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Rwanda sets aside $10m for CHOGM sprucing of Kigali

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MOSES K. GAHIGI

By MOSES K. GAHIGI
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Rwanda is pulling all stops in its preparations to host the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) slated for June 22 to 27. The biennial summit was last held in East Africa in 2007 in Kampala.

The government has set aside up to Rwf10billion ($10.5 million) to improve and build infrastructure needed for the event.

“We have various committees working on the different aspects of CHOGM preparations, from infrastructure, hotels, to protocol, we are moving well and we have put up various mechanisms to ensure that we are ready by that time,” said Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign affairs Vincent Biruta.

Kigali will be the biggest beneficiary as authorities construct inter-city and connecting road network roads that will see the free flow of traffic.

There is new Mulindi Road, Kabeza-Alpha Palace Road, Rwandex Network Road, Nyabisindu-Nyarutarama Road and Migina Network Road connecting Gasabo district headquarters to Sports View Hotel.

All the roads under construction are situated in areas surrounding the airport, and are aimed at decongesting the main Kigali International Airport Road, which will be mostly used during the event.

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“We have different on-going construction projects around the city, many of which are infrastructure, we are also working on recreational sites and green parks such that guests have a great experience. Preparations are at 55 per cent,’’ said Ernest Nsabimana, City of Kigali vice mayor.

Up to 10,000 delegates from all the 53 Commonwealth countries are expected to attend the event. It is expected that the event will stretch the limit of city’s roads, conference venues as well as accommodation.

The Rwanda Convention Bureau did not respond to our questions on the progress on ensuring that the country has adequate accommodation for the CHOGM delegates at the time of going to press.

But it is expected that the existing high-end conference facilities like the Kigali Convention, the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, Intare Arena will all be put to good use.

The airport is key in the CHOGM preparation process, and currently the construction and modifications are ongoing to increase the number of parking space for aircraft and passengers lounge at the terminal.

“The event is expected to raise Rwanda’s profile as a tourism and MICE destination, and the country already has up to 25 events lined up for 2020.

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British PM Boris Johnson spends second night in intensive care

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AFP

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was spending a second night in intensive care battling the coronavirus which has infected more than 55,000 across the country and killed nearly 6,200.

“He stayed at work for you… now pray at home for him,” The Sun tabloid splashed across its front page Wednesday while the Daily Express said: “Boris ‘will pull through’.”

Deputising for Johnson, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was “confident he’ll pull through, because if there’s one thing I know about this prime minister, he’s a fighter and he’ll be back, leading us through this crisis in short order”.

In an update Tuesday evening, the prime minister’s spokesman said his “condition is stable and he remains in intensive care for close monitoring.”

He earlier said the 55-year-old Conservative leader was receiving “standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance” and had not required a ventilator.

Johnson is the most high-profile government leader to become infected with Covid-19 and messages of support flooded in from across Britain and the world.

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He was admitted to intensive care on Monday evening after spending Sunday night in hospital following concerns he still had a cough and high temperature 10 days after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

His transfer to intensive care is unprecedented for a prime minister during a national emergency.

For many people, it brought home the seriousness of the disease that has so far seen 6,159 deaths in Britain, with a record 786 more reported in a daily update on Tuesday.

Despite the record daily death toll, there was more encouraging news with the number of new daily cases remaining at a roughly stable 3,643.

In a round of broadcast interviews, senior minister Michael Gove insisted the “work of government goes on”.

He later said he was now staying at home after a family member displayed mild coronavirus symptoms.

Raab chaired the daily coronavirus meeting in the prime minister’s place on Tuesday.

“There is a clear plan… the government and the cabinet are working together to implement that plan,” Johnson’s spokesman said when asked if there was a power vacuum in Britain.

The country does not have a formal constitutional role of deputy prime minister, and experts said Raab would need the support of the rest of the cabinet to make any big decisions.

The most pressing issue is a review expected next week on whether to continue the nationwide lockdown introduced on March 23 to try to stem the spread of COVID-19.

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Johnson announced on March 27 that he had coronavirus and went into self-isolation in a flat above his Downing Street office.

But on Monday evening he was moved to intensive care in London’s St Thomas’ hospital after his condition worsened.

The prime minister has received messages of support from around the world, with US President Donald Trump sending best wishes to his “very good friend” while Russian leader Vladimir Putin said Johnson’s “energy, optimism and sense of humour” would see him through.

For some, Johnson’s larger-than-life personality has made his hospitalisation all the more shocking.

His biographer Andrew Gimson said Johnson always made him feel upbeat, and “now here he is the stricken one”.

“This is an enormous shock, completely unfamiliar territory for all those who know him,” he told BBC radio.

Experts said it was not uncommon for coronavirus patients to move to intensive care, but said it showed Johnson’s condition was serious.

“There is no doubt this turn of events means Boris Johnson is extremely sick,” said Derek Hill, professor of medical imaging at University College London.

The British government was criticised for initially refusing to follow other European countries in requiring people to stay home as the virus spread rapidly across the globe.

Johnson himself said in early March that he was still shaking hands with people.

Two weeks ago, he ordered a nationwide lockdown, but parliament continued to sit for several days after and Westminster became a hotspot for the virus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, have both been infected, although they have since recovered.

Johnson, who has been prime minister only since July last year, is not known to have any underlying health issues, although he has struggled with his weight.

