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Terrorism in Mozambique is linked to the natural gas, says interior minister
October 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Interior Minister Amade Miquidade

The terrorist attacks in Cabo Delgado province are linked to the natural gas and precious minerals found there, Interior Minister Amade Miquidade has admitted.

The minister was answering questions in parliament about the government’s strategy for combating the armed groups that have been carrying out attacks in the region for three years, when he said that terrorism has a relationship with resources and resources with terrorism, and “this is the evil that we deal with”.

He added that the discovery of hydrocarbons and precious minerals in the region attracted international groups interested in its disorderly exploration, and that criminal groups with international connection were behind the conflict.

“It is not to be neglected, [that there might be] some geostrategic interest in the economic importance that the province [of Cabo Delgado] presents for the southern hemisphere and on the global hydrocarbon chess-board,” Minister Miquidade said.

According to the minister, armed violence in Cabo Delgado may bear the hand of the so-called ‘Islamic State of the Province of Central Africa’, “which recently carried out simultaneous attacks in Mozambique, Tanzania and DR Congo”.

Miquidade also admitted the presence of foreign mercenaries helping government forces, the first time the government has done so. He called them “security consultants” and said that the government had had to ask other countries for support, as Mozambique did not have experience in fighting terrorism.

“The new economic players have specific security dynamics, and the continuity of these investments requires specialization in means that we do not have,” the minister said.

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What is Really Going on With Côte d’Ivoire’s Presidential Election
October 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Mamadou Haïdara*

It can be easy, once you have identified a trend, to view new situations through that lens as further proof of your assumption. I have witnessed this dynamic play out in the news recently when looking at the upcoming presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire. If you think the situation unfolding in Côte d’Ivoire is just another example of democratic backsliding in Africa, I urge you to take a closer look.

Côte d’Ivoire is a new democracy that has made great strides during the tenure of President Alassane Ouattara, emerging as one of the strongest economies and democracies in Africa, strengthening women’s rights and legal status, and becoming a valued trade and security partner of the United States in a region under increasing cross-border threats and attacks by militant extremists. Under his leadership, Côte d’Ivoire approved a new Constitution in 2016 that set a two-term limit for the presidency. President Ouattara is seeking a third term.

If you only read this far, it is easy to presume that this is yet one more case of a president re-writing the rules to hold on to power. But if you look more closely, the reality on the ground is a truly unique situation that does not fit our preconceived notions of African democracies backsliding. In fact, it has become increasingly clear that Côte d’Ivoire’s best chance at holding on to the freedoms and growth it has achieved over the last decade is to re-elect President Ouattara.

President Ouattara officially announced in March of this year that he would not seek another term and planned to retire from public life. Prime Minister Gon Coulibaly was then chosen to succeed him as their party’s presidential candidate. Tragically, in July, the Prime Minister died of a heart attack, leaving the party with no candidate just twelve weeks before the presidential election.

This extraordinary circumstance left a major political party with the difficult task of identifying, vetting and putting forward an alternative candidate in a matter of days or weeks — an unrealistic timetable in any country, and especially so in this young and still somewhat fragile democracy. What’s more, the political environment was growing increasingly volatile, with opposition candidates — including several past leaders who had contributed to the most destructive and violent years in Côte d’Ivoire’s history — once again vying for power and seeking to stir up ethnic divisions.

Confronted with this unforeseen predicament, President Ouattara’s decision to seek another term in office was the only viable path forward for his party and his country. And despite the false claims of his political opponents, it is legal for him to do so. The Constitutional Council, an independent institution that serves as the country’s supreme court, ruled definitively in September that President Ouattara’s candidacy is in line with the nation’s new Constitution, which was approved in 2016 and established new governing authorities and eligibility requirements for office. Many external observers, including the United States, acknowledged the Council’s sole authority to decide this matter.

The Constitutional Council also determined that three opposition candidates were eligible to run, with Henri Konan Bédié emerging as a frontrunner alongside President Ouattara. Bédié served as President of Côte d’Ivoire from 1993 until 1999 when, plagued by corruption and the jailing of political opponents, his government was overthrown by a military coup that ended a starkly different tenure than what would come later under President Ouattara.

