregnant, no longer had the right to be part of the formal education system.

The ministry did not give a reason for lifting last month’s ban, which had sparked widespread criticism from rights groups who said it was retrogressive.

“Burundi’s u-turn on its recent ban against pregnant students and teenage mothers who are in school is welcome,” said Elin Martinez, child rights researcher with Human Rights Watch, calling the ban “highly damaging” to thousands of students.

“The government should take this opportunity to develop a sound policy that fully supports teenage mothers to return to school, whilst ensuring it adequately tackles the root causes of teenage pregnancies.”

Forty percent of victims of physical or sexual violence are teenage girls in Burundi. About 11 percent of girls aged 15-19 are sexually active, while 7 percent have had at least one child, says the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Campaigners say tens of thousands of girls in Africa are ostracised or shamed for becoming pregnant every year, despite most having no sex education. Many such cases involve rape.

Yet in some countries such as Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea, they have been expelled from school in a bid to discourage adolescents from being sexually active.

Other countries such as Morocco and Sudan, apply morality laws that allow them to criminally charge adolescent girls with adultery, indecency, or extra-marital sex.

Burundi’s Minister of Education Janvière Ndirahisha ordered the ban in all private and public primary and secondary schools in a letter to provincial education directors dated June 26.

The ministry then issued a statement on July 27 saying all schools would after all take girls who are victims of unintended pregnancies, and boys who made them pregnant. Government officials did not give a reason for the reversal.

Campaigners said global criticism of the ban may have pressurised authorities into making a u-turn – but added that much more needed to be done to curb the sexual exploitation of young girls and high rates of teen pregnancies.

“In many cases, girls are from low income, rural families and are exploited sexually by teachers who offer to pay their school fees, pass their exams – or even buy them basics things like sanitary pads,” said Naitore Nyamu-Mathenge, a lawyer from the campaign group Equality Now.

“Burundi must look at integrating comprehensive sex education into all schools, they need to ensure girls understand what consent and exploitation is.

“They must also ensure those who sexually exploit these girls are prosecuted as it will act as a deterrent.”

Central African Republic: Russian journalists die in ambush.

Carrussia

Thousands of people have been killed in violence in the CAR in recent years

Three journalists, believed to be Russians, have been killed in an ambush in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The Russian foreign ministry said it was in contact with local authorities to establish their identities.

The bodies were reportedly found on a road near the central town of Sibut.

It is unclear who was behind the attack, but many militia groups are active in the CAR. The country has witnessed ethnic and religious conflict since a rebel uprising in 2013.

The mayor of Sibut was quoted by AFP news agency as saying that the three were killed at about 22:00 local time on Monday (21:00 GMT). Their driver survived the incident.

An independent Russian TV station has said the group were making a documentary about the Russian mercenary group, Wagner, which is said to be active in the CAR.

Wagner is also active in Syria, where it is believed to have as many as 2,500 fighters, and has been placed under US sanctions for its alleged involvement in the Ukraine conflict.

Russia has taken an increasingly prominent role in the CAR over the past year and received UN approval to train and arm the country’s army in December.

In 2013, Muslim rebels from the Seleka umbrella group overthrew the president in the majority-Christian country. A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-balaka, rose up to counter the rebels.

The continuing violence has left half of the population in need of humanitarian aid.

Shell to make final investment call on Nigeria oilfield in 2019 -official

ABUJA, July 31 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell and its partners will decide next year on whether to go ahead with the development of Nigeria’s Bonga Southwest offshore oilfield, a senior company official said on Tuesday.

The project, one of the country’s largest with an expected production of 180,000 barrels per day, will generate profit at below $50 a barrel, Bayo Ojuli, managing director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company, told reporters.

Shell is currently negotiating a production sharing contract with the Nigerian government which will determine the viability of the project, he said. The negotiations are expected to finish this year.

Jean-perre Bemba: set to shake up DRC polotics.

The landmark conviction of Jean-Pierre Bemba for war crimes and crimes against humanity was overturned by panels of judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague last month. A majority ruling saw Bemba acquitted of all charges against him.

The former rebel leader and vice president of the (DRC) has spent nearly a decade in custody in The Hague.

I have nothing to fear … my conscience’s clean and the truth has been said. Justice has been served.

Jean-Pierre Bemba, former DRC vice president

He was sentenced to 18 years in prison after sending his militia to the Central African Republic (CAR) to help put down a coup attempt, where they conducted a reign of terror. A rampage of looting and killing of civilians followed, including the mass rape of hundreds of women.

But a majority of judges ruled on his appeal that he could not be held responsible for the actions of his fighters. His lawyers argued successfully his fighters were no longer under his command after they crossed the international border – an argument Bemba has maintained throughout his trials and incarceration.

“I have a lot of sympathy for all the victims … I have a lot of sympathy for people in Central Africa … I’m very sad and I support them in their pain,” Bemba tells Al Jazeera. “But I have been acquitted by a professional judge, an experienced judge, an honest judge and that is all. Justice has been served.”

His militia, known as the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), has now been transformed into a political party opposing the rule of President Joseph Kabila.

One of the priorities in my programme is to restore peace and security. Without peace and security, they [six million displaced Congolese] will not come back … I never hear any action from the government today just to find a solution to bring the refugees back to the Congo … it’s a problem of political will.

Jean-Pierre Bemba, aspiring presidential candidate DRC

The electoral commission (CENI) has announced that a delayed election is due to take place in December.

The election was due at the end of 2016, Joseph Kabila’s end of term. In spite of this, Kabila has maintained his position and refuses, to date, to announce the presidential majority candidate who would run for his party. This has stoked concern that Kabila is seeking to change the constitution in order to run again or further delay the elections.

“I never heard from himself [Kabila] that he will hold elections, but I have also never heard that he will not hold elections … I hope that he will respect the constitution,” says Bemba.

Further to this, the current government has attempted to delegitimise Bemba’s registration as a presidential candidate. However, the former vice president seems non-plussed by the actions being taken against him back home.

“You shouldn’t be surprised that the government in place has said that I am not able [to register as a candidate],” responds Bemba to the claims. “Those people in the majority of the government are not the right people, [they are not] able to talk about this.”

Asked about his time in captivity, Bemba says, “these 10 years [in prison] helped me to think deeply about not just myself but about my country. You are not the same person after 10 years. Congo has changed, Africa has changed … the world has changed. I wrote a vision for Congo that I will soon give to the public.”

Talking about Kabila and whether there should be any charges against him, Bemba says “he has immunity as the former president. He is protected by the constitution.”

“President Kabila is an adversary in politics. The most important to me is what the people of Congo want. If I am doing politics, it’s to solve the problems for the people of Congo … Of course, I understand that some people maybe worry about it but they should not. I am just someone trying to find solutions for his country and for the people of his country.”

Jean-Pierre Bemba talks to Al Jazeera in Belgium, the country which was the former colonial ruler in the DRC. Since it gained independence in 1960 there has never been a peaceful transfer of power. It’s from here Bemba will leave this week to return to his homeland and register as a candidate in the presidential elections.