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Nigeria: Reps to Probe Poor Condition of State House Clinic

By Nasir Ayitogo

The House of Representatives has asked an ad-hoc committee to investigate the condition of the State House Clinic, Abuja, and alleged irregular deductions from the salaries and allowances of the staff.

This house set up the committee after adopting a motion raised by Henry Archibong (PDP-Akwa Ibom) at the plenary on Thursday.

Mr. Archibong alleged that despite huge budgetary allocations, the clinic lacks necessary facilities, drugs and even such as syringes.

He was echoing a complaint earlier made on Monday by the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, who criticised the management of the facility.

Aisha Buhari [Photo: naij.com]

“In the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Appropriation Acts, the Clinic was allocated the sum of ₦3.94 billion, ₦3.87 billion and ₦3.2 billion respectively, for upgrading and provision of necessary drugs and equipment,” Mr. Archibong said.

He also alleged that medical doctors working at the Clinic were complaining over alleged illegal deductions from their salaries and allowances by the Management since April 2017, without any official explanation.

Mrs. Buhari, at a stakeholder’s meeting at the State House on Reproductive, Maternal, Nutrition, Child Advocacy and Health and Nutrition (RMNCAHN), said she was unable to access health care at the Clinic and had to go to a private facility run by foreigners.

“I called the Aso Clinic to find out if they have an X-Ray machine, they said it’s not working”

“In the end I had to go to a hospital owned and operated by foreigners 100 per cent”

“There is a budget for the Hospital and if you go there now, you will see a number of constructions going on but they don’t have a single syringe there.”

“What is the purpose of the buildings if there are no equipment there to work with?”

“You can imagine what happens across the states to governors wives if this will happen to me in Abuja,” she said.

State House clinic [Photo credit: nigeriamedinterns.com]

Mrs. Buhari’s comments also came a few days after her daughter, Zahra, took to her Instagram page to accuse the Permanent Secretary of the State House, Jalal Arabi, of allegedly failing to provide even Paracetamol tablets at the clinic despite a budget of N3 billion for provision of drugs at the hospital.

Nigeria:Reps to Probe Poor Condition of State House Clinic

By Nasir Ayitogo

The House of Representatives has asked an ad-hoc committee to investigate the condition of the State House Clinic, Abuja, and alleged irregular deductions from the salaries and allowances of the staff.

This house set up the committee after adopting a motion raised by Henry Archibong (PDP-Akwa Ibom) at the plenary on Thursday.

Mr. Archibong alleged that despite huge budgetary allocations, the clinic lacks necessary facilities, drugs and even such as syringes.

He was echoing a complaint earlier made on Monday by the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, who criticised the management of the facility.

Aisha Buhari [Photo: naij.com]

“In the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Appropriation Acts, the Clinic was allocated the sum of ₦3.94 billion, ₦3.87 billion and ₦3.2 billion respectively, for upgrading and provision of necessary drugs and equipment,” Mr. Archibong said.

He also alleged that medical doctors working at the Clinic were complaining over alleged illegal deductions from their salaries and allowances by the Management since April 2017, without any official explanation.

Mrs. Buhari, at a stakeholder’s meeting at the State House on Reproductive, Maternal, Nutrition, Child Advocacy and Health and Nutrition (RMNCAHN), said she was unable to access health care at the Clinic and had to go to a private facility run by foreigners.

“I called the Aso Clinic to find out if they have an X-Ray machine, they said it’s not working”

“In the end I had to go to a hospital owned and operated by foreigners 100 per cent”

“There is a budget for the Hospital and if you go there now, you will see a number of constructions going on but they don’t have a single syringe there.”

“What is the purpose of the buildings if there are no equipment there to work with?”

“You can imagine what happens across the states to governors wives if this will happen to me in Abuja,” she said.

State House clinic [Photo credit: nigeriamedinterns.com]

Mrs. Buhari’s comments also came a few days after her daughter, Zahra, took to her Instagram page to accuse the Permanent Secretary of the State House, Jalal Arabi, of allegedly failing to provide even Paracetamol tablets at the clinic despite a budget of N3 billion for provision of drugs at the hospital.

Nigeria

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Parliament Defers Age Limit Debate

Photo: Dominic Bukenya/Monitor

Deputy Speaker,Jacob Oulanyah chairs the plenary session of parliament recently . PHOTO BY ERIC DOMINIC BUKENYA

The Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, who is presiding over the on-going sitting of the 10th Parliament, says he and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga conferred but decided they needed more time to understand the two notices of motion and other notices.

