American jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum is in Uganda for a fundraising show - and in the buildup, he gives guests a sample of his talent at the Premier Transformational Leadership Forum.
ROLLING NEWS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Presented by Joseph Kizza
(Scroll down for earlier updates)
That's a wrap for today!
Addressing the refugee problem
|New Vision's Timothy Murungi:|
President Yoweri Museveni has reiterated his support for pacifying Somalia by maintaining the 6,000 Ugandan soldiers in the country alongside the AMISOM forces. He was speaking to delegates during a high-level meeting for ministers in charge of refugees in the Great Lakes region at Speke Resort Munyonyo this afternoon. He said weak states are among the major causes of refugees in the region and that the problem of refugees and asylum seekers in the region, who are 4.4 million, can be reversed if states work together. In the meantime, he showed great support for the policy of integrating refugees with host communities and nations for "they [refugees] are the same people" with other Africans, as was the case before colonialists drew borders.
He asked the delegates, representative countries, UN and AU representatives, World Bank, civil society and members of diplomatic corps to delve into the root causes of refugee crises in order to curb it.
He asked the delegates, whom he severally referred to as experts, to look into the main causes of refugees he suggested, including war, extrajudicial killings and weak states.
Petition by fishing community
Plenary is underway at Parliament and the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga is chairing the session.
Rukungiri district Woman MP Betty Muzanira Bamukwatsa has presented a petition by the Rwenshama fishing community. Kadaga instructs Parliament's Committee on Agriculture to handle the petition.
Cancer regional centres
So what does it cost to build four cancer regional centres in Mbale, Arua, Mbarara and Gulu?
Sh144b, according to Dr. Jackson Orem, the executive director of Uganda Cancer Institute. He mentioned this during a press conference at Uganda Media Centre earlier today.
Gender parity at work only possible if men do more at home - UN
Progress towards gender parity at work has barely budged for the past quarter century, and will only speed up once men take on far more unpaid caregiving tasks, the UN said Thursday, on the eve of International Women's Day.
The UN's International Labour Organization said in a fresh report that the difference in employment rates for men and women has shrunk by less than two percent in the past 27 years.
In 2018, women still remained 26 percentage points less likely to be in employment than men, despite opinion polls indicating that far more women would prefer to have a job than to stay at home, the report showed.
'Take more than 200 years'
The ILO said there were a number of factors blocking equality in employment -- the biggest being the heavy caregiving burden borne by women.
"In the last 20 years, the amount of time women spent on unpaid care and domestic work has hardly fallen, and men's has increased by just eight minutes a day," said Manuela Tomei, head of ILO's Conditions of Work and Equality Department.
At this pace, she said, "it will take more than 200 years to achieve equality in time spent in unpaid care work".
According to the ILO report, nearly 22 percent of women of working age worldwide -- or 647 million -- perform unpaid care work on a full-time basis, with the level as high as 60 percent in Arab states.
By comparison, only 41 million men -- 1.5 percent of them -- carry out such work on a full-time basis, the report found.
And women in the workplace also carry out far more of unpaid caregiving and chores at home.
"The imbalanced division of work within the household between men and women is one of the most resilient features of gender inequality," the report said.
Globally, women perform more than three quarters of the total time spent on unpaid care work, and dedicate on average four hours and 25 minutes each day to unremunerated caregiving, compared to one hour and 23 minutes for men, it found.
"Because of the disproportionate share of time spent in unpaid care work, women who work for pay are often said to work a 'second shift'," the report said, adding that this has negative consequences for women's health and well-being, as well as advancement possibilities in the workplace.
The ILO said this uneven burden is largely responsible for the so-called "motherhood employment penalty", with mothers of young children far less likely than their childless counterparts to hold a job.
At the same time, the ILO report said the gender wage gap remains at an average of 20 percent globally, and is nearly double that in countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
The report said that differences in education levels seemed to have little to do with the differences in pay. Instead, it found that women were often given far less credit for the educations they have than their male counterparts.
The report called for a range of policy changes to promote gender equality in the workplace, including more focus on social protections and support for caregivers to help level the playing field.
