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Stray Elephant tramples farmer to death in Tanzania

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A 35-year-old farmer was trampled to death by an elephant in Southern Tanzania’s District of Tunduru.

According to local leaders on Wednesday, the deceased has been identified as Zuberi Maocha of Mishaje village in Tunduru District, Ruvuma Region, about 1,205 km from Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Wema Waziri, Mishaje village chairperson, said that the farmer was trying to ward off the elephants, which stormed his maize farm in the area close to Selous Game Reserve, one of the largest faunal reserves of the world, located in the south of Tanzania.

According to the village leader, the incident occurred on Tuesday at around 1 p.m. local time.

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“One of the elephants, which had a calf, charged against Maocha and trampled on him to his death,’’ she said.

In his words, Nombo Sandari, a ranger with Chingoli Wildlife Management Area also said: “Before his death, the deceased screamed to seek support from neighbouring farmers but in vain as nobody came out to rescue him.’’

He added that the elephant strayed from Selous Game Reserve seeking for pastures and water.

Limbega Ally, Tunduru District Acting Wildlife Officer said: “we’ve dispatched a team of 11 rangers into the affected areas to help return all the elephants to their natural environment.’’

It would be recalled that another farmer was trampled to death by a herd of marauding elephants in the same district In 2017.

According to the most recent elephant census, published in June 2015, Tanzania has 43,000 elephants, down from 109,000 in 2009.

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Lake Victoria Island in tension as Uganda arrests Kenyan fishermen

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The arrest of 12 Kenyan fishermen by Ugandan security operatives has caused fresh tension in Lake Victoria islands in western Kenya.

In what is seen as retaliation after Kenyan security officials secured the release of their three police officers arrested by Ugandan soldiers last week, fishermen on the Kenyan side of the lake are in fear of a fresh wave of arrests.

Local politicians have reignited the debate on ownership of Migingo Island in Lake Victoria, saying they have been raising these issues yet the government has done nothing about it.

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Barely a week after Ugandan authorities abducted three Kenyan police officers and five fishermen from Nambo Beach in Siaya County, they struck again on Saturday, seizing two boats.

Witnesses say the officers’ guns and phones were taken away before the officers were transferred to Namaingo in eastern Uganda by boat.

Siaya County Administration Police Commandant Patrick Lumumba said the incident involved up to eight soldiers on patrol who arrived in a Kenyan boat.

On Saturday, according to an incident reported at Usenge Police Station by Nambo Beach Management Unit chairman Gabriel Onyango at 4pm, two Kenyan boats – one with an engine and the other without – were confiscated by Ugandan soldiers.

According to Mr Crispin Nyaga, Usenge police boss, the soldiers were three, one in uniform and armed. They seized the boats, arrested six fishermen, and took away hundreds of kilogrammes of fish.

The boat without an engine belongs to a Mr Omollo. On board were fishermen Daniel Oyugi, John Liepa and Daniel Odhiambo.

The other boat is owned by Mr Atepe Okinya, and was being used by fishermen Evans Ochieng, Sadam Onyango and Kevin Otieno.

“The authorities took away about 400kgs of fish but released the fishermen,” said Mr Nyaga.

This time round, the Quick Response Team of the Administration Police of Kenya gave hot pursuit and rescued both fishermen and the boats, he said.

He added that the area needs frequent patrol by Kenyan officers to prevent unnecessary arrests by Ugandan soldiers.

A day earlier, six fishermen from Ringiti Island were arrested and released on Saturday after paying some money. The fishermen were arrested on Friday morning near the island while fishing.

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Harare central hospital investigates burning of five-day-old twins

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A pair of five-day-old twins were burnt to death in an open cradle at Harare Central Hospital.

The hospital says it is still carrying out investigations since last week it happened, but negligence is suspected.

The twins were reportedly placed in an isolation ward as they were recovering from jaundice.

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They were placed in an open cradle and a beam of light was used to provide heating.

However, something malfunctioned and the babies were dehydrated and burnt to death.

Their mother, Belinda Balalika found the babies dead when she went to breastfeed them at midnight.

A source who spoke to The Standard said,“ Something malfunctioned and the babies were burnt to death, but what is saddening is the fact that the staff did not check on the babies on time.’

Harare Central Hospital CEO Nyasha Masuka added, “We will be able to give details on Monday when all the investigations have been completed.”

 

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Nigeria: Makarfi joins presidential race, ready to pick PDP nomination form

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A former Governor of Kaduna State and immediate past Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator  Ahmed Makarfi,  has joined the race to contest the nation’s presidency in 2019.

The two-term-senator said at a press briefing in Kaduna on Sunday that after wide consultations with party men and women as well as other major stakeholders, he had decided to seek the party’s nomination to contest the poll.

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According to Makarfi, he is now ready to pick the PDP nomination form ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

Makarfi will battle a former Vice President and presidential hopeful of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, who had recently appointed a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, the Director-General of his 2019 presidential campaign.

Though he had yet to intimate his party through writing, he added that “one has to come to the decision to seek the nomination before you even seek formally.”

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