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Zimbabwe ejects 70 Congolese refugees from camps for looting food supplies

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The Zimbabwean government has forcibly ejected 70 DR Congo refugees and returned them to their country after it was discovered they had looted food and medical supplies donated by donor agencies.

A report released by a human rights agency in the country on Wednesday, noted the refugees who were hosted at the Tongogara refugee camp, were “accused of looting a food supply warehouse” and were initially arrested in August 2021.

“The government forcibly returned approximately 70 of these refugees to the DRC in violation of international law according to an international organisation,” the report says.

“DRC authorities rejected approximately 15 of these refugees, whom the government then placed in detention facilities in Harare,” it added.

“As of November last year, the Tongogara Refugee Camp hosted 15,797 refugees and asylum seekers, despite the facility being designed to host 3,000 refugees.

“The majority of refugees are from the DRC representing 76 percent of the bulk, followed by Mozambique at 11 percent, Burundi at six percent and Rwanda five percent,” another report in the media stated.

The United Nations Refugees agency which frowned at the eviction of the Congolese refugees, said before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, an estimated 100 refugees and asylum seekers arrived at the camp every month, but the report however, said they faced abuse from security forces in Zimbabwe.

“Security forces routinely detained migrants, who lacked identification documents or permits to be in the country and held them in prisons with convicted criminals

“This prolonged detention was common and migrants complained of mistreatment by other prisoners and poor amenities at the facilities,” the report said.

Metro

Zambia signs creditor agreement deal with China, India to resolve debt crisis

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President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia has announced the signing of an official creditor agreement with China and India that will help resolve the country’s debt crisis.

Hichilema, who made the announcement on Saturday, said the agreement would also help pave the way for the country to negotiate with private creditors.

Before signing the agreement, Zambia had struggled to revive its debt restructuring process after a deal to rework $3 billion Eurobonds was rejected by its official creditors, with international media reporting that China and other creditors did not believe that it offered comparable debt relief to that of bondholders.

Earlier on Friday, Minister of Finance, Situmbeko Musokotwane, had assured that the government was trying to clarify the meaning of a “comparable treatment” with bondholders.

However, while addressing a gathering during the Nc’wala ceremony of the Ngoni speaking people of Eastern Province, President Hichilema confirmed the signing of the agreement with the two Asian nations.

“On the official creditors’ side, the last two countries that had not signed, China and India, have now signed,” Hichilema said.

The President added that Zambia was now turning to the private creditors in a bid to address the debt issue because the had defaulted on its foreign debts in November 2020 and that its restructuring had been beset by delays.

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Metro

Four of 10 Nigerians indebted to loan sharks— Report

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A report from a research carried out by Nigerian fintech platform, Piggy Vest, has revealed that four out of 10 Nigerians are indebted to online loan sharks and are finding it difficult to come out of such debts.

The report noted that 26 per cent of average Nigerians were indebted to different loan apps spread across the country which is as a result of the harsh economic challenges brought about by different unfavourable government policies.

The report which was discussed at a Finance Roundtable in Lagos on Saturday by co-founder and COO of PiggyVest, Odun Eweniyi, lamented the widening wealth divide among Nigerians, saying it was inimical to economic growth as a vast majority of Nigerians live below the poverty line.

According to Eweniyi, the report ‘captures the attitude of different demographics in the country viz- a-viz their savings and spending habits, debt management, and future financial plans.’

As a panacea to solving the problems of indebtedness, Eweniyi advocated ‘savings before spending in order to avoid running into debt,’ adding that the option of savings was still elusive to Nigerians who live below the poverty line of $2 per day dollars per day.

“We must also know that while innovation is key, it cannot go far without social interventions for the people.”

She urged the government to focus on Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid in its conversation as well as simplify access to public credit facilities to improve income status of average Nigerians.

“This is why government must as much as possible explore collaboration with private sector to improve the living conditions of Nigerians and also drive financial literacy and inclusion,” Eweniyi emphasized.

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