Life Drama

AfricaAfrica AsiaLife Drama

LIFE DRAMA: £1 million ‘Not Enough’ to make up for the time spent behind bars – Man who spent 17 years in prison for ‘a rape he did not commit’ kicks

A man who spent 17 years in jail for a rape he didn’t commit has said £1million compensation is ‘not enough’ for him after spending nearly two decades behind bars.

Andrew Malkinson had his conviction quashed last month after fresh DNA evidence emerged linking another potential suspect to the crime.

But the 57-year-old was left “sickened” by the idea of paying for “board and lodging” from any compensation he obtains under the government’s miscarriage of justice scheme – which itself caps payments at £1m.

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk KC scrapped the rule with immediate effect on Sunday in the wake of Mr Malkinson’s case

Speaking to Sky’s crime correspondent Martin Brunt, Mr. Malkinson said: “I think it [the rule] is abhorrent.

“It is a very silly, very vindictive, actually. It is completely necessary.”

The 57-year-old also criticised the payout he is likely to receive, which is limited to £1million for victims of a miscarriage of justice who have served ten years or more, pointing out he has spent almost double that time behind bars.

Mr Malkinson said: ‘It’s pretty lamentable. £1million sounds like a lot of money, but that represents nearly two decades of living hell and lost opportunities and lost love and everything else that makes life precious.

‘It’s capped at ten years, but what happens to people like me who’ve spent much longer than ten years [in prison], almost double? It seems very unfair.

‘I don’t think any amount would be enough, but it should be significantly higher than it is.’

He said it could take years for him to receive the money, which he admitted would help him live the rest of his life ‘in relative comfort’. But he insisted: ‘It’s the least they can do for me. It can never replace the joy I’ve lost and the happiness I could have had.’

Mr. Malkinson also highlighted the ‘unjust rule’, which could have seen him forced to hand tens of thousands of pounds of his payout back as ‘rent’ for his time spent in prison, following his release last week.

Downing Street later indicated that Rishi Sunak believed the deductions were unfair and yesterday Justice Secretary Alex Chalk KC announced the scheme was being scrapped with immediate effect, saying: ‘This common sense change will ensure victims do not face paying twice for crimes they did not commit.’

The former security guard welcomed the move but said it was the ‘first of many changes we need in our justice system to protect the innocent’.Mr Malkinson, of Grimsby, Lincolnshire, was found guilty of the 2003 attack on a woman in Salford, Greater Manchester, and a year later was sentenced to at least seven years imprisonment at Manchester Crown Court.

He remained in jail for a further ten years after he maintained his innocence.

There was never any DNA linking him to the crime and he always insisted he was not guilty. His case was referred to the Court of Appeal in January after another man’s DNA was found on fragments of the victim’s clothing.

Sir Bob Neill, the Tory MP who is chairman of the Commons justice committee, said he was ‘delighted’ that Mr Chalk had ‘moved so swiftly’, following Mr. Malkinson’s release, to scrap the scheme.

But he suggested ministers should go further and retrospectively refund those miscarriage of justice victims who have already had their compensation docked. I wonder if the Government could consider ex-gratia payments on a case-by-case basis,’ the MP said.

Emily Bolton, the director of the charity Appeal and Mr Malkinson’s solicitor, called for a stronger response from the Government.

She said: ‘The state robbed Andy of the best years of his life. Changing this one rule is not an adequate response. We need a complete overhaul of the appeals system.

In order to be eligible for compensation, people must apply within two years of being pardoned or having their convictions reversed.


Source: Barristerng


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AfricaAfrica AsiaLife Drama

LIFE DRAMA: How we defrauded N675m for spiritual cleansing and prayers – Couple tells Court

A syndicate of seven men has defrauded a couple of N675 million in the guise of carrying out spiritual cleansing for the family.

