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SA-based Kenyan journalist Christine Esipisu speaks to VOA on the unrest in the country

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BY BMJ MURIITHI
The situation in North West province of South Africa escalated Friday as violence mounted on the third day of riots that paralyzed the city of Mahikeng as the locals protested against corruption, lack of jobs, hospitals and better living conditions, among other things.
It got so volatile that it forced the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to cancel his engagements at this year’s Commonwealth Summit in London, where he was also pitching to multinational investors with a message that “S Africa is open for business.” He had to hurriedly return home to try and contain the situation in the town that is about 300 km West  of Johannesburg.
For three days in a row, crowds had taken to the streets in and around the capital of the province  calling for the resignation of the territory’s premier Supra Mahumapeloa.
In recent weeks, unions and businessmen in the region have been calling for Mahumapelo to resign over allegations of corruption in the award of state tenders but he has denied any wrongdoing.
Speaking to Voice of America’s Harrison Kamau Friday, Ms Christine Esipisu, a South Africa-based journalist said the premier was being accused of corrupt tendencies.
She said that upon arrival from London, Mr Ramaphosa went straight into meetings with the local leaders in an attempt to quell the situation.
“Soon after arrival in the Northwest Province, to try and quell an outbreak of violent protests that forced him to cut short a visit to a Commonwealth summit,” She said. “
“He is holding meetings with officials to discuss the demonstrations against corruption, poor public services and the local government which is led by a member of his ruling African National Congress (ANC),” she added.
Listen to VOA’s Harrison Kamau as he  interviews South Africa-based Christine Esipisu on the radio show, “Indepth:

“We want the president to tell Supra he must go. That man is full of corruption,” 25-year-old Oratile Seadira, a construction worker who lives in a shack on the outskirts of Mahikeng, was quoted  as saying.

Ramaphosa, who replaced Jacob Zuma as president in February, has staked his reputation on rooting out the corruption and mismanagement associated with Zuma’s nine scandal-plagued years in power. His critics have however accused him of abetting the vice by “appointing people who have been accused of corruption into his cabinet.”

“We have nothing. No houses. No good schools. No hospital. People are saying they will burn the city if he doesn’t go.” The streets around him were quiet as Ramaphosa arrived.

 

Miriam Visage, 52, told the media that she and other South Africans in the region had been neglected.

“We have been neglected. We want Cyril Ramaphosa to come and see how we live, to scramble in the mud like us,” She said.

She added that she lives in a two room township house with her six children and seven grandchildren.

“The ANC is full of empty promises,” said Visage, accusing the police of firing live rounds during the protests. “We were very peaceful. Do they think we are wild animals to be shot?”

South Africa-based Kenyan-born journalist, Christine Esipisu. She spoke to VOA’s Harrison Kamau about the escalating situation in Nort West Province. PHOTO/COURTESY

 

 

 

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Africa

BREAKING: Legendary jazz musician Oliver Mtukudzi has died

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Veteran jazz musician Oliver Mtukudzi has died, TshisaLIVE can confirm.

Mtukudzi’s record label Gallo Records confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon but said there were no details available.

The musician’s family is set to release a statement later this afternoon.

An outpouring of tributes has already flooded social media.

During an interview with TshisaLIVE a year ago, Mtukudzi spoke about his excitement of releasing his 67th album.

He said the most significant thing about his upcoming album, Hanya’Ga (Concern) was the message.

“My 67th album is meant to share a message of introspecting and I’m hoping people learn a thing or two from it. It’s an album I wrote last year after I realised that the world keeps getting tangled up in ‘unnecessary’ problems.

“All because we are focused on competing and being better than the next person. In so doing we keep stepping on each other’s toes but that is not how God created us. God meant for us to compliment each other, that’s why he didn’t duplicate talent,” he said at the time.

Source: www.timeslive.co.za

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Africa

FBI agents arrest three Kenyans in US over links to Isis

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Three Kenyans were on Tuesday arrested in the United States for their links to terror group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

The three were nabbed by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agents. They were identified as Mohamed Salat Haji, Mohamud Abdikadir Muse and Muse Abdikadir Muse.

The three were arrested in Lansing, Michigan. They are said to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic state.

Mr Muse Abdikadir Muse was nabbed while on transit to Somalia.

“He was checking in for a flight on his way to Mogadishu, Somalia when he was arrested,” a statement by the FBI released on Tuesday stated.

Mr Muse Abdikadir Muse had earlier this month purchased air tickets to travel from the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Michigan.

CO-CONSPIRATORS

The US Department of Justice said his other two friends, described as co-conspirators, had assisted him in getting the ticket.

“They aided in the purchase of the ticket and drove Muse Abdikadir Muse to the Grand Rapids airport, each knowing the true purpose of the travel was for Muse Muse to join and fight for ISIS,” read the statement.

According to the FBI, the three recorded videos pledging allegiance to the group where they narrated their desire “to kill non-believers, and even to potentially use a car for a martyrdom operation to run down non-believers in the USA.”

Despite their arrest, the American Government is yet to find them guilty of the charges.

Their arrest comes exactly a week after terrorists led by a Kenyan identified as Salim Gichunge attacked dusitD2 hotel and killed 21 people.\

NairobiNews

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‘Please help me return home,’ Kenyan legend runner living in the US pleads

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Kenyan distance running legend Henry Rono a broken man. He has been living in the United States of America for the last 32 years, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Rono who is now 66, on Tuesday reached out to Nation Sport and sent a passionate appeal:

“I wants a ticket back home, please.”

“Yes, I would like the government to help me get back home by getting me a ticket… I can’t afford living in the USA. I’m getting old… Also, being away from home for over 32 years is too long,” added the legend.

The legend is currently a security guard at the Albuquerque airport.

“Yes, I did retire, but these other jobs are stressful and I’m too old,” he said. “Like now, I’m sick from working hard. Many of my fellow Kenyans are dying from stressful hard working jobs,” said Rono, who was given a lifetime achievement award by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2008.

“I have been given another award in Belgrade but I’m able to attend because of stressful work. Like now, I’m in the bed and I’m unwell.”

But Rono’s daughter Maureen confirmed she had spoken to the legend, and that he has been unwell since last week. “He has been coughing for the last week, and I’ve been in touch with him. If he asked you to send out an appeal for help, you can go ahead and publish,” she said.

Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei, meanwhile, said his association would be ready to help the legend.

“He did a lot for this country and we can’t fail to get help for him,” said Tuwei. “We need information such as costs of tickets, who he could be travelling with and other details, and then see how we can support.”

The Washington State University star alumnus had taken up coaching after his running career, this after alcoholism dented the highlight years of his spell that saw him shatter world records in the 3,000 metres (seven minutes, 32.1 seconds), 5,000 metres (13:08.4), 3,000 metres steeplechase (8:05.04) and 10,000 metres (27:22.47), all within 81 days across USA (California and Seattle) and Europe (Vienna and Oslo).

Source: nation.co.ke

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