Weekly news roundup: September 26, 2014

Cape Town to shut gay-friendly mosque. South Africa’s first gay-friendly mosque, which also allows women to lead prayers, must close, a local official has told the BBC. A City of Cape Town councillor says the newly established Open Mosque has violated municipal by-laws by not having any parking spaces. The mosque officially opened its doors on Friday despite criticism from members of the local Muslim community. – BBC.

Lagos restates the Urban Regional Planning and Development Law. Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has signed into law a bill amending the State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law. The amended law lifted the restriction on employment of General Manager of the State’s Urban Renewal Authority (LASURA), making other relevant professionals in urban renewal and development eligible for the position. – Sustainable Cities Collective.

Goma‘s concert for peace called into question. A UN staffer in Goma, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the festival, featuring Akon and Jude Law, as “a commercial act disguised as humanitarianism. If they announced a commercial event, by saying we’re the first people to bring Akon to Goma, then fine. But to say they’re doing this for the sake of peace? It’s patronising.” – The Guardian.

Cairo will judge eight men over Egypt’s “first gay marriage”. Eight men accused of taking part in a marriage-like ceremony have been put on trial in Cairo, prompting fears of another crackdown on LGBT Egyptians. Prosecutors alleged the men had participated in a gay wedding, which sparked a media backlash after footage from the ceremony emerged on YouTube this month. – The Guardian.

Juba walks for peace. Hundreds of people took to the streets of the South Sudan capital Juba to ‘Walk for Peace’ and demand for peace during International Day of Peace commemorations organized by the National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR). The proceedings at Nyakuron Cultural Centre were punctuated by powerful speeches and emotional scenes of women rolling on the ground and wailing for peace in South Sudan. – Sudan Tribune.

Some posing as disabled to ride auto rickshaws in downtown Dar es Salaam. People with disability riding auto rickshaws have commended Dar es Salaam regional authorities for allowing them to operate in the city’s central business district. But they cautioned there were some dishonest people masquerading as disabled and operating three-wheeler motor bikes popular as bajajis in the city centre, taking advantage of the government’s decision. – Daily News.

50 activists arrested in Khartoum one year after slaughter.  In an attempt by the Sudanese authorities to prevent commemoration ceremonies for the victims of the 2013 September protests in Khartoum, security forces have detained more than 50 civil society activists and opposition leaders. – Radio Dabanga.

One year to completion of Abuja light rail. The ongoing Abuja Light Rail project, traversing the Central Business District to Kubwa will be completed by October 2015, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Bala Mohammed, has said. – Premium Times.

Aftermath of Westgate attack overshadows Nairobi. A year after gunmen stormed the mall, spraying bullets indiscriminately and killing 67 people, Westgate has become a symbol of something else altogether, illustrating the difficult security environment loosed upon the region by the chaos in Somalia, a situation that has had a far-reaching economic impact and triggered an evolving response from authorities whose effectiveness is yet to become clear. – Africa Review.

Private surveyors work to end slums in Tanzanian cities. With hardly 10 percent of land in Tanzania surveyed and government having limited resources to conduct the exercise, private players are now chipping in to ensure settlements become history. – Daily News.

Integrated Transport Solution for Maputo Corridor. A consortium of four transport operators from Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa on Monday launched a Joint Operating Centre (JOC) for the Maputo Corridor. The Centre has been set up to provide a seamless flow of cargo services. It will enhance the operational efficiency of the companies involved in the corridor. – allAfrica.

Monrovia welcomes US soldiers. Six months into the world’s worst Ebola outbreak, Monrovians say the situation remains tense. But there is a growing sense of optimism the epidemic can be contained in Liberia, where citizens said they welcomed the help of the United States as the first of 3,000 soldiers arrived in the country to assist with medical logistics. – Voice of America.

Accra celebrates Nkrumah’s birthday. The 105th birthday of Dr Kwame Nkrumah was commemorated in Accra with a call on Ghanaians to allow the ideals, visions and principles of the late President Nkrumah to lead their behaviour and actions. – Government of Ghana.

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