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Kenya:You must have high integrity, lawyers told
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Chief Justice Martha Koome

Kenya’s Chief Justice Martha Koome has called on advocates to act in a manner that upholds professional, personal, and social ethics.

The Chief Justice spoke on Monday during the admission of 96 lawyers to the Roll of Advocates of the High Court. The ceremony was held at the Supreme Court Gardens in Nairobi.

She urged the new lawyers to adhere to high ethical standards, especially when dealing with financial issues with clients.

“Money is important, but you will come to realize that when you come to my age that it doesn’t mean much as long as you have met your daily requirement. The excesses will not mean much as they will not give you the peace and the tranquility that you need,” said Chief Justice Martha Koome.

CJ Koome cautioned the 96 that they risk being struck off the list should be exhibit greedy in their line of duty.

“Such unethical conduct goes against the conduct the ethic of what we call in Kenya “utu”(humanity) that underlies our constitutional order. I hope yours will be the generation of lawyers that put a stop to such practice,” she added. 

She urged them to go the extra mile to ensure the marginalized in the society, such as the victims of Gender-Based Violence, have access to justice.

“I can assure you in the community you live [in] there is always something for us to do for either a child, teen or the youth in order to pull up one another. In the society you will find people who are in dire need for legal advice, go the extra mile to ensure the vulnerable access justice,” she said.

She further asked the newly admitted lawyers to offer solutions to the problem of case backlog and delayed delivery of Justice.

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Tanzania : President Samia reshuffles Cabinet, takes in ex-SADC SG
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Prosper Makene

President Samia Suluhu Hassan

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan has made a mini cabinet reshuffle by introducing four faces. 

President Samia made the reshuffle on Sunday after bringing in former SADC Secretary General Stergomena L. Tax who is  appointed  minister for Defence and National Service replacing Elias Kwandikwa who died. 

Samia has also brought in her cabinet January Makamba as new Minister for Energy replacing Dr Medard Kalemani whose post was terminated. 

Others on the list are Ashatu Kijaji who appointed as Information, Communications and Technology’s Minister in replacement of Dr Faustin Ndugulile whose post was terminated. 

In an effort to bring efficiency in her government, the President has also appointed Professor Makame Mbalawa as Works and Transport Minister replacing Dr Leonard Chamuriho. 

In another development, the President has appointed Eliezer Feleshi as Attorney general replacing Adelerdus Kilangi who has been appointed as an Ambassador. 

The new appointees will be sworn in by President Samia on 13th September, Chamwino State House Dodoma

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Burundi: Surge in COVID 19 Cases As Schools Set To Reopen .
September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Egide Harerimana

Thaddée Ndikumana deplores the surge in COVID -19 positive cases .

In a press release of issued on 9 September, the Burundian health ministry announced that covid-19 positive cases have increased in the last two weeks. The pandemic hits as the 2021-2022 school year is expected to start on 13th September.

“The covid-19 epidemiological situation is marked with an increase in number of positive cases, more especially in the city of Bujumbura and other urban areas of the country,” said Thaddée Ndikumana, Burundian Minister of Public Health.

He added that the data of the last two weeks show that the positivity rate has jumped from 3% to 5%.

For him, the main reason is the ignorance of preventive measures as well as other high-risk behaviors and practices that promote the virus spread.

The minister of public health also said that some people disobey self-quarantine instructions after testing positive for covid-19. “There are also people who once tested positive for covid-19 do not show up for treatment and continue to circulate as if nothing happened,” he added.

Thaddée Ndikumana called on the population to respect all measures to curb covid-19. One of those measures is to regularly wash hands with clean water and soap or chlorinated water. He also reminded people to keep physical distancing in public places and wear a mask that covers nose, mouth and chin.

The cabinet meeting that took place on the 8th of September also expressed a concern over the increase of covid-19 positive cases. “In urban areas, there are more people who violate barrier measures against covid-19. Consequently, there has been an increase in positive cases during the dry season,” reads the press release issued after the meeting.

The cabinet also decided that ceremonies and feasts be held only at weekends to limit the spread of covid-19.

It called on all ministers to mobilize the staff in their ministries over mandatory respect of barrier measures to halt spread of the virus.

Screening centers shouldn’t be zones of contamination

Schools shall open on this 13th of September despite the growing number of covid-19 positive cases in the country.

Screening for pupils who attend boarding schools has started on 10th September and will end on 14th September 2021 in the whole country.

In Bujumbura city, there has been a high number of people who undergo a covid-19 test at the three screening centers since the last weeks. Adding a number of pupils has complicated the job. Some people fear that screening centers may also serve as high-risk zones of contamination.

On the first day of testing boarding schools’ pupils, measures to stamp out covid-19 were violated at different screening centers in Bujumbura, the economic capital of Burundi. 

11 a.m. on the 10th of September at the screening center based at Ruziba hospital in the urban commune of Muha. In front of tents where the screening is conducted, girls and boys were in small groups. They talked, laughed and sometimes shook hands. Many did not wear masks. And others wore them inappropriately. They couldn’t cover the mouth and nose. Physical distancing did not exist. A big crowd could be seen in front of the tents where they waited for results. 

“There is much disorder. I brought my children to test for covid-19 but I am afraid they may contract the virus on the spot”, said a woman met at the same screening center. She also deplored insufficiency of washing kits as there was a high number of people who frequented the place.

According to her, respect for barrier measures should be everyone’s concern. “Otherwise, the screening centers are likely to be zones of contamination,” she regrets.  

The situation was the same at another screening center operating in Bwiza locality of urban commune of Mukaza. Because of a high number of people, measures to prevent covid-19 were breached. Many pupils had no masks. There were long queues without physical distancing. Contamination risks were, in fact, enormous.

Barrier measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not respected at screening centers in Bujumbura city

“The ministry of health should find another center for the exclusive screening of the pupils. This center already welcomed a large number of people every day. Adding students is risky,” said one person met at the center.  

He called on the ministry in charge of public health to ensure that screening centers are not source of covid-19 spread.

At the screening center operating near Kamenge hospital in the north of the city, students were many to have coronavirus screening. Like at other centers, physical distancing was not respected.

“The field is large enough to host those who come for covid-19 test. However, respect for barrier gestures remains a concern,” said a member of staff. He regretted that some people downplayed covid-19 pandemic. 

The minister of health called on students and pupils to keep doing regular covid-19 tests at hospitals and health centers nearby their schools.

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September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

Scores of youth have massed up at the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) Job Fair in search of jobs from several employers.

The youth, numbering over 1,000, were seen standing in long queues at the Accra International Conference Centre, with many of them struggling to enter the building to secure jobs with companies.

The primary objective of the YEA Job Fair is to provide opportunities for job seekers to go through live interview sessions to get employed by the participating companies from the private sector.

 One of them said, “I was here as early as 8:00am, and it’s almost 1:00pm. The experience has been very tough because there is no organization at the place, and we are all just here rushing in and coming out.”

According to some of the youth they got to the venue around 9:30 am to 1:00pm and still have no access into the building.  They were been asked to do registration, but nothing seems working at the center.

 Thousands of Ghanaian youth thronged the El Wak Sports Stadium in Accra to participate in a documentation and medical screening process for recruitment into the Ghana Armed Forces.

However, this has been the trend for some years now, depicting the growing levels of youth unemployment in the country. From as early as 4:00am, applicants started a queue that stretched for over four kilometer’s.

This was after the announcement from the Ghana Armed Forces informing the public of the commencement of a recruitment exercise back in May.

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September 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has on Thursday, September 9, commissioned a food processing factory at Adonkwanta in the Krachi East Municipality of the Oti region.

The factory, CH Foods under the brand name CH Global Limited is a Ghanaian-owned company and has become the first-ever factory to be built in the Oti region under the government’s flagship One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) Programme. The company currently has 52 direct and over 200 trained factory hands as workforce and would be engaged in yam and cassava processing.

According to the Technical and Operations Director of the company, Fred Darko the company would be exploiting the large yam and cassava production potentials of the Oti region for raw materials, with over 800 tubers expected to be processed daily, once the factory fully starts operations.

He said the decision to cite the company in Oti is to ensure that, “Currently, the company has trained over 200 out-growers in the local community and every single day, we have the local farmers bringing us their harvested yam for us to purchase, which is very good for them, which is enhancing their standards of living with a ready market for their produce.”

The Foods factory project which began in 2018 has been funded by the Exim bank at a cost of GHS10 million. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who is currently on a two-day tour of the Volta and Oti regions would be visiting and inspecting other government projects in the two regions.

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Cameroon: MINAT Boss Dangles Prosecution of Police Assaulters
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Paul Atanga Nji, Cameroon’s Minister of Territorial Administration

“…If an individual is caught assaulting a Police Officer, they shall face the heavy arm of the Law. There is no point trying to escape after such an act because a hungry snake shall come for you in your hideout.”

The Minister of Territorial Administration, Paul Atanga Nji made the above statement in a communiqué published this Friday, September 10 after frequent assault on a police officer and other security forces by ordinary citizens has been observed for the last weeks.

Images and videos from Douala, Yaoundé have seen local inhabitants assaulting these security officers while in one video, a lieutenant Colonel is said to have been assaulted in a bus. In another video, a private car driver drove over a police officer while another was fighting with a police officer in Douala.

This irresponsible behaviour towards the Police is unacceptable. It should be underscored that the Police is at the service of the population, and more specifically at the service of everyone.

According to the Minister of Territorial Administration, Cameroonian Police is a well-structured and well-organized corps, present at all levels of the Republic: Regions, Divisions and Subdivisions and they work relentlessly to ensure the security of persons and their property.