Narrating the family’s ordeal to Justice Ramon Oshodi of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State, Lateef Bello said the syndicate led by Sanlabiu Teslim was in “total control of our senses”.

Bello disclosed that the influence of Teslim led him and his wife to fall into the “merciless and deadly hands” of a 419 syndicate that specialized in the use of traditional rituals and medicine for cleansing from evil forces.

He told the court in July 2023 that he lost £800,000, along with another N175 million to the syndicate.

The defendants, Morufu Adewale (aka Gbegulerin Adelana), Omitogun Ajayi, Ajisegiri Abiodun, Abayomi Alaka (aka Dauda Usman Alashe), Taiwo Ahmed, Raufu Raheem, and Teslim, looked on in the dock as Bello reeled out his story of how at different times, starting from a shrine in Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos State, to another shrine in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, the members of the syndicate playing different roles, successfully hatched the scheme that saw him part with more than N675 million.

The defendants are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Bello disclosed that his son had some challenges, and Sanlabiu offered to assist by taking him to a spiritualist who would be of help.

He said: “As soon as I entered the place, I wasn’t myself. I thought he was taking me to an Islamic cleric, however, it was herbalist.

“In fact, Omitogun Ajayi noticed it and said to me, ‘Focus on this place, do you know where Jesus Christ was born?’

“He now consulted his Osanyin at the shrine, and then he gave us a bill of about N230,000 that we need to buy some things like ram and so on, which I paid.

“He now said that I have to bring my wife, and that was the period my wife was preparing for retirement, that she will be the one to pray when they do their rituals.

“When my wife came, they gave us different concoctions to drink, and they made incantations.

“Omitogun was the main man, then he now said that the Osanyin said that we need to go and see their Baba in Ijebu-Igbo who will finalize the prayer for my son.

“A few days later, myself, my wife and my son, and Sanlabiu, my driver, and Omitogun Ajayi and one alfa, who is one of them and currently at large, went to Ijebu Igbo.

“Two days later, myself, Omitogun Ajayi, the alfa, Sanlabiu, and my driver, went there with the ram, which we bought at Ijebu-Ode, that we needed some other prayers for the family.

“He welcomed us and then took us to one room, and when we entered the room, there was a curtain from where he was communicating with us.

“When we got to Ijebu-Igbo, that was where we met Morufu Yahaya Adewale, who disguised himself so well like an elderly man of over 100 years old.

“He now told us the things we are going to do, and afterward, he said they’ve finished with my son, and that we should come back in two days’ time, that when we are coming we should buy a big ram.

“Two days later, myself, Omitogun Ajayi, the alfa, Sanlabiu, and my driver, went there with the ram, which we bought at Ijebu-Ode, that we needed some other prayers for the family.

“When we got there, they slaughtered the ram and some other things, after which they said I should remove my dress and gave me a wrapper to cover myself.

“They now took me to one place, where they were boiling water, and I saw the water boiling and they poured the water on my head, but it was very cold.

“After this they did the same to my wife and they said they were going to take us to another room in the same house; we knocked on the door, and we started hearing some noise of some women.

“They now opened the door, and immediately we entered the room using our back, we now saw about nine women wearing white clothes.

“They claimed to be white witches, and said that they were there to help us; they now said though they have finished with my son, but that we have a lot of spiritual problems in my family, and my extended family.

“They said during their own investigation, my wife will soon retire and that another bigger office was ahead of my wife, and that we still need to do a lot of spiritual cleansing for the whole family in order for her to get there.

“They now demand for opo kan translated to one million in English language and it was my first time hearing that; emphasizing that it should have the picture of a woman and must be red in colour.

“When we got to the room where Yahaya was, he was the one that now interpreted that what the white witches meant was one million British Pounds.

“And that, once we get the one million pounds, it will be put in a box, and that after one week, we are going to be given our money back, and then there will be an ornament under the money, which my wife will be expected to put on, and they named it oluomo.

“My lord, they were in total control of our senses.”