Following the civil war and violence prior to his election, President Ouattara took determined steps to restore peace, security and economic stability to Côte d’Ivoire. As a result, the nation has emerged as one of the strongest in Africa, with region-leading growth of around 8% annually, and is a valued partner of the United States. Côte d’Ivoire has been rated as one of the ten most reforming countries in the world, undertaking in-depth economic and social improvements, including the elimination of laws that restricted women from owning or inheriting property. This proven track record of reform is one of the reasons why Côte d’Ivoire was selected in 2017 by the highly selective Millennium Challenge Corporation for a $525 million development grant by the U.S. government.

Côte d’Ivoire should not be dismissed as one more example of democratic backsliding on a continent stricken by power grabs and corruption. Rather, as the nation still mourns the loss of a promising presidential candidate, its people have a distinct choice: to continue advancing along the path of democracy, peace and prosperity that a new generation will soon inherit, or to risk reverting to discredited and harmful forces that plagued their nation in the past. On October 31, Côte d’Ivoire’s election day, Ivoirians must be allowed to make that choice.

*Mamadou Haïdara is Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire to the United States

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Statement by Commonwealth Secretary-General ahead of the 2020 General Elections in Tanzania
October 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland with President Magufuli
Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland with President Magufuli
Ahead of the 2020 General Elections in the United Republic of Tanzania on 28 October, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC has issued a statement.

Speaking on the election the Secretary-General said:

“I call upon all electoral officials, political leaders and their supporters to play their part in ensuring a peaceful, transparent and inclusive process  and hope that positive lessons learnt from previous elections will inform the conduct of this year’s poll and ensure a credible and successful election for Tanzania and its people.

“I wish the country well for Election Day and reaffirm the Commonwealth’s abiding support for the people of Tanzania.

“The Commonwealth and Tanzania have been collaborating closely in promoting our shared values of democracy and development and the manner in which the forthcoming General Election will be held is of much interest to the Commonwealth.

“The Commonwealth Charter clearly provides that all citizens have the inalienable right to participate in democratic processes, especially credible elections, to shape their society.” 

The Secretary-General added:

“I encourage both the National and Zanzibar Electoral Commissions to manage all aspects of the electoral process with the transparency, inclusivity and integrity required for a successful election.

“I call on political leaders and parties to display genuine willingness to promote peace, the electorate to show confidence in the democratic process and to participate in it, and for everyone to shun violence and respect the rule of law. 

“The elections present a further opportunity for Tanzania to advance its developmental gains and aspirations, by consolidating its international, regional and national commitments to democratic principles.

“Finally, I recall the Commonwealth’s historical support in assisting the facilitation of dialogue in Zanzibar to promote unity. I call on all stakeholders in the electoral process in every part of the country to show restraint and demonstrate tolerance, especially in the period on and beyond Election Day. Any grievances should be pursued through prescribed legal channels.” Notes to EditorsThe Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal sovereign states. Our combined population is 2.4 billion, of which more than 60 per cent is aged 29 or under.The Commonwealth spans the globe and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-two of our members are small states, many of which are island nations.The Commonwealth Secretariat supports member countries to build democratic and inclusive institutions, strengthen governance and promote justice and human rights. Our work helps to grow economies and boost trade, deliver national resilience, empower young people, and address threats such as climate change, debt and inequality.Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.The World Health Organization recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year.
*Commonwealth
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You booed him but he is right, Kenyans defend Ruto
October 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday, October 26, presided over the official launch of Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi.

The event was also attended by the Deputy President William Ruto, the opposition leader Raila Odinga and other political leaders as well as a section of members of the public.

BBI is the tangible result of the famous handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga in March 2018 following chaotic 2017 presidential elections.

BBI task force recommended many changes in the constitution to achieve a united nation devoid of chaos after every poll.  Some of them include:

Expansion of the executive

The document has proposed the creation of the post of Prime Minister (PM) and his two deputies to achieve inclusivity and do away with the winner-take-all electoral formula. The PM will be nominated or appointed by the president within the seven days of the latter’s election to the office.