It also called for more to be done to fight harassment and change attitudes towards women in the workplace.
ILO chief Guy Ryder stressed the need to "accelerate action to improve progress on gender equality at work".
"We already know what needs to be done."
MP Agaba faces fraud charges
|New Vision's Farooq Kasule:|
Kitagwenda County MP Abbas Agaba Mugisha is currently at Buganda Road Chief Magistrate's cells on charges of fraud. He is accused of obtaining sh110m from politician Patrick Kasajja.
Prosecution alleges that between August 2016 and June 2017, the legislator obtained the said money from Kasajja purporting to be legal fees, but never represented him in court. Kasajja was an NRM aspirant for Bulamogi West.
A number of fellow MPs are in court to bail him out. Businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba is also in court to stand surety for him.
BUBU logo launched
The Buy Uganda Build Uganda logo has also been launched, with President Museveni saying it will help advertise Uganda. From now on, the logo will be the official trademark on all Ugandan exports.
He says Government will continue to support the concept, especially having dealt with the issue of security and electricty (although what's remaining here is the lowering of the price to five cents).
"We are working on the railway to lower the cost of transport. We are also working on lowering the cost of borrowing money. We still have gaps but at least we are not sitting back like before," says Museveni.
BUBU EXPO: 'We have to wake up' - Museveni
Commending the organisers of the expo, President Museveni says "the challenge we now have is to wake up and use our talents" and that Uganda should start "exporting more to the world than the world is exporting to us.
In true BUBU spirit, the President underlines that much as Ugandans "seem to be waking up", there is need to start supporting home-made stuff as opposed to importing them. He uses his excursion to Sweden, where King Carl XVI Gustaf told him of how pine trees in Sweden grow after so many years yet those in Uganda mature within a shorter period, to draw the irony in Uganda's affinity to importation.
"We who have trees don't make paper."
Museveni says he was shocked to learn that Uganda spends sh100bn to import paper.
"I have seen some people making shoes, although they are using imported leather. I have seen people making pharmaceutical products, although they are using imported sugars. I have seen the ones making furniture and othersmaking wine from bananas. I thank you because you are waking up."
BUBU EXPO: 'We buy but we don't produce' - Museveni
President Yoweri Museveni is speaking at the launch of the BUBU Expo 2019 at Kololo Independence Grounds on a hot Thursday afternoon.
He says that Government has played an important role in linking producers and buyers. He also says that the crisis of Africa has been that "we buy but we don't produce".
"The purchasing power is actually going down," he says, underlining what he calls the "problem of Africa".
BUBU, which will run for three days - until Saturday - is organised by the ministry of trade, industry and co-operatives.
Male MPs can't bully female MPs, says Kadaga
Friday is International Women's Day. And hours to the day, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has addressed a press conference at Parliament.
In her discourse, she says Uganda male legislators cannot bully their female counterparts in her presence - although she says she knows a Parliament where it happens.
Highlighting such bills as the Sexual Offences Bill, Kadaga recognises Parliament's work in legislation on women-related matters. She, however, points out that "patriarchy is still in our society, even getting here as Speaker was not easy. Some thought it should have been a man but I defeated them by being excellent."
She highlighted the Sexual Offenses Bill, The Anti Slavery Bill and the just concluded Inquiry into sexual harrassment in education institutions.
Rwandan students fail to attend graduation in Kampala
It is reported that Kampala University graduands from Rwandan have failed to attend the function because of the ongoing border situation between Uganda and Rwanda.
They may not have been able to be at the campus physically, but they have received their respective degrees in absentia.
2019 Kampala University Graduation Procession. pic.twitter.com/i6NRjZ638Z— Kampala University (@klauniversity) March 7, 2019
BUBU Expo 2019 underway
The Buy Uganda Build Uganda exhibition has kicked off at Kololo Independence Grounds. President Yoweri Museveni has made an appearance to launch the three-day event, and he has toured some stalls, with trade minister Amelia Kyambadde doing the honours of showing him around.
