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Civil servants reject 15 percent salary increase amidst dialogue.

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Zimbabwe’s public sector workers have rejected an improved salary offer of 15 percent from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government and want wages for the lowest paid employees to more than double, the main public sector union said on Tuesday.

The government agreed last week to raise salaries by 10 percent for the army, police and other civil servants from July, when Zimbabwe is expected to hold its first general election since Robert Mugabe left power last year.



Apex Council, the union which represents all government workers, said the government’s higher offer on Monday was still below the poverty datum line (PDL) used to assess whether a person is deemed poor.

Zimbabwe’s PDL is $591, while the lowest government worker earns $253 a month.

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The southern African nation already spends more than 90 percent of its national budget on salaries and pensions, but Mnangagwa is trying hard to curb strikes by public workers before the elections, whose date he is yet to announce.

The new president, who came to power following a de facto army coup against 94-year-old Mugabe in November, has already faced public sector anger when doctors and nurses went on strike in March and April.

“We would like to urge the government to improve the salary of the lowest paid to PDL,” Apex Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander said. “We have not yet reached a deadlock. Dialogue is still ongoing,” Alexander added.

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Motherland News

Nigeria: Woman Dies During Church Deliverance in Lagos

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A 51-year-old woman, Taibat Kareem, has collapsed and died during a deliverance service in a Cherubim and Seraphim Church  community, Lagos after allegedly drinking a substance said to be given to her by the church prophet, Olowomeye Ola, for deliverance.



The issue provoked reactions from the residents who went to the church and brought out the pastor to mob him on the street.

However, before he could be mobbed, the Isheri Police Division moved to the church, arrested two suspects including the pastor and took them to the police station for interrogation.

The incident happened at Oriofe Street in Ijegun in the outskirts of Lagos where the church is located.

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According to the residents, her supplier, one Ayodele Isaac, a herbalist, invited the late Taibat, who dealt in local herbs, to take some herbs for sale. She was going to take the herbs when Pastor Ola accosted her and told her that she needed deliverance. He then took her to the church for prayers; it was during the prayer session that Pastor Ola gave her a liquid substance to drink. Immediately she drank the substance, she collapsed on the ground inside the church.

 Pastor Ola reportedly took her to his own room where he allegedly tried to revive her. It was in the midst of the confusion that the residents raised the alarm, attacked the pastor and attempted to mob him before the police rescued him.
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The corpse of the deceased, Taibat, was deposited at an undisclosed mortuary for autopsy while the two suspects mentioned over her death, Ola and Isaac, were transferred to the SCIID Panti, Yaba, for further investigation.

 When our correspondent visited Isheri Osun Police Division, the DPO was not around to comment on the incident.

However, police sources at the station that the matter had been transferred to SCIID’s Homicide Department.

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United States to reinstate diplomatic presence in Somalia.

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The United States will re-establish a permanent diplomatic presence in Somalia, nearly 30 years after the U.S. embassy was closed as a civil war raged in the Horn of Africa country.

Somalia has been trying to recover from the conflict that engulfed the country in 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator and then turned on each other.



“This historic event reflects Somalia’s progress in recent years and is another step forward in formalizing U.S. diplomatic engagement in Mogadishu,” the State Department said in a statement late on Tuesday.

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Somalia has in recent years faced an insurgency by the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militant group, as well as famine and maritime piracy.

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While parts of the country are plagued by militant violence, a degree of stability in the capital, Mogadishu, has drawn investment from Somalis at home and abroad.

In September, the World Bank approved $80 million in grants to Somalia to fund public finance reforms, the first disbursement to the country in 30 years.

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