Ms Kadaga returned from an overseas trip on Wednesday, ahead of what was expected to be a crucial debate on Thursday on a plan scrap the presidential age limit.

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Govt Urged to Address Challenges Facing Women in Mining

Photo: The Observer

Women looking for gold pellets.

By Edward Ssekika

Members of Parliament and human rights activists have asked government to enforce the laws in the mining sector to protect the right of women in the sector. The MPs and other stakeholders said women in the minerals sector face a lot of challenges, which need to be addressed.

The call was made during the National Dialogue on Land and Extractives, under the theme, “Harnessing citizen participation for good governance and sustainable livelihoods,” at Hotel Africana on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. The conference was attended by government officials, artisanal miners, district leaders, cultural leaders and civil society representatives among others.

Nivatiti Nandujja, Human Rights Coordinator at Action Aid Uganda (AAU), said the extractives sector is male dominated and women participation is wanting. She explained that the few women employed in mines are working under inhuman and poor working conditions with meager pay.

“Women working in mines do not enjoy the entitlement provided for by the law. They don’t get maternity leave or sick leave, but instead, when they get pregnant, they are simply laid off,” Nandujja said. She said despite the good policies and laws on gender based violence, the position of women has not improved and advocated for other interventions in addition to enforcement of policies and laws in order to ensure gender equity in extractives sector.

Catherine Nyakecho, the principal Geologist in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, disagreed with Nandujja that the minerals sector is male dominated. She quoted a research by African Center for Energy and Mineral Policy (ACEMP) that revealed that of the sites visited, women are more into stone quarrying, salt mining, marble, limestone, and sand mining – the low value minerals, while the men are where the money is.

Catherine Nyakecho, Principal Geologist, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development speaking at National Dialogue. Photo by Francis Emorut.

However, she said women in mines have been exposed to more poor working conditions than men. For instance in stone quarrying, she said women and children are engaged in crashing stones with their bare hands, which exposes them to accidents and a lot of dust, which affect their lives.

Despite spending a whole day crashing stones, women get meager pay. “Stone quarries lack toilets and therefore women during menstruation periods have to travel back home for health break – wasting a lot of their valuable time and when they fall sick, they get no payment,” she said.

Nyakacho explained that in salt mining, men wear condoms to prevent salty water from entering their bodies through their private parts, but in contrast, though women need protective gears too, they are normally not provided for, and thus enter salty water without protective gears, which has negative consequences on their health.

In gold mining, women are exposed to dangerous chemicals like mercury. Whereas the men get the ore or gold sand out of the ground, Nyakecho said women are exposed to mercury during panning for gold which affect their lives. Weighing in on mercury, one of the participants from Amudat district said there is a worrying trend that feet/legs of women working in goldmines are swelling, due to what she suspects could be prolonged exposure to mercury.

Deborah Ariong, the Natural Resources Officer, Amudat district, said she had witnessed breast-feeding mothers panning gold with mercury and then breast-feed babies thereafter. She called for strict enforcement of health and safety measures in mines like ensuring all workers wear protective gears.

Betty Atiang, programme Manager at Saferworld Uganda, told the extractives sector in Uganda is expanding, and as it expands, it is worsening existing tension and exposing new conflicts. The sector, she explained, is faced with land conflicts in form of land grabbing, contention over surface rights, conflicts that relate to allocation of royalties, environmental degradation and gender based violence among others. She observed that conflict is an impediment to good governance and implored participants to make a contribution towards promoting conflict free extractives sector, transparency, accountability, citizen’s participation in decision making.

Plenary discussion at National Dialogue. Photo by Francis Emorut.

Drawing from his experience as an artisanal miner in Mubende district, Emmanuel Kibirig said women of today can do mining, though by their nature they can’t go inside the pit. Therefore, in the pit, miners don’t employ women. He explained that in gold mining, the value chain is that men dig and go inside the pit in order to extract gold ores/sand on the ground for women to their work in the value chain.

Mukitale Mukitale, the MP Buliisa, said women artisanal miners need to form strong cooperatives or associations, through which they can demand for more protection and seek help. Weighing on the discussion, Adong Lilly, Woman MP Nwoya district, told in order to protect women rights, there is need to amend the laws and policies governing the minerals sector to cap a percentage of jobs and contracts to be given exclusively to women. This will ensure that women in the sector are empowered.