Of landlords and tenants
Meanwhile, at Parliament . . .
Namulondo Investments Limited, a Buganda Kingdom's property arm in charge of management and development of the Kingdom's property is appearing before the Physical Infrastructure Committee to present views on the Landlord Tenant, 2018. pic.twitter.com/AZc90BfkDk— Parliament of Uganda (@Parliament_Ug) March 7, 2019
There is a panel discussion Premier Transformational Leadership Forum led by Vision Group CEO Robert Kabushenga.
South Africa's High Commissioner in Uganda Lekoa Solly Mollo, Stanbic Bank chief executive Patrick Mweheire, Crest Foam managing director Joseline Kateeba and MTN Foundation chairman George Egaddu are the other panelists.
Whalum a blood donor for over 20 years
Saving lives through blood donation has been a part of Kirk Whalum for years. And he is now keen to involve his children.
.@KirkWhalum: I've been a long time supporter of initiatives to do with blood. #1DOBInitiative19 @KirkWhalum who has been a blood donor for over 25 years now has made it a point to take his children with him during blood donation. #RotaryUgJazz19— New Vision UGANDA (@newvisionwire) March 7, 2019
📷: @TheTrayci pic.twitter.com/fkRmTr0EZ2
Watch as Kirk Whalum gets guests grooving to Amen
.@KirkWhalum steps up with... AMEN... A word he describes as "so be it" #RotaryUgJazz19— New Vision UGANDA (@newvisionwire) March 7, 2019
Don't forget that there's one who will see that what you're doing will not fall to the ground.
I wanted to be here among so many leaders doing important things.
All I want to say is AMEN. pic.twitter.com/dO6VhHOiKZ
When Kirk Whalum jetting in on Tuesday, he later said he was glad to be back in Uganda and in Africa. "It really means a lot to me to be back here".
The phenomenal entertainer made sure to sample his guests with a dose of beautiful music. And how they enjoyed every bit of it!
Many of them pulled out their phones to capture the moments for keeps.
Even Vision Group's chief executive Robert Kabushenga couldn't allow to be left out of the party!
Kirk Whalum starts his speech in style!
During the Premier Transformational Leadership Forum taking place at Serena, visiting American jazz saxophonist and songwriter Kirk Whalum, who is here for a fundraising concert, has placed emphasis on love and leadership.
And how about this . . .
Before taking the mic, the award-winning jazz artiste first played a jazz version of his song Amen and Whitney Houston's I will always love you.
A rousing way to start!
Pleasant surprise - keeping in the lane
Many roads are leading to Kololo for the 2019 BUBU Expo. And with that comes a sticking scenario, but if New Vision's Kalungi Kabuye's tweet is anything to go by, there is some commendable degree of civility on the roads.
Patience pains but pains. Way to go!
Been stuck in a traffic jam in Kololo for over an hour, but surprisingly most peeps are keeping their lane... #Stayinyourlane— Kalungi Kabuye 🇺🇬 (@KalungiKabuye) March 7, 2019
Court rules on Kaweesi suspects bail today
|New Vision's Farooq Kasule:|
The International Crimes Division of the High Court in Kampala is today expected to deliver a ruling on the bail application of eight men accused of murdering former Police spokesperson AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Last week, the group appeared before High Court Judge Lydia Mugambe, who heard their bail application but reserved her ruling for today afternoon - at 3pm.
The applicants are Abdul-Rashid Mbaziira, Aramanzani Noordin Higenyi, Yusuf Mugerwa, Bruhan Balyejusa, Joshua Magezi Kyambadde, Jibril Kalyango, Yusuf Siraje Nyanzi and Shafik Kasujja.
The group is part of the 23 suspects that were charged with murder and later committed to the High Court on October 23, 2017 to stand trial.
Their co-accused have since been granted mandatory bail by Nakawa Chief Magistrate's Court, pending investigations.
The accused, through their lawyers Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi and Anthony Wameli want, court to grant them bail on ground that they need specialised treatment, having been allegedly tortured upon arrest in March 2017.