Bello continued: “Before we left that day, Morufu Yahaya instructed Ahmed Taiwo, to give us the account number of one Gbegulerin Adelana (the alias of Morufu Yahaya), that we needed to buy some things before the £1 million and so demanded N1 million which I paid into the account.

“They now said that those witches only drink the blood of pigeons, and so collected N200,000 to buy pigeons for those witches, and N10,000 for the cage as they said they’ll buy them at Sagamu.

“Omitogun kept assuring us that we were at the right place, that even when a governor was about to leave office, he came to see those white witches; that he initially took the Osanyin to Benin, and he also brought a serving governor to the shrine.

“Apparently they knew my wife was going to retire and she would get her gratuity and pension.”

He further disclosed that the family later raised £800,000, which was handed over to the syndicate.

He said after the payment of the £800,000 cash, they were asked to go to a river for a ritual while the syndicate members kept demanding more money from him which ran to about N175 million.

“They insisted on collecting cash, and declined to take bank transfers,” he added.

According to him, during one of the rituals, unknown to him, the syndicate was recording them.

Bello told the court that in the course of the incident, he ran into debt, and only late in the day, did he realise that he had been scammed.

“I later got a call from Abiodun Ajisegiri (third defendant), who claimed to be an investigative journalist,” he said.

He stated that Ajisegiri, who posed to be working with LTV and Radio Lagos, claimed to be in possession of the video clip of where we were engaging in rituals and that he was going to broadcast it.

A report by THE STAR quoted him to have said: “I tried to explain what happened to him and how we were defrauded of the sum of almost N675 million.

“He now said that he was going to investigate and that I should bring N300,000.

“I paid an initial N100,000 to his bank account, and I later paid another N50,000.

“The day I paid the N50,000 I called his number to let him know, but he said he was at a meeting and that he would call me back.

“So later he called me and said that he was with those people and that they were demanding N50 million from us in order not to broadcast the clip. He now asked if we can deposit N5 million as the people can kill or kidnap us.”


Source: Barristerng

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LIFE DRAMA: Magistrate caught writing Law Exams for girlfriend, dressed as a Woman

Uganda’s Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has sacked a newly appointed grade one Magistrate, Musa Semwogerere after he was arrested for impersonation and tendering false documents.

Recall that he was caught posing as a woman to sit for exams for his girlfriend at Law Development Centre (LDC) Lira Campus. According to local media, he was among 86 other persons appointed to the position of Magistrate Grade One on probation by the Commission.

After the incident, Chief Registrar Sarah Langa Siu, in a statement said Semwogerere will no longer be employed since his offence is contrary to the Penal Code Act and the code of conduct of the judicial officers.

“The Judiciary would like to inform the general public that Mr Ssemwogerere Ammaari Musa, one of the newly recruited Magistrates Grade I will not be employed into the Judiciary Service,” a statement read in part.

It added: “Earlier today Mr Ssemwogerere was remanded to Lira Main Prison having been charged at the Lira Chief Magistrates Court on two counts of uttering a false document contrary to Section 351 of the Penal Code Act and Impersonation contrary to Section 381 of the Penal Code Act. The Judiciary reiterates its commitment to upholding its core values of independence, impartiality, transparency, professionalism, integrity, and accountability.”

Semwogerere fondly called Mukisa Anthony was caught red-handed on Friday, July 28, 2023, while writing exams for his girlfriend, Irene Mutonyi.

The accused has been charged with two counts of forgery and remanded to prison till August 3. Pictures of him dressed as a woman have gone viral on social media and stirred reactions.

LDC director, Frank Nigel Othembi said Semwogerere’s offense was in contravention of Section 351 of the Penal Code Act and Impersonation contrary to Section 381 of the Penal Code Act.