“In the event of any disagreement between a police officer and an individual, a complaint should be addressed to the Police hierarchy. When the accusations against a police officer are founded, only the Police hierarchy is empowered to apply sanctions against the defaulting officer, per the internal regulations of the corps and in line with the Laws in force,” Minister Atanga Nji said.

“…no citizen or person, regardless of their social status, for whatsoever reason, has the right to assault a police officer on duty. That could be considered jungle justice which we all know has no place in Cameroon. Insulting or assaulting a police officer on duty or refusing to obey instructions is unacceptable.”

“It should be made abundantly clear that from the foregone if an individual is caught assaulting a Police Officer, they shall face the heavy arm of the Law. There is no point trying to escape after such an act because a hungry snake shall come for you in your hideout,” Minister Atanga Nji added.

Such disrespectful and derogatory behaviours towards security officers shall be sanctioned accordingly as stated by Minister Atanga Njie, as provided for by the law.

He said: “In this regard, I would like to restate here the provisions of Section 156 of Law No. 2016/007 of 12 July 2016 relating to the Penal Code, amended and supplemented by Law No. 2019/020 of 24 December 2019, for everyone to get abreast with.”

Section 156: Assault on Public Servant (1) Whoever uses force on a public servant or otherwise interferes with him, shall be punished with imprisonment for from 1 (one) month to 3 (three) years and with a fine of from CFAF 5 000 (five thousand) to CFAF 100 000 (one hundred thousand).

(2) Where the force or interference is premeditated, or where it results, intentionally or otherwise, in harm within the meaning of Sections 277 or 280 of this Code, the punishment shall be imprisonment for from five (05) to ten (10) years and fine of from CFAF20 000 (twenty thousand) to CFAF 500 000 (five hundred thousand).

(4) Where the force or interference results unintentionally in death, the punishment shall be imprisonment for life: (5) where the force or interference is intended to cause death, the punishment shall be death.

The Minister further added that Regional Governors have now been given strict instructions on how to handle irresponsible persons who attack Police officers on duty. Whether this goes a long way to deter local inhabitants from assaulting a police officer or other security forces, is left to be debated upon.

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September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

-Currently slightly over 580, 000 are fully vaccinated and 8.4 million citizens need to be vaccinated for herd immunity to be achieved.


Did you know that life has gone back to normal in countries that have vaccinated their citizens against covid-19 by more than half of their population?

The United States of America, most European countries, and Isreal are among these countries.

Over 50 percent of the named countries population have been vaccinated and are going about business as usual.

This is called ‘herd Immunity’ or ‘population immunity’. 

In other words its the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection.

 The World Health Organization (WHO) supports achieving ‘herd immunity’ through vaccination, not by allowing a disease to spread through any segment of the population, as this would result in unnecessary cases and deaths.

Citizens in countries that have attained herd immunity are going about life normally with no restrictions.

And the WHO in their news release on September, 2021 says eight in 10 African countries are likely to miss the crucial covid 19 vaccination which states countries globally must achieve herd Immunity by the end of September, 2021.

Who Regional Director Muthindiso Moeti said forty-two of the 54 nations which is nearly 80percent are set to miss the target if the current pace of vaccine deliveries.

“Nine African countries including South Africa, Morroco and Tunisia have already reached the global target set in May by the World Health Assembly. At the current pace three more could meet the target if they speed up vaccinations,” she said.

Who further reports that over 145 million doses of covid 19 vaccines have been received in Africa and 39 million doses have been administered. This translates to 3 percent of Africa’s population.

Zambia on the other hand needs to vaccinate about 9 million citizens before the country can reach herd Immunity status.

Currently only about 600,000 of its citizens are fully vaccinated. This means that the country needs to vaccinate 8.4 million citizens to reach herd immunity.

Despite this deficit in achieving herd immunity, the country’s vaccination program remains voluntary.

Will Zambia manage to meet the herd immunity target?

To date about four thousand(3,596) citizens have died in Zambia of covid-19 related cases according to the Ministry of health permanent Secretary for technical services Kennedy Malama in a statement on August 31, 2021.

Community based TB/HIV/AIDS Organization(CBTO) says Zambia is still very far from reaching herd immunity as most citizens are still skeptical about getting vaccinated.

CBTO advocacy manager Mumba Ngoma said this when he addressed journalists and other health stakeholders at a meeting hosted by the Media Science Cafe(MESICA) a group of science journalists and other stakeholders.

Mr Ngoma said people in Europe and USA are now able to attend social gatherings without wearing masks because over half of their population have been vaccinated.

“The majority of people that have died in the states and the United kingdom are those that where not vaccinated, about 9million Zambians have to be vaccinated if we want to go to stadiums without restrictions and without masks,” he said.

He wondered why Zambians are saying vaccines are meant to kill Africans by the western world when most medicines and essentials come from there.

“When antiretroviral drugs where introduced most people said they where meant to kill Africans but it turned out that most of those that took them are still alive and those that didnt take them are dead. Anything in this world has an effect, especially medicines and most of the medicines that we take comes from the western world, we would have been killed a long time ago,”he said.

And the Ministry of health is aware that it is still far from reaching the required number of vaccinations.

Dr Malama says despite the deficit in vaccinations the country’s vaccination program will remain voluntary.

“We have noted a growing shift in policy in some countries which have introduced mandatory vaccination and requesting for proof of vaccination for access to public spaces. We will however continue amplifying the overwhelming evidence that vaccination protects one from developing severe covid-19,” he said.

He however said the Ministry is taking the vaccinations closer to the people to reach out to many.

“To ramp up uptake and take the service closer to the people, we are focusing on heightening campaigns through our static and outreach sites in coming weeks,” he said.

Meanwhile some locals are still skeptical about getting vaccinated despite the risks of severe covid 19 illness.

“I will only be vaccinated after observing how other people will react to it,” said Oscar Kasweka.

And resident Marvis Tembo said she is not yet sure about getting vaccinated because the vaccines where developed too quickly.

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UN committed to work with Zimbabwe on initiatives to build and maintain peace
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Maria Ribeiro

United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator for Zimbabwe Ms Maria
Ribeiro has reported that international body remains committed to
working closely with the people of Zimbabwe and the country´s
authorities in support of initiatives aimed at building and
maintaining peace.
  Ms Ribeiro made the remarks at a recent interface with the
Parliamentary Committee on Peace and Security. The virtual event was
held on 10 September, 2021 as a prelude to the commemoration of the
International Day of Peace which is annually marked on 21 September
 “It is my pleasure to join you and share some reflections and remarks
with you and dialogue with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on
Peace and Security.As you know, the UN Charter adopted almost 76 years
ago, has essential element on Peace. The very first Article of the UN
Charter reminds us that the United Nations was formed to maintain
peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations, and
to promote social progress, better living standards and human rights,”
she said.

  She also said that it is  often thought   the UN´s mandate on peace
as being peacekeeping, conflict resolution, the opposite to conflict
and the end of war.

  Ribeiro said that  peace is more than that and  is creating the
enabling environment for all to build sustainable livelihoods and
social dynamics that promote human rights, equity, economic, social
and political opportunities for all.
  She said that peace is nurtured and precious and needs the buy in of
all, hence the Secretary General´s Agenda on Prevention and the peace
and human right dimensions in the SDGs and Agenda 2030.

Under the 2030 Agenda, UN Member States committed to “promote peaceful
and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to
justice for all and build effective, inclusive and accountable
institutions at all levels”

The global theme for this years’ International Day of Peace is
Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world.

The theme focuses on the impact of COVID-19. It highlights the need
for nations and communities to think creatively and collectively about
how to build forward better from COVID-19 and how to build resilience
and create a more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and
healthier Zimbabwe and the world.

  It is reported that COVID-19 remains a threat at all levels of
society to peace and security.
 “We have seen that there has been an increase in violence within
homes and communities.There is an increase also in discrimination,
hate speech, and misinformation.Confronting this Global Pandemic
should serve as a reminder that in order to be able to recover, we
must make peace and co-existence with one another a central priority,”
Ms Ribeiro said.

 She also invited the chair and  members of the peace and security
parliamentarian portfolio, to  join the UN Secretary General’s global
campaign called #OnlyTogether.

 “It is #OnlyTogether, through genuine solidarity and partnership,
that we can overcome the pandemic and achieve the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development,” she said.

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Cape Verde:Lawyers Call For Transfer of Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab to Praia On Health Grounds.
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Femi Falana, a Nigerian Lwayer and human rights activist represents Mr Saab

Lawyers for detained Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, who has been under detention for the past months, have called on the authorities in Cape Verde to respect the decision of the Barlevento Appeal Court to transfer the Diplomat to Praia due to his deteriorating health condition.

Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab was arrested by the Cape Verdean authorities back in June 2020 while on a special humanitarian mission from Iran. He was arrested at the Amilcar Cabral International Airport on the Island of Sal after a stopover.

“In analyzing the case, based on the content of the medical report and of the supporting documents, the need emerges for the Extraditee to be treated by specialists in the field of oncology, given the stated urgency of the matter and owing to the known lack of specialist Doctors on the Isle of Sal, due to health reasons which cannot be denied by anyone, it seems to us to be justified for authorization to be given to his transfer to the town of Praia, where he can be adequately treated by Doctors specializing in the areas indicated in the report attached to the case papers,” the Berlavento Court of Appeal said in a judgment.

The Berlavento Court of Appeal added: “Moreover, for humanitarian reasons[text obliterated by stamp] …human dignity and the overriding value of our Basic Law, which is directly related to the issue of health for every person, it is also shown to be advisable to grant to the request to create the conditions which guarantee the necessary security in his transfer and the maintenance of the measure of personal coercion to which he is subjected.”

