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African press review 5 May 2018

Zimbabwe’s ruling party launches its election campaign, promising honesty and hard work. Doctors are being prevented from working in some strike-hit South African hospitals. And weeks of torrential rain in east Africa have killed hundreds of people.


Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party officially kicked off its election campaign yesterday with the launch of its election manifesto promising to "unite, fight corruption, develop, reengage and create jobs".

The launch was attended by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga.

In his address Mnangagwa assured supporters that there was no alternative to Zanu-PF, promising "honest, people-centred hard work".

The launch came at the end of a difficult week for the ruling party. On Thursday, Zanu-PF supporters demonstrated outside the party headquarters over the result of primary elections held on Monday.

The demonstration came after one of Mnangagwa’s key allies‚ Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association spokesman Douglas Mahiya‚ claimed the president’s nephew was being imposed as a candidate in Harare South.

National elections are due to be held in July, the first polls since Robert Mugabe was ousted last year.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission says 117 political parties have registered as contenders.

Doctors threatened outside South African hospital

Protesters are blocking access to hospitals in South Africa's North West province and are threatening to burn doctors who try to access their workplaces to treat patients.

BusinessDay reports that protesters yesterday blocked access to Potchefstroom Hospital. Doctors trying to access the hospital have been threatened with being burnt.

Army medical staff from the South African National Defence Forces have been brought in to deal with emergencies.

Members of the National Health, Education and Allied Workers Union have been on a go-slow in the province since February‚ disrupting medicine supply at the main pharmaceutical warehouse. The union says it is tired of corruption in the health sector and a shortage of medical staff in hospitals.

East African dry spell ends in flooding disaster

Weeks of torrential rain in east Africa have killed hundreds of people and displaced hundreds of thousands of others.

In Kenya, which had suffered three failed rainy seasons, 120 people have died in the past two months, including eight who were swept off a bridge in a flashflood Thursday night outside Nairobi.

The Red Cross has appealed for five million euros to help those affected.

Somalia, also struck by a prolonged severe drought, has been hit by heavy rains and the south-central town of Beledweyne was engulfed by flood waters after the Shabelle river burst its banks.

Rwanda has also been seriously affected by the deluge. The ministry of disaster management in Kigali said 116 people had died and 207 had been injured in flooding and landslides since January.

Getting ready for Ramadan in Somalia

The African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) is in early preparation for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Amisom commanders are fearful of possible attacks by the al Shabaab armed group.

Security will be increased at markets, hotels, Amisom bases and other busy centres in urban areas. Most of the additional assignments will be carried out by the Somali National Army and local police, with Amisom peacekeepers providing back-up if necessary.

The Muslim month of fasting begins at sunset on Tuesday 15 May and will end on Thursday 14 June. Those dates have still to be confirmed by the religious authorities.

Clashes in Darfur force more people from their homes

Recent intercommunal clashes in Sudan's Jebel Marra area in the western region of Darfur have displaced at least 11,500 civilians, according to the United Nations humanitarian agency, the Sudan Tribune reports.

A UN statement said the refugees were forced from their homes by fighting between armed nomads and sedentary farmer tribes.

There have also been recent clashes in the area between Sudanese army units and fighters from the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid rebel group.

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