Othembi said; “We reported the matter to the Police and he has been charged with two counts of uttering a false document contrary to Section 351 of the Penal Code Act and Impersonation contrary to Section 381 of the Penal Code Act and remanded to prison till August, 3, 2023. We will ensure that this case is prosecuted fully to its conclusion, including all other culpable persons.

“LDC is currently conducting final written examinations across all its three Campuses- Kampala, Lira, and Mbarara. LDC does not condone any act of examination malpractice. We will continue with our zero-tolerance policy towards any such conduct.”

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I left the classroom for opportunities where I could expand my impact to serve more people- Briana Urbina

American Born -Puerto Rican descent who loves everything about her culture, is a Councilperson for the City of New Carrollton, a community organizer; lawyer, teacher, and caregiver that always bring people together and advocate for justice.

Briana Urbina in an exclusive interview with Adewale Adenrele speaks about her growing up, experiences, challenges, and major responsibilities in her chosen career and political journey.

Below are excerpts:

Can you tell us briefly about yourself and your family?

I am a middle child with an older sister and a younger brother. My wife Laura and I have been married for 14 years. We became caregivers to my younger brother with special needs in 2012 and adopted our oldest son in 2016. We welcomed our youngest son in 2022.

Recently, you went on vacation, can you share the exploration experience and aspects of tourism you like?

I went to Puerto Rico, and we stayed in the town of Luquillo. It was a wonderful trip. The thing I enjoyed the most was the food. I am 2nd generation Puerto Rican and I love everything about my culture. We ate out every day, at different restaurants and we all enjoyed trying new foods and eating the staples I was raised with. We plan to one day buy property in Luquillo because it is a beautiful town and is close to many tourists hot spots.

Briana enjoys Puerto Rico with her two son

Tell us about your early childhood…Where did you grow up, who were the most memorable characters growing up, and what do you remember about your town/city during the time you were growing up?

I was born in the Bronx, NY, and raised in a suburb of New York City, Middletown, NY. I was primarily raised by a single father alongside my younger brother. Our sister is more than 20 years older than us, so she was not present in our day-to-day lives. I was a total tomboy and enjoyed sports. I still truly love sports. I was always outside riding my bike, going for runs, or shooting hoops in the driveway.

Who influenced you the most in life and why?

I have been most influenced or impacted by my brother Andres. He is a person with intellectual disabilities, and we grew up inseparable. I always knew there would be a day I would come to be his caregiver and expanding his access to opportunity has been my life’s work. I think growing up with a sibling who has a disability instilled a sense of justice and equity in my heart at a young age. I never wanted my brother to be excluded and I never understood the structural limitations our society has placed on people with disabilities.

You adopted your kids, tell us the process of adoption and your reason for adoption and do you wish to adopt kids from Africa?

I have one son who is adopted and one son that I carried. I would love to have more children, specifically a girl but for a variety of reasons, I think it unlikely we would adopt again. Childcare costs as well as the costs of adopting are the greatest barriers to us expanding our family. Sadly, there is no country in Africa that allows same-sex couples from the US to adopt. I did the research prior to becoming pregnant with my youngest because we wanted to adopt again but very few countries allow same-sex couples to adopt. If it were possible and affordable, we absolutely would have welcomed a child from Africa.

As a community organizer; a lawyer, a teacher, and a caregiver how were you able to combine all at a time?

How do I do it all? Not very well. I was a teacher from 2015-2017. I left the classroom for opportunities where I could expand my impact to serve more people. I still see myself as a community organizer in my roles as a Councilperson for the City of New Carrollton and as a lawyer because I am always trying to bring people together and advocate for justice. I have been at my current law firm for nearly a year, and I enjoy my work because the work that I do can have a lasting impact on my clients’ lives. I am honored to have that responsibility and I do not take it lightly.

Tell us your experiences, challenges, and major responsibilities in your chosen career.

