DRC opposition leader quizzed
UN’S Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Monday the acute child malnutrition rate in southern Zimbabwe was the highest in 15 years at 2.3 percent.
“Children are dropping out of school and waking up in the middle of the night so that they can find and collect clean water,” the report said.
“In Zimbabwe, 6 000 children in Matabeleland North have dropped out of school, citing hunger and the need to help out with house or farm work.”
A former breadbasket, Zimbabwe has suffered perennial shortages in recent years and has relied on importing grain from neighbouring countries.
Last week, wildlife authorities asked local farmers and private game rangers to buy wild animals to save them from starvation in national game reserves.
— AFP LUBUMBASHI — A leading opposition candidate for president of Democratic Republic of Congo was questioned on Monday over government allegations of hiring mercenaries, a case that could halt his fledgling campaign in its tracks.
Moise Katumbi arrived at the prosecutor general’s office in the second city Lubumbashi, dressed in a white suit and surrounded by supporters who chanted “President! Today is the day”.
At least four people were arrested as hundreds of police tried to contain the crowds.
Katumbi has denied accusations made by the justice minister last week that he hired mercenaries including US soldiers.
The enquiry could lead to charges that carry a prison term and could also tie Katumbi in legal knots that could derail his campaign to suc- ceed President Joseph Kabila at elections scheduled November.
Many Congolese people say Katumbi is the strongest opposition candidate to succeed Kabila, given his personal wealth and popularity as the former governor of Congo’s main copper-producing region. He also owns a soccer team.
Kabila is barred by the constitution from seeking a third term but has yet to announce his intentions.
His ruling party has not named another candidate and the opposition says Kabila wants to delay the election to retain power.
Katumbi arrived at the prosecutor’s office at about 10.15am local time (08.15 GMT), accompanied by leaders of an opposition coalition that has backed his presidential bid, a Reuters witness said.