The wife of Zimbabwe's vice president has been charged with attempting to kill her husband.
Marry Chiwenga, a former model and wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court Monday where she was also charged with money laundering and fraud.
Wearing a floral dress, she waved to journalists as she entered the court's holding cells. The magistrate ordered that she remain in custody pending a bail hearing.
She is accused of trying to kill her husband in South Africa in July. First, she tried to deny medical treatment to Chiwenga by insisting he stay at a hotel instead of a hospital when he was flown to South Africa for emergency medical treatment, according to the charge sheet.
While Chiwenga was in the hospital on July 8, she went to his room, asked security to leave and, while alone with him, removed an intravenous drip and a catheter, causing him to bleed profusely, according to the charge sheet. She then forced him off the bed and tried to bring him out of the ward before being intercepted by his security detail, the charges said.
Chiwenga later went to China where he received medical treatment for four months and he returned to Zimbabwe in November. On his return, Chiwenga said he was suffering from a condition that narrowed or tightened his esophagus.
Marry Chiwenga is also accused of laundering about $1 million to neighboring South Africa by pretending to pay for goods that were never brought into Zimbabwe, according to the charges.
She was seen as close to her husband before and immediately after he led the military to force the late former president, Robert Mugabe, to resign in 2017.
She faded from the limelight as she and her husband began to suffer ill-health, both with visibly swollen hands. She has not been seen in public with Chiwenga since he returned from China in November. On Monday, the state run Herald newspaper described her as "the estranged wife" of the vice president.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has described fighting corruption as a top priority since assuming power in 2017. But critics and the opposition say the anti-corruption commission is mainly targeted people viewed as dissenters.
At least 12 burned bodies were recovered from the scene of a gas explosion in Nigeria's northwestern state of Katsina, police and local sources said on Monday.
Local police while confirming the incident to Xinhua said the incident occurred on Saturday in Danmusa local government area of the northern state.
A gas cylinder used for domestic cooking inside a building suddenly exploded and caused the tragedy, said Isah Gambo, the spokesman for the state's police.
The victims, including three women and five children, were burned beyond recognition. They were all buried on Sunday, according to local sources.
The police said an investigation was underway to ascertain the cause of the explosion.
South Sudan's government has allocated $40 million to speed up the integration of its soldiers with armed opposition fighters to create a unified national army as the country emerges from a five-year civil war.
This comes amid face-to-face talks between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar in the capital, Juba. Their talks continue Saturday on another key part of a peace deal that is yet to be resolved, the number of states.
South Sudan's government had pledged $100 million to help fund the peace process, and the $40 million is part of that.
The international community has been pressing the rival sides to form a coalition government as a crucial part of the peace deal signed last year. A November deadline to form that government was extended to February.
The civil war killed close to 400,000 people.
Climate-related disasters have increased exponentially in Africa over the past two decades, hampering Africa's overall socioeconomic development, the African Union (AU) said on Wednesday.
"Despite improvements, the economic and social growth achieved so far in Africa is very fragile and susceptible to climate risks and disasters hence negating the progress made towards achievement of national goals and overall attainment of Agenda 2063 and the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)," the AU said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
"Over the past 20 years, climate-related disasters have increased exponentially in Africa," the AU said, adding that the vulnerability of the African continent was recently evident when more than 1,000 people were killed across Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe due to Cyclone Idai.
Noting an estimated 2 billion U.S. dollars economic loss from cyclone Idai, the 55-member pan-African bloc also stressed that Cyclone Kenneth followed Idai in quick succession, in which Mozambique was struck again, in addition to Comoros.
It recalled a recent World Bank report that many African countries have made significant development achievements in the last few decades with annual growth averaging 4.5 percent, "but increasing weather, water, and climate risks threaten these gains."
"Since 1970, Africa has experienced more than 2,000 natural disasters, with just under half taking place in the last decade," the statement said.
Countries recovering from protracted civil wars and disasters, and small island states are particularly vulnerable to climate change and natural hazards, it said.
Building resilience to natural and human-induced hazards have gained significant momentum on the continent, the statement said. "Work on resilience building is gaining momentum on the continent. The policy environment is encouraging but the implementation of resilience policies is faced with some technical and resource constraints."
The AU emphasized the crucial importance of the adoption of global climate-focused agendas such as the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda.
"Translating these policies into action is being undertaken through overarching continental programs on resilience," the statement said.
African states have to redouble their efforts in mobilizing domestic resources to achieve resilience targets, it said.
"Similarly, the international community should continue to play its vital role in supporting resilience building in Africa," the statement said. "Additional efforts is required to build technical capacity of African states to build their resilience to climate change and disaster risks."
The UN senior envoy in Somalia on Monday called on the government to enhance the fight against corruption which is an obstacle to development and erodes public trust.
James Swan, special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia welcomed the country's progress in strengthening the rule of law and building accountable and transparent institutions and underlined the importance of continuing to work on these areas.
"Corruption is a major obstacle to development. It undermines efforts toward state-building, peace and reconciliation. It erodes public trust and weakens state institutions' ability to deliver to their people," Swan said in a statement issued to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day.
He said the UN is very encouraged by the recent signing into law by President Mohamed Farmajo of the bill on the establishment of the anti-corruption commission and the elaboration of the national anti-corruption strategy. "These are commendable steps forward for Somalia," said the UN envoy.
He said a key instrument to sustain, manage and track countries' fight against corruption is the UN Convention against Corruption, the world's only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument. According to Swan, although Somalia is yet to sign and ratify the Convention, the UN welcomes steps that are being taken towards this goal, such as the progress with the anti-corruption commission and the anti-corruption strategy.
He said the UN system has established an anti-corruption platform with international financial institutions and other development partners to provide technical and advisory services to Somalia in its efforts to curb corruption.
Other UN programs mobilize resources to support the country's anti-corruption efforts across the country, Swan said, centered on institutions and awareness-raising and on the judicial aspects of anti-corruption, such as criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation and assets recovery in line with the Convention.