As we wrap up the week, here are the top stories from Africa. In a significant move, Bola Tinubu has approved a 50% reduction in transport fare nationwide, providing relief for travelers during the festive season.
However, Kenya Railways has suspended Nairobi commuter services on five routes, impacting daily commuters. The NDLEA has made headlines for seizing a meth shipment cleverly concealed in tomato paste, highlighting efforts to combat drug trafficking. Meanwhile, Kenya’s Treasury has given first-stage approval for the $3.6 billion Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway project, aiming to alleviate traffic congestion between the two cities.
In a legal development, a French court has sentenced a former doctor to 24 years in jail for his role in the Rwandan genocide. Additionally, Zimbabwe Cricket has suspended two national players due to drug use, signaling a crackdown on substance abuse in sports.
Check out all the top stories below:
KENYA RAILWAYS SUSPENDS NAIROBI COMMUTER SERVICES IN 5 ROUTES
In a notice on Wednesday, Kenya Railways announced the temporary suspension of certain Nairobi Commuter Railway Services on five routes from Thursday, 21 December 2023, until Tuesday, 02 January 2024.
Per the management’s notice “We wish to inform customers that the Nairobi Commuter Rail Services to Ruiru, Embakasi Village, Limuru, Lukenya and Syokimau will be suspended from 21st December 2023 till 2nd January 2024.”
GOVERNMENT ORDERS TANKERS TO VACATE LAGOS HIGHWAYS AND PORT AXIS
The Lagos State Government has ordered that trucks and big vehicles can’t park anywhere they want near Cele bus stop going to Tin Can Port.
In an announcement on Wednesday, Sola Giwa, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, highlighted that the Lagos State Government is taking action to solve the traffic jam caused by big trucks and trailers near Cele bus stop, aiming to keep the roads flowing smoothly.
Stressing how vital it is to have open and clear roads, Giwa told tanker and trailer drivers they must follow the rule or face punishment according to the Lagos State Transport Reform Law.
TINUBU APPROVES 50% REDUCTION IN TRANSPORT FARE NATIONWIDE
President Bola Tinubu has granted a 50% reduction in interstate travel fares for Nigerians during the festive season from 21 December 2023, to 4 January 2024.
Additionally, free train rides have been approved for commuters throughout this period.
Making the announcement at the Aso Rock Villa on Wednesday, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Dele Alake, shared, “It is in this wise that the President is announcing through us that beginning from tomorrow, December 21, Nigerians willing to travel can board public transport via mini buses, luxury buses at 50 per cent discount of current cost and all our train services on the route the trains currently serve at zero cost on their travels this holiday season.”
NDLEA SEIZES METH SHIPMENT CONCEALED IN TOMATO PASTE
In a recent development, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) intercepted shipments of meth and skunk cleverly hidden within tomato paste and clothes at the Lagos airport.
This discovery was made by NDLEA operatives during their routine checks. The agency has taken swift action to prevent the illegal export of these substances, reinforcing its commitment to combating drug trafficking and ensuring the safety of the public.
NDLEA shared that a 20-kilogram skunk hidden in tomato paste was stopped at the SAHCO export shed of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Friday, while a meth shipment weighing 1.60kg was seized at a courier company in Lagos, as stated in a Sunday release by NDLEA’s Director of Media & Advocacy, Femi Babafemi.
LAGOS COURT DETAINS TWO FOR KILLING FRIEND OVER BAGS OF RICE
A Magistrate’s Court in Lagos has remanded Noah Tovohome and Rajay Zannu for plotting and killing their friend, Segun Zusu, over 36 bags of rice, Daily Post reports.
The defendants, along with a bolt driver, intercepted Zusu’s goods, beat him, and threw him into a river. After selling the rice for N1.4m, they shared the money.
The court ordered their remand in Kirikiri Correctional Centre, adjourning the case to 22 January 2024, pending legal advice.
