The long, loud nights of Kinshasa’s street life are set to be shortened by the new governor of DR Congo’s capital, as part of a city-wide crusade against “dirtiness”.
In less than a month, the bars spilling out on to the city’s highways and byways will no longer be allowed to serve customers with beer and meat skewers before 6:00 pm. Five hours later, the premises must close, Governor Gentiny Ngobila ordered last Thursday.
Customers on the packed terraces of working-class districts such as the Huilerie, Matonge and Bandal will benefit from an extension until midnight at weekends and on public holidays after the rules take effect on August 1.
Popular rumba music can still boom out, but sales of drinks must always cease an hour before closing time, according to authorities who believe that a “live and let live” attitude has gone too far in Africa’s third-largest metropolis.
The bid to cut down on noise and disorderly conduct is just one aspect of Ngobila’s “Kin Bopeto” — (“Clean Kinshasa”) — operation, which also targets alleged prostitutes and delinquents.
“Sometimes, you find somebody having a beer at 10 o’clock in the morning. What state will they be in by midday?” protested the provincial minister of the environment, Didier Tenge Litho.
He has exhumed “the ordinance-law of May 31,1975, which regulates the opening and closing hours of places serving (alcoholic) drinks”.
Speaking on several radio stations to spread the word, Tenge Litho said that the Kin Bopeto campaign is intended to provoke a general “change in outlook and behaviour” to “reject filth”.
Nobody knows for sure how many people live in the sprawling capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. There has been no census since 1984, but a broad consensus estimate puts the population at 10 million.
‘Cleansing brigades’ –
The city inherited from Belgian colonial rule was often called “Kin-la-belle” (“Kin-the-beautiful”), but for many, nowadays, it’s become “Kin-la-poubelle” (Kin-the-trash-bin”) — where countless plastic bags have strewn the length of “avenues” of beaten earth and clog up the waterways.
The new governor has announced resources to obtain visible results from the Kin Bopeto initiative within six months. Each of Kinshasa’s 24 administrative departments will get financial help, while “cleansing brigades” of at least 40 agents will serve each district.
The campaign also targets behaviour seen as immoral and socially unacceptable, but the authorities have set their sights on traditional scapegoats. The “shegue” and “kuluna” street kids and juvenile delinquents get the blame for insecurity, while “ujana” alleged teen prostitutes are rounded up.
Innocent girls are sometimes — indeed often — accused of being loose women simply because they don’t wear bras.
City officials even plan to enforce distance among the informal traders who gather along congested main roads. These people must stand back at least a metre (yard) from the highway to avoid anyone falling sick because of filth.
What will become of Kinshasa six months into the governor’s plan remains to be seen, but one thing is already certain; it will affect the majority of the workforce that ekes out a precarious living in informal jobs, including petty roadside trade and serving beer.
Zambian President fires finance minister
Sacked Finance Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe to be replaced by central bank deputy governorm Bwalya Ng’andu
Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has fired Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe, a statement from the presidency said Monday, as the economy grows at its slowest rate in 20 years.
Mwanakatwe, 57, was appointed only last year but was removed on Sunday without any reason given and replaced by central bank deputy governor Bwalya Ng’andu.
“I hereby terminate your appointment as minister of finance,” Lungu stated in his letter to Mwanakatwe according to the statement.
Ng’andu was sworn in on Monday, in a move welcomed by international investment markets with Zambia’s Eurobonds rising sharply. The price of its $750 million of securities due in September 2022 rose 5.2 per cent on Monday, according to Bloomberg News.
Zambia has struggled with falling prices of copper, its key export, and disputes with mining companies, with its foreign exchange reserves plunging and debt rising.
Lungu on Monday called for Zambians to “work as a team and stabilise the economy.”
But main opposition party UPND spokesman Charles Kakoma told reporters that Lungu’s government wasted money and a “cosmetic change” of ministers would not improve the economy.