Premier Transformational Leadership Forum
Dr. Peter Kimbowa, the team leader of CEO summit Uganda, is also around.
Rotary Foundation trustee Per Høyen says: "During the last 11 years, Rotary International has received the highest ranking in the way we spend the funds entrusted with us. More has to be done out there and we Rotarians are looking forward to doing more, to make a kind of impact that lasts."
Dr. Dorothy Kyeyune Byabaire, the executive director of Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, asks people to donate blood, saying blood is needed everyday.
"Please don't ask for beer because you are donating blood."
Premier Transformational Leadership Forum
Happening now at Serena Kampala Hotel . . .
The Premier Transformational Leadership Forum by Rotary Uganda is going on ahead of their Jazz for Rotary Blood Bank Concert fundraiser by American jazz saxophonist and songwriter Kirk Whalum, who jetted into the country Tuesday night.
Pope Francis denounces deceptiveness of 'culture of appearance'
Pope Francis has denounced the deceptiveness of "the culture of appearance" in a ceremony marking Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter when Catholics traditionally fast.
"Earthly realities fade away like dust in the wind," said the pope at the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome on Wednesday.
"Possessions are temporary, power passes, success wanes.
"The culture of appearance prevalent today, which persuades us to live for passing things, is a great deception," he said. "It is like a blaze: once ended, only ash remains."
The pope finished his homily with the traditional rite in which ashes are traced on the head of the believer in the shape of a cross.
Most Christians do not follow the practice of fasting during Lent as much as they did in the past. Pope Francis, in his homily, called on Catholics to practice prayer, charity and fasting.
From the Vatican
And speaking of popes . . .
Today in history
26 years ago today . . .
TODAY IN HISTORY: POPE JOHN PAUL II VISITS UGANDA MARTYRS' SHRINE— New Vision UGANDA (@newvisionwire) March 7, 2019
On March 7, 1993, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, who was on a six-day visit to Uganda, visited the Uganda Martyrs' Shrine at Namugongo and elevated it to the rank of a Minor Basilica.https://t.co/dsoPSrJ0P3 pic.twitter.com/fQkKhMGiqu
BUBU Expo 2019 set for launch
This year's Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) expo, which will run from today until Saturday, will be launched by President Yoweri Museveni at Kololo Independence Grounds in the capital Kampala.
There will be free training on practical hands-on skills, courtesy of Uganda Industrial Research Institute, including value addition to fuits (juice making), laundries and cosmetics production and weaving technology.
There will also be a blood donation drive by Nakasero Blood Bank. And if you want a yellow fever vaccine or Hepatitis B vaccine at a subsidized cost by Nakasero Hospital, you should be at the expo.
The expo will also have free medical services given by various service providers.
Trade and industry minister Amelia Kyambadde recently said that as a result of implementation of the BUBU campaign, Uganda's cement production capacity has increased in the last five years - from two million metric tonnes to a current 4.43 million metric tonnes per annum.
One tweep posted this picture of Kololo bathed in some glorious sunshine in the buildup to the three-day event:
Raring to hit the skies
|New Vision's Moses Walubiri:|
Almost 20 years since the last Uganda Airlines plane took to the skies, the loose ends to Government's plans to revive the national carrier seem to have been tied after state finance minister David Bahati told MPs sitting on the budget committee Wednesday that the first two aircraft are due for delivery in the next eight days.
According to Bahati, the delivery of the two Bombardier planes will be made after Government "urgently" deposits sh280b, which is part of the sh1.17 trillion supplementary budget request currently under scrutiny by Parliament's budget committee.
"The sh280b will be raised from MTN licence and capital gains tax from the Petroleum Fund," Bahati, who had the director of budget at the finance ministry, Kenneth Mugambe in tow, said.
The Government had set December 2018 as the date for Uganda Airlines to resume operations, but this was pushed to April this year. The Government needs at least sh1.3 trillion to purchase the six aircrafts, but only sh139b was budgeted for in 2018/19 financial year. Bahati's revelation about the Canadian manufacturer completing its assignment raises serious doubts about the rationale of the mooted trip to Canada by a section of lawmakers sitting on the physical infrastructure committee.