House power structure

The report proposes the introduction of a new House power structure that includes the PM, two deputies and the leader of the official opposition.

Cabinet

BBI report recommends the Cabinet Secretaries to be called Cabinet Ministers and appointment of ministers from the Members of Parliament (MPs).

Judiciary

The team also proposed the establishment of the office of the Judiciary Ombudsman to improve Judiciary’s accountability. He or she will be nominated by the president and approved by the Parliament. His or her role is to receive complaints about judges, magistrates, registrars and other judicial officers and conduct inquiries into them before submitting the report to President and Parliament.

Ruto was forced to cut short his speech after delegates heckled him when he called for the reviews of the document he said it has many flaws. He had singled out the establishment of the office of Ombudsman which according to him is a derogation of the independence of the Judiciary.

The second in command said that the creation of the office will take the country back to dark days where the Head of State Used to issue guidelines to judges via phones.

“We need to operationalise the Judiciary fund that is already in the Constitution so that the Judiciary can establish more courts, hire more judges and more staff so that more Kenyans can have access to justice,” Ruto said.

“On the matter of the judiciary allow me to say that there is a huge space to have an improvement on the proposal that has been made… Having an ombudsman appointed by the Executive into the Judiciary is a derogation from the independence of the institution.”

His effort to calm the crowd that was chanting “respect the president” was fruitless.

However, a section of public defended Deputy President labelling BBI a scam.

“I don’t support William Ruto. But William Ruto has asked BRILLIANT questions that, if at all we are talking about Inclusivity, we must find answers for or more neutral ground. It is a constitutional moment. A moment that we all must partake. Painful or sweet,” said Lord Abraham Mutai.

“William Ruto, a man of steel, has nailed it Our irreducible minimum, Independent Judiciary (No Ombudsman ), Strengthen Devolution (Senate Upper House ), Independent Police (Separate Executive from Police), Inclusivity 4 Hustlers and Independent IEBC (No Political Party commissioners),” said Bony Khalwale.

David Makali said, “Ruto laying bare the alternative views. Spot on… my views exactly on the IEBC, Ombudsman, Police Commission, Senate role in revenue sharing, executive make-up and winner-take-all. And the intolerant heckling just shows how this was designed…sad.”

ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi has also called for the review of the report.

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AU Chair condemns violence in Nigeria, urges Buhari’s administration to open investigation into atrocities
October 23, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

AU Chair Moussa Faki has openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the handling of #endsars protest by Nigerian government (photo: diplomaticwatch)
AU Chair Moussa Faki has openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the handling of #endsars protest by Nigerian government (photo: diplomaticwatch)

The Chairperson of the African Union, AU, Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has in very strong terms condemned the violence that erupted on 20 October 2020 during anti SARS protests in Lagos, Nigeria.

In a press statement earlier this week, Moussa Faki Mahamat called on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari  to open up an investigation into the protest that has resulted in multiple deaths and injuries.

While extending his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the protest that pushed for the discontinuation of the country’s special anti-robbery squad (Sars), the chairperson urged for the adoption of conflict de-escalation technics in a bid to proffering a solution to the crisis that has crippled economic activities in most states across the country.

“The Chairperson appeals to all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law. He further urges all parties to privilege dialogue in order to de-escalate the situation and find concrete and durable reforms,” a section of the release read.
he also went ahead to welcome the decision by the federal government to disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) describing it as an important step in this direction.

Reiterating the African Union’s commitment to accompany the government and people of Nigeria in support of a peaceful solution, the AU chair pushed for the Nigerian authorities to conduct an impartial investigation to ensure the perpetrators of acts of violence are held to account.

US Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, the UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, and the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, also joined in the condemnation of the killings and violent protest in Nigeria “The Nigerian government must urgently investigate reports of brutality at the hands of the security forces,” Raab said, adding that he was “alarmed by widespread reports of civilian deaths”.

Several international actors have taken to social media to condemn the repressive measures of the Nigerian government stating that the #endsars protest would not have gotten here if not for the state forces violent clamp down on demonstrators.

