- - Wednesday, August 24, 2011


VP questions circumstances surrounding husband’s death

HARARE — Vice President Joice Mujuru is questioning why her husband, a powerful ex-general, was unable to escape the house fire that killed him.

Mrs. Mujuru told the state-run Herald newspaper on Wednesday that she wants “satisfactory answers” from the investigation into last week’s death of Gen. Solomon Mujuru.

She said she does not understand why her husband was unable to escape from the house’s large, low windows.

His death also has raised questions about the battle within the ruling political party over who will succeed autocratic President Robert Mugabe, 87.

Gen. Mujuru’s powerful military, political and business connections bolstered his wife’s efforts to gain political power.


Government to approve private broadcasters

NOUAKCHOTT — The government plans to authorize the creation of 10 private radio and television stations by the end of the year, a Cabinet member said this week.

Minister of Communication Hamdy Ould Mahjoub said he was asking the media regulatory body “to launch tenders for the creation of five private radio stations and five private television stations.

“This opening should not lead to anarchy. It will be conducted in compliance with criteria that reflect our political and economic environment.”

Private media is practically nonexistent in Mauretania, which has two public television channels and two private ones that are only allowed to broadcast online.

The northwestern African country also has two state-run radio stations. Some radio stations broadcast on the Internet without any formal authorization.

Legislative elections are due in October, but 11 opposition parties have demanded that they be delayed over an alleged lack of transparency in how they are being organized.


Shell revises production forecasts after oil spills

LAGOS — Royal Dutch Shell is warning it cannot meet production goals in Nigeria after several pipeline spills in the oil-rich southern delta.

A Shell spokesman said this week that its Nigerian subsidiary has declared “force majeure” on its Bonny Light crude shipment until the end of October. The term is used when it is impossible for an oil company to cover the promised supply from the field.

Tony Okonedo said one pipeline recorded six spills, caused by hacksaw cuts, in Bayelsa State over the past few weeks.

He said three cuts on a nearby pipeline caused three more spills Sunday.

Shell’s pipelines run across Nigeria’s oil-rich region of swamps, mangroves and creeks. Nigeria is a top supplier of crude to the United States.


Policemen get jail time over student’s death

OUAGADOUGOU — A judge this week sentenced three policemen to prison over a student’s death that sparked months of protests that left at least six dead.

Two policemen were sentenced to 10 years in prison and the other to eight years over the February death of Justin Zongo.

Mr. Zongo’s family said they agreed with the verdict.

Uprisings began in the impoverished West African nation in late February when students protested over accusations that Mr. Zongo was mistreated while in custody. The government said he had had meningitis.

The unrest spread across Burkina Faso. Soldiers started a mutiny that threatened President Blaise Compaore’s 24-year rule. He tried to stem the unrest by dissolving the government and removing the country’s security chiefs.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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