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Kenya Doctors Strike Leaves Patients Stranded

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Kenyan doctors have shut their doors to the public as their strike action enters day two.  People were stranded outside public hospitals on Tuesday as health workers only attended to critical cases.

The Kenya medical practitioners, pharmacists and dentists union says its seventy-two hundred members have been asked to stop working until the government meets their demands in the midst of a growing pandemic.

The health workers are protesting against inadequate insurance benefits and lack of protective gear while treating covid-19 patients. The doctors union says, at least 14 doctors have died of the coronavirus in Kenya since the first case was confirmed in march.

During a local television interview on Tuesday, Kenya’s health minister, Mutahi Kagwe accused health workers of politicizing their demands. Kagwe called the strike ‘disgusting’.

Meanwhile, parliament members have voted to end tax cuts put in place in early April to help citizens deal with the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. The measures included reduction of income tax, value-added tax and corporate tax by between two and five percent

President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the relief just weeks after the country recorded its first coronavirus case. But MPs said on Tuesday the measures were not sustainable.

Last week, the finance minister announced that the country had lost nearly $600m in revenue since the tax breaks began.

The MPs move has astounded and angered Kenyans who say the pandemic has ravaged the economy with millions of people losing their jobs and thousands of businesses closing down for good.

The country is also facing a growing health challenge as it records an increase in coronavirus cases amid a strike by doctors working in public hospitals.

The doctors have been complaining about poor working conditions and a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Despite insisting it has no money, the government is pushing forward with controversial plans to hold a referendum on changing the constitution that will cost millions of dollars.

It has also been accused of mismanaging donations and aid meant to help the country tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Rwanda’s Capital On Second Day Lockdown

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The Rwandan Capital-Kigali was plunged into a fresh fifteen days lockdown on Tuesday to curb the coronavirus spread. While the city of Kigali and other regions are in the process of preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, some residents are urging their colleagues to fear the pandemic, and implement the existing regulations.

This comes as some continue to make unnecessary movements contrary to the existing regulations.

Across the neighborhoods, in the small and big streets, there is still the flow of people. There are those heading to the markets, hospitals, and others sitting or walking around. Those who witness this kind of behavior are criticizing it.

A sector administration in Nyarugenge district said, local authorities have a responsibility to sensitize the public to comply with the directives issued by national authorities.

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EU Demands Probe Of Bobi Wine’s Alleged Abuses

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The European Union (EU) says it is concerned about the continued harassment of politicians and civil society activists in Uganda after last week’s general election. Opposition presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi, a pop star-turned-politician known as Bobi wine, has alleged being under house arrest in the capital, Kampala, since Friday, with soldiers laying siege on his home after he began disputing the results of the presidential election.

Incumbent, 76-year-old president Yoweri Museveni, was declared winner of the election. He has been in power since 1986, and the poll was his sixth elective term. Media report, the vote was marred by harassment of opposition candidates, suppression of media and a nationwide internet shutdown.

In a statement, the EU council of ministers called on the Kampala government to restrain its security agencies, investigate allegations of abuses and bring to account all those responsible for violations.

EU ministers have said the internet shutdown disrupted the work of journalists, observers and polling agents expected to monitor the election.

On Wednesday, human rights organizations in Kenya asked international and regional bodies, to set up a mediation team, to address alleged election malpractices in neighbouring Uganda. The activists, under the banner of Africa Elections Watch, say unresolved injustices during and after elections may cause riots and widespread human rights violations across Uganda.

The activists say if no action is taken now, African leaders, seeking fresh presidential terms, may be emboldened to rig elections.

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Ghana Opposition Condemns Election Tribunal Timeline

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Ghana opposition leader John Mahama’s lawyers say the court’s timeline is unfair for the case addressing their concerns over December’s election.

Ghana’s supreme court had set the date on Wednesday, for the hearing next Tuesday of an election petition filed by the opposition seeking to annul the results over irregularities.

The court ruled that all parties must file their witness statements by Thursday afternoon and the supreme court will begin the main hearing on Tuesday. The supreme court says the strict timeline was to enable the hearing of the petition within 42 days of the election as prescribed by law.

Mahama’s lawyers say justice should not be sacrificed for speed.

They had applied for a review of the court’s decision to dismiss their request for the electoral commission to answer questions about the process of declaring results.

They had also applied for original copies of the statement of polls which contains constituency results.

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