Uganda: Govt Urged to Address Challenges Facing Women in Mining

Photo: The Observer

Women looking for gold pellets.

By Edward Ssekika

Members of Parliament and human rights activists have asked government to enforce the laws in the mining sector to protect the right of women in the sector. The MPs and other stakeholders said women in the minerals sector face a lot of challenges, which need to be addressed.

The call was made during the National Dialogue on Land and Extractives, under the theme, “Harnessing citizen participation for good governance and sustainable livelihoods,” at Hotel Africana on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. The conference was attended by government officials, artisanal miners, district leaders, cultural leaders and civil society representatives among others.

Nivatiti Nandujja, Human Rights Coordinator at Action Aid Uganda (AAU), said the extractives sector is male dominated and women participation is wanting. She explained that the few women employed in mines are working under inhuman and poor working conditions with meager pay.

“Women working in mines do not enjoy the entitlement provided for by the law. They don’t get maternity leave or sick leave, but instead, when they get pregnant, they are simply laid off,” Nandujja said. She said despite the good policies and laws on gender based violence, the position of women has not improved and advocated for other interventions in addition to enforcement of policies and laws in order to ensure gender equity in extractives sector.

Catherine Nyakecho, the principal Geologist in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, disagreed with Nandujja that the minerals sector is male dominated. She quoted a research by African Center for Energy and Mineral Policy (ACEMP) that revealed that of the sites visited, women are more into stone quarrying, salt mining, marble, limestone, and sand mining – the low value minerals, while the men are where the money is.

Catherine Nyakecho, Principal Geologist, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development speaking at National Dialogue. Photo by Francis Emorut.

However, she said women in mines have been exposed to more poor working conditions than men. For instance in stone quarrying, she said women and children are engaged in crashing stones with their bare hands, which exposes them to accidents and a lot of dust, which affect their lives.

Despite spending a whole day crashing stones, women get meager pay. “Stone quarries lack toilets and therefore women during menstruation periods have to travel back home for health break – wasting a lot of their valuable time and when they fall sick, they get no payment,” she said.

Nyakacho explained that in salt mining, men wear condoms to prevent salty water from entering their bodies through their private parts, but in contrast, though women need protective gears too, they are normally not provided for, and thus enter salty water without protective gears, which has negative consequences on their health.

In gold mining, women are exposed to dangerous chemicals like mercury. Whereas the men get the ore or gold sand out of the ground, Nyakecho said women are exposed to mercury during panning for gold which affect their lives. Weighing in on mercury, one of the participants from Amudat district said there is a worrying trend that feet/legs of women working in goldmines are swelling, due to what she suspects could be prolonged exposure to mercury.

Deborah Ariong, the Natural Resources Officer, Amudat district, said she had witnessed breast-feeding mothers panning gold with mercury and then breast-feed babies thereafter. She called for strict enforcement of health and safety measures in mines like ensuring all workers wear protective gears.

Betty Atiang, programme Manager at Saferworld Uganda, told the extractives sector in Uganda is expanding, and as it expands, it is worsening existing tension and exposing new conflicts. The sector, she explained, is faced with land conflicts in form of land grabbing, contention over surface rights, conflicts that relate to allocation of royalties, environmental degradation and gender based violence among others. She observed that conflict is an impediment to good governance and implored participants to make a contribution towards promoting conflict free extractives sector, transparency, accountability, citizen’s participation in decision making.

Plenary discussion at National Dialogue. Photo by Francis Emorut.

Drawing from his experience as an artisanal miner in Mubende district, Emmanuel Kibirig said women of today can do mining, though by their nature they can’t go inside the pit. Therefore, in the pit, miners don’t employ women. He explained that in gold mining, the value chain is that men dig and go inside the pit in order to extract gold ores/sand on the ground for women to their work in the value chain.

Mukitale Mukitale, the MP Buliisa, said women artisanal miners need to form strong cooperatives or associations, through which they can demand for more protection and seek help. Weighing on the discussion, Adong Lilly, Woman MP Nwoya district, told in order to protect women rights, there is need to amend the laws and policies governing the minerals sector to cap a percentage of jobs and contracts to be given exclusively to women. This will ensure that women in the sector are empowered.

