News and Views on Africa from Africa
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This issue focuses on sexual exploitation of children as well as the dreaded HIV/AIDS pandemic. We have however, carried a special report on Kenya s forty years of independence.

Kenya celebrated its 40th independence anniversary on December 12. NewsFromAfrica Associate Editor Zachary Ochieng analyses the political and economic developments in East Africa s largest economy and concludes that there is was nothing much to write home about, given that the country has grown poorer than when it was handed over by the colonialists.

The breakdown in Swaziland s traditional family system has exacerbated the incidences of child abuse. In a bid to enlighten the general public on the dangers posed by the vice, the social welfare groups have encouraged the abused children to speak out on their ordeals. As James Hall reports, the children s tales border on horror, given that most of them have been abused by their own fathers.

Ghana is grappling with soaring cases of child abuse, and as Sam Sarpong reports, most of the victims are students who have been abused by their teachers.

From Rwanda, our new correspondent Nasra Bishumba came face to face with a street girl in the country s capital Kigali, who narrated the ordeal of street girls at the hands of rapists.

Meanwhile, the increasing cases of rape in Malawi have irked women activists, who are now advocating for stiffer penalties for sexual offenders. Charles Banda has the story.

From Botswana, Mqondisi Dube reports that the government has introduced routine HIV testing as a means of checking the spread of the pandemic and putting those already infected on ARV treatment.

The Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe has embarked on a rare fight against HIV/AIDS by introducing mandatory testing for its pastors, marriage officers and would be couples. But as Kholwani Nyathi writes, this move is bound to spark protests.

There was good news in Kenya as the country joined the rest of the world in marking the World Aids day on December 1. President Mwai Kibaki announced that the country was winning the war against Aids, considering that the daily death and prevalence rates had come down, writes Zachary Ochieng.

Ever wondered why most child abuse cases go unreported? Well, most victims suffer in silence because the perpetrators are close relatives or breadwinners. This is exactly what Kholwani Nyathi found out in Zimbabwe.

From Zambia, the government is toying with the idea of introducing a Bill that allows the castration of child abusers, given its current weak legislation which has allowed sexual offenders to escape with light sentences. Singy Hanyona has the details.

Despite the enactment of the Children s Act 2002, sexual abuse of children is still rampant in Kenya owing to a number of underlying factors as Esther Mwangi reports.

The South African government is coming up with a number of measures to stamp out sexual abuse, which is increasing by the day, writes Charles Banda.

In our Action and Contacts section, Zachary Ochieng takes a look at the role being played by Africa Peace Point (APP), one of the initiatives of Koinonia Community, in peace building and reconciliation in a continent devastated by civil wars.

At this juncture, we would also like to announce that Cathy Majtenyi, has resigned as editor of Sudan report. Those who would like to contribute to this section are asked to send their story ideas to managing Editor Clement Njoroge through our office e-mail address.

You are also most welcome to this months issue of WAJIBU which presents views by Christians, Muslims and Jews on issues of peace, justice, politics, religion among other subject.

We wish all our esteemed readers and writers a merry X-mas and a prosperous 2004.

Contact the editor by clicking here Editor