“This being so, and because it appears to us that such a decision will not create major constraints, and even if it does health must come first, the requested transfer of residence by the Extraditee to the City of Praia, Santiago is granted.”

Femi Falana, a lawyer for Alex Saab said in a communiqué address to Mr Moreno, however, said this decision has not been respected. He said: “My colleagues and I are deeply concerned that 10 days since the ruling of the Barlavento Court of Appeal (attached) authorizing the immediate transfer of our client, H.E. Alex Nain Saab Morán, from the Island of Sal to Praia you have yet to respond and act upon this order. The TRB made the order due to the serious deterioration of His Excellency’s health.”

“The National Police is failing to comply with the decision of the Court of Appeal of Barlavento, obstructing justice and attempting to justify its conduct on the basis that it “has to choose between complying with that (TRB) decision or extraditing Alex Saab”. This is not only morally shameful but also legally untenable.”

Alex Saab, a Colombian by birth, is a businessman who provided services to the then Chavez administration and recently to the Maduro government, at a time when Venezuela has been facing severe sanctions imposed by the United States.

Alex Saab was arrested in Cape Verde in 2020 and is yet to be released

The United States has been pushing for his extradition from Cape Verde to the former to stand trial on charges of money laundering. Their push seemed to be gaining ground as Cape Verdean authorities look to send him to the U.S. despite attempts from Alex Saab’s lawyers, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court, and other groups, who say this is America using his powers to marshal other smaller nations and get what they want.

“The decision regarding the possible extradition of His Excellency is not final as he cannot be extradited so long as there are legal remedies that can still be filed or instituted,” Mr Feme Falana added.

“Thus, the failure to comply with the TRB by the National Police amounts to obstruction of justice and places you and your colleagues under criminal and civil responsibility for what happens about the health of His Excellency.”

“My colleague Dr Jose Manuel Pinto Monteiro and his associates have made several attempts to coordinate with you the TRB-ordered transfer including providing you with details of where his house arrest takes place, but to no avail.

“On behalf of the Defense Team I respectfully ask that all arrangements are immediately agreed and his transfer takes place without further delay,” Femi Falana concluded.

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Malawian top banker Thom Mpinganjira convicted in judge bribery case.
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Joseph Dumbula.

Thom Mpinganjira

The High Court in Malawi’s commercial Capital, Blantyre has found business mogul, Thom Mpinganjira guilty in an attempted judge bribery case that he has been facing for two years now.

He has also been remanded at Chichiri Prison pending his sentencing at a yet to be announced date.

Mpinganjira has been facing charges to do with enticing judges who heard the presidential petition case as a constitutional referral to alter their ruling in favour of former President Peter Mutharika and the Malawi Electoral Commission.

His arrest followed complaints by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda that some unknown people had been attempting to bribe the judges.

The judges heard the elections case in which the UTM, headed by former Malawi vice President Saulos Chilima and the country’s oldest political party, the Malawi Congress Party led by Lazarus Chakwera petitioned the court for the nullification of the results citing the irregularities that marred the poll in which Peter Mutharika was declared winner.

This was after the Constitutional Court had nullified the elections but waited for the Supreme Court to review the ruling.

But on Friday, Judge Dorothy, DeGabrielle found Mpinganjira guilty, at a time when Mpinganjira’s admirers and sympathisers thronged the premise outside the court carrying placards that argued that the convict faced the charges because he is rich.

In her ruling, the judge said the court aligned itself to the evidence from phone call recordings and printed WhatsApp conversations that were shared between Mpinganjira and the judges he wanted to bribe.

DeGabrielle said that it had been proved beyond reasonable doubt that Mpinganjira had “a parcel” which he wanted to give to the judges in a believed view for them to alter their ruling.

But in his mitigation factor, Tamanda Chokhotho, lawyer for Mpinganjira said his client does not need to be given a custodial sentence between he is an upright man and is supporting a lot of people through his foundation.

He had also said that Mpinganjira’s custodial sentence would imply that many people at FDH Bank would lose their jobs.

However, Reyneck Matemba, the country’s solicitor general who had started persecuting the case when he was the Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau said the mitigations lacked merit.

He said if the convict was upright, he would not have indulged himself in the case saying he wanted to manipulate the justice system.

Matemba later quashed a mitigation factor that Mpinganjira’s situation would lead into job loss saying he had formally resigned from the bank and that its operations are running.

Later, Matemba said an argument that the convict is supporting a local team, Mighty Wanderers as President does not hold any water because he only took up the post two months ago.

There have so far been mixed reactions over the matter with the social media stuck on arguments that the case has exposed an attempted case of a state capture.

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More African Countries Register Russia’s Sputnik Vaccine
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Kester Kenn Klomegah

Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is a specialized technical institution of the African Union (AU) that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programmes.

During the outbreak of the coronavirus, the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), was established by African Union, as a component in support of the Africa Vaccine Strategy and was endorsed by the AU Bureau of Heads of State and Government on 20th of August 2020.

Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), has emphasized: “Africa has to team up with development partners to achieve its 60% continent-wide vaccination in the next two years. I think that is why we should as a collective of the continent, and of course, in partnership with the developed world make sure that Africa has a timely access to vaccines to meet our vaccination targets.”

An official media release in February 2021, the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team from the African Union (AU) informed the world that Russia would supply and deliver 300 million Sputnik V vaccines to Africa. That step was intended to support African countries to attain their targeted immunization of 60% of the population by the year-end. That vaccine story disappeared, instead what become so common is the speedy registration of Sputnik V on bilateral basis in various African countries.

According to the latest, Nigeria has become the 68th country in the world to approve the Russian vaccine. The use of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine has been approved in Nigeria, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in an official statement.

“The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announces the approval of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control of Nigeria (NAFDAC). Nigeria has become the 68th country in the world to approve the Russian vaccine. Total population of all countries, where Sputnik V is approved for use, now exceeds 3.7 billion people, which is nearly half of the global population,” the statement said.

“Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, and the approval of Sputnik V will provide for using one of the safest and most effective vaccines in the world. Sputnik V is based on a proven human adenoviral vectors platform and is successfully used in over 50 countries. Approval in Nigeria will make an important contribution to the country’s fight against the pandemic,” CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev said.

Besides Nigeria, other African countries have registered Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Reportedly, the vaccine has been registered in Algeria, Angola, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Morocco, Namibia, Tunisia, the Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe.

Russia’s drive to share Sputnik V vaccine, of course, offers a chance to raise its image and strengthen alliances in Africa. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has made efforts promoting the vaccine using all its channels. But supply and delivery have largely lagged behind, the pledges have simply not been fulfilled. Russian authorities have said oftentimes that they would step up efforts for fruitful cooperation in combating coronavirus in Africa.

Promising more than can be delivered appears to be a universal problem with coronavirus vaccines, and it is a real risk for Russia as well, said Theresa Fallon, Director of the Brussels-based Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies. “They have won the gold medal for creating this very effective vaccine,” she said. “But the problem is how are they going to implement production and delivery?”

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), with profit motivation, has attempted supplying the Russian vaccines through, Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, from the Monarch family and a third party in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to a number of African countries. For instance, the Republic of Ghana reportedly signed US$64.6 million contract for Sputnik V vaccine from Russia through Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum. It was double the price from the producer as reported in the media.

On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin has noted, in a speech early September, that advanced countries that produce vaccines against the coronavirus do little to protect humanity from the pandemic.

“The benefits of vaccination are enjoyed mostly by advanced economies. The bulk of the vaccines is made there, and it is used to protect their own population. But very little is being done to protect humanity in the broad sense,” Putin said at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, the Far East of Russia. “This is very bad for the producers, because all this boomerangs around the globe. For instance, in Africa the level of protection with vaccines is minimal, but contacts with the African countries continue. There is no getting away from this. This infection will return again and again.”

According to an official release obtained late February, the Sputnik V vaccine the following advantages:

• Efficacy of Sputnik V is 91.6% as confirmed by the data published in the Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals; It is one of only three vaccines in the world with efficacy of over 90%; Sputnik V provides full protection against severe cases of COVID-19. 

• The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a proven and well-studied platform of human adenoviral vectors, which cause the common cold and have been around for thousands of years. 

• Sputnik V uses two different vectors for the two shots in a course of vaccination, providing immunity with a longer duration than vaccines using the same delivery mechanism for both shots. 

• The safety, efficacy and lack of negative long-term effects of adenoviral vaccines have been proven by more than 250 clinical studies over two decades. 

• The developers of the Sputnik V vaccine are working collaboratively with AstraZeneca on a joint clinical trial to improve the efficacy of AstraZeneca vaccine. 

• There are no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V. 

• The price of Sputnik V is less than $10 per shot, making it affordable around the world. 

In February, peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet published an interim analysis from Phase III clinical trial of the Russian vaccine, showing its 91.6-percent efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. Developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Sputnik V was the world’s first officially-registered vaccine against COVID-19.

Sputnik V was registered in Russia on August 11, 2020 as the world’s first officially registered coronavirus vaccine. Russian vaccines have advantages as no deaths have been reported after vaccination with the Sputnik V, Alexander Gintsburg, Director of the Gamaleya Center, the vaccine developer, said and was reported by TASS News Agency. “As of today, no deaths after vaccination with Sputnik V have been registered,” he said.

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia’s sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management is based in Moscow.

In Africa, during first week of September, the coronavirus-related death toll has topped 196,190, while more than 6.9 million recoveries have been reported. South Africa accounts for a majority of coronavirus cases and deaths across Africa – 2,777,659 and 82,261 respectively. The death toll in Tunisia climbed to 23,451, and 664,034 cases have been confirmed. Egypt recorded 16,736 deaths and 288,441 coronavirus cases.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia is ranked second to South Africa (308,134 cases and 4,675 deaths) and is followed by Kenya (235,863 cases and 4,726 deaths) and Nigeria (191,805 and 2,455). The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached almost 8 million in Africa, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Africa. [….]