Johnson’s pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds, moved out of Downing Street after some staff fell ill.

But she said on Saturday she had just spent a week in bed with symptoms, although she has not been tested.

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Virus fears: Mozambique frees 5,000 inmates

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ARNALDO VIEIRA

By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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MAPUTO. Authorities in Mozambique have freed more than 5,000 inmates as coronavirus fears grow in the Southern Africa country.

Parliament on Monday passed an amnesty law on sentences affecting 5,032 local and foreign nationals to reduce congestion and curb the spread of Covid-19.

The law will benefit inmates who had sentences of up to one year.

So far, Mozambique has confirmed 10 coronavirus cases. None of those were reported in its congested prisons though, but officials said they were taking precautions.

“Mozambique jails, which have five times more than its real 4,498 capacity, are overcrowded and this would be risky for the pandemic spread,” Minister for Justice, Religious and Constitutional Matters Helena Kida said.

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Last week, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi declared a countrywide state of emergency effective April 1 to 30 in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Mr Nyusi justified the measures citing the need to protect all people’s lives.

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The southern African country also suspended the issuance of visas with effect from March 23 and shut all education institutions as preventive measure.

In March 22, Mozambique confirmed its first positive case of Covid-19.

Gatherings of more than 50 people are also prohibited according to the presidential decree.

Following an attack at Mocimboa da Praia Quissanga villages, Cabo Delgado, tens of displaced families are fleeing to the provincial capital Pemba seeking security.

Cabo Delgado, which is about 1,663 kilometres north of Maputo, boasts minerals such as gold, grenadines, aquamarines, tourmalines, blue topaz and green tourmalines and attracts many foreigners.

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Quiet send-off for Ndingi who loved God, church and country : The Standard

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A catholic priest adjusts the cross at the late Archbishop Ndingi Mwana A’Nzeki’s casket at the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi, on April 7,2020. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]
A brown casket bearing the body of Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki was placed in a crypt at the basement of Nairobi’s Holy Family Basilica yesterday.

This marked the final send-off of the cleric who never shied off from speaking his mind, especially in defence of the poor against the government of the day.
Ndingi was laid to rest inside the Basilica – where he served for 10 years until his retirement in 2007 – in a tomb above that of Archbishop John Njenga. 
For a man who first made history by becoming the youngest Catholic bishop in Kenya at 37 in the 1960s before bestriding the church and Kenya’s history like a colossus for 38 years, his burial was rather low key.
SEE ALSO: Why no child’s education should end at Class EightCoronavirus fears
Coronavirus may have just ruined a great man’s burial.
The church was virtually empty with only about 100 people – including members of the clergy – attending the service and sitting far from each other to ensure social distance recommended to avoid contracting Covid-19.
For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.   Read Now »
Everyone, including John Cardinal Njue who presided over the funeral ceremony, wore masks.
Among those who attended the funeral ceremony included Rev Timothy Njoya, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge, Chief Justice David Maraga and his deputy, Philomena Mwilu.
SEE ALSO: Circumcised minor tortured by caregivers to ‘harden’ him Others were Defence CS Monica Juma, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
President Uhuru Kenyatta sent a representative, Kennedy Kihara, from his office.
In his condolence message, Uhuru called on Kenyans to emulate Ndingi.
“Indeed, the life of Archbishop Ndingi is a demonstration that even in the world of difficulties and challenges, there are people who are good and rise to serve God and his creation,” he said.
The president promised to set aside a day to celebrate Ndingi’s life after the raging Covid-19 is over.
SEE ALSO: PI teachers course to be phased out next yearNdingi’s eulogy was red by the Auxilliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Nairobi, David Kamau, who described Ndingi as kind, but sometimes a stubborn firebrand who was also deeply spiritual.
“Archbishop Ndingi touched and changed many lives in this country and beyond. Here lies a patriot who loved God, church and country. His motivation was a triumph of good over evil,” he said.
According to the bishop, Ndingi and his colleagues established a hostel at Makadara to host homeless youth in Nairobi in the 1960s.
Ndingi’s stubborn streak did not begin when he became bishop. Kamau recalled how as the church’s education secretary, Ndingi applied to have Form Five and Six streams at Mangu High School and Loreto Convent, Limuru.
When this was not forthcoming, Ndingi stubbornly refused to leave the Ministry of Education headquarters.
SEE ALSO: Magoha reads riot act to officers over scholarships“At the end of the day, Monsignor Ndingi and Sister Colombia left the building with a letter granting the schools certificates for the higher classes,”  recounted Bishop Kamau.
As bishop and later archbishop, Ndingi was not afraid of making his mind known on issues of truth and justice. For example, when the infamous ethnic clashes erupted in Nakuru, Ndingi gave many in the government sleepless nights.
“We remember him as a firebrand who confronted State agents in the Rift Valley during the ethnic clashes and defended the oppressed,” said Kamau.
For his fiery defence of truth and justice, Ndingi’s Alma Mata, St John Fisher College in New York, awarded him a doctorate of law in 1996.
In 2019, the government of Kenya awarded him the Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (EBS).

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Are you suspecting that you have coronavirus? Before you rush to the hospital, do this quick easy self-assessment test. #StayHome #WashYourHands HERE.

Related Topics
EducationNdingi Mwana a’NzekiArchbishop John Njenga.Holy Family BasilicaCoronavirus

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