In his address Thursday night, Buhari dismissed the international condemnation as hasty insisting that “the international community should seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgment and making hasty pronouncements”, he said.

Twenty-four-hour curfews have been announced in 10 Nigerian states hence shutting down many protests across the country.

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WHO opens investigation into ‘Sex for Aid’ allegations against its workers in DR Congo
October 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

After some 50 women step ahead and accused aid workers from the World Health Organization, WHO for demanding sex in exchange for jobs and aids, the health governing body has set up an independent investigation body to investigate the matter.

The WHO said on last week that it was setting up a seven-person independent commission to investigate claims of sexual exploitation and abuse by aid workers during the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Sex for aid made headlines some weeks ago after an investigation published last month by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and The New Humanitarian reported more than 50 women accusing aid workers from the WHO and leading charities for demanding sex in exchange for jobs during the 2018-2020 crisis.

Over seven organizations were named by the women who accused their workers of rights violations including WHO, UNICEF ALIMA, Oxfam, the UN’s IOM migration agency, and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) among others.

Five out of seven of the organizations named in the expose have pledged to investigate, as has DRC’s health ministry.

Leading the WHO inquiry will be Aichatou Mindaoudou, Niger’s former minister of foreign affairs and social development, and Julienne Lusenge, a Congolese human rights activist, the UN agency said in a statement.

When news of the scandal went public, WHO spokeswoman Fadéla Chaib said “We would not tolerate such behaviour by any of our staff, contractors, or partners,” reiterating the agency’s “zero tolerance” policy.

TNH had reported that a 70-page draft review – circulated to aid officials working in Congo– looks at everything from corruption within the Ebola response to how women and girls are subjected to sexual exploitation. It also details how donor funds are siphoned off and how aid recipients ultimately lose out.

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Mozambique’s Health Minister tests positive for COVID-19
October 13, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Mozambique’s Health Minister Armindo Tiago on Tuesday confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first cabinet minister hit by the virus.

In a statement sent to the press, the minister said he has no symptoms and that is physically and mentally well. “I am infected, but not sick,” he said.

Tiago said that the test was held on the morning of Monday, 12 October, as a routine preparation for a trip abroad.

Tiago said he has been self-isolating at home.

“At this point, as a result of my situation, I recommend all those who have had contact with me to take the test for the appropriate purposes,” Tiago said, advancing that tests have already been carried out for family members and employees of the Ministry of Health, who may have been in contact with him.

“The test result could only be known to me. However, as Minister of Health, I understand that I can transform this situation into a moment of learning for myself and for others ”, he said adding that “no one in this world can say that they are immune to the new coronavirus.”

Coronavirus statistics in Mozambique

73 people with the virus have died in Mozambique, which has a total cumulative of 10,258 cases.

The latest person to die was a 58-year-old woman, after passing away today, 13 October, in a hospital in Maputo city.

The authorities today also reported 170 new cases of covid-19 — all through local transmission — and 330 recoveries bringing the total of individuals previously infected with the new coronavirus to 7,880.

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Lake Malawi disputes talks await fresh call from leaders
October 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

By James Mwala

President Chakwera had bilateral talks with Tanzania President John Magufuli at Tanzania State House. Photo credit Pauline Kaude

Talks over ownership of some northern part of Lake Malawi between Malawi and Tanzania will not be taking place any time soon, President Lazarus Chakwera has said.

Chakwera made the remarks upon arrival from Tanzania for his two day state visit a day after celebrating his initial hundred days in office.

The lake row began in the 1960s and it resurfaced when Malawi began awarding licenses to companies to search for oil and gas on the waters about 7 years ago.

Tanzania has been claiming ownership of part of the water resource although the Helgoland Treaty of 1986 and the OAU resolution of 1985 both state that Malawi is the due owner of the lake.

However, Malawi’s new leader Chakwera says mediation talks will begin when both nations agree to activate the talks.

He says Tanzania President John Magufuli asked him to halt proposals for the talks to resume because the two were only sealing newer ties.

‘’ That issue will come again but not now, because this was part of my first state visit to Tanzania and to set new deals with Magufuli’s government. The discussions will certainly come as time goes’’ he said.

