110 teachers fired in Swaziland MBABANE – The Swazi government has fired 110 teachers who ignored a court order forcing them to end a five-week strike which shut down schools across the country, media reported yesterday.
The dismissal came after the teachers ignored a court order to end the strike.
“They have been fired with immediate effect,” Education Minister Wilson Ntshangase told The Times of Swaziland.
Teachers in this impoverished absolute monarchy have not had a pay increase since 2010 as King Mswati III’s government battles to finance its massive public wage bill.
They are demanding a 4.5 per cent salary increase. Nurses also joined in the strike but have since returned to work.
Christians march in Congo
KINSHASA – Thousands of Catholics staged marches in Kinshasa on Wednesday to call for an end to the fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo
Small groups scattered across the capital, some of them holding Bibles and rosaries, held a minute of silence for the victims of the civil unrest in the Kivu region before breaking into song and prayer.
Former rebels who had been integrated into the regular army and defected again earlier this year have been battling government troops since May in the eastern DR Congo.
The fighting has displaced more than 200 000 people and sparked fears of a fresh regional escalation.
The Catholic church wields tremendous influence in the vast resource-rich and conflict-prone central African country.
Madagascans to vote in May
ANTANANARIVO – Madagascar will hold a much-delayed presidential election in May, a key step in ending a protracted crisis sparked by a coup in 2009, the electoral commission announced onWednesday.
The announcement comes just six days after high-stakes talks between ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana and the man who toppled him three years ago, Andry Rajoelina – the first time the rivals had met one-on-one.
The talks failed to resolve the thorny issue of Ravalomanana’s return from exile in South Africa, where he fled after Rajoelina ousted him in March 2009 with the army’s support.
Mediators from the 15-nation Southern African Development Community, which has been working to find a way out of the crisis, had set a deadline of July 31 for the rivals to settle their differences so a timetable for elections could be unveiled.
Liberation icons ‘betrayed us’
CAPE TOWN – Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has criticised Africa’s liberation icons, saying they had “betrayed the values of the continent’s liberation struggles”.
Addressing a gathering at a book launch in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Tsvangirai noted the leaders had failed to deal with economic issues.
“They went into office without a plan and today, the new crop of African leaders has to deal with the economy to provide jobs to the millions of our young people,” said Tsvangirai
He said the post-liberation formations had to deal with the failures of liberation formations that had no policies to rescue the continent.
“Even when some political parties go to their Congresses, they never discuss policy but are preoccupied with positions.”