I really struggled in law school. I nearly failed out twice. Even after graduating, my professors all warned me not to take the bar exam because they were certain I would fail. I studied 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for 12 weeks (only taking 3 days off) and I passed the New York Bar. I was the first student from my law school to do so. I have a lot of belief in my ability to succeed and I am a praying woman. Passing the bar is still my greatest accomplishment other than being a mother.

Briana and her wife Laura at her swearing-in

Discuss a time you faced adversity and how you overcame it, also how you handled an unexpected situation at work, actions you helped your team to succeed and what career accomplishment are you most proud of.

As a woman and a mother in the workplace, there are so many challenges. I had to quit my last job because they didn’t offer maternity leave. I have since found a workplace that has been truly accommodating to me as a mother and understands that you can’t schedule your children’s illnesses and school performances. Balancing it all is the struggle of a lifetime but I think it is important for my boys to see their mother and women in general who work hard, who are ambitious and who are educated. I really don’t have a story specifically regarding overcoming a challenge in the workplace but overall I want to work towards creating a society that values work/life balance and affords women equal access to professional opportunities.

In the past 20 years, the political space has achieved some of the most dramatic breakthroughs in the world. The number of female legislators on the continent has increased, would you consider yourself a politician someday?

I am a politician now. I was recently re-elected to the City Council for the City of New Carrollton. I was promoted to the position of Council Chair where I preside over a council that is all male, except for myself. I have great pride in my political success, and I aspire to continue to earn the confidence of my community.

Ethnic groups and tribes have customs and traditions that are unique to their culture. What do you like about African Culture? Have you been to the African Continent before?

I have been to the continent one time. I had a short visit to Morocco while I was studying abroad in Spain. It was an amazing experience and unlike any other traveling, I had done before. My oldest son is African American and he is really interested in all animals, native to Africa, so it is my dream to take him on Safari when both of my boys are older. As a Prince Georgian and native New Yorker, I have many friends from across the continent and I love learning more about the different cultures of their ancestry. As a woman of Puerto Rican descent, I value my own connection to the continent and have always seen the beauty of the diaspora across Latin America.

Amazing memories are unforgettable; can you share with us the most amazing memory?

I guess my most amazing memory was the day my son’s adoption was finalized. It was over Zoom and the Judge asked Javarie if he wanted to describe my wife and me to the court. He said, “Briana is the bad cop and Laura is the good cop.” When she asked if there was anything else he wanted to add, he said, “No.” Everyone on Zoom laughed and she made her ruling granting the adoption. I didn’t expect to get as emotional as I did but we all (Javarie, Laura, and I) cried. I will never forget how tightly I squeezed Javarie and how tightly he squeezed back at that moment. It will probably be my favorite memory forever and surprisingly was more impactful that the birth of the baby I carried. Being an adoptive mom is a completely different experience and he chose us as much as we chose him. The baby didn’t have a choice and so much of our bond is built on biology. Javarie was 8 years old when he moved in and it took years for us to be worthy enough to be his parents.

Briana, Laura and their sons Javarie and Luis.
Briana, Laura and their sons Javarie and Luis.

What advice would you give the younger ones?

My advice would be never to wait for someone to give you permission to do what you know you are capable of doing. Chances are, no one will give you permission to do what you can do. You can’t rely on outside validation and your driving force has to come from God, from hard work and your belief in yourself.

Thank you for sharing with ADM.

Thank you.


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LIFE DRAMA: How Death Sentence Given To Hilton Hotel Owner, Adedoyin Relieved My Pain —Wife Of Murdered OAU Student

The family of the late Obafemi Awolowo University postgraduate student Timothy Adegoke has described the death sentence granted against the owner of Hilton Hotel and Resort, Ile-Ife, Abdulrahman Adedoyin, as a huge relief amid the gloom they had experienced for months.

The hotelier was sentenced to death alongside two others found guilty of murder and conspiracy to kill Mr Adegoke, a Business Administration (MBA) student.