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Zambia’s forest initiative named as best individual carbon offsetting project in the world.
September 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Zambia’s government and communities in Luangwa District have been recognized for hosting one of the best environmental projects in the world.

The Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP), set up by BioCarbon Partners (BCP) in partnership with local communities, has  been named as the Best Individual Offsetting Project in the World in the prestigious Environmental Finance  Annual Global Voluntary Carbon Market Rankings.

“Given the high number of forest carbon projects globally, this is a tremendous accolade for Zambia,” said Dr Hassan Sachedina, BCP Founder and CEO, which also received awards for Best Monitoring Impact Report and was named runner up in the overall and Forestry and Land Use Best Project Developer categories.

“This recognition is testament to the Zambian Government’s leadership in creating an enabling environment granting carbon rights to communities.”

  With carbon ownership, communities partnering in the LCFP have set a new benchmark in improving livelihoods and conserving wildlife, while decreasing encroachment and emissions from deforestation.

  It is reported that with the recent IPCC report saying there is unequivocal evidence of negative climate change impact, the example set by communities in the LCFP shows that quality and scalable community forest carbon projects are eminently possible, added Dr Sachedina.

  “Even more remarkable is that through this partnership the same communities are achieving these project impacts while protecting one of the most important remaining wildlife landscapes left on earth in the Lower Zambezi to Luangwa valleys.”

  In 2020 and 2021, while the Zambian economy is estimated to have contracted by 1.2% and thousands of jobs have been lost as a result of Covid-19, the pandemic has placed immense pressure on Zambia’s rural communities, many of whom rely on the conservation, tourism and agricultural sectors.

   While tourism has been pushed to the brink, REDD+ has continued to bring revenue to local communities, with direct payments of K92 million (US$ 4.8 million) directly paid to communities since the pandemic began. 

  It is added that with close to 1,200 jobs created, the multiplier effect of these benefits is up to K129 million (US$ 6.7 million).

  It is also added that over the last five years, household income has increased 171% in the LCFP, demonstrating how durable and successful the REDD+ model has proven to Zambia’s local economy, said BCP.

  “The project has close to about 1million hectares of land which is being protected. It benefits about 217,000 people in 12 chiefdoms; some are in Eastern Province and some are in Lusaka Province. People also benefit through smart agriculture, wildlife conservation and even the forest itself is being protected. And through the years we have seen a lot of positive changes; some of them the benefits that we have talked about. Other things that benefited is the wildlife itself because through this project we have created a wildlife corridor from the North Luangwa and we have seen some wildlife freely moving through this corridor and that has really improved the tourism sector in the area.”, said His Royal Highness Senior Chief Luembe, Chairman of the House of Chiefs.

   “We are incredibly humbled by this recognition in the global rankings.  We are so grateful to everyone who voted for us, without whose commitment this would not be possible. We thank our community and government partners for their central role in these achievements showing that Zambia is far ahead in implementing quality forest protection at scale, and USAID for their visionary catalytic financial support of the project,” said Dr Sachedina.

  “As far as we know, LCFP is Africa’s largest project at over 1 million hectares, and the largest in the world by social impact. We would not have achieved this without USAID support, at a time when green climate finance was scarce. With the IPPC’s report declaring a ‘code red for humanity’, scale, quality and community participation are critical in the climate change fight. The best thing about projects like LCFP is that they embody hope.  People are benefitting; wildlife is benefitting; and the world is benefitting.”
In addition to the world’s best REDD+ project, BCP was received the award for best impact report, and was runner-up as best developer in the forest carbon sector, and runner up as best carbon project developer, overall.

BCP is a leading African conservation social enterprise with a mission to make wildlife habitat conservation valuable to people. BCP employs over 215 people across 13 chiefdoms in Zambia, partnering to help conserve 1.1 million hectares of habitat in critical ecosystems.
Helping to conserve over 500 million trees, and with close to 7 million tons of carbon emissions reduced to date, both BCP implemented REDD+ Projects have been verified against the Verified Carbon Standard, the world’s leading voluntary Greenhouse Gas program. In 2021, the LZRP is the only project in Africa to receive 8 consecutive verifications and only the second in the World to achieve this! While it is also Africa’s first CCBA Triple Gold Project, with ‘Gold’ level verification against all three categories of the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Standard (CCBA) for its exceptional climate change impacts and community and biodiversity benefits. The LCFP has achieved CCBA Triple Gold Validation for exceptional community impact. Awarded Best Individual Offsetting Project and Impact Monitoring Report in the World in the Environmental Finance Voluntary Carbon Markets Ranking 2021, and ranked in the top 0.5% of B Corps globally 2021, BCP offers carbon offsets with World class benefits.

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Zimbabwe:Court Orders Mugabe to be reburied .
September 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati

Liberation was hero Robert Mugabe was the first President of Zimbabwe

Controversy seems to follow Zimbabwe’s former president, the late Robert Mugabe even in death. Almost two years to his death, Mugabe’s remains are set to be exhumed and reburied. The news came after a local court ruled that Mugabe’s remains need to be buried at the Zimbabwe National Heroes Acre.

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s former president who ruled for close to three decades died a couple of years back. His final wishes before his death according to close family members was to be buried at his rural home in Zvimba. Mugabe according to close sources wanted to rest in the same place as his kith and kin.

Upon his death however, contestations emerged between his family and the country’s presidium and ruling party ZANU (PF). Mugabe’s family wanted to honour his final wishes and bury him at his rural home while the country’s presidium and ruling party ZANU (PF) wanted Mugabe to be buried at the National Heroes Acre. After several discussions, arguments and at times public spats, the country’s presidium finally gave in and allowed Mugabe to be buried at his rural home.

Over a year later after Mugabe’s burial, a traditional chief from Mugabe’s rural home presided over a traditional court session where a ruling was passed that Mugabe’s widow Grace Mugabe had erred by burying Mugabe in the family home compound. A fine of five cows and a goat was levied against Grace Mugabe and the family was given a grace period of up to 1 July 2021 to exhume Mugabe’s remains and bury him at the Heroes Acre.

Following the traditional court session, Mugabe’s three children challenged the ruling passed and took matters to the magistrates’ court. The hope in lodging an appeal was to have the traditional court ruling set aside. Unfortunately for the Mugabe family, the Chinhoyi Magistrates Court rejected the appeal.

Though the Chinhoyi Magistrates Court rejected the appeal, the Mugabe family lawyer Fungai Chimwamurombe said any reburial plans will definitely not be happening anytime soon as the family is challenging the ruling passed by the magistrates’ court. In a statement, Chimwamurombe said, “The children have a right to appeal. It is a ruling that ought to be challenged.”

The ruling by the traditional court in Zvimba and the subsequent appeal rejection by the magistrates’ court over Mugabe’s reburial plans has sharply divided opinion. There are some who argue that Mugabe – in death – is getting a taste of his own medicine as during his tenure, he forcibly instructed some ZANU (PF) bigwigs to be buried at the Heroes Acre against their wishes. Some of those who were buried at the shrine against their wishes include former Vice President Joshua Nkomo, former Midlands Province governor Cephas Msipa and former minister Enos Nkala.

The Mugabe family has strongly condemned the efforts to rebury Mugabe with some alleging that Mugabe’s body may be used for ritual purposes. Nephew to the late Robert Mugabe, Leo Mugabe said, “You know some people have an inclination for rituals. We are afraid that some people are after his body parts or even his whole body and they want to use that for rituals.”

The worries expressed by Leo Mugabe were echoed by political analyst Farai Gwenhure who said, “Mnangagwa believes the failure to obtain performance legitimacy is because of unhappy ancestors and traditional spirits.”

Director of Information for ZANU (PF) Tafadzwa Mugwadi has however quashed the sentiments expressed by the Mugabe family saying, “The party is not part of whatever that is. The party has no stake in Chief Zvimba’s local traditional court processes. Only them at (the) family level and Chief Zvimba are aware of what is going on… It is therefore absolutely shameless, mischievous and malicious for anyone to try and drag the party into whatever is going on there.”

According to political analyst Alexander Rusero, the contestations surrounding Mugabe’s burial is nothing but a subtle power game by ZANU (PF). Mugabe’s burial to ZANU (PF) “is a case of unfinished business. What is at play is the logistics of power. ZANU (PF) is a party that is so obsessed with the accumulation of power… It is a party that does not take defeat in any matter: be it an argument or an election result. So, the burial of Mugabe at Kutama, to ZANU (PF) is a loss.”  

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Cameroon: CHRDA Calls On Gov’t to Respect Rights of those facing Capital Punishment
September 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

-The Rights organization says opportunity to appeal against the verdict or apply for pardon or commutation of sentence should be accorded

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Barrister Felix Nkongho, President of CHRDA

The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, one of the leading rights groups in Cameroon has called on the government “to ensure that all the rights and safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty should be respected.”

This statement is contained in a communiqué issued by CHRDA on September 9 titled “Statement on the death sentence handed down to 4 accused persons by the Buea Military Tribunal” this September 7 who were accused of committing the Mother Francisca school killing in Kumba that left at least six children dead and scores injured.

“An opportunity to appeal against the verdict or apply for pardon or commutation of sentence should be accorded,” CHRDA said in the communiqué send to Pan African Visions.

Several persons were immediately arrested, suspected of having a hand in the massacre including the proprietor, the principal, the vice-principal who was employed according to CHRDA just 18 days before the incident. The discipline master and the security guard were also arrested.