Previously, former president Peter Mutharika indicated that no part of the lake was negotiable.

This was after Tanzania High Commissioner Victoria Mwakasege hinted that they would still want to benefit from the lake just like Malawi.

One of the leaders of the negotiation team, Joachim Chisano told the media that the talks were in a stalemate as both nations still stuck to their stance about ownership of the part in question.

Over the last few months, Chakwera has strengthened ties with neighboring nations having travelled to Zambia and Mozambique as well.

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Malawian President worried with terrorists attacks in Mozambique
October 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

Malawian president Lazarus Chakwera was in Tete, Mozambique on Tuesday for a day-return state visit where he held bilateral talks with his Mozambican counterpart Filipe Nyusi. One of the subjects on the table was linked to Cabo Delgado terrorist attacks.

The death toll in the Cabo Delgado attacks has reached 2074, three years after the first attack recorded on October 5, 2017. More than 300,000 of displaced people have been recorded.

Last month the Malawian police detained two people described as “recruiters” who were taking a group of 14 citizens from Malawi into Mozambique for unknown purposes. In the past, people have been trafficked via Mozambique into South Africa. But nowadays the terrorists operating in Mozambique are known to be recruiting, and it is possible that Cabo Delgado was the true destination of the group caught on the border with Niassa.

Chakwera, speaking to the press at Kamuzu International Airport, said one of the highlights of the discussion with the Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi is the on-going conflict in some parts of Mozambique as well as the state of insecurity in that country which pose a threat to Malawi as a neighbouring nation.

According to Chakwera, Nyusi recognises the insecurity in his country and that they are working to resolve the issues.

Chakwera indicated that their discussion also touched on the need to improve trade links between the two countries.

For his part, President Nyusi, advocates maximizing cooperation with Malawi in order to increasingly facilitate the transit of goods through Mozambican ports and corridors, making that country connected and not stuck.

“One of the areas where opportunities lie that can be explored for mutual benefit are the Beira and Nacala development corridors. These potentialities can be maximized to set in motion the new approach of making Malawi a connected and not stuck country,” Nyusi said talking to the press.

Nyusi put forward the proposal to link Mozambique’s Sena line with Malawi’s railway line, ensuring that “Mozambique is introducing deep reforms to both corridors and rail-port infrastructure to ensure the rapid clearance of goods for the benefit not only of Malawi but also of the region.

Another highlight in the Nyusi declaration is the project to build the 400-kilowatt power transmission line between Mozambique and Malawi over a length of approximately 220 kilometers. “It is one of the examples that our resources are available for the development not only of Mozambique, but also of neighbouring countries.

This was Chakwera’s third state visit after Zambia and Zimbabwe. He is expected to leave Malawi again this Wednesday for a three-day visit in Tanzania.

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Mozambique: Death toll from terrorists attacks in Cabo Delgado rises above 2,000
October 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Jorge Joaquim

The death toll in the Cabo Delgado terrorist attacks has reached 2074, four years after the first attack that was recorded on October 5, 2017. More than 300,000 of displaced people have been recorded, according to Acled, which keeps the most accurate scorecard.

Islamic State has claimed a spate of recent attacks in the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado, home to the gas developments following one of the biggest gas finds in a decade off its coast. The terrorist organization is responsible for carrying out attacks against local businesses, government installations, and security forces.

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said on sunday (4) that the country “is being attacked by outside forces who are targeting the defenceless public and our social institutions.”

He was speaking after laying a wreath at the Monument to the Mozambican Heroes, at a ceremony commemorating the 28th anniversary of the signing, in Rome, of the General Peace Agreement between the government and the rebel movement Renamo, on 4 October 1992.

The terrorists “whose motives are unknown, murder our people and vandalise public and private institutions, with the aim of diverting us from the focus of our agenda as a people and delaying the achievement of our dreams”, said the President.

The US is said to be close to signing a military training agreement and hopes to have soldiers in Mozambique this year, according to political expert Joseph Hanlon. The US, in turn, has asked Zimbabwe to provide troops.