The Chief Judge in her judgement said the owner of the hotel and two of his workers, based on the circumstances of the case established by the prosecuting counsel, Femi Falana, SAN, are found culpable of conspiracy to commit murder and unlawful killing of the deceased.

News men  had reported how Adegoke had lodged in Hilton Hotels and Resorts at Ile-Ife upon his arrival from Abuja on November 5, 2021, to enable him to arrive early for his examination at the OAU Distance Learning Centre, Moro, Osun State, on November 6 and November 7, 2021.

He later went missing and was found dead buried in a grave following a police investigation into his disappearance.

After Adegoke was declared missing, the police were invited and seven suspects were arrested after which an investigation commenced.

In a phone interview with The press  on Friday morning, the deceased’s wife, Bola Adegoke, characterised the court decision as a big relief after months of sorrow she had felt since her husband’s death in 2021.

She said, “Though when I heard it, I was crying because if they kill all the family, it cannot bring back my husband. Secondly, I am happy that they gave the judgement right. The judgement reduced my pain, my fear, everything.”

“I was told he can go to appeal but I don’t think he has done that because we have not been served,” she added.

She mentioned further that the incessant adjournment of the trial was one of the challenges the family faced during the course of seeking justice.

“During the trial, anytime I read that the sitting was adjourned, my mood would change. I always spoke to God on why an innocent man would be killed without justice,” she said.

A cousin of the deceased, Gabriel Ogunlana equally said the bereaved family were delighted with the court judgement but added that the vacuum Adegoke’s death created had yet to be filled.

He said, “It is the justice we are all seeking for. And we are happy that irrespective of his status, all pieces of evidence against him materialised.

“The vacuum Adegoke’s death created in the family is yet to be filled.”

Corroborating Gabriel’s testimony, Bola (Adegoke’s wife) lamented how difficult it had been for her to take care of the three children left behind by her husband.

She continued: “Before my husband died, the house we were living in was on rent. Even I am tense about how to pay my children’s school fees. Since his death, I have been finding it difficult to meet up with my children’s demands.”


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AfricaAfrica AsiaEntertainmentLife DramaMusic

ENTERTAINMENT: R. Kelly Transferred to North Carolina Prison from Chicago

Singer R. Kelly was moved from a Chicago correctional center to a medium-security prison in North Carolina last week, according to federal officials.

Robert Sylvester Kelly was transferred from the Metropolitan Correctional Center Chicago to the federal correctional institution in Butner, North Carolina, on April 19, Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesperson Benjamin O’Cone said Monday via email.

The bureau doesn’t disclose the reasons for inmate transfers due to privacy, safety and security reasons, he wrote.

In February, a federal judge in Chicago sentenced the 56-year-old Grammy Award-winning R&B singer to 20 years in prison for child pornography and enticement of minors for sex.

He will serve all but one of those simultaneously with a separate 30-year sentence on racketeering and sex trafficking convictions in New York.

Kelly, who has vehemently denied the allegations, rose from poverty in Chicago to become one of the world’s biggest R&B stars.

Known for his smash hit “I Believe I Can Fly” and for sex-infused songs such as “Bump n’ Grind,” he sold millions of albums even after allegations about his abuse of girls began circulating publicly in the 1990s.

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LIFE DRAMA: Gambian businesswoman’s journey from migration horror to trade success

Ndey Fatou Ceesay once tried a dangerous journey to Europe. When that didn’t go as planned, she returned home and started a successful beauty business.

Ndey Fatou Ceesay left her home in The Gambia on a perilous journey to Libya, intending to reach Italy. But her journey did not go as planned. Human traffickers in the Niger desert town of Agades kidnapped Ndey and demanded a ransom to free her.

When she was finally released, Ndey returned home to start a business to make ends meet. She is now a trader who deals in cosmetics, Gambian incense, and handcrafted beauty items. Ndey’s business is located in the central town of Soma, where she mostly sells her products in the town and surrounding communities, with little access to bigger markets.

