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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Former Libyan leader Gaddafi’s son
resisting deportation from Zimbabwe 

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- An adopted son of the late Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is resisting attempts by Zimbabwe authorities to have him deported to Tripoli, Libya, citing fears for his security, state media reported Tuesday.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told a Senate thematic committee on human rights on Monday that Abhallha Mone Moussa Moummare recently refused to disembark from a plane in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he was supposed to board a connecting flight to Libya.

Ziyambi was briefing senators on how the government was dealing with refugees, and addressing their living conditions in prisons, the Herald newspaper reported Tuesday.

Ziyambi told the paper that the Gaddafi’s son ran away from Libya after his father was deposed and killed in 2011, and arrived in Harare in 2014.

He has since approached the High Court challenging his detention at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and wants to be granted refugee or asylum status.

“There are some court applications challenging his detention. So we are waiting for the outcome. Initially his identity could not be ascertained definitively. Under those circumstances, it was not prudent to grant that status without ascertaining for ourselves,” he said.

“So he was deported, but refused to go to Libya. He said he was more comfortable here. He was deported and while in Addis (Ababa) en-route to Libya, he refused to disembark from the plane,” he said.

The committee, led by Oliver Chidawu of ruling ZANU-PF party, had expressed concern over the living conditions of inmates, including a diet of vegetables without meat for days.

They also asked why refugees were being lumped together with serving prisoners.

“We do not have refugees in prison, but prohibited immigrants. They are fined and an order for deportation is given. Some of them stay for over two years. It is a challenge really,” said Ziyambi.

Ziyambi said it was not ideal to detain prohibited immigrants in prisons, but the government was doing so because there were no safe places to keep them while they awaited deportation. 

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EARLIER REPORT:

Retail shops await consignment arrival amid bread shortages in Zimbabwe

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Bread shortages have hit Zimbabwe’s retail shops because of wheat shortages, millers say.

A consignment of 30,000 tonnes of the commodity is stuck at Beira, Mozambique, because the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has not yet availed foreign currency to pay for it, the millers say.

Many retail chains are supplying in-house baked bread, resorting to confectionaries which are more expensive to consumers as major bakers have limited supplies.

Zimbabwe consumes up to 40,000 tonnes of wheat per month, of which about 20,000 is for production of nearly 1 million loaves of bread a day.

Intermittent wheat supplies have caused bread shortages in recent months while fears abound that many Zimbabweans will not enjoy bread over the festive season in the coming week unless more foreign currency is provided for wheat procurement.

The Herald newspaper reported on Monday that Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) president Tafadzwa Musarara had told it that the wheat at Beira could not be released until the RBZ had availed 12.2 million U.S. dollars to pay for it.

Most of the wheat available in the country is locally grown, but this has to be blended with high quality imports for bread making.

“We are just waiting on the governor (of the RBZ). The ship carrying the consignment has arrived at Beira, but the governor is yet to release the required funds,” he said.

Musarara said the industry required 12.2 million U.S. dollars every month for importation of adequate wheat supplies for production of baking flour.

RBZ has been struggling to allocate enough foreign currency to various sectors such as milling, fuel, pharmaceuticals and other critical areas because of crippling hard currency shortages while the local bond note, which was introduced at par with the U.S. dollar, has significantly lost value.

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Zimbabwe considering selling off some old prisons: minister

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwe government is considering disposing of some of its old prisons to land developers and using the proceeds to build new prisons with better facilities, a Cabinet minister has said.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said this while commenting on living conditions in prisons before the Senate thematic committee on human rights on Monday.

The Herald newspaper reported Tuesday that Ziyambi acknowledged that some of the prisons were dilapidated yet they were sitting on land with a huge value.

“Admittedly, some of our prisons are very old. If you look at Harare Central Prison, when it was built it was on the outskirts of Harare but it is now almost in the centre. We are having negotiations,” he said.

“Perhaps if we can have land developers who want that prime land, we sell it and develop a better prison in Marondera,” he said.

             

 

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