KENYA: TREASURY APPROVES $3.6 BILLION NAIROBI-MOMBASA EXPRESSWAY PROJECT TO TACKLE TRAFFIC WOES
Giving the green light, the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Committee has given initial approval for the proposed 473-kilometer Nairobi-Mombasa Expressway, as disclosed by the National Treasury.
This approval sets the stage for the project to move forward into the development phase
The Treasury stated that the project, aiming to alleviate severe congestion and slow speeds between the two cities, is anticipated to have an estimated cost of around $3.6 billion (Sh555.09 billion).
“Mobilisation of private sector resources to develop and expand key trunk networks in the country, such as the Mombasa-Nairobi Expressway, which is at advanced stages of preparations, having been by been granted first stage approval by the PPP committee recently and therefore ready to progress to the project development phase. Estimated cost is $3.6 billion” it said.
FRENCH COURT JAILS FORMER DOCTOR FOR 24 YEARS FOR ROLE IN RWANDAN GENOCIDE
A former doctor has been sentenced to 24 years by a French court for his role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Sosthene Munyemana faced charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, and a French court found him guilty for his role in organizing torture and killings during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which resulted in the loss of 800,000 lives between April and June.
French prosecutors accused Munyemena, a former gynaecologist in southern Rwanda, of setting up roadblocks, holding people in harsh conditions before their killings, and drafting a letter encouraging the massacre of Tutsis during the 1994 genocide. The trial revealed Munyemana’s repeated denials, as he claimed to be a moderate Hutu trying to save Tutsis by offering refuge in local government offices.
ZIMBABWE CRICKET SUSPENDS TWO NATIONAL PLAYERS OVER DRUG USE
In a setback for Zimbabwe cricket, international players Wesley Madhevere and Brandon Mavuta have been banned for drug use, testing positive for a prohibited recreational substance, adding to the recent turmoil following coach Dave Houghton’s resignation over the team’s failure to qualify for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Zimbabwe Cricket said on Thursday that two national players had been suspended for “recreational drug use”. “The concerned players, Wesley Madhevere and Brandon Mavuta, both tested positive for a banned recreational drug in an out-of-competition case recorded during a recent in-house doping test,” the board said in a statement.
Madhevere and Mavuta have been suspended “with immediate effect” until a hearing is held on the breach of anti-doping rules.
GHANA GOVERNMENT GIVES AFRICA’S LARGEST ROOFTOP SOLAR GREEN LIGHT
Ghana’s government has officially endorsed Africa’s largest rooftop solar installation, with a capacity of 16.82MW, powered by Sungrow and owned by Helios Solar Company, a subsidiary of LMI Holdings, in the Tema Freezone.
The endorsement came during the visit of Ghana’s Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Prempeh-Opoku, to the project site.
Championed by Dutch & Co., Sungrow’s cutting-edge SG350HX PV inverter and MV Station MVS4480-LV technology have been enlisted for their pivotal role in ensuring reliable and efficient solar energy solutions for the project, with Dutch & Co. also entrusted with operations and maintenance responsibilities.
Participating in this initiative, Sungrow aims to cut Ghana’s carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 11,000 tonnes annually, showcasing the company’s commitment to advancing integrated clean energy power generation systems.
ELECTIONS IN DR CONGO EXTENDED FOR DAY 2 AFTER DELAYS AT POLLING STATIONS
Voting in the Democratic Republic of Congo faced logistical challenges with some polling stations not opening, as the mineral-rich nation conducted four simultaneous elections on Wednesday (continuing to Thursday), including choosing a president, national and regional lawmakers, and local councillors.
In certain instances, polling stations failed to open, preventing people from casting their votes, and while Denis Kadima, the head of the electoral commission, announced on national television that those unable to vote would do so on Thursday, the specific details of the extension and the extent of its impact across the country remain unclear.
Kadima also told reporters that “not less than 70%” of electors had been able to vote, but he stressed that this was an estimate.