Boko Haram leader nabbed

Lesotho Times - - Africa -

non-profit Zim­babwe Con­sor­tium for Civic Education.

“Power is down and you bump into pri­mary school stu­dents who try to learn what a web­site is in front of a lap­top that’s switched off!”

An­drew Mlambo, an econ­o­mist in the cap­i­tal, Harare, is alarmed by the po­ten­tial im­pact of the en­ergy short­age on pupils’ fu­tures.

“Zim­babwe is weighed down by over 70 per­cent job­less­ness. Stu­dents who ob­tain sci­ence and tech­ni­cal qual­i­fi­ca­tions have bet­ter chances in a shrink­ing job mar­ket,” he said.

Re­li­able elec­tric­ity is also a mat­ter of health for pupils and com­mu­ni­ties. In the coun­try’s dri­est prov­ince of Mata­bele­land, elec­tric­ity is needed to run ir­ri­ga­tion pumps for veg­etable gar­dens that feed or­phaned chil­dren and to power clin­ics.

The par­ents of chil­dren feel the pain of the power short­age too. Don­ald Dziva of Hwedza, one of Zim­babwe’s rich­est farm­ing dis­tricts, owns a maize-grind­ing mill and butch­ery.

“Nowa­days elec­tric­ity is avail­able only from 8pm to 5am. I sleep in my mill or butch­ery just to catch elec­tric­ity when it’s switched back on. I’m forced to sell meat or re­fine grain at night. My losses are mas­sive. Two of my kids may (have to) briefly stop at­tend­ing col­lege next year,” he said. — Reuters NAIROBI — Kenya said it may de­ploy as many as 10 000 po­lice of­fi­cers to boost se­cu­rity dur­ing a visit by Pope Fran­cis (pic­tured) later this month, as the coun­try read­ies for crowds of one mil­lion peo­ple.

Is­lamist rebels have staged a string of at­tacks in Kenya, in­clud­ing an April mas­sacre at Garissa univer­sity in which 148 peo­ple were killed, and a 2013 as­sault on Nairobi’s West­gate shop­ping mall that killed 67.

“Se­cu­rity agen­cies con­tinue to fine-tune plans to se­cure the city dur­ing a par­tic­u­larly busy pe­riod, and when we ex­pect Nairobi’s pop­u­la­tion to swell by an ad­di­tional one mil­lion peo­ple,” State House spokesper­son Manoah Esip­isu said in a state­ment on Mon­day.

“Ten­ta­tively, about 10 000 po­lice of­fi­cers will be de­ployed,” Esip­isu said, adding that an­other 10 000 mem­bers of the govern­ment’s youth ser­vice would help in crowd con­trol.

The pon­tiff will be in Kenya from Novem­ber 25 to 27, be­fore spend­ing two days in Uganda and trav­el­ling to the Cen­tral African Re­pub­lic (CAR), where his trip will end on Novem­ber 30, ac­cord­ing to a Vat­i­can itin­er­ary.

The three coun­tries — which have sig­nif­i­cant Catholic com­mu­ni­ties — have been trou­bled by civil con­flicts and vi­o­lence, lead­ing to in­creased se­cu­rity con­cerns sur­round­ing the pope’s visit.

In Nairobi, Fran­cis will tour the Kangemi district, home to about 100 000 peo­ple who live in shacks with­out proper sewage sys­tems and where about 20 000 res­i­dents be­long to the lo­cal Catholic parish.

In July, Kenya hosted US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, a visit that ef­fec­tively shut down the cap­i­tal of Nairobi, with hun­dreds of Amer­i­can se­cu­rity per­son­nel and mil­i­tary he­li­copters de­ployed.

Kenyans were urged to stay at home dur­ing the visit, with Nairobi’s nor­mally traf­fic-clogged roads closed off dur­ing the mas­sive se­cu­rity op­er­a­tion.

But Kenyan or­gan­is­ers for the pa­pal visit said this trip would be dif­fer­ent.

“Un­like the visit by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama when the govern­ment en­cour­aged Kenyans to stay home, we are en­cour­ag­ing Kenyans to flock into the city in their num­bers to cheer the pope and cel­e­brate mass with him,” Esip­isu said. — Reuters LA­GOS — Nige­ria’s mil­i­tary has said it has made its first ar­rest as a re­sult of pub­lish­ing a list of the 100 “most wanted” Boko Haram sus­pects.

Army spokesper­son Colonel Sani Us­man said in an emailed state­ment late on Sun­day that one man whose pho­to­graph fea­tured on the poster was spot­ted and held at Abuja air­port.

“Chindo Bello was ap­pre­hended by avi­a­tion se­cu­rity as he was board­ing [an] Aero Con­trac­tors’ flight to La­gos,” he said.

No fur­ther de­tails were given about Bello or when he was held but Us­man said se­cu­rity agents were tipped off and the ar­rest was made “as he at­tempted to flee”.

He was handed over to mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence for ques­tion­ing, he added.

The “most wanted” poster, pub­lished in English and the lo­cal, north-east­ern lan­guages of Hausa and Ka­nuri late last month, ap­peals for pub­lic help in track­ing down sus­pected Boko Haram mem­bers.

The group’s leader Abubakar Shekau fea­tures twice in the rows of colour pho­to­graphs, re­flect­ing the mil­i­tary’s be­lief he is in fact a com­pos­ite char­ac­ter played by looka­likes.

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari has called for the pub­lic’s help in pro­vid­ing in­tel­li­gence to the mil­i­tary, par­tic­u­larly with the Is­lamists hav­ing in­creased at­tacks on ur­ban ar­eas. — News24

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