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DR Congo: Katumbi words on return breeds protests in Lubumbashi.

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Security forces in Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday battled supporters of leading opposition presidential candidate Moïse Katumbi in the south-eastern city of Lubumbashi.

The forces were deployed in a bid to halt several simultaneous protests by Katumbi’s supporters from different parts of the city – which is his stronghold and also capital of the Upper-Katanga province of which Katumbi was once governor.



The opposition coalition led by Katumbi, “Ensemble Pour le Changement” or Together for Change had called on their supporters to march today in Lubumbashi, to demand for his return.

The presidential aspirant exiled since 2016 is seeking to return to the country to file his candidature for polls slated for December this year. He has failed to get air clearance as well as entry through the borders.

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Katumbi initially applied to the aviation authorities to fly into Lubumbashi but was not granted access. His team tried entering via the common border with Zambia but it was sealed off late last week.

According to other reports, hundreds of women took to the streets of Lubumbashi carrying banners demanding the return of Mr Katumbi and camped outside the governor’s office.

The deadline for submission of presidential candidacy papers expires on August 8, 2018. Other candidates to have filed are ex-veep Jean Pierre Bemba and Feliw Tshisekedi, son of late opposition chief.

 Katumbi said he was not giving up on returning despite government’s efforts to thwart his attempts.

“I am not going to surrender. How can you refuse a fugitive to go back in his country and to face the law?

“They have seen there is no case. It’s just the interference of [President Joseph] Kabila to make me not to run in my country.”

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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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