The accused persons were standing trial before the said Court for charges related to acts of terrorism, hostility against the fatherland, secession insurrection, murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Many families are still grappling with the trauma

12 accused persons stood trial among which five were already in custody at the Buea Central Prison and seven others on bail. Four accused persons were sentenced to five months imprisonment with a fine of fifty thousand FCFA each, while four were slammed the death penalty. Yemeli Gilda, Konte Patrick, Angu Emmanuel and Elangwe Kelvin Eyabe were all given the death penalty while another four were discharged and acquitted.

The death sentence to the four accused persons by the Buea Military Court is unprecedented in the Anglophone crisis and Cameroon in general. The decision to impose the death sentence is happening for the first time since Cameroon last did a similar back in 1997.

“If executed, the state of Cameroon would be joining few other countries around the world still using the death sentence as punishment for a criminal offence,” CHRDA said in a communiqué.

Speaking to one of the acquitted persons who spent six months in jail and was later released on bail before the final verdict, he disclosed to CHRDA that when the unfortunate incident happened in Kumba, being one of the school administrators, the government invited him among other school administrators and told them they were going to be kept at the Buea-Road prison I Kumba for their safety ad security for the time being for the tension to calm down.

After one month, they were transferred to Buea and told they were coming to sign some documents, when they arrived Buea was kept at the Buea Central Prison and later charged at the Military Tribunal.

According to the Rights organisation, Cameroon has ratified several instruments that mention the death penalty and try to advocate for the abolition of capital punishment. The organization, however, notes that the death penalty is not prohibited by the law in Cameroon or any other virtually universal international treaty.

“Even the international customary law on its part does not prohibit the death penalty at the current time, but custom is rapidly changing towards a position in favour of worldwide abolition. At the international level, the most important treaty provision relating to the death penalty is Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which Cameroon has ratified,” the statement continued.

The slain children received a state burial by the state

In the communiqué, CHRDA indicated that despite advocacy for the abolition of the death penalty or capital punishment around the world by the international community, few legal instruments in Cameroon still prescribe some crimes punishable by the death penalty which include among others the Law on the Suppression of Acts of Terrorism in Cameroon adopted on December 19, 2014and Law no.2016/007 of July 2016 relating to the Penal Code.

The following sections of the anti-terrorism law and the penal code defined the specific offences warranting capital punishment. For the law on anti-terrorism, the provisions include inter-alia: Section 2(1) (2), Section 3(1), Section 4 (b), Section 5 (1), and for the penal code, the provisions include: sections 18, 22, 102, 103, 111, 112, 276 and 320.

Equally, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 1984, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights discourages capital punishment.

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Cameroon: “The Ngarbuh Killers Should be Sentenced to Firing Squad” – Chris Anu
September 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Death Sentence on Southern Cameroonians is a Sham, says Chris Anu

Chris Anu, Communications Secretary of “Ambazonia” has called on the courts in Cameroon to give a “death sentence on those who carried out the Ngarbuh Massacre” in the North West Region as a sign of their fairness like they did to those who reportedly carried out the Kumba killings.

He made the statement this September 8 in an audio message after four accused persons were sentenced to death by a firing squad of having carried out the attack and gruesome killing of school children at the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, Fiango-Kumba, Meme Division of the South West Region of Cameroon on September 24, 2020.

Yemeli Gilda, Konte Patrick, Angu Emmanuel and Elangwe Kelvin Eyab were standing trial at the Buea Military Tribunal on charges of acts of terrorism, hostility against the fatherland, secession, insurrection, murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The proprietress Judith Ayanu and her husband Simon Gabriel Shu, Godlove Ekendja, the principal were all given five months jail terms for having failed to report the incident. Meantime, some three persons including Divine Njume and Akwafe Zebedee were all acquitted.

According to Chris Anu, the decision to impose the death sentence on the four persons accused of carrying out the Kumba shooting is completely outrageous after those who committed the attack on Ngarbuh (members of Cameroon’s security forces) have not been given the same treatment for that heinous crime.

“What happened to those French Cameroonian soldiers who have confessed that they carried out the Ngarbuh massacre that killed closed to forty indigenes of Ngarbuh? What happened to them,” He wondered. 

“The shooting in Kumba ends in the death of seven children; the massacre in Ngarbuh ends in the death of close to forty people but as it is always the case, the Southern Cameroonians are sentenced by firing squad and those who killed forty people still walk free.”

Chris Anu went further to state that: “If they (courts) want to tell us that they are free let them sentence the Ngarbuh killers to a firing squad. The mass grave is still there; they have not been judged or sentence for anything but people are framed up in Kumba and sentenced to a firing squad.”

One of the graves of those killed in Ngarbuh

The Ngarbuh attack took place on February 14, 2020, in which at least 21 civilians were killed including 13 children. Government forces and an ethnic Fulani militia were blamed for the attack, according to Human Rights Watch.

“It is highly suspicious that in almost all incidents, the vast majority are deaths rather than injuries, leading one to assume more of an execution-style being perpetrated,” Andrew Pendleton, OCHA’s representative in the North West said about the killing.

The Cameroon government initially denied reports that state security forces carried out the attack. But after much scrutiny and pressure finally accepted that it was indeed carried out by its security forces. A commission was immediately formed and findings made known, though Human Rights Watch said was “flawed”.

“The commission’s findings into the Ngarbuh massacre while flawed are an important first step toward justice for these serious crimes,” Lewis Mudge, Central Africa Director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement back then.

“But this report should not be a stand-alone. A more in-depth investigation is needed to establish a clear timeline of events and to identify all those responsible, including anyone further up the chain of command, to prosecute them.”

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Pragmatic Policies And Measures Needed Address Plight of African Ladies In The Gulf- Dr Princess Ocansey.
September 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Maxwell Nkansah

The Executive Chairperson of the Nekotech Center of Excellence, and Founder of the Nekotech Center for Labor Migration Diplomacy, and also a member of the African Union Labor Migration Advisory Committee, in an interview with Maxwell Nkansah says, African leaders need to come into agreement and regulate a proper systematic measure to favor the young ladies who go to the gulf to work as housemaid.

 According to her, due to the lack of proper regulation from leaders of Ecowas, the situation of abuse of housemaid in the gulf will continue until proper structures are put in place. She further stated that, the government of Sierra Leone has taken a stand on legal migration to make it safe for their person who goes to the gulf for employment purposes.

She added that, the lack of job creation in the country has also increase the rate of young ladies running to the gulf. According to her, the Philippines are earning 400 dollars while Africans are receiving 250 dollars for domestic workers.

Dr. Ocancey continue to say the Ecowas needs to come together and regulate a system that makes policies and operationalize excellent decent work program to break the spell off African Youth Unemployment by matching them with vetted international employers in the gulf.

She stated that, many Ghanaian girls who migrate to Gulf countries through employment agencies end up as domestic hands in the residences of unscrupulous rich Arabs who use them as sex objects at the blind side of their wives. “A lady who craved for anonymity said there have been instances where fathers shared their African sex objects with their children. Women who resist such overtures are subjected to untold physical assaults by their owners as it were.

Unfortunately, many of these girls easily fall for the advertisements about what they stand to gain by taking the bold decision to migrate for the so-called green pastures in the Gulf States of Arabia. Their travel documents are collected by their bosses as soon as they land in their final destinations where they double as domestic workers and sex slaves

She initiated the development of a model international workers program for Ghanaian workers to work legally in the USA. After running successfully for three years, the modal is currently being rolled out internationally to Canada, USA, Australia and the gulf states in partnership with top international recruitment and placement agencies, such as Manpower UK- the largest recruitment agency in the world.

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Embrace agriculture as a profession, African youths told.
September 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta has rallied African governments to establish aggressive measures to attract young people back to farming, dismissing most youth’s perceptions that agriculture is an outdated profession.

Kenyatta was speaking during an ongoing African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Nairobi. Under the theme of ‘Pathways to recovery and resilient food systems, the virtual event kicked off on September 7 and will culminate on September 10.

About 7000, including African Heads of State, agriculture ministers, and agriculture stakeholders and experts, attend this year’s summit. They are deliberating on ways Africa can change food systems and increase progress to eradicate hunger and poverty.

The participants also discuss ways the youth can be incorporated into the agriculture sector to increase food production in the continent.

According to Kenyatta, Kenya re-introduced 4-K-Clubs in schools to show young people the nobility and profitability of agriculture. The Four Ks stands for “Kuungana, Kufanya, Kusaidia Kenya” in Kiswahili, loosely translating to coming together, to act, to help Kenya.

“We are doing this because Kenya’s 31, 218 primary schools and their enrolment of close to 10 million school-going children, offers a vast network through which knowledge about food and nutrition security can be boosted,” said Kenyatta.

Kenyatta said Kenya is committed to increasing the number of young people receiving school-based agricultural education and growing the uptake of digital agricultural solutions among farmers.

On food security, Kenya’s Head of State called on African leaders to prioritize initiatives that will cause inclusive agricultural transformation.

He disclosed that Kenya is working towards expanding the diversity and quality of diets available to its population by investing more fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, and grain production and heighten climate action to strengthen the resilience of the country’s food systems.

Kenyatta also revealed that his administration has been focusing on attaining 100 percent food and nutrition security through crop diversification, e-voucher programmes that support staple crops, livestock, and dairy chains.

Kenya had also prioritized the growth of indigenous food crops and vegetables, developing seed systems for sorghum, millet, and cassava, and establishing flour blending and fortification policies.

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Kenya signs deal with WFP to finance climate action
September 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Kenya’s Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Ukur Yatani

The Kenyan government, through the Ministry of Treasury and Planning and the United Nations World Food Programme have partnered to implement the Government-Financing Locally-Led Climate Action Programme (G-FLLoCA).

