Urban News Roundup: May 14, 2015

Bujumbura: Some coup leaders arrested in Burundi coup bid

Three renegade generals who launched a failed coup against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza have been arrested. However coup leader Gen Godefroid Niyombare is “still on the run”, a presidential spokesman said. The coup attempt against President Nkurunziza’s bid to seek a third term was launched while he was in Tanzania. President Nkurunziza says he is now back in Burundi and is expected to make a national address.  Five soldiers were killed in clashes in the capital, Bujumbura, on Thursday. — BBC

Nairobi: Heavy rain brings the city to a standstill

Heavy rain in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday evening rendered many city roads impassable. As Kenyans took to social media to lament the deplorable state of drainage systems in the city, a school bus with children on board was almost swept away by the raging waters that followed a two-hour downpour. A power blackout in the area compounded the problem, making it difficult for motorists and pedestrians to gauge the depth of the water and navigate through it. — Daily Nation

Monrovia: Liberia declared Ebola-free, but outbreaks continue over the border

Liberia was declared free from Ebola by the government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Saturday after 42 days without a new case of the virus, which killed more than 4,700 people there during a year-long epidemic. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who toured Ebola treatment units in the capital Monrovia, said that while Liberia could take pride in winning the battle against the disease, work was not finished. Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) urged vigilance until the outbreak was also extinguished in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone. — Reuters

Sekondi-Takoradi: IBM gives metro $500,000 to enhance development

The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) in Ghana has received 500,000 dollars from the International Business Machines (IBM) to enhance development within the assembly. The STMA, which is the first city to win the package among 16 countries under the Smarter Cities Challenge Grant, would help the assembly explore avenues to improve revenue collection. The IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge is a pro-bono initiative that helps cities with critical issues ranging from job-creation, transportation, public safety, healthcare, revenue and social services. — Ghana Business News

Harare: Strict rules for open-air worship

Harare City Council in Zimbabwe is set to impose strict regulations and permit fees for churches which conduct their services in open spaces with no ablution facilities to forestall a possible outbreak of diseases such as cholera and typhoid. Under the new Harare (Control of Worship in Open Spaces) by-laws 2015, Harare will prohibit worshiping in open spaces without prior council approval by way of a permit. Public places are now required to have ablution facilities and potable water. — The Herald

Livingstone: Livingstone Convention Centre on cards

The Zambian government is planning to construct an ultra-modern convention centre of international standards in Livingstone. Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba said the move was aimed at meeting increasing demand for conference and meeting facilities in the tourist capital. “We have realised that Livingstone is very strategic, we have started planning to see how we can put an ultramodern conference facility with an international edge to service big gatherings,” he said. Mr Kalaba said Zambia would be hosting the AU summit in 2022 and preparations had already started. — Times of Zambia

Lagos: State Governor vows to reclaim Tafawa Balewa Square

In Nigeria, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has vowed to reclaim the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) sold by the Federal Government. He also promised to resist the sale of the National Theatre, Trade Fair Complex and Volkswagen assembly plant sites. Fashola said the land on which TBS was built belongs to Lagos State. “The Federal Government was a manager of TBS, you can’t sell what doesn’t belong to you,” he said. — The Nation

Johannesburg: ANC to lead Soweto march on Eskom

Johannesburg region of the African National Congress is due to lead Soweto residents in a march on Thursday to hand over a memorandum warning Eskom about power failure in the township. This follows a near 10-hour total power cut on Friday. Although Eskom denied power had been deliberately cut, there were suspicions the power utility was retaliating against residents’ protests over the installation of prepaid meters last week. Eskom blamed pressure on the grid on the overuse of electricity by households with backyard tenants. — Business Day Live

Walvis Bay: Chinese work ethic worth emulating

Governor of the Erongo Region Cleophas Mutjavikua has urged Namibian workers employed by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to adopt the Chinese’s ethics of hard work. Mutjavikua, who visited the N$3-billion port expansion project underway at Namport, the Namibian Port Authority, said CHEC and Namport must see to it that not only skills transfer takes place but that Namibians also adopt the Chinese way of working so that they are able to undertake big projects in future. — New Era

Accra: Ban on noise-making in Osu Traditional Area begins

The Osu Traditional Council has announced that the ban on drumming and noise-making in the Traditional Area in Accra, Ghana would begin today. The custom precedes the Homowo festival of the Ga people of the Greater Accra, which is held in May to mark the planting of crops before the start of the rainy season. The ban will last for three weeks. — Ghana Business News

 

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