The MPs are on a mission to ascertain the manufacturer's adherence to the specifics agreed upon in the contract. During the inauguration of the cabinet in October 2016, President Yoweri Museveni noted that a national airline would help the country save $420m per year that Ugandans spend on air travel with foreignowned aircraft. Uganda Airlines started operations in 1977 and wound up in May 2001.
According to section 25 of the Public Finance Management Act, the Government is at liberty to spend no more than 3% of the budget of a given financial year and then seek Parliament's retrospective approval.
Wednesday's Uganda Premier League roundup
Five games were on the card on Wednesday, including a late-evening fixture played under the floodlights of Namboole.
KCCA FC opened up a four-point gap at the top of the table with a 1-1 draw away at Tooro United FC, but the result also helped holders Vipers keep within reach of the 12-time champions following their stumble the previous day.
After three games without a win, BUL FC picked up maximum points in Jinja against Police FC (2-1) - who have now gone five games without having a sniff of victory - at Njeru Technical Centre.
At Luzira, Maroons FC gave their relegation survival a fighting chance by narrowly beating Bright Stars 1-0.
URA FC registered their third successive win with a comfortable 2-0 win over struggling Paidha Black Angels FC, who remain bottom of the table.
At Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, hosts SC Villa were beaten 2-1 by Kirinya-Jinja SSS FC game in the 7:30pm kickoff.
What happened on Wednesday?
Click here to check out what transpired mid-week.
The health ministry plans to pay nurses sh30,000 bonus per expectant mother attended to in order to motivate them.
Back to the Pearl
And that's a summary of what's going on in Africa. Of course there's a whole lot more, but how about we switch our attention back to the Pearl, huh?
Who is feeling cartoony?
White farmers jailed for murder of black teen in SA
Pieter Doorewaard (left) and Philip Schutte
A South African court has handed jail terms of 23 and 18 years to two white farmers who murdered a black teenager suspected of stealing sunflowers in a remote farming community.
Pieter Doorewaard, 28, and Philip Schutte, 35, were found to have killed 15-year-old Matlhomola Mosweu, also spelt Moshoeu, on April 20, 2017, after claiming they caught him taking a plant from a farm in the area.
Doorewaard was jailed for at least 18 years and Schutte was jailed for at least 23.
The boy died after being thrown out of a moving vehicle driven by the pair and suffering a broken neck, in a case that sparked rioting and looting of white-owned businesses in the town of Coligny.
The men had claimed that the teen jumped off the truck as they drove him to the police but it was Schutte who was found to have thrown the boy to his death.
Judge Ronald Hendricks previously also found the pair guilty of kidnapping and intimidation.
Landmine kills five farmers in NE Nigeria
Five farmers have been killed after their vehicle hit a landmine near the restive northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, militia and residents said.
A truck bringing farmers and their harvest of cucumbers from nearby irrigation fields exploded when it hit a mine outside the town of Addamari, some 20 kilometres from Maiduguri, they said.
The incident which left 20 people injured was blamed on the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) militant group, which last week attacked a military base in the town.
Fear reigns in heart of separatist Cameroon region
In the capital of Cameroon's Southwest Region, people drily say the streets are so dangerous that even the dogs are too scared to go outside.
The city has been stalked by violence for 18 months, after English-speaking separatists declared an independent state and took up arms against the French-speaking authorities.
In Buea, barely a day goes by without the "Amba Boys" attacking police stations, state-run enterprises and public buildings -- anything that is a recognisable symbol of the state.
Gunfire is heard frequently, despite army patrols introduced as part of a wide-ranging crackdown, and kidnapping is rampant.
Last month, around 15 rebels entered the city, firing into the air and burning cars. After they left, people found a decapitated head left on the pavement. The victim has so far not been identified.
A disturbing video being shared on social media shows a woman in her 30s being disfigured by separatists who accuse her of being an informant for the army.
On Tuesday, the EU issued a statement warning about Cameroon's political and security situation, pointing especially to the two restive anglophone regions, where there were "persistent violence and violations of human rights".