But after showing her work at the National Youth and Women’s Agribusiness and Tourism Trade Fair, she said her customer base is growing.

“I have never participated in a trade fair. That was my first time,” Ndey said. “I am very happy to have participated in the trade fair because I was able to share contacts with other businesses and customers. I was also able to learn from them to support the growth of my business.”

Better sales and visibility

Ndey’s business is located in the central town of Soma, where she mostly sells her products in the town and surrounding communities, with little access to bigger markets

In addition to generating income, trade fairs provide entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to increase visibility for their businesses, growing their customer base and their networks. But few businesses, especially those operated by women, can afford the costs of participating.

As part of its work with women cross-border traders, the International Trade Centre (ITC), through a joint project with the UN Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund is improving their access to markets so they can network and learn from other businesses. The project is called The Gambia: Addressing the drivers and causes of vulnerability in migration among border communities along the Trans-Gambia transport corridor.

The project partnered with the UN Trust Fund for Human Security to support the participation of 25 women cross-border traders at the trade fair.

The trade fair jointly organized by the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce and the Gambia Women`s Chamber of Commerce is the country’s second-biggest trade show. The event brings together entrepreneurs, especially women, and youth, to sell their goods and services. Over 300 businesses participated in the event.

Beyond building networks and learning from other businesses, Ndey said the event also boosted her sales.

“The sales have been great. I have been able to generate over $1,344,” the 31-year-old said with a bright smile. “I never thought I was going to make that amount of money.”

“I am thanking ITC for supporting my participation and for creating the opportunity for all of us to come to sell our products,” she said. “Today, I have built a customer base that I can sell my goods to in many parts of the country.”

Small businesses like Ndey’s are at the forefront of driving innovation and job creation, which boosts incomes and eases poverty. Her ambition is to continue growing her business so that she can employ more people. Currently, Ndey employs two young people.

Ndey anticipates taking part in subsequent trade fairs because of the many opportunities the event presents.

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Young woman hacked with a machete by husband gets justice through UNFPA support

Anna Salima, 24, has painful memories of her two marriages. With her first marriage, it took her just a week to realize she had married the wrong man. Yet she stayed for five years, enduring verbal and physical abuse, as she hoped her husband would change.

After their first child was born, she couldn’t stand it any longer and returned to her parent’s home. She was bitter about the abuse she suffered and vowed never to marry again. It wasn’t long before another man began promising her a marriage made in heaven.

“He seemed to be somewhat different from my first husband,” she says. “He was so kind and caring, I thought of giving him a chance.”

Within a few months of meeting, the two became engaged. A traditional wedding ceremony followed and Ms. Salima forgot about the pains of her first marriage. But not for long.

A few months after they married, her new husband questioned why she wasn’t yet pregnant.

“I pointed out that it may be his problem, as I already had children from my first marriage,” she says. “This didn’t go down well with him. He became moody and started drinking excessively.”

His heavy drinking foreshadowed the horrors Ms. Salima was to face.

“This one day, he came back home totally drunk. We had a minor disagreement and he pulled a knife, threatening to stab me,” she says. “Luckily, my sister was around and she intervened.”

Things improved a little when Ms. Salima became pregnant. After two years, she delivered a second child in her new marriage, yet by then her husband was drinking regularly and heavily.

Nkhata Bay, where Ms. Salima hails from, has one of the highest number of cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country

When she returned from the field one day, she found her husband sitting on the veranda in a sour mood. At times like this, she made a point of avoiding confrontations with him.

“He asked for food and I prepared a meal for him,” she recollects. “After that, he said he wanted to sleep with me but I pleaded that I was tired. He tried to drag me into the house and I refused.”

In anger, her husband stormed off and returned with a machete. He struck her arm twice with the powerful blade before she managed to flee, with him in pursuit.

