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Over one million Mozambicans heading into starvation as fund shortage threatens food assistance – WFP

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An agency of the United Nations, World Food Program (WFP), has warned that it may be forced to suspend food assistance to over one million hungry Mozambicans who have been displaced by fighting in country’s volatile Cabo Delgado province without an immediate infusion of cash from international donors.

WFP Country Director and Representative in Mozambique Antonella D’Aprile, said on Saturday that aid will likely be cut off next February if $51 million is not received urgently since the month is usually the peak of the lean season in Mozambique when food stocks are at their lowest.

“Without humanitarian assistance, one million desperate and uprooted people will be on the verge of hunger. This funding situation has been going on for some time but by February 2023, such aids may be cut off as we go into the lean month where food stocks are at the lowest.

“The month is also during the country’s cyclone season, a period of great vulnerability,” she said.

“We have been delivering half rations since April 2022 because of limited funding and increased needs. Families affected by the conflict received or have been receiving less than 40 percent of their minimum caloric needs.

“These people are displaced and traumatized multiple times…50 percent of the people that are displaced are children. If the food insecurity gets worse, the first ones to suffer are children and women.

“So far, 33,000 children in Cabo Delgado are severely malnourished and need special nutritional feeding,”
D’Aprile said.

She further appealed to the international community to step in now to avert hunger in the short term and starvation in the long run as more “money is needed to address the root causes of chronic food insecurity in Mozambique so people can become self-sufficient.”

Metro

66-yr-old South African man sentenced to 18 years for forcefully marrying, raping 13-yr-old girl

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A 66-year-old South African man, Bheki Nxasana, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison by a Gqeberha High Court in the KwaZulu-Natal province, after he was found guilty of forcefully marrying and raping a 13-year-old disabled girl.

The court also sentenced Nxasana’s accomplices, Mxosheni Sibiya and Nomvo Nxasana, who is Nxasana’s sister, on charges relating to “child trafficking and forced marriage of a 13-year-old mildly mentally challenged girl.”

Court documents made available to journalists on Friday, reveals that Nxasana had forcefully married and raped the mentally disabled girl in connivance with Sibiya and Nomvo.

According to the the spokesperson of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Luxolo Tyali, the victim who is an orphan, was married off to Nxasana, in 2016, by one of her relatives.

“Evidence is that the victim was orphaned and lived with a relative in KwaDukuza in KwaZulu-Natal,” Tyali said.

“The relative gave her up to her Sunday school teacher who was friends with Nomvo, the sister of the would-be husband.

“Nomvo took her to her daughter who lived in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, where Bheki, who worked in Gqeberha, comes from.”

The NPA spokesman said investigations showed that Bheki, with the assistance of Nomvo, initiated “lobola” (customary marriage) negotiations and dowry payments were made in 2016.

“Bheki took the teenager to his house where he allegedly strangled and raped her repeatedly in the name of marriage.”

“The teenager was made to dress in newly married woman’s (makoti) traditional attire and lived at Bheki’s homestead where she worked as a new bride.”

“She managed to escape after the matter was reported to the police in April 2017 and the suspect was arrested.

“During the trial, all the accused claimed that they were not aware of the girl’s age when they entered her into a customary marriage and were not aware that they were acting unlawfully,” Tyali added.

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Former Kenyan policeman, three others sentenced to death for murder of human rights lawyer

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A former Kenyan police officer, Frederick Leliman, alongside three accomplices, were on Friday, sentenced to death by a Nairobi High Court for the murder of a human rights lawyer, his client and a taxi driver.

Leliman and the three others were convicted of carrying out the murders in one of the most popular cases of police brutality and extrajudicial killings in the eastern African country.

The lawyer and activist, Willie Kimani, was representing a motorcycle taxi operator who had sued Leliman for shooting him at a traffic roadblock in 2016 at the time he was murdered.

The bodies of Kimani, the client Josephat Mwendwa and a taxi driver, Joseph Muiruri, were discovered in the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River, in the east of the country, days after they were reported missing.

Evidence produced in court showed that the three victims were abducted by a team led by Leliman after a court session on June 22, 2016, and were briefly locked up and later taken out and murdered in an open field.

While Leliman was given a death sentence, former police officers, Stephen Cheburet and Sylvia Wanjiku, received sentences of 30 and 24 years, respectively, while a police informant, Peter Ngugi, was jailed for 20 years.

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