News Digest: Zimbabwe’s KFC ‘has no money to buy chickens’; Benin footballers to ditch Squirrels nickname
1. Zimbabwe’s KFC ‘has no money to buy chickens’
Leading fast-food chains in Zimbabwe have shut their doors as the cash crunch in the country worsens – just two months after President Emmerson Mnangagwa won elections.
KFC put up notices at its branches in the capital, Harare, and the second city, Bulawayo, saying they would remain closed “during these difficult times” until further notice.
“This is due to the fact that we are unable to source stock from our suppliers as they require US dollars. We are doing everything possible to resume trade as soon as possible,” the notice said.
Chicken Inn ran out of chicken on Tuesday, and it was unclear when they will get supplies again, the state-run Chronicle newspaper reported.
Some phramacies were also shut in Bulawayo, it added.
Last week, Zimbabwe’s Financial Gazette newspaper reported that many retail shops were running out of some essential goods because of foreign currency shortages.
Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency in 2009, adopting the use of foreign cash, including the US dollar.
The government issued its own version of dollars called “bond notes” in 2016 to ease the continuing cash shortage, but they have rapidly lost their value.
2. Benin footballers to ditch Squirrels nickname
The Benin Football Federation (FBF) would like to change the name of its national team from the Squirrels to something evocative and respectable.
Les Ecureuils, translates into English as The Squirrels, was coined in the 1960’s – apparently to reflect a small nation aiming to climb high.
But the country’s football governing body feels that it is time for a change in order to reflect the team’s ambitions.
“There is no need to pretend that the national team’s nickname of “Squirrels” is liked by all parties involved in the team set up,” an FBF statement read.
“The name given to the national team must resonate with the population and reflect our strong ambitions in the sporting world,” it added.
3. Sierra Leone football qualifiers cancelled
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has called off Sierra Leone’s back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches with Ghana.
Caf said the matches were cancelled as Sierra Leone did not meet conditions for the lifting of the Fifa-imposed suspension of the country’s FA.
Fifa acted because of sanctions imposed on the SLFA President Isha Johansen and General Secretary Christopher Kamara.
They have denied any wrongdoing and Fifa demanded their reinstatement.
4. UK priest apologises to SA sex abuse victim
A British priest who was accused of sexually abusing a man when he worked with the Catholic Church in South Africa during the 1980s has apologised.
On Tuesday William Segodisho told a press conference in South Africa that Father William MacCurtain had repeatedly sexually abused him when he was a teenager staying in sheltered accommodation in Johannesburg.
He said he wanted the priest to stand trial in South Africa.
In a statement William MacCurtain, 84, said he deeply regretted the pain he had caused Mr Segodisho and apologised to him unreservedly.
A statement from the Catholic Jesuit order said Father MacCurtain was suffering from a number of chronic medical conditions and was in a Jesuit nursing facility in the UK.
5. Ex-wife of former Liberia leader Charles Taylor denies torture
The ex-wife of former Liberian President Charles Taylor has denied torture charges in a court in London, the Press Association reports.
Agnes Taylor, 52, was arrested in the UK more than a year ago, and appeared in court via video link from Bronzefield prison.
She pleaded not guilty to seven charges of torture and an eighth charge of conspiracy to torture, PA reports.
She is accused of committing the crimes during Liberia’s civil war 28 years ago.
Charles Taylor is serving a 50-year sentence in a UK prison for supporting rebels who committed atrocities in neighbouring Sierra Leone.
He served as Liberia’s president from 1997 to 2003, when he was forced into exile.