How ODM Primaries Officials Messed Nyanza Polls

By Angela Oketch

Returning officers in Nyanza for ODM primaries may have played a role in the confusion witnessed in most polling stations across the region.

In Kisumu, the county returning officer Tom Okong’o made tallying centre a top secret only for him to rush to Thurdibuoro Secondary School where he announced results as some polling stations were still counting votes.

Aspirants and journalists were kept in the dark and had to move from one centre to another looking for the tallying centre.

Immediately after Mr Okongo declared Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o winner in the gubernatorial race, Richard Kiyondo, the county deputy returning officer also announced Governor Jack Ranguma as the winner while at a different tallying centre.

Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o casts his vote at Ratta Primary School in Seme in the ODM primaries for Kisumu County on April 25, 2017. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Prof Nyong’o was declared winner by Mr Okongo with 164, 110 votes against Mr Ranguma’s 91,480 votes. Dr Hezron McObewa was announced third with 62, 670 votes.

Mr Kiyondo declared Mr Ranguma winner with 118, 934 votes against Dr McObewa’s 47, 930. Professor Nyong’o came in third with 32,028 votes followed by Gordon Oyumba who garnered 14, 290 votes, Isaka Nyangara was fifth with 11, 936 votes.

After the two announcements were made, Kisumu residents were left confused who will legitimately carry the ODM flag in August polls.

Others questioned whose authority should be trusted. That of the county returning officer or his deputy.

Youths light bonfires on the streets of Kisumu town on April 26, 2017 following dispute ODM primaries results. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION

The returning officers at disappeared only to emerge with the results which they read under tight security.

Mr Okongo for better of the day was nowhere to be seen and was not picking calls from journalists.

In Kisumu Central constituency, as early as 5am in the morning in all the wards, Fred Ouda who is the MCA Gem Central was leading followed by Onyango Oloo and sitting MP Ken Obura was third.

At about 7am, tallying was stopped and short text messages were circulating claiming that the returning officer Laban Bosire had been kidnapped.

Few minutes to 8am, Kisumu Central returning officer Mr Bosire turned up guarded by security officers. He declared Mr Obura as the winner and was immediately escorted out by the same officers.

Kisumu residents took to the streets to denounce move to announce Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura as the winner in the ODM primaries on April 26,2017. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The pronouncement of Mr Obura as the ODM nominee for the seat in the August elections sparked tension with Mr Ouda’s supporters going to the streets chanting his praises.

They protested Mr Obura’s alleged victory.

In Muhoroni consistency there were parallel tallying centers.

In Seme, the returning officer could not be traced and there was no one to announce the results.

In Homa Bay, returning officer Erastus Otieno could not explain the origin of the results after noting that he could not reach most poll officials across the county.

He explained that he had authority to announce whatever results he had which sparked violent protests in the town.

He declared Governor Cyprian Awiti the winner with 46,343 votes against Mr Oyugi Magwanga’s 14,661.

Kisumu residents took to the streets to denounce move to announce Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura as the winner in the ODM primaries on April 26,2017. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Flanked by Homa Bay County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe and top county officials, the returning officer was accorded heavy security by armed police officers who ejected journalists from the tallying centre as soon as the results were announced.

The poll official could not declare what each candidate got at the constituency level, saying that presiding officers had refused to give him the results.

The results were protested by agents of other candidates who argued that they did not reflect the true picture on the ground and were a sham.

Mr Magwanga’s chief agent at the hall Mr Lameck Okeyo Omollo rejected the results.

After the announcement, contingent of armed security officials began driving journalists and agents of other officials out of the tallying centre.

Somalia: Pirates Killed While Trying to Hijack Ship

Photo: Photo UE (archives)

Abordage d’un bateau de pirates au large de la Somalie.

A Somali official says foreign naval forces in international waters shot dead two pirates and wounded another when the bandits attempted to hijack a ship on Saturday.

Ahmed Abdullahi, an official with the anti-piracy force in the semi-autonomous Puntland region, said the two killed men were part of a group of nine pirates in a boat approaching an unidentified ship near the Gulf of Aden when a naval force opened fire on them.

He said the six other pirates survived the attack and escaped. Residents in Durduri, a coastal village in Sanaag region, said that on Sunday morning they found two dead bodies, apparently left by the pirates, near the coast.

In recent weeks there has been a resurgence of piracy off Somalia’s coast, after five years of inactivity.