Zimbabwe says US renewal of sanctions 'regrettable'
Zimbabwe has slammed as a travesty of justice the "regrettable" year-long extension of sanctions targeted against selected government officials and institutions by the United States.
US President Donald Trump this week prolonged the sanctions, first imposed in 2003, on more than 100 individuals and entities -- including President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his predecessor Robert Mugabe -- over human rights abuses.
Trump also said the individuals posed "an unusual and extraordinary threat" to US foreign policy.
"Zimbabwe has no history of aggression against any nation, so the statement that 'Zimbabwe poses an extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States' is absurd," said Information Ministry Secretary Nick Mangwana in a statement cited by the state-media daily The Herald.
"The continued unilateral imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe by the United States is a travesty of justice against the Zimbabwean people," said Mangwana.
Since the removal of longtime ruler Mugabe with the help of the military in November 2017, the new government has been on campaign to re-engage internationally, especially with the West.
"We... expect our warm gestures to be reciprocated and to witness a shift in US foreign policy on Zimbabwe as the logical dividend," added Mangwana.
Foreign Affairs secretary James Manzou told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that while the US sanctions "regrettably remains in place, the ministry believes that the new dispensation (government) has laid firm a foundation for future relations with the United States".
The extension of US sanctions comes days ahead of a visit to Zimbabwe next week by South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa has led calls by African leader for the lifting of sanctions imposed by Western powers over rights abuse under Mugabe's regime.
Algeria police brace for further anti-Bouteflika demos
Police deployed in the Algerian capital with water cannon, a day after thousands of students demonstrated against ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's re-election bid.
Although the city remained calm, security forces were bracing for further protests on Friday as demonstrators have vowed to take to the streets until the 82-year-old leader resigns.
Half a dozen police vans and a water cannon were deployed near Algiers' iconic main post office, where on Tuesday thousands of students rallied against the president.
There was a similar deployment at the nearby Place Audin which has also drawn thousands of demonstrators since the protest movement first erupted on February 22.
On Tuesday students in the capital chanted "Hey Bouteflika, there won't be a fifth term" and pledged to hold further protests.
Later army chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah, who is known to be loyal to Bouteflika, delivered a speech slamming unnamed parties who he said want to return to the "painful years" of Algeria's 1992-2002 civil war.
He vowed to guarantee the country's "security and stability".
El Watan newspaper on Wednesday noted that Gaid Salah did not use his usual "bellicose" tone while the Liberte daily said he chose a "peaceful discourse".
The country's medical association meanwhile piled pressure on the Constitutional Court, which validates presidential bids, concerning Bouteflika's health.
And the powerful National Mujahideen Organisation of independence-era fighters, which has long supported Bouteflika, made the surprise move of backing the protest movement.
Malawi police block protesting albinos
Malawi police have blocked a protest by around 200 albinos who marched to the presidential palace to protest the killing and abduction of people living with albinism.
The group, joined by 500 sympathisers, was stopped outside the parliament building, about a kilometre from Kamuzu Palace, where police formed a cordon to stop them.
Malawi, one of the world's poorest countries, has experienced a spike in violent attacks on people with albinism over the past four years. In many cases those with albinism are targeted for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.
The Association of People with Albinism in Malawi said they are frustrated by government inertia. The vigil was aimed at forcing President Peter Mutharika into action.
Mutharika had been travelling to the northern region of the country. Police later allowed the rally to move closer. But the protesters vowed to camp at the palace until he returns.
"We will not leave the state house until the issues that President Mutharika promised have been fulfilled, including ... giving each one of us security alarms," said the association's leader Overstone Kondowe.
The alarm gadgets will be linked to police stations and can be activated if an albino is in danger.
The genetic hereditary disorder causes a partial or total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes -- as a result albinos often experience eye problems and have a heightened risk of skin cancer.
In a June 2018 report, rights group Amnesty International said since November 2014 there have been 148 crimes reported against people with albinism that have claimed at least 21 lives.
