Home » General » The chief of staff to Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi denied embezzling more than $50 million in public funds at a brief opening of his trial Monday. The president of the court then postponed Vital Kamerhe’s trial for two weeks, until May 25, while the investigation into the case continues. Kamerhe, the most senior politician to go on trial for corruption in the Congo, is seeking to be released on bail until his trial resumes. He has been in custody for just over a month. Kamerhe denied prosecutors claims that he stole money earmarked for public housing under President Tshisekedi’s flagship 100-day building program, which he managed with other top government staffers. Kamerhe faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. Two other suspects, including a top aide to president Tshisekedi and a Lebanese businessman, also pleaded not guilty to the charges. Source: Voice of America

GABORONE – More than 800 sex workers across Botswana will receive food hampers donated by non-governmental organizations this week, with priority given to migrants, those who who are HIV-positive and those with young children.
Two NGOs working with the sex workers’ organization, Sisonke, are assisting with the handouts.
Program manager Mandla Pule says the project aims to help migrant sex workers who do not have access to the government’s coronavirus relief aid.
“Our priority groups are sex workers, especially non-citizens, because under the Botswana social relief for COVID-19, only citizens are supported with food parcels. So, we saw fit that we target sex workers who are HIV-positive, and secondly, those with children and those who are foreigners,” Pule said.
Authorities in Botswana imposed a nationwide lockdown in March to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The country has recorded 24 cases of the virus, and one death.
Pule said restrictions in movement due to the lockdown have meant sex workers cannot meet their clients.
“Sex workers are mostly affected because they are dependent on the movement of people. Under lockdown there are no people; nobody is allowed to go anywhere, so in turn they have lost an income,” Pule said.
Sex work remains illegal in Botswana, but an estimated 7,000 locals and migrants are involved in the trade.
Botswana has begun easing its lockdown restrictions and full activities are expected to resume after May 21.

Source: Voice of America