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Cape Verdeans lament high cost of living amid soaring inflation

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Citizens of Cape Verde island are feeling the effect of the Russian-Ukraine war as they lament the high cost of living with its attendant inflation that has continued to skyrocket.

According to statistic reports in the country, prices of goods increased by 0.7 percent in March and accumulated a rise of 7.1 percent compared to the same month of 2021, indicating the latest data from the Cape Verdean Instituto Nacional de Estatisticas (INE), an economic research institute run by the government.

“From corn to olive oil, rice, as well as fuel, bread, sugar, flour, and meat, are some of the products whose price rises Cape Verdeans consider exaggerated and call for intervention from the government and regulatory authorities,” the INE said on Tuesday.

“Many people are now hoping that the government will step in to stem the ever-increasing prices of food, petrol and other services in the country.

“Fuel prices rose by 5 percent in April, the maximum limit stipulated by the government, but have accumulated an average rise of 42.6 percent in the last year, as well as a rise of 7 percent since last January,” it added.

Some businessmen are calling on the state to control the prices of commodities entering the country to curb traders taking advantage of the situation.

“The rise in prices is worrying at all levels, especially for food products. We are aware of the international situation, but not everything is due to the international situation,” Lenine Mendes, a Cape Verdean businessman said.

“Often, producers and traders take advantage of crises to raise prices. We don’t have a law that limits prices, there is no supervision and control,” Mendes added.

While inflation is on the rise, Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva, has ruled out the possibility of an increase in the national minimum wage due to the economic crisis.

“In a crisis situation, increasing the minimum wage would be transferring increased problems to the private sector, which may even affect existing jobs,” Correia e Silva said during a debate in the National Assembly, ahead of the escalating food and fuel prices caused by the war in Ukraine.

Currently, Cape Verde’s national minimum wage stands at 13,000 escudos (117 euros) in the private sector and 15,000 escudos (135 euros) in the civil service.

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Church in Northern Province cautions against cyberspace abuse, supports cyber security law

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The church in Northern Province has issued a warning to Zambians regarding the misuse of cyberspace in the guise of human rights and media freedoms.

Bishop Elias Mponela, the Regional Coordinator of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), highlighted a concerning trend of cyberspace abuse among some Zambians during an interview with Zambia Monitor in Kasama District.

While acknowledging that every Zambian is entitled to human rights, Bishop Mponela stated the importance of not abusing these rights.

He stressed that Cyber Security Act, though beneficial, would be enforced without exceptions, regardless of one’s societal status.

“The Cyber Security Act is a necessary measure that must be implemented promptly, but with care to ensure that individuals’ rights are respected,” Mponela commented.

He expressed concern over the misuse of cyberspace by prominent figures, particularly politicians, who spread messages of hatred and division.

Mponela urged authorities to address such behavior before it escalated.

Highlighting the significance of a free media, Mponela underscored the importance of journalists operating in a conducive environment without fear of reprisal from those in power.

“Access to information is vital in today’s world, and those in authority must ensure it is guaranteed to foster an informed society,” he stated.

However, Mponela cautioned against media outlets abusing their freedom by disseminating misleading information or promoting divisiveness.

The church’s stance reflects a call for responsible use of cyberspace and a balanced approach to ensuring both freedom and accountability in media practices.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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Nigeria kicks as South African police torture citizen to death

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The Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) has condemned the killing of another of its citizens, Prince Muoka Ebuka, who was reportedly tortured to death by the police on Friday, May 17, in Danielskuil, Northern Cape, over drug-related allegations.

The Union, in a statement, also demands an immediate probe into the killing of the 43-year-old businessman who hailed from Obosi in Anambra State, said the incident further highlights a disturbing trend of police abuse targeting Nigerians in the Northern Cape.

The statement issued on Saturday and signed by NUSA National Publicity Secretary, Habib Miller, indicated that the deceased was tortured to death by the police in the guise of interrogation over drug related allegations.

“Since March, there have been similar cases in Kimberley involving drug accusations and police violence. Another Nigerian, Chika Anuino, was killed by police in Springs, Johannesburg, on April 25,” the NUSA statement said.

“Reports from Ebuka’s wife, Joyce, paint a harrowing picture of law enforcement officers storming their residence, compelling her to evacuate to shield their young child from witnessing the violence.

“Ebuka was then subjected to assault and coerced to produce drugs allegedly in his possession. When their search proved fruitless, they forcibly escorted him to a waste dump, alleging he had concealed illegal substances there.

“Eyewitnesses further allege egregious misconduct, with officers resorting to coercive tactics, including requesting pepper spray after emerging from Mr Ebuka’s residence.

“Despite employing drug detection methods, no evidence was found, yet the relentless interrogation tragically led to his demise.

“Moreover, the lack of proper crime scene preservation raises grave doubts about the integrity of the investigation,” NUSA stated.

Miller noted that the incident has been further complicated by the police’s refusal to issue a statement or allow the victim’s family to open a case docket on the murder of their breadwinner, adding that the had faced intimidation from the police when she tried to report her husband’s death.

NUSA said the Union demands a thorough, impartial investigation into Prince Ebuka’s killing and the broader issue of police abuse in the Northern Cape.

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