Bloomberg reports that the request came in a phone call between US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Tibor Nagy and Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo last week. The foreign minister pointed out that targeted sanctions against Zimbabwean officials made it difficult to cooperate with the US. But Moyo also told Nagy that it could be part of a broader normalising of relations.

Zimbabwean troops played an important role in defending the Beira corridor from Renamo in the 1980s, and some senior officers were based in Mozambique during their own liberation war in the 1970s.

Zimbabwe has troops but no money so someone will need to pay. But it would look better if the US came in with Zimbabwe under SADC cover.

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Kenya:What sin did DP Ruto commit? Jubilee Party is on flames
October 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

DP William Ruto will not go down without a fight
DP William Ruto does not want to go down without a fight

It is getting murkier in the Kenyan ruling party Jubilee following the consistent wrangles between allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and those of his deputy William Ruto

On Thursday, October 1, Ruto stormed the party’s headquarters at Pangani and held a meeting with 30 MPs a few hours after the President landed in France for a three-day official visit.

His move has elicited severe criticism from his critics who accused him of raid and coup and now call for his removal as the Deputy President.

“Yesterday, the DP turned up at the Party Headquarters with more than 30 MPs many of them known avowed abusers of the President. These are the same fowl mouthed MPs that are on record attacking government programs like the Huduma number,” said the Party’s Secretary-General Raphael Tuju.

 “It is disturbing that the Deputy President invites this same retinue to the Party Headquarters to give them a platform to increase polarisation in the Party. Indeed, that move of inviting MPs allied to him almost created an ugly confrontation with close to 40 MPs not allied to him who also wanted to storm the headquarters,” said Tuju.

Ruto said the outfit’s National Management Committee (NMC) recommended in a meeting on Friday that Ruto be ousted as the Deputy President for opening offices of a rival faction known as Jubilee Asili.

“…the NMC has recommended to the NEC that the DP ceases to be Deputy Party Leader after he opened the so-called Jubilee Asili offices that is reserved for him and his allies until such a time that this development of Jubilee Asili is discussed at the NEC,” said the Secretary-General.

The former MP also noted that the committee unanimously agreed to block the second in command from using the headquarters to run his political operations.

“…the Deputy Party Leader as a self-declared Presidential Candidate for 2022 will not be allowed to use the Party headquarters as a centre of operationalisation of his 2022 campaign and to use the centre for intimidation of any potential opponent or Party staff…. It is no longer tenable for the DP to use the Party platform including statements from the Party Headquarters to advance his divisive so-called hustler politics that are counter to the Party and Presidents platform of uniting the country, the fight against corruption and the agenda four items,” said Tuju.

Tuju further faulted the former agriculture minister for snubbing Monday’s Covid-19 Conference.

In rejoinder, Ruto’s allies vowed to continue using the outfit’s offices saying they will not allow the party to be run as a private entity for selfish gain.

“We would keep running it and saying the truth until Kenya is on a progressive lane…you cannot tell us that we cannot meet in that office. It is our money that is funding it. It is also our votes that is keeping you where you are,” Said Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

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Sierra Leone : Former President Ernest Bai Koroma vows to use all legitimate and democratic means to defend his reputation
October 2, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

Former  President , Ernest Bai Koroma has vowed  that he will muster all available legitimate  and democratic means to robustly defend his reputation
Former President , Ernest Bai Koroma has vowed that he will muster all available legitimate and democratic means to robustly defend his reputation

Sierra Leone’s Former  President , Ernest Bai Koroma has vowed  that he will muster all available legitimate  and democratic means to robustly defend his reputation which he said has being tarnished in the findings of the Commissions of Inquiry and the Bio-led government’s  White Paper Report released last week.

According to the statement from the Office of the former President released on Wednesday  , he  said will defer to his lawyers to look into the reports , the White Paper and the series of maligning actions being instituted against him  so as to advise him on the next course of action adding that  he has  always supported the fight against corruption and the quest for accountability in public office.

“I have learned with utter disappointment about some of the defamatory contents of the Reports of the Commissions of Inquiry and the White Paper thereto pertaining to some of the activities I undertook while  exercising my official functions as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. I have also noted with utter dismay the Government’s hostility against me and some officials who served