Only 30 percent of those attacks have been properly investigated, according to official statistics, with only one murder and one attempted murder case successfully prosecuted.
Tshisekedi, Kabila agree to form coalition
DR Congo's recently elected president, Felix Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila say they have decided to form a coalition government following talks.
Despite Tshisekedi's election -- the first peaceful transition of power since the Democratic Republic of Congo gained independence from Belgium in 1960 -- the 55-year-old has found himself effectively having to share power since the presidential poll.
He has not been able to push through his choice for prime minister as Kabila's Common Front for Congo (FCC) wields a huge majority in the National Assembly, for which elections were also held on December 30.
The stalemate has put a brake on Tshisekedi's declared ambitions of reforming a country marked by corruption and rights abuses.
The FCC has 342 of the 485 seats while only around 50 are members of the CACH, the bloc representing Tshisekedi, whose late father Etienne spent 35 years in opposition and never reached the top.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, Tshisekedi and Kabila said that although the "FCC holds an absolute majority in the Natonal Assembly" to reflect the will of the people expressed in the poll, the FCC and the CACH are affirming "their common will to govern together as part of a coalition government".
This path would aim to preserve the "achievements of the historic peaceful transfer of power that took place on January 24, 2019 to strengthen the climate of peace and stability of the country... and facilitate the rapid establishment of a government," it added.
TZ teacher sentenced to death after pupil's death
A Tanzanian court has sentenced a teacher to death after a 13-year-old pupil died from a beating meted out by him in a case that sparked a national debate on corporal punishment in schools.
The child, Sperius Eradius, died on August 27, days after the beating for allegedly stealing another teacher's handbag, according to family members.
Judge Lameck Mlacha of the court in Bukoba in the north west, found teacher Respicius Mutazangira "guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of voluntary homicide" and sentenced him to death.
Mutazangira has the right to appeal.
The boy's parents, in protest, had refused to bury their son until authorities arrested the teacher and suspended the school principal.
The case triggered an uproar, with condemnations from rights organisations.
It followed another case in 2016, in which a girl was allegedly forced to remove her underwear before being caned by four teachers in succession.
The girl's alleged crime was serial absenteeism.
Corporal punishment is allowed under a 1979 law, but with restrictions.
Blows may only be administered by principals, must be focused on the hands or buttocks with the use of a light and flexible rod, and may only be dealt out in a "reasonable" manner in the case of serious offences.
In a report in 2017, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said "Widespread corporal punishment... often takes brutal and humiliating forms in Tanzanian schools," and called on the government to ban such beatings.
Strike strands travellers at JKIA
Hundreds of travellers were stranded at Nairobi airport Wednesday, and some were treated for tear gas exposure, as striking workers and police faced off at East Africa's busiest air traffic hub.
After flights began to be grounded from midnight, passengers were advised not to come to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) -- East Africa's busiest according to the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) -- until further notice.
However, hundreds were already there, some waiting for many hours.
In the terminals, confusion reigned with little information circulating and police firing tear gas as they moved in to arrest a union official they accused of inciting workers.
Several strikers and would-be travellers were treated on-site for exposure to the blinding, choking spray, and some for small injuries sustained in the chaos that ensued as they tried to escape the fumes.
Stranded passenger Christine voiced the bewilderment of many: "Why are police using unnecessary force with teargas at an airport?"
Travellers were then asked by police to leave the building, and gathered in parking and waiting areas outside the airport.
As the strike passed the 12-hour mark, the situation at the airport calmed somewhat as the first plane -- to Mumbai -- took off around lunchtime.
But hundreds of travellers were still anxiously awaiting news about their flights amid a heavy security deployment.
Around the continent
Let's see what's happening on the continent. Starting with what happened across the border in the east.
Today's inspirational quote
From my office window here, I can see it's a bright Thursday morning. What a way to start off a day!
I reckon you could use some dollop of inspiration. Here you go . . .
"When you get disappointments, you bounce back." - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester United interim manager
Good morning! Never, ever give up!
You've got to be daring sometimes.
Never give up.
Ask English football side Manchester United.