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South Africa Passes Same-Sex Marriage Law

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has passed into law the Civil Union Amendment Bill which will prevent officiating officers from refusing to conduct same-sex marriages, and will change the lives of LGBT South Africans who constantly have to fight battles with a society that has not aligned itself with South Africa’s progressive legislation, according to reports by Okay Africa.

According to the reports, the Legislation stated that, Home Affairs Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi must ensure there is a marriage officer available to solemnise a civil union at every office. It added that, the bill was a positive step toward eleiminating existing differentiation between marriages and civil union partnerships, reducing discrimination against same -sex relationships and achieving equality for same-sex couples in South Africa.

Originally, officiating officers had the right to refuse marrying same-sex couples on the grounds of conscience, religion, and belief. This clause reportedly prevented South African LGBT couples from getting married as many Home Affairs marriage officers would then exempt themselves from marrying LGBT couples.

Responses on Twitter have been mixed with LGBT members welcoming the news while some South Africans have commented that the amendment infringes on their basic human rights. Understandably, there is still considerable contention when it comes to same-sex marriages being called “civil unions” instead of “marriages” in the heteronormative sense.

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Twellium Industrial Ltd. And GNFS Work In Unified Command To Manage Fire Outbreak

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A major fire broke out in a heap of dried wooden pallets at the Medie Junction in the Ga West District of the Greater Accra Region on February 22. The incident was said to have occurred at around 4:45pm. The fire subsequently spread to one woman’s Tilapia Stall.

Speaking to an eye witness, she said they tried to call the Ghana Fire Service who could not arrive at the scene early enough. Fortunately, one of the neighbouring factories, Twellium Industrial Company, which is about 1.0km away from the junction sent over their Fire Truck to save the situation.

Onlookers say the Twellium Fire engine worked tirelessly to bring the fire under control till the Ghana National Fire Service. Luckily there were no casualties reported.

Residents and Witnesses have commended the Twellium Industrial Company Limited greatly for their act of benevolence and Professionalism to help stop the fire and have encouraged other companies to do same as it has turned out to be important to have a fire truck at the factory.

Reason behind this fire disaster has not been known so far. Enquiry is under process.

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Uganda Military Gives Jail Sentence To Soldiers For Assaulting Journalists

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According to reports by the BBC, the Ugandan military has confirmed seven soldiers who assaulted journalists outside the United Nations Human rights office on Wednesday have been given jail sentences of between two to three months at a military detention facility by the disciplinary committee.

The reports added that, the trial of the four privates, a lance corporal and two captains was not open to the public, however; Uganda’s army chief apologised for the violence that left six reporters injured. The incident happened as the opposition MP and musician Bobi Wine was delivering a petition over human rights abuses to the UN.

The journalists were covering Wine, a pop star and lawmaker, as he delivered a petition to the office asking the United Nations to investigate human rights violations on the country including torture, abductions, illegal detentions and others.

The Reuters also reported that, NTV Uganda television showed the journalists running for safety and screaming as the security personnel struck them with batons. Four of those assaulted sustained serious injuries including to the head.

The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) said in a statement that a military disciplinary committee had tried the seven soldiers, who included a captain, convicted and given them varying sentences ranging from a severe reprimand to 90 days in jail.

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National Chief Imam Names Clemence Gyato As Peace Ambassador

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National Chief Imam Osman Nuhu Sharubutu on 28 November named Clemence Gyato as Peace Ambassador. Gyato, a master’s degree holder in Conflict, Peace and Security who is currently a PhD student, is widely renowned among the country’s Zongo youth and lauded for his efforts in conflict resolution, notably in the Alavanyo-Nkonya dispute as well as discord between Hohoe natives and Zongo youth.

Announcing Gyato’s appointment, Sharubutu said his office has “monitored Mr Gyato’s involvement in peacebuilding efforts in various parts of the country,” for which reason he was selected.

In his acceptance speech, Gyato cited a life-changing interaction with a victim of the Somali war. The account led him to the understanding that “no one is safe within a community or society riddled with insecurity. And no one filled with conflict, despair, and anxiety rises to the zenith of any godly profession. So, I set out to do this one thing: be at peace with myself and with all.”

The maxim, Gyato said, has been pivotal to his vision. He also observed that his appointment is testament to the fact that his efforts are being keenly observed by leadership. “This honour bestowed on me for my little, submarine operations within the peace space is something I will cherish considerably.

“Election-related violence has destroyed many African countries. Ghana has escaped this unfortunate conundrum and it is my expectation that the 2020 elections will be no different,” he said.

“It is time we saw peace neither as a prelude to, nor an addendum to elections. It is an ever-constant pre-requisite for personal, familial, and national progress. Insofar as each person values their peace of mind, it then behooves on us to value the peace of our brother, friend, relative, colleague, political opponents, and/ or even perceived enemies.”

Gyato also pledged to continue his mission to be at peace with all as well as “speak and act peacefully to all men.

“I undertake to accept diversity as a strength and use diversity to build a peaceful society. I undertake to do more towards building a peaceful Ghana,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Ibrahim Cudjoe Quaye, who chaired Gyato’s investiture, Madina MP Hon. Abu-Bakar Saddique Boniface, as well as NDC aspiring Member for Parliament for Madina, Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu also pledged peace before and after election 2020.

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“Rawlings Was A Great African Leader”, Stonebwoy Pays Tribute To The Former Statesman

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On Thursday’s edition of special interview on Max TV, multiple award-winning Ghanaian reggae & dancehall artiste, Stonebwoy, called on all Ghanaians, including political leaders to acknowledge and recognize the role former president Ft. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and other African leaders have played as far as Ghana’s democracy is concerned.

According to musician, the former Flight Lieutenant, whose tragic demise occured on Thursday, 12th November 2020 at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, where he was receiving treatment after a short illness, has been a pivotal, absolutely central, figure in the country’s political and economic fortunes, and his lingering political influence on Ghana may be second only to Kwame Nkrumah.

When asked if he has composed a tribute song to honor the late state’s man, Stonebwoy who is known for inspirational songs, focusing on good governance, poverty eradication, and spreading good cheer through positive messages with even more delightful melodies revealed that, though he has no tribute song in his catalogue, he’s recorded songs that revealed his admiration and respect for late president and other notable African leaders.

In 2013, the Ghanaian Dancehall finest act, Stonebwoy delivered a conscious reggae/dancehall on a Beatz Dakay’s Last Breathe Riddim titled “Real Warrior”. The tune talks about acknowledging great African leaders for setting policies the coushined the their electorates. The lyrics of song according to Stonebwoy was inspired by the Heroes and Heroines across the globe.

“Big up… Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Azumah, Yaa Asantewa, Madeba Mandela, Patrice Lumumba, Muama Gadafe, Okomfo Anokye, Robert Mugabe, Marcos Garvey, Julius Nyerere, Rawlings JJ, Seko Toure, yes Bob Marley, Shaka Zulu, Hailey Selase blessing thing”, Stonebwoy is quoted saying.

“Live like a warrior and die like a soldier, this is the battle of de fittest. Live like a warrior and die like a soldier, de race is not for de swift”

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