Gunmen kill 10 in revenge attack in northern Nigeria
Gunmen opened fire on security forces as they arrived on the scene, shooting out the tyres of an armoured vehicle
About 300 gunmen raided a village in north-western Nigeria in a revenge attack, killing 10 people, burning cars and stealing cattle, police said. The assailants “invaded” Kirtawa village in Katsina state late Saturday, shooting residents and stealing cows, regional police spokesman Gambo Isah said in a statement.
“Ten persons were found dead, five injured,” Isah said. The bandits set fire to five cars and four motorcycles after stealing “an unspecified number of cows”, he said.
Police said the gunmen opened fire on security forces as they arrived on the scene, shooting out the tyres of an armoured vehicle and wounding a soldier and a paramilitary officer, before fleeing.
The raid was a “reprisal attack” for an earlier assault on the bandits by vigilantes from the village, police said. Katsina state has seen a surge in attacks by kidnapping and cattle rustling gangs, prompting villagers to form vigilantes groups to defend themselves.
The bandit gangs maintain camps in Rugu forest which straddles Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger states. Last week gunmen killed six people when they raided three villages in Katsina’s Kankara district.
Algeria defeat Nigeria to set up Senegal rematch for AFCON final
Algeria will take on Sadio Mane’s Senegal for the title on July 19, in a repeat of a group stage clash they won 1-0
Riyad Mahrez rifled in a stoppage-time free-kick to earn Algeria a dramatic 2-1 victory over three-time champions Nigeria on Sunday and set up a rematch with Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations final.
Algeria led through a first-half own goal by William Troost-Ekong before Nigeria equalised with an Odion Ighalo penalty awarded after a VAR review.
However, as extra time looked necessary, Mahrez blasted in from 20 yards with the last kick of the match to send the Desert Foxes through to their first final since lifting the trophy for the only time in 1990.
Algeria will take on Sadio Mane’s Senegal for the title on July 19, in a repeat of a group stage clash they won 1-0.
“We are very happy to be in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations because it is something very special,” said Mahrez.
“It was our goal to do it for the people and for our families. We know they are behind us all the way. It’s my most important goal for the national dream. Yes, it’s my dream to win it and hopefully we will be able to.”
An injury to Youcef Atal, who fractured his collarbone during the quarter-final win over Ivory Coast on penalties, forced Djamel Belmadi to start Mehdi Zeffane at right-back, while Nigeria fielded the same team that overcame South Africa here.
Algeria supporters filled most of the lower tier at one end of the ground, dwarfing a small section of Nigeria fans, but there were large swathes of empty seats at the 75,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium.
Mahrez leads by example –
Leading scorers in the tournament and considered the most impressive side, Algeria quickly asserted themselves as Ramy Bensebaini headed narrowly over before a wicked Youcef Belaili cross nearly lead to a goal for Baghdad Bounedjah.
Hesitant defending from Kenneth Omeruo just outside his own area then allowed Bounedjah to nip in, but the Al-Sadd striker could only shoot tamely at Daniel Akpeyi.
Seemingly having moved on from the penalty miss that reduced him to tears in the last round, Bounedjah was consistently proving a nuisance to a nervy Nigeria backline with Jamilu Collins relieved to see a toed clearance land on the roof of the net.
Nigeria countered intermittently as Ighalo dragged wide after Mahrez was caught in possession, but the Manchester City winger promptly atoned as Algeria made the breakthrough on 40 minutes.
After gathering the ball on the right Mahrez danced past Collins before sending over a cross that flicked off the left-back and struck a helpless Troost-Ekong in the midriff before tricking over the line.
Super Eagles boss, Gernot Rohr has praised his side’s resilience, particularly the way they bounced back from a shock loss to Madagascar to eliminate defending champions Cameroon, and Nigeria again hit back with the aid of VAR.
Gambian referee Bakary Gassama initially dismissed Nigerian penalty appeals when a Peter Etebo shot struck the arm of Aissa Mandi but reserved that decision, with Ighalo sending Rais Mbohli the wrong way from the spot for his competition-best fourth goal.
Sofiane Feghouli blazed over late on and extra time beckoned after Ismael Bennacer rattled the bar in stoppage time, but Mahrez won it at the death with a thunderous strike into the top corner.
Zambian President fires finance minister
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