News and Views on Africa from Africa
Last update: 1 July 2022 h. 10:44
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Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom has asked the High Court for permission to sue the British Government for “unlawfully” giving awas two of its countries to Buganda Kingdom.

Bunyoro, which earlier sued the Ugadnda Government, the Kabaka *King( of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, and 3,636 absentee landlords Bugangaizi, wants to enjoin Britain and the local Electral Commission (EC) and the Uganda Land Commission in the suit.

The application is expected for hearing at the Kampala High Court next week, and if it succeeds through the British High Commissioner for Uganda. Bunyoro wants the cout to nullify the 1900 Ugnada Agreement in which the British gave away their land.

They also want the court to dissolve the settlemnt scheme established in the lost countries in 1972 and 1993, an order stopping govrnment and Uganda Land Commission from settling over 200,000 illegal immigrants on the land.


Nurses in hospitals and health centres across Burundi began a two-day strike on 4 October to demand better working conditions.

"Striking is the only option," Melance Hakizimana, the leader of the Syndicat libre des infirmiers du Burundi (Sylibu), the main trade union for nurses, told IRIN.

The government would not start talks with the union, he said. Hospitals and health centres in the capital, Bujumbura, and in the provinces of Makamba, Kayanza and Bururi could only provide minimum service. Hospitals remained fully operational in the provinces of Gitega and Muramvya where nurses did not strike as they belong to a different union.

The striking nurses listed 14 demands, including one for overtime pay. Hakizimana said the current arrangement was unacceptable. Nurses earn an extra 3,500 francs (US $35) per month no matter how many hours they work.

He said the nurses were also demanding that the government recognise the risks their job entails, handling and sharp objects and treating patients suffering from transmittable diseases.

"When there is an emergency sometimes we cannot properly protect ourselves," Hakizimana said.

Another grievance is free access to health care. Hakizimana said it was wrong that nurses cared for others but did not have access to care when they fell ill.

Some hospitals do provide their employees with free treatment but, Hakizimana said, "When it comes to buying or care in other hospitals, we have to pay."

The minister of health, Dr Jean Kamana, told reporters on Monday that the public service health insurance company, known as Mutuelle, covered nurses. They only pay 20 percent of prices and hospital bills.

"This means the government contributes to their health care," he said. Kamana also said that nurses' working conditions must improve along with the conditions of other workers in the health sector.

The striking nurses will resume work on Wednesday but will stay away again next week if their demands are not met. Then on 25 October, they plan to stage a strike that would not end until their grievances are met.


British Prime Minister Tony Blair said during his recent visit to Africa October the time for excuses on Africa was over, adding that Africa must be pushed to the top of the world’s agenda.

As he left Ethiopia after the opening of the British-sponsored Commission for Africa, set up to reverse the continent’s fortunes, Blair charged that now was the time for action.

"The price of failure would be disaster for Africa and for the wider world," Blair said as he unveiled his vision for the continent, which has grown poorer in the last 40 years. "The prize for success will be an Africa standing proud in its own right in the international community. Next year will be the year of decision for Africa and the international community."

Blair sees his positioning as president of both the powerful G8 and the European Union in 2005 as a unique chance to tackle the crisis facing Africa. And the commission he chairs will publish its report by March, ahead of the UK- hosted G8 summit in June, to inform Blair on how to
combat the continent’s enormous woes.

Africa will be asked to intensify peer group review to stamp out corruption and human rights abuses. Rich nations will be asked to write-off debt, end subsidies and increase international aid. Disease, HIV/Aids, debt, poor trade rules and conflict are all ravaging Africa.


A senior UN official has warned that famine in Africa could worsen unless action was taken to tackle HIV/AIDS. UNAIDS executive director Peter Piot made the statement during a conference of the UN Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa, saying, "Unless urgent interventions are made, the epidemic could cause a steady fall in agricultural production, which would fuel serious famine in
African countries."

In a report detailing the devastation wreaked by the pandemic in Africa, published by the Commission on Tuesday, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa and Kenya were among the countries mentioned.

In 2003 AIDS claimed the lives of up to 2.2 million Africans, while an
estimated 3 million contracted HIV, bringing the number of people living with the virus to 25 million.


Zambia's labour ministry on 6 October said greater efforts would be made to create jobs for millions of unemployed youth, as the country grapples with widespread joblessness.

With around 65 percent of Zambians without formal employment, job creation remains a key challenge to President Levy Mwanawasa's government.

Mwanawasa promised this week to tackle youth unemployment by providing training opportunities to graduates and school dropouts. He said the lack of programmes for placement, self-employment schemes and start-up capital for young people wishing to enter the business sector had further contributed to spiralling unemployment.

A senior labour official told IRIN that plans were underway to conduct a labour market survey, which would help the authorities identify ways of creating opportunities for the youth. Sixty-eight percent of the country's estimated 10.8 million people are under the age of 25, according to the
Central Statistics Office.

"At the moment a number of government ministries are working together to ensure that the young, especially graduates, are trained within the civil service sector," Josephine Mapoma, the labour ministry permanent secretary, told IRIN.


Zimbabwe's Health Minister, David Parirenyatwa, has again accused the Global AIDS Fund of political bias following rejection of his country's appeal for funding.

Zimbabwe recently appealed an earlier rejection of its HIV/AIDS and TB grant proposals, which were turned down by the Fund in July "for technical reasons".

Fund spokesman Tim Clark told the UN news service, PlusNews, that "sadly, neither of the Zimbabwe appeals was successful".

However, Mary Sandasi, the director of a local support group, Women and AIDS Support Network, said she believed the Global Fund was "mixing issues" and had "a hidden agenda".

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