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Uganda: Planned strike shelved – Nurses, midwives

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Nurses and midwives in Uganda’s public health institutions called off a planned strike over low pay initially scheduled to start on Tuesday.

The head of the health workers had a meeting with the government and agreed to continue dialogue with the government on pay rise for the workers, instead of taking to the street, said a statement issued by the office of Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda.

“(We) held a productive meeting with leaders of nurses and midwives union. We are pleased that they have agreed to continue working and serving the people,” said Rugunda.

Both sides agreed to come up with a final solution to the issue by Saturday, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

The nurses and midwives had planned to lay down their tools to protest low pay and poor working conditions in public health sector.

The country’s Health Minister Ruth Aceng told Xinhua on Monday that the government was working to address the demands of nurses and midwives.

In a Nov. 30 circular to over 21,000 nurses and midwives, Paul Byenkya, general secretary of Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union, asked the union members to walk out unless the government meets their demands.

This planned strike was going to occur barely two weeks after doctors on Nov. 25 halted a three-week strike following government promise to increase salaries and improve working conditions in public hospitals by Dec. 15.

The nationwide strike by doctors paralysed operations in public hospitals and other health facilities, leaving many patients stranded.

Motherland News

Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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