The agreement was signed by WFP Kenya Country Director Ms. Lauren Landis and Kenya’s Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Ukur Yatani.

G-FLLoCA seeks to strengthen local resilience to the impact of climate change by building capacity to plan, budget, implement, monitor, and report resilience investments in partnership with county governments and communities.

The pact will see the WFP support the scaling-up of community-led climate-sensitive actions, invest in increasing the capacities of national and county institutions to programme, finance, and implement climate change initiatives and while rebuilding the livelihoods of families that have lost incomes.

“In Kenya, the economic impact of climate change and its effect on development and growth-are already significant. Climate-related disasters, such as droughts and floods, are estimated to create an economic liability of 2 to 2.8 percent of its gross domestic product every year. This is largely due to the climate-sensitive nature of Kenya’s economy with the agriculture, water, energy, tourism and wildlife sectors being of utmost importance. And, in the past year, these challenges have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, “ said Amb. Yatani.

The CS said Kenya has, over time, put in place strategic interventions in collaborations with development agencies to track and report climate-relevant interventions and expenditures.

The East African nation also co-ordinate climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts while promoting greater transparency in line with the Paris Agreement signed in 2015.

On her side,  Ms. Lauren Landis said that climate change delivers more frequent and intense droughts and other extreme weather, disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable people.

“By working together, we are confident that we will save lives, spend less on humanitarian assistance and set-up Kenyan communities for a more sustainable and food secure future,” said Ms. Landis.

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Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid in Kenya for a three-day official visit.
September 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

The President of the Republic of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, jetted in Kenya on Thursday, September 9, for a three-day official visit that will end on Saturday.

She was received at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by the Foreign Affairs CS Amb. Raychelle Omamo and her Defense counterpart Dr. Monica Juma.

Later, her Excellency Kaljulaid held bilateral talks with her Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, at the State House in Nairobi. During the meeting, several matters of mutual interest to Kenya and Estonia were agreed on.

The two heads of state agreed on the need for universal access to vaccines against COVID-19. They urged the international community to increase the sharing of vaccines to ensure vaccination for all.

They noted with satisfaction the existing bilateral cooperation in various sectors, particularly ICT and innovation, in which Estonia is widely acclaimed as a global pacesetter.

The duo also agreed to continue strengthening bilateral cooperation in various sectors such as trade and investment, digital transformation to spur economic growth to create employment for Kenya’s youth.

The two Presidents further witnessed the signing of a bilateral framework of cooperation on Political Consultations, Health, and a letter of intent in the environment.

On International Peace and Security, the two Heads of State reiterated their commitment to work closely as Non-Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council to contribute to international peace and security, respect for democracy and human rights, gender equality, and women empowerment.

They further emphasized the urgent need to address climate change and its impacts on the environment and increase global efforts in this regard.

On International Cooperation, the two leaders also reiterated their commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda, and the 2063 Agenda of the African Union to build sustainable, just, inclusive, and resilient economies.

They embraced multilateralism as the most appropriate path for economic and social recovery in times of the pandemic. The two Presidents welcomed the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the East African Community (EPA) and committed themselves to work towards its successful implementation.

President Uhuru Kenyatta applauded Her Excellency Kersti Kaljulaid, the first female President of Estonia. He congratulated her on being appointed the UN Global Advocate for Every Woman, and Every Child expressed appreciation for choosing Kenya for the maiden visit to the continent.

On her part, President Kersti Kaljulaid praised Kenya’s commitment to maintaining regional peace and stability and promoting the integration and economic development of the African continent.

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Falana Accuses Cape Verde of Constitutional Suicide As Court Upholds Extradition of Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab
September 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Renowned Nigerian Lawyer and human rights activist Femi Falana, represented Mr Saab

The constitutional court of Cape Verde has dismissed the appeal of the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab against his extradition request by the United States in what his lawyers say is a “long, indigestible and legally disputable” ruling notified on September 7, 2021.

“This ruling is a major moment in the constitutional history of this tiny African state because it symbolizes the sacrificial death of the rule of law so dearly acquired by Cape Verdeans, in the service of purely political interests according to the agenda dictated by Washington. This is constitutional suicide,” Femi Falana, a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist and also the lawyer for Mr Saab said in a communiqué.  

“…In the absence of substantive arguments that could convince the reader otherwise, the judgment is presented in a confused and hermetic form and language. This result is legally deplorable.”

Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab was arrested by the Cape Verdean authorities back in June 2020 while on a special humanitarian mission from Iran. He was arrested at the Amilcar Cabral International Airport on the Island of Sal after a stopover.

According to reports, Mr Saab’s arrest was hinged on an international arrest warrant purportedly issued by Interpool at the request of the United States. The Venezuelan authorities have continued to call for his release, adding that he had diplomatic immunity at the time he was arrested.  

The US believes getting Mr Saab in front of the US court will hasten the illegal and politically motivated regime change it has wanted for over a decade in Venezuela. This cajoling, coercing and seducing of the Small nation of Cape Verde to extraditing Alex Saab has also seen the Venezuelan diplomat added to the UK sanctions list.

To Mr Saab’s lawyers: “The consequence of this ruling is to validate the purely arbitrary arrest of a foreign diplomat, deprived of all rights and guarantees, at the hands of Cape Verdean police officers. The details of the ruling will leave any reasonable jurist speechless as he or she, throughout this decision, human rights judicial guarantees, the principles f diplomatic immunity and good faith in international law decongested and annihilated by those who serve a political purpose.”

“It is rarely that a State violates its international obligations in such a blunt manner,” says Dr Rutsel Marthan, former Director of legal affairs of Interpol and lawyer on the defense team.

In a judgment by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court, the Cape Verdean authorities were called to immediately released Mr Saab as they noted that his arrest and detention was illegal. The Court also called on the authorities to pay Mr Saab $200,000 for his unlawful detention.

In response to the ECOWAS Court decision, Cape Verdean authorities had made it categorically clear that the Court had no jurisdiction to entertain the suit and that Mr Saab’s diplomatic immunity had expired at the time of his arrest.

“In ruling against Alex Saab, the Constitutional Court also ruled against the Constitution of Cape Verde, against the revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States, and International Law. Thus, the ruling has completely alienated Cape Verde from the community of civilized nations,” the lawyers added.

Alex Saab, a Colombian by birth, is a businessman who provided services to the then Chavez administration and recently to the Maduro government, at a time when Venezuela was facing severe sanctions imposed by the United States. With the recent decision from the Cape Verdean Court, Alex Saab’s extradition to the US is almost certain.

Full letter from Femi Falana below

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Ghana gears up for Africa’s largest Youth Summit: YouthConnekt Africa
September 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

Accra, Ghana – The Government of Ghana is earnestly preparing to host African youth, youth leaders and top-ranking African Government Officials, including African ministers of youth, leading innovators, entrepreneurs, and senior UN officials from across the world for the 2021 edition of YouthConnekt Africa (YCA) Summit from 20th – 22nd October in Ghana’s capital city, Accra.

The YouthConnekt Africa Summit will be on the theme: “Africa Beyond Aid: Positioning the Youth for the Post-Covid Economy and AfCFTA Opportunities.” It will be a hybrid event hosted by Ghana’s Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Youth Authority, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

The summit will connect youth to thought-leaders, peers, resources, technologies, skills and economic development opportunities. The official programme includes custom-themed panel discussions that will focus on various topics including:

  • Positioning African Youth to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement
  • Easier & Affordable Tourism & Travel in the AfCFTA era
  • AfCFTA taking Africa beyond Aid: Youth for Intra-Africa Trade
  • CONNEKTEDGIRLS: Africa Gets More If She Trades More

There will also be the YCA Awards, creative side events, information on strategic youth initiatives among other contents.

Since its inception in 2012, the YouthConnekt Summit has been serving as a high-level platform for youth leaders and development stakeholders to synergize around policies, programmes, and partnerships.

The YouthConnekt Africa Hub has grown to a network of 23 African countries with long term sponsors and partners including the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Government of Rwanda. With senior level participation from various UN agencies, African ministers of youth, the private sector and youth-led organisations, the Summit delivers extensive brand sponsorship opportunities for organisations seeking to engage with African youth and youth development segments at scale. 

There were over 10,000 participants from 91 countries in the 2019 Summit, which attracted partners including Mastercard Foundation, African Development Bank, UN agencies, Rwanda Air; and speakers including the President of Rwanda – H.E Paul Kagame, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP Africa – Ahunna Eziakonwa, Alibaba Founder-Jack Ma, American Singer and Entrepreneur-Akon, and Ivorian Veteran Footballer-Didier Drogba. This year’s event in Ghana promises to be bigger.

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Cameroon: Four sentenced to death in Mother Francisca School killing in Kumba.
September 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

One relative of the school children killed could not hide his sadness

Four persons have been given the death sentence by a firing squad after they were found guilty of carrying out the attack and gruesome killing of school children at the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, Fiango-Kumba, Meme Division of the South West Region of Cameroon.

The four persons (Yemeli Kongtsti, Gilda Kote Patrick, and Elangwe Kelvin) who were standing trial at the Buea Military Tribunal were sentenced this Tuesday, September 7. They were charged with acts of terrorism, hostility against the fatherland, secession, insurrection, murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The proprietress Judith Ayanu and her husband Simon Gabriel Shu, Godlove Ekendja, the principal were all given five months jail terms for having failed to report the incident. Meantime, some three persons including Divine Njume and Akwafe Zebedee were all acquitted.

Grief, crying filled the atmosphere as loved ones came to terms with what will happen to their children I the weeks ahead. The four who have been found guilty have ten days to appeal the decision and if that is not done or the appeal is rejected, their faith will be sealed and will be executed. 

