According to the 2013 Freedom House Report, Swaziland remains the last supreme autocratic monarchy on the continent and this has led to citizens facing various human rights violations under King Mswati III’s government.
The report finds that the parliamentary elections held in September 2013 have had no impact on reforming the escalating human rights and humanitarian crisis facing the country.
According to the United Nations Programmes on HIV/AIDS, one of the many violations for which the king has been openly criticised is the government’s negligent approach to its HIV/AIDS programme.
The country that has the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world of 26 percent.
To read the article titled, “Eating cow dung while Mswati lives large: video,” click here.Source:Times Live
The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) says that that think tanks are there to research issues such as service delivery.
ISS executive director, Jakkie Cilliers, says the perception that think tanks are there to criticise the government is not true.
Cilliers, who is of the view that think tanks are there to hold the government accountable on behalf of civil society, adds that they have the responsibility to look at how African leaders can invest their countries’ income.
To read the article titled, “Think tanks to hold governments accountable: ISS,” click here.Source:SABC News
Zambia rejects non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are calling for the distribution of condoms to inmates in prisons, saying the move will promote homosexuality and sodomy, which are against the country’s laws.
Some NGOs have been advocating for the distribution of condoms in prisons as a way of reducing sexually transmitted disease.
Home Affairs minister, Ngosa Simbyakula, states that government is not in support of the calls and asked what the condoms will be used for.
To read the article titled, “No to condoms in our jails, says Zambia,” click here.Source:News 24
The F.W. de Klerk Foundation has denied that former president, F.W. de Klerk, was under pressure to release all political prisoners, including the late former President, Nelson Mandela, from prison.
F.W. de Klerk Foundation, executive director, Dave Steward, who was the director-general in De Klerk's office at the time and government’s spokesperson, says De Klerk’s says the reason why government released political prisoners is because the apartheid policy had failed.
He says there would have been a catastrophe if the prisoners were not released.
To read the article titled, “De Klerk was not under pressure to release political prisoners: Foundation,” click here.Source:SABC News
The Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) has described biological or chemical attacks, real or feigned, as an act of cowardice and terrorism.
The comment comes after the South African National Roads Agency Limited's (SANRAL) operations centre in Pretoria had to be shut down when white powder was found in an envelope.
Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) says that biological analysis of the powder shows it is not anthrax.
To read the article titled, “Justice Project SA condemns SANRAL anthrax scare,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
Zambian vice president, Guy Scott, says he is disappointed that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are causing commotion over the draft constitution.
Dr. Scott explained that there is no new constitution and that what has been leaked is just a report on recommendations for the document.
The vice president was responding to questions from teachers who wanted to find out what stage the new constitution had reached following the perceived impasse between government and civil society organisations.
To read the article titled, “Some NGOs disappoint VEEP,” click here.Source:Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation
A ban on aid bodies in Zimbabwe’s Masvingo province has been lifted, and government is appealing to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to resume operations there.
Former provincial governor, Titus Maluleke, ordered the discontinuation of 29 NGOs, which provided food to desperate families in Masvingo, accusing them of engaging in political activity.
However, Minister of Provincial Affairs, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti, has announced the cancellation of the ban, arguing that the government cannot feed all the starving people in the province on its own.
To read the article titled, “Masvingo welcomes back NGOs,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
Countries around the world marked International Human Rights Day on 10 December 2013.
Chief of the United Nations Human Rights, Navi Pillay, states that the fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place, the focus now is in implementing these standards when there is a gap in political will and financial resources.
Pillay also notes that the past 20 years have seen a number of failures to prevent atrocities and safeguarding human rights.
To read the article titled, “Africa: World Marks Human Rights Day,” click here.Source:All Africa
A group of activists have staged a silent march at the country's main World AIDS Day event in Piet Retief, Mpumalanga.
Made up of representatives from a number of human rights organisations, the group marched with an aim to draw attention to the issues facing people living with HIV/AIDS.
"The intention is not to disrupt the event, but to make sure that people remember that the AIDS epidemic is still going on. We want to highlight the fact that there are still people who are dying without treatment. So, we want to make sure that World AIDS Day focuses on real issues, that it does not become a political event with no significance for the people who live with HIV," explains AIDS activist, Mark Heywood.
To read the article titled, “Mpumalanga Activists March to Highlight HIV/AIDS Plight,” click here.Source:SABC News
African Union’s (AU) chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says the union is worried about the growing trend of unconcern towards electoral processes among young people in democracies across Africa.
Speaking at a gala dinner to mark the 160th anniversary of Adams College, Dlamini-Zuma states that it is essential for young people in Africa to become active in shaping the future they are to inherit.
She has encouraged the youth to participate in elections and policy development initiatives aswell as to hold their governments accountable.
To read the article titled, “Growing apathy towards electoral processes in Africa worries AU,” click here.Source:SABC News