Urban news roundup: January 30, 2015

Johannesburg: Cops implicated in Soweto unrest
According to foreign shop owners and those implicated in last week’s seemingly xenophobic looting incidents, the police were complicit — either stealing goods themselves, or assisting others to do so. The attacks are said to be South Africa’s worst in seven years; an estimated 120 foreign-owned or run shops were looted in Soweto and surrounds this week. – City Press

Tripoli: Luxury hotel raid kills nine
Armed gunmen raided a luxury Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli on Tuesday, killing at least nine people, before blowing themselves up with a grenade. Militants associating with Islamic State claimed responsibility on Twitter, saying the attacks were revenge for the death in the United States of a suspected Libyan al Qaeda operative. Tripoli officials, on the other hand, blamed Gaddafi loyalists bent on killing their prime minister who was at the hotel, but rescued without injury. – Reuters

Accra: Government stumped by power crisis
A leading member of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Atik Mohammed, has stated that the government lacks ideas to solve the power crisis that has bedeviled the country. According to him, the country’s inability to power some of its plants is due to its lack of fuel. Speaking on Accra-based Peace FM’s ‘Kokrooko’ Thursday, Atik blamed the government for engaging in “lies and propaganda” instead of working to resolve its power problems. – GhanaWeb

Yaoundé: Cameroon Loses FCFA 2 Billion To Boko Haram
The diabolic activities of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, caused the state of Cameroon to lose approximately FCFA 2 billion in 2014. The Director of Customs, Minette Libom Li Likeng, revealed this during a conference at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon, IRIC, on January 22. The conference, which brought together officials from the various institutions concerned with the management of the country’s borders, was intended to arrest the continuous decline of custom revenue in the wake of the upsurge of Boko Haram activities in the Far North Region. – Cameroon Postline

Mbarara: Sand mining drying up River Rwizi
Mbarara deputy Resident District Commissioner Moses Mwebesa and residents of Nyamitanga Division have faulted authorities charged with environmental protection of giving up the campaign to save River Rwizi from unfriendly human activities. Sand mining in the river at Kirehe in Nyamitanga Division has made the river come close to changing course. Mbarara residents accuse environmentalists of focusing on urban sections of the river whilst neglecting sections deep in rural and hard to reach areas. – Daily Monitor

Antananarivo: Rat crisis and a locust plague
Madagascar is dealing with a plague that has killed 57 people thus far, and said it is increasing efforts to contain its rat population. The rats emerged after flooding caused by Tropical Storm Chedza. The storm displaced “tens of thousands of people and untold numbers of rats, raising the risk of more rodent-borne epidemics,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, on Monday. The crisis comes as Madagascar deals with another plague, that of locusts. A year-long battle to contain locusts, which has cost $28.8 million, requires another $10.6 million immediately, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said last week. Locusts are destroying Madagascar’s maize, cassava and rice production. – UPI

Nairobi: City schools and hospitals are prone to terrorist attacks
Public city schools, hospitals and key public installations that experience high human traffic flow are poorly guarded and expose learners, patients, workers and visitors to risk because they could be sitting ducks for terrorists. The only time surveillance is stepped up is when terrorists strike elsewhere. As soon as the devastating effects are over, vigilance is forgotten and people slide back into their usual lax mode. A spot check at some city schools and hospitals established that the institutions are vulnerable; the level of security is either too low or, altogether, non-existent. – The Nairobian

Dar es Salaam: Chinese firm launches Kigamboni town project
The Avic International Real Estate Limited launched a project to construct Avic town at Somangira area in Kigamboni, Temeke Municipality, in Dar es Salaam. The Project Foundation Managing Director, Mr Liu Dexiang, said in Dar es Salaam that Avic focuses on development of integrated commercial real estate and high-end complex real estate. “It is also involved in the development of mainstream urban residence and is seeking opportunities to develop in the field of industrial real estate and overseas real estate in the country,” said Mr Liu. – Daily News

Lusaka: Flawed electoral system must be confined to the garbage heap of history
The current electoral system of first past the post or winner takes it all has been riddled with electoral corruption and must be confined to the garbage heap of history, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has observed. Mr Chikwanda said there was need to revise the flawed electoral system so that Zambia could adopt the proportion representation which would have seen Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) president Edith Nawakwi and her counterpart of the United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema find their way to Parliament. – Lusaka Times

Luanda: Government prioritizes social programmes in its budget
The Provincial Government of Luanda will prioritize, in the 2015 economic exercise, social programmes of the sectors of health and education. Jacob Pinto highlighted the need for readjusting the Public Investments Programme (PIP), in its component of expenditure of functioning. Angop


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