The attack which took place on October 24, 2020, saw the killing of some six children with others left wounded. The gruesome attack also saw some of the bodies of the deceased children mutilated an attack that is still fresh in the minds of inhabitants of Kumba.

The slain children received a state burial

No group had claimed responsibility for the attack with both warring parties blaming each other. But administrative authorities had promised to hunt down the assailants and succeeded in apprehending twelve individuals in connection to the attack at the school.

Meantime, reports indicate that some of the accused were asked to pay fines while the others were sentenced to some eight months in jail, for having knowledge about the attack but failing to report to officials.

The killing of children in the course of the ongoing armed conflict remains a great concern. This killing reminded Cameroonians of the sad incident that happened in Ngarbuh, a massacre that this time was carried by state security forces.

The gruesome killing was greatly condemned by the national and international community. Agbor Nkongho, president of the Centre for Huan Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA, said at the time “…these gruesome and barbaric killings are a gross violation of the right to life of these kids. It is unacceptable for anyone or groups of persons to harass, attack, and kill children. It is a fundamental right for children to be educated. Hence, the perpetrators of these heinous crimes should be held accountable…”

“There are no words for the grief nor condemnation strong enough to express my horror at the brutal attack which targets primary school children…while they were sitting leering in their classroom,” Moussa Faki Mahamat, president of the African Union said in 2020.

Four sentence to death after killing some 6 school children back in 2020

Since the crisis escalated in 2017, schools and school children have faced attacks and kidnappings. In 2019, two students were killed by separatist fighters in Buea in what officials at the time said was due to reprisals for not respecting the ban on schools. 

In 2018, the separatist fighters killed a principal, mutilated a teacher and attacked several high schools. And in recent times, the fighters have increased their level of kidnappings and extortion, threats and intimidation along with attacks on security forces.

The two English-speaking regions of Cameroon have been the centre of a conflict involving separatist militants who have targeted the army and demanded local government offices and schools be closed. The fighting has claimed more than 4,000 livers and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.

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Appointment of Mr. Solomon Mugera as Director, Communication and External Relations.
September 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

The African Development Bank Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Solomon Mugera as Director, Communication and External Relations, effective 1 October 2021.

Mr. Mugera, a Kenyan national, brings extensive experience to this role. He is a seasoned journalist and media manager with over 20 years of expertise working internationally.

As Head of Journalism for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa, Mr. Mugera presided over the largest expansion of the BBC on the African continent since the 1940s, supporting the corporation in reaching a weekly audience of more than 100 million across 12 languages on radio, television, digital and social media. With an annual budget of $42 million, Mr. Mugera managed a team of 600 staff in the UK and across Africa. He has extensive experience in leading multimedia operations, and an excellent track record of editorial leadership, communication, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He has good knowledge in change management and media training. As well as a clear understanding of international news and current affairs, the African media market, and the impact of digital technology.

Mr. Mugera joined the BBC in September 1998 and worked with various departments of the corporation. He was appointed Editor of the BBC Swahili service in 2006. Five years later, he became the first African to head the African region of the BBC World Service. In September 2015, he was promoted to the position of Senior Leader. Before joining the BBC, Mr. Mugera worked with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and the privately owned Kenya Television Network.

As Director, Communication and External Relations, Mr. Mugera will contribute to building financial and political support for the African Development Bank Group and strengthen the Group’s role as a global thought leader on Africa’s most pressing development challenges. He will manage corporate communications and external relations with key stakeholders, including media, civil society, foundations, the private sector, African countries, and international organizations. Mr. Mugera will also be responsible for internal communication and engagement with Bank Group staff. He will lead the Bank Group’s messaging and global strategic media relations.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Mugera said: “It is an honour to work for the African Development Bank Group and support its vision for the continent. This is an institution that is leading Africa’s effort to transform itself and make a real difference to the lives of millions of its people. The Bank has the talent, the expertise, knowledge and the story that needs to be told across Africa and to a global audience.”

The President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said: “The African Development Bank Group is at the heart of the continent’s social economic development. Mr. Mugera will support the Bank Group’s vision and outreach effort to make the priorities, activities and accomplishments of the Bank known by both internal and external audiences. He is a highly respected and motivated media professional, with a solid track record in journalism and leadership.”


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Ivory Coast 2-1 Cameroon: Elephants too strong for Indomitable Lions in World Cup Qualifier.
September 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Ivory Coast moved top of Group D after defeating Cameroon

The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon lose their chances of assuming full control of Group D in the ongoing FIFA 2022 World Cup after falling to the Elephants of Ivory Coast 2-1.

Cameroon headed into the game after dispatching Malawi 2-0 at home in the first game while Ivory had a draw against Mozambique in their first encounter. But it was the Ivorians who made sure they continued their dominance against Cameroon in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Cameroon was undone by Sebastien Haller who scored both goals for Ivory Coast. His first goal came at the 20th minute through a penalty kick. The ball is judged to have struck Cameroon’s captain Striker Vincent Aboubakar’s arm which Haller stepped up and scored.

Nine minutes after finding the back of the net, Haller scored his second goal through a low drive that passed the arms of goalkeeper Devis Epassy into the corner. Devis Epassy was excellent in the first game against Malawi but he could not keep out Haller in this second game.

The Indomitable Lions was the better side in the entire game but unfortunately could not turn their dominance into goals. Cameroon will finally pull a goal back at the 60th minute with the side awarded a penalty after Eric Bailly was judged to have fouled Karl Toko Ekambi.

Moumie Ngamaleu stepped up and sent goalkeeper Sylvain Gbohouo the wrong way while slotting the ball in the other. This goal spurred the side who continued pushing for the equalizer but their finishing was way off than in their first game against Malawi.

Ivory Coast meanwhile took advantage of Cameroon’s lacklustre attack and mounted theirs and almost extended their lead. Serri who plays for English Championship side Fulham hit the bar from a free-kick. Christian Kouame was through on goal but for the timely intervention of goalkeeper Devis Epassy.

This was the 20th time that Cameroon and Ivory Coast were meeting in all competitions with the Elephants boasting a better record winning 10 games to Cameroon’s 8. There have been two draws in between.

In terms of FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Cameroon and Ivory Coast have met each other three times; back in 2004, 2005 and in 2021 with the Indomitable Lions coming out victorious in two out of the three encounters.

Cameroon’s next encounter in Group D will be against Mozambique

The previous encounters had seen Cameroon picking up a 2-0 victory against Ivory Coast in 2004, while Cameroon again won Ivory Coast 3-2 in 2005. This was the first time that Ivory Coast did succeed in beaten Cameroon in a world cup qualifying match.  

The victory for the elephants of Ivory Coast takes the side to the top of Group D with 4 points in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (CAF Zone). Cameroon is second with three points after two games played.

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Cameroon: New School year begins in troubled Anglophone Regions.
September 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

SW Governor Okalia Bilai makes a round of schools on Monday, September 6

Monday, September 6, marked the first day of school for the 2021/22 academic year across the country. Unlike in the other parts of the country, the hustling and buzzing that usually characterized the first day of school was low-key in the North West and South West Regions, areas that have been witnessing the Anglophone crisis as it enters its fifth year.

“I can say the attendance is above 80 per cent in general while some are 90 per cent and others 95 per cent. We can say there is a lot of improvement in the resumption of schools,” South West Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai told journalists after making a tour of some educational institutions in the Region.

“We want to congratulate the education community, the parents and Head Teachers who continue to sensitize parents to bring back their children to schools.”

Cameroon has been gripped by violence since November 2016, when government forces crushed a movement of Anglophone teachers and lawyers protesting against their perceived marginalization by the country’s French-speaking majority.

The deteriorating security has led to the closure of hundreds of schools and left thousands of children without no education and most of these families have moved to the French-speaking parts of the country to give their children education.

“Parents should do like the others (sending their children to schools). I think today, after what we witness the sad situation of two-three years, everybody has understood and agreed that let s do what we want to do but let us free the schools; let us allow our children to go to schools,” Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai added.

According to the UN, some 700,000 children have been affected by school closures in Cameroon’s North West and South West as a result of the Anglophone crisis that began in 2016. The situation of school closure in Anglophone Cameroon has changed in the last couple of years with many of these schools now opened.

Some separatist fighters have backed the resumption of school in the two-Regions, as they did back in 2020, though last year the fighters and their activists had called for the reopening of “community schools”.

Other fighters are threatening to abduct teachers and students who resume classes. But hundreds of children, who have been deprived of education, and their teachers are returning to the schools despite these apparent threats.  

A teacher conducts lessons in one of the schools in Limbe

School resumes under a health pandemic

The resumption of the new school year comes as Cameroon is still battling with the Coronavirus health pandemic. The country currently counts 84,210 positive cases and efforts to get its population vaccinated have been ramped up.

Educational authorities in the Region have continued their sensitization campaign while hand-washing points have been put at the entrance to schools and other vital areas. Students have been encouraged to wear their face masks, and this is a sign this reporter noticed while going through some schools in Buea and Limbe.

“On the eve of the start of the new school year, I hail the enormous work of the teachers and urged school principals to ensure compliance with the barrier measures and the wearing of masks within their schools, in addition to the vaccination of teachers and school administrators,” Dr Manaouda Malachie, Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health tweeted.

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It is a waste of time, Museveni on allegations that Rwanda spied on Uganda.
September 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Ferdinand Maniraguha

The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has said that If Rwanda has spied on Ugandan officials, it  would be a waste of time.

In July this year, it was reported that various countries used a made in Israel spyware known as Pegasus to wiretap conversations of their enemies.

Rwanda was linked to the list of the countries that used such app to spy on dissidents and foreign officials including Ugandans.

