South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa says three bills he called the “most far-reaching legislative overhaul” have been introduced in parliament in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.
Among other things, the proposed changes seek to create a new offence of sexual intimidation, and to allow for names of sex offenders to be publicly available. It is also to tighten the granting of bail to perpetrators of violence against women.
They also impose new obligations on police officers, prosecutors and courts in handling cases.
Domestic violence act will be changed to cover couples in engagements, dating, in customary relationships, and actual or perceived romantic, intimate or sexual relationships of any duration.
The amendments are a follow up to last year’s promise by the president to change laws on domestic abuse.
President Ramaphosa said, in his weekly newsletter on Monday, the bills will “restore the confidence of the country’s women that the law is indeed there to protect them.”
Cameroon Deploys Army Ahead Of Elections
Cameroon authorities have deployed military personnel on the streets ahead of protests scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday.
The army said, all military personnel have been put on alert in Cameroon for four days starting Monday, over fears the Tuesday protests could cause severe public disorder.
Opposition leader of the Cameroon renaissance movement, Maurice Kamto has been calling for peaceful protests, demanding that president Paul Biya step down, and that regional elections in the Anglophone regions be reformed, so to include the marginalized communities.
Members of the government have been quick to criticize the call for protests made by opposition leader Maurice Kamto, labelling his movement as an insurrection. They also are forbidding all demonstrations, threatening any protestors with “life imprisonment” should they answer Kamto’s call on Tuesday.
Since 2017, security forces have been violently repressing activists demanding the independence of the Anglophone regions. The instability, has forced half a million people from their homes.
Nobel Laureate Launches Peace Campaign In Liberia
Liberia’s Nobel Peace prize winner and peace activist, Leymah Roberta Gbowee will launch a campaign against election-related violence today.
Liberia is scheduled to hold mid-term senatorial elections in December.
Gbowee says the campaign will involve hundreds of young people who will be peace ambassadors.
Gbowee urged young people not to get paid by rival politicians to propagate violence. She said the usual $20 paid for those acts of violence has led many young persons away from paths that could have made them doctors, lawyers and scientists. She said instead, many of the young persons are walking the streets of Monrovia maimed and as amputees.
The campaign will also encourage voters to question those seeking elective positions.
Uganda Eases Restrictions Despite Virus Surge
The Ugandan government has announced a further easing of coronavirus Restrictions in the country, even as the covid-19 infection rate continues to rise. President Yoweri Museveni says the country cannot remain under restrictions indefinitely, citing the economy’s weakened health in the wake of the pandemic.
The president said international borders will be reopened for tourists- who would have taken coronavirus tests at least 72 hours before arrival, and taken straight to their holiday destinations. Returning Ugandan citizens, who have tested negative for COVID-19, will be allowed to self-isolate at home. The president also said, places of worship are now allowed to reopen but with a limited number of congregants.
Other raft of measures taken by the government to keep the country running includes, lifting a ban on private and public transport in districts bordering neighboring countries, allowing resumption of outdoor sports activities with no spectators.
Final-year students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions will resume learning in mid-October, but a decision on the other categories of learners will be made by January next year.
The country began easing restrictions in may but rate of infection continues to rise. At least 6,000 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed with 63 deaths. The health ministry blames the rise in infections on the public’s complacency to social distancing and wearing of masks.
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