“I was bleeding heavily,” she says. “The only place I knew I would be safe was at the Community Victim Support Unit (CVSU). I ran as fast as possible, and he eventually became tired and stopped pursuing me.”

At the CVSU, she explained what had happened to her. Because she was badly injured and had no means to access essential services, the CVSU contacted the Community Fund Committee (CFC), which agreed to release funds for her to get the urgent medical treatment she needed. The CFC forms part of the European Union-funded Spotlight Initiative, which supports GBV survivors with resources to access health services and the judicial system.

“At the health centre, they said my wound was severe and I was referred to Nkhata Bay district hospital,” she says. Because of the extent of her injuries from the machete, she came close to losing her hand. “They put plaster of Paris on my arm and told me to come back for a check-up in two months.”

Justice at last, with UNFPA and Spotlight Initiative support

The CVSU also alerted the community policing forum, and members were sent to her house to apprehend her husband. When her case reached the courts, the CFC mobilized further funds for Ms. Salima to attend her husband’s hearing.

“I am thankful for the support,” she says. “Without it, I couldn’t have made it to the court sessions.”

Her husband was convicted and is serving six years in prison. However, she feels the sentence should have been stiffer.

“I wanted him to get 30 years or more,” she says. “I am lucky that he injured my arm as he was aiming for the head. Such people should be put away for life as they are not only a risk to women but the community at large.”

Nkhata Bay, where Ms. Salima hails from, has one of the country’s highest cases of gender-based violence (GBV). Recent statistics for the district show that out of every 100 women and girls who experienced GBV, 11 of them experienced physical violence.

UNFPA has supported 18 communities at Traditional Authority or Sub-Traditional Authority level in Nkhata Bay with community funding. As at April 2022, this funding had supported 823 women and girls who experienced and survived GBV in the district.

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6 journalists detained over viral Video of President Kiir wetting self in South Sudan

The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJSS), has revealed the identities of the six journalists detained in relation to a leaked video of President Salva Kiir allegedly urinating on himself while at an official event two weeks ago.

Head of the UJSS, Patrick Oyet, confirmed on Saturday that five of the journalists were detained on Tuesday while one was arrested and detained on Wednesday.

Oyet said he hopes any investigation will be fast and said that the media should act professionally.

Those detained include Joval Tombe, Victor Lado, Mustafa Osman, Jacob Benjamin, Oliver Wani, and Cherbek Reuben.

However, South Sudan’s Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, in a statement, said “people should wait to hear the reason for why the media workers are being held.”

The controversial video footage which went viral and was shared widely on social media in late December, showed President Kiir urinating on himself while at an engagement, but the video was quickly cut away from the shots of the 71-year-old president.


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AfricaLife Drama

LIFE-DRAMA: Treasurer sentenced to three years imprisonment for stealing Church’s tithe and offering money

The Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in South Africa on Wednesday, November 9, sentenced a Zimbabwean woman, Lady Memory Mutsika, to 3 years of direct imprisonment for 128 counts of theft.

Mutsika,43, was a church treasurer of the Pretoria City Seventh-Day Adventist church. Her responsibilities included transferring tithe and offering money deposited to the church account, to the Northern Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

During a period of 4 years from 2012 to 2015, Mutsika transferred more than R800 000 of the money received from the tithe and offerings to her bank account and for her personal use.

In court, she pleaded guilty to the charges and asked for a non-custodial sentence to pay the church back the money over five years.

However, the state argued that Mutsika always indicated her willingness to pay back the money and has not paid back a single cent since March 2022, after she was convicted.

The magistrate agreed with the state and said Mutsika showed no remorse. He said she stopped stealing not because of her conscience, but because she was caught. The church placed her in a position of trust, but she betrayed that trust.

He further said that he viewed Mutsika’s willingness to pay back the money, as a bargaining tool and as a ticket to keep her out of prison. Therefore, a sentence of imprisonment was appropriate and criminal conduct has consequences.

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