Last Sunday, President Paul Kagame denied the allegations, saying that  Rwanda doesn’t use Pegasus.

“If you are saying do you spy with this tool? The answer is a big NO. We don’t have it, therefore, we don’t use it”, president Kagame said while answering questions from local journalists.

“Why don’t you go to those people who created that spying tool and ask them? They will tell you those who have it and those who don’t have it and you’ll find out that Rwanda doesn’t have it”, he added.

President Museveni of Uganda, in an exclusive interview with  France 24 said he doesn’t know if Rwanda spied on Ugandan officials, because “It is a waste of time, spying to do what? If I want secrets you will not know. Because secrets are in my head, not on microphones.”

Among Ugandan officials that Rwanda was alleged to spy on  include ex-Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, former Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and the director-general of External Security Organisation (ESO) Joseph Ocwet.

President Kagame said that his country cannot deny that it does intelligence, but accusing it of using Pegasus is not correct.

“Like any other country in this world, Rwanda does collect intelligence and there are so many ways of doing that; the world knows. In fact,  journalists who made these accusations probably get the information they distort by spying themselves”.

Relations between Rwanda and Uganda have soared since 2017. Rwanda accuses its northern neighbor of supporting and harboring negative forces whose aim is to destabilize Kigali’s government.

Thousands of Rwanda nationals have been detained and tortured  by Ugandan security officials, some being accusing of working as Kigali’s  secrets agents.

Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola tried to mediate Rwanda and Uganda but in vain.

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Mozambican and Rwandan armies retake all towns and villages occupied by terrorists .
September 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The joint force of Mozambican and Rwandan troops fighting terrorists in Cabo Delgado province has retaken all the towns and villages which had been in terrorist hands, President Filipe Nyusi announced yesterday on the occasion of Mozambique’s Victory Day public holiday.

He made it clear that there would be no negotiation with the terrorists, an idea that has been suggested by former president Joaquim Chissano.

Nyusi urged the local population to be cautious when returning to their home settlements and to follow the guidance of the local authorities, to ensure their safety.

Residents of the area around the administrative post of Miteda, for example, have been told to stay away from the area by the various military forces fighting the terrorist insurgency in the province, as they suspect there may still be terrorist hideouts in the area.

The joint Mozambican and Rwandan force recently recovered the terrorist base of N’tchinga, located around 6km from the district headquarters of Namacande district, which was also occupied several times by insurgents, but other bases could be nearby.

According to Nyusi, the identity of the heads of the terrorist group is still unknown. However, he said that there were nationals of Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Burundi, Uganda and Mozambique among the leadership.

However, the US Department of State recently named the Mozambican citizen Bonomade Omar as a key leader of the terrorists, whose name was already known locally.

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Heifer International sparks tech innovations for African farmers
September 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, founder and CEO of ColdHubs, a Nigerian business that provides solar-powered, walk-in coolers for smallholder vegetable farmers and Jehiel Oliver, founder and CEO of Hello Tractor, a Kenyan company that has become known across Africa as the “Uber of tractors,” were selected  as the winners of the inaugural US$1.5 million Heifer International AYuTe Africa Challenge.
The winners, known as the 2021 AYuTe Africa Champions and chosen from an impressive field of young agritech innovators from across the continent, were announced today at the 2021 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit.
“Across Africa today, young, creative professionals are deploying tech innovations that are reimagining farming and food production,” said Adesuwa Ifedi, senior vice president of Africa Programs at Heifer International. “We want to do our part to help companies like Hello Tractor and ColdHubs as they provide Africa’s smallholder farmers with much-needed products and services to develop sustainable, profitable business.”
As winners of the AYuTe Africa Challenge, the companies will receive a sizeable monetary investment—a total of US$1.5 million in grants—along with ongoing support from a team of expert advisers—accomplished business veterans—to help them translate their funding into an aggressive expansion strategy. This is part of Heifer International’s efforts to support young entrepreneurs developing affordable tech innovations to scale their businesses. Doing so ensures greater access to services that enable African farmers to overcome long-standing challenges while encouraging a new generation to pursue opportunities in agriculture.
Hello Tractor provides technology that allows farmers to connect with local tractor owners on the Hello Tractor marketplace and book a machine for as long as they need it. ColdHubs owns and operates dozens of compact, walk-in, solar-powered coolers at rural produce markets in central Nigeria. The transportable, stand-alone units give local farmers a way of keeping their beans, peppers, tomatoes and more fresh for days or weeks, reducing waste.
While many agritech competitions focus on early-stage companies and ideas, the AYuTe Africa Challenge seeks innovations that are market-tested, farmer-ready and poised to provide an impact that will cascade across the food systems of multiple countries. Both Hello Tractor and ColdHubs meet those criteria.
“Our ambition is for Hello Tractor to be available across Africa and we’re excited that winning the AYuTe Africa Challenge will help make that happen,” said Jehiel Oliver, Hello Tractor founder and CEO. “The entire continent of Africa sees about 15,000 new tractors every year while India alone sees about one million. Our farmers clearly need a lot more tractors and Hello Tractor offers a proven pathway for increasing access to this important technology.”

“With support from Heifer and the AYuTe Africa Challenge, I think in five years we can grow from 50 to about 5,000 ColdHubs across West Africa and create new income opportunities for smallholder producers,” said Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, CEO of ColdHubs. “Too many African farmers do not get the income they deserve because they have no way of keeping their produce fresh, forcing them to sell it soon after harvest. ColdHubs offers an affordable, pay-as-you go refrigeration option available right in the middle of local markets.”

Heifer International conceived the idea for the AYuTe Africa Challenge (AYuTe stands for Agriculture, Youth and Technology) based on four decades of work as a trusted partner of African farmers—and seeing first-hand the stark difference between local farms that have access to new technologies and those that do not.
“Ikegwuonu and Oliver are examples of young agritech innovators who can help change the negative narrative surrounding farming in Africa—showing how an occupation many young Africans associate with hardship can be profitable, productive, stimulating and rewarding,” said Ifedi.
recent report by Heifer International also pointed to the need for more investments to encourage African youth turning away from agriculture to reconsider opportunities in the sector—especially given the need to generate jobs and repair food systems battered by the pandemic.
“The quality of the competition sends a strong signal that the African agriculture sector contains a wealth of opportunities—as many or more than any other sector,” said Ifedi. “Young entrepreneurs across Africa understand the farming struggles of their parent’s generation and have seen how this has discouraged the people around them from pursuing careers in the agriculture sector. But they also see a pathway through which their innovative products and services can transform farming into a promising future for their generation.”

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UNMISS calls on leaders to urgently quell fighting in South Sudan’s Tombura.
September 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

File Picture. J Nicholas Haysom,Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) visit to Rumbek and Aweil. Photo Gregorio Cunha/UNMISS

Juba – The United Nations Mission in South Sudan is appealing to national and local leaders to resolve the wider tensions in Tombura in Western Equatoria State after a fresh outbreak of fighting.

This comes following the reports of sporadic shooting between groups in Tambura on Monday. 

Fighting in Tombura on Monday left at least 14 people dead, according to Eye Radio.

Last month, 42 bodies were reportedly recovered scattered in residential areas and bushes, authorities said. The violence is believed to have claimed at least 200 lives over the months.

In the press statement on Tuesday; the UNMISS said the latest incident follows rising tension and violence over the past few months.

“We are urging those engaged in the conflict to end the fighting so that security can be restored,” said the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Nicholas Haysom. “It is also vital that political leaders at the national and local level take urgent action to resolve tensions and bring communities together to avoid further loss of life, homes, and livelihoods.”

This fresh fighting is endangering the lives of civilians, creating the risk of further displacement, and increasing humanitarian needs.

“The insecurity is having a significant impact on civilians, with over 40,000 people forced to flee their homes,” said Haysom. “This is increasing demand for humanitarian assistance at a time when resources are already stretched. Aid workers are also finding themselves caught in the crossfire while trying to carry out their critical tasks. Authorities must do more to ensure that humanitarians have safe and unhindered access to those in need.”

Haysom said the UNMISS said the primary responsibility for protecting civilians lies with national and state governments. 

The statement further said the UNMISS is doing all it can, within its capabilities, to help deter violence and build peace in the affected areas of Western Equatoria.

Of recently, the Mission has extended the duration of the temporary base that it established in Tombura when fighting first broke out. 

This has enabled peacekeepers to carry out day and night patrols and to provide a protective presence for civilians, including displaced families. 

South Sudan is struggling to implement the fragile 2018 peace deal, although the executive and legislative bodies were formed, the security arrangements remained challenges to the peace process.

The peace implementation is aimed at ending six years of crisis which left 400, 000 people dead, displaced four million others and ruined crude oil production leading to economic chaos.

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Mozambique:Ex-President Guebuza to testify at “hidden debts” trial in December.
September 8, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The former Mozambican president, Armando Guebuza, will appear in court as a witness in the corruption trial on the $2.2bn “hidden debts” on 2 December.

In a new list, which was released on Friday, 64 witnesses were named, including the former fisheries minister, Victor Borges; finance minister Adriano Maleiane; and the former governor of the Bank of Mozambique, Ernesto Gove.

The hidden debts trial started on 23 August. It is expected that the defendants’ testimony will be completed on 1 October. The hearings of the witnesses are expected to run from 5 October until 2 December.

The corruption scandal, revealed in 2016, led donors including the IMF to withdraw funding, provoking the economy to collapse.

Mozambique former Finance Minister, Manuel Chang, is also among the accused. Chang is currently in detention in South Africa.

The hearing is being held in a makeshift court on the premises of the high security prison of Machava, where Ndambi Guebuza, the son of former President Armando Guebuza, has been held in pre-trial custody since February 2019.

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