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Somalia: World Must ‘Act Fast,’ Scale Up Life-Saving Assistance – UN

Photo: UN Photo/Tobin Jones

(File photo).

As a severe drought deepens in Somalia, the risk of famine is looming in the long-troubled country, with about half the population in need of some form of assistance, according to an assessment by United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners.

The situation has become “significantly worse in the last six months,” explained Joseph Contreras, the spokesperson for the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

“Currently, approximately 6.2 million Somalis are in need of humanitarian assistance, of that number, three million are in need or urgent life saving measures. This is a significant step up from the 1.1 million Somalis that were in such circumstances, such need for life saving measures in September,” he said.

In addition, the UN reports that nearly 950,000 children under the age of five will be acutely malnourished this year, with 185,000 of that number at risk of death without immediate medical treatment.

Citing ‘worrying similarities’ to the 2011 famine in Somalia, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) this past Friday launched a $24.6 million appeal the more than one million Somalis most affected by the drought.

“We named this (2017) drought ‘Odi Kawayn,’ which is Somali for ‘something bigger than the elders,'” drought victim Halima told the agency, explaining that none of the elders has ever seen a drought as severe as this one.

A massive increase in aid is urgently needed to avert a famine. IOM reports that wages are collapsing, local food prices are rising, animal deaths are increasing, and malnutrition rates are starting to rise. Moreover, water prices are spiralling and Somalis are moving in growing numbers in search of food and water. Without assistance, many people face malnutrition, significantly increased risk of disease, loss of livelihoods and even death.

Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien , is joined by Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq , and head of the UN Mission in Somalia Michael Keating on arrival in Mogadishu, Somalia, where five and a half million people need urgent assistance over the next six months. Photo: OCHA

Meanwhile today, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, visited the Zone K Internal Displacement Camp (IDP) Settlement located in the Hodan district of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

“We understand their hunger, their thirst and their need to look after their children,” said Mr. O’Brien, noting that by seeing it for himself, “we can make this story known to a much bigger world and try to help.”

“You need to know that you touch our hearts,” he said to the drought victims.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which Mr. O’Brien heads up, Zone K first became an IDP settlement in 2011, when a large number of drought affected people from Lower Shabelle, Bay and Bakool regions settled.

It became one of the biggest IDP settlements in Mogadishu but, according to OCHA, the exact number of the people in Zone K is currently unknown.

“Whenever you have enormous pressure on people’s ability to survive or to be protected in conflict, you will get internal displacements, and here we have a severe trend of internal displacement,” explained Mr. O’Brien, noting the need to act “fast, now and together” in order to fund the programmes that would help support people in their hour of need.

Humanitarians in Somalia are seeking an overall $825 million to reach the most vulnerable with life-saving assistance until June 2017.

In a press release, the Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, Peter de Clercq, stated that the “drought situation is deteriorating rapidly.” At this “critical phase,” he highlighted the need to “act fast and efficiently to avoid the worst.”

Mr. Contreras told UN News that whereas in 2011, the drought – and the resulting famine – was concentrated in South Central Somalia, this year, it is affecting more parts of the country, including the north-eastern and the Somaliland regions, with a higher total number of people at risk.

However, he mentioned that the donor community is responding “more energetically” and humanitarian partners have a larger presence around the country to respond to these emergency needs.

Mr. Contreras also noted that Somalia has a new Government, and that the country’s new President, Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo’, is “completely committed to a robust and effective response to this crisis.”

40 Perish After Tanker Bursts Into Flames

By Macharia Mwangi

The number of people who died on Saturday evening when a truck carrying inflammable substances rammed into several vehicles before bursting into flames near Karai on the Nairobi-Naivasha Highway has increased to 40, deputy county commissioner Isaac Masinde has said.

Witnesses at the scene said the driver of the tanker lost control and hit the other vehicle which created chain of knocks.

The accident on the busy highway, some 80 kilometres west of Nairobi created a horrible scene.

Four victims of the Saturday night accident were taken to the Naivasha Mt Longonot Medical Centre while two were treated and discharged. Two others, according to the Clinical Officer at the facility Dalmas Otumba, were taken to Nairobi hospital for specialised treatment.

According to a preliminary police report released on Sunday morning, the truck (registration number UAK 519C) hit a bump before its driver lost control and rammed into a vehicle in front and other vehicles before it burst into flames.

“The fire spread very fast burning 10 other vehicles. A General Service Unit (GSU) Land Cruiser registration number GK B 961G was also burnt, killing the officers on board. Most bodies were burnt beyond recognition,” said the police report.

“At the scene, two containers of premium bond substance said to be highly flammable were recovered and suspected were among the items carried in the truck,” added the report.

Nation reporters at the scene, on Sunday morning, counted 12 shells of burnt out vehicles and confirmed there are two bumps at the section of the road where the accident happened.

Transport PS Irungu Nyakera, while addressing the media on Sunday morning at the scene, said that nine police guns were also recovered and put the death toll at 33.

National Disaster Management Unit boss Pius Maasai has advised those who lost their loved ones to report at Naivasha Police station for assistance.

According to him, most of the bodies can be identified.

Wreckages of vehicles at the scene of accident at Karai in Naivasha on December 10, 2016. Over ten vehicles were involved in the night accident and claimed over 40 lives. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

NTSA boss Francis Meja confirmed that 12 vehicles were burnt, adding that one was a PSV and the rest private.

The matatu was carrying 14 passengers, who all perished.

The tanker, which was coming from Nairobi, was negotiating the hilly part of the road, before knocking a matatu and exploded into flames.

Rescuers in frantic efforts to save victims at the scene of accident on December 10, 2016 at Karai, Naivasha. Over 40 lives were lost. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

MEDICS STRIKE

Earlier, a Kenya Red Cross official said rescuers had taken 30 bodies to Naivasha Sub-County Hospital Mortuary.

The accident happened on the fifth day of a national strike by doctors and nurses.

One of the vehicles involved in the accident at Karai, Naivasha on December 10, 2016. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Karai is about five kilometres from Naivasha Sub-County Hospital, one of the facilities affected by the industrial action.

Doctors have claimed the government must fulfill the conditions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2013; to increase their pay, improve working conditions and hire more doctors to reduce workload.

Among the burnt vehicles was a pick-up truck carrying administration police officers that was heading to Nairobi. Three of them are among the dead. Eight magazines of the guns they were carrying were recovered. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

On Saturday evening, nurses announced they had agreed on a return to work formula.

But the final decision to call off the strike rests with the outcome of a planned meeting of the National Executive Council of the Kenya National Union of Nurses on Sunday.

A burning car in Karai, Naivasha, on December 10, 2016. PHOTO | COURTESY

Among the burnt vehicles was a pick-up truck carrying administration police officers that was heading to Nairobi.

Three of them are among the dead. Eight magazines of the guns they were carrying were recovered.

Mr Edwin Wafula, a survivor who suffered burns on his hand, told the Nation he was travelling to Nairobi in the company of four other people when their car caught fire.

A tanker from Nairobi was negotiating the hilly part of the road, before knocking a matatu and exploded into flames. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“The fire caught cars on both sides of the road. The truck was coming from Nairobi, but those heading to the city were also burnt,” he said at the scene.

Rescue workers from the Kenya Red Cross arrived at the scene moments later but they are having a hard time because there is a snarl-up.

Mr Peter Njoroge said he had been trailing the truck in his car when it suddenly veered off its course to the lanes of oncoming vehicles. It exploded shortly afterwards.

“I was a distance away and that enabled me to slow down and reverse,” he told the Nation.

“It was a huge explosion and other motorists had little chance to react.”

A survivor, Edwin Wafula, who suffered burns on his hand, told the Nation he was travelling to Nairobi in the company of four other people when their car caught fire at the scene. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The highway, the main artery that links the city to western Kenya, and on to neighbouring countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

It is considered by the World Health Organization among the most dangerous roads to drive on. At least an accident happens every three days.

Additional reporting by Eric Matara, Fred Mukinda, Aggrey Mutambo, Magdalene Wanja and Angira Zadock.

South Africa: Tutu Back in Hospital

Photo: Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (file photo).

Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is back in hospital for treatment of a recurring infection, his family said on Wednesday night.

“He is expected to remain in hospital for a week or two,” they said in a statement.

Tutu, 84, admitted himself to hospital. His family said he underwent similar treatment last year.

More information would be shared as it became available, his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe said.

Tutu was treated for a lengthy period last year for an infection.

Source: News24

South Africa

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Admitted to Hospital

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu admitted himself to a Cape Town hospital today for treatment to a recurring infection. Read more »

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