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U.N. request $234 million in assistance for Zimbabwe.

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The United Nations is requesting $234 million in humanitarian assistance for more than five million Zimbabweans in need.

Zimbabwe’s estimated 17 million people are facing a devastating drought and a declining economy.

The U.N on Thursday launched an international appeal for aid for Zimbabwe following a drought that it expects to affect around a third of the population as crop yields plummet.



“We are requesting for, as part of this launch, 234 million dollars from multi sectoral humanitarian and residents spending activities that have been implemented by some 70 humanitarian partners,” said Bishow Parajuli, United Nations Coordinator in Zimbabwe.

Parajuli stated that out of the nearly 5.3 million people who are estimated to be in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection, the flash appeal is targeting 2.2 million people in both rural and urban communities.

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According to a UN statement, these funds are needed “to provide food, sanitation, water, hygiene and protection for 2.2 million of the 5.3 million people in need over the next six months.

“I am releasing 10 million dollars today as a first contribution to the appeal,” said Mark Lowcock, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

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Zimbabwe’s annual maize consumption is 1.8 million tonnes and the Ministry of Agriculture said it is still assessing the extent of the drought, while Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said the country has 500,000 tonnes in a strategic reserve.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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24 Hours Across Africa

Zimbawe’s doctor goes missing after masterminding strike

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Fearless Zimbabwe’s minister of health has called on the government to address insecurity lapses that has lead to the disappearance Peter Magombeyi, the head of a doctor’s union, who disappeared on Saturday.

Fears are rising over the fate of Zimbabwe medical doctor Dr Peter Magombeyi after he sent a message to say he had been abducted in that country by unknown persons – apparently for demanding a “living wage”.

An AFP report earlier on Sunday quoted the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctor’s Association (ZHDA) as saying Magombeyi had not been heard from since he sent a WhatsApp message on Saturday night saying he had been “kidnapped by three men”.

Zimbabwe doctors, who earn a miserly equivalent of about R3 000 are on strike to press for better wages, equipment and medicines in state hospitals.

The ZHDA has reportedly accused state security forces of abducting the doctor because of his role in organising work stoppages.

This week some doctors said the death of deposed Robert Mugabe, 95, in a Singapore hospital on 6 September was an indication of how bad health services in Zimbabwe

“Dr Magombeyi’s crime is only to ask for a living wage for his profession. This is a reflection of the troubles born out of refusal to implement Political Reforms.”

The Zimbabwe government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa has not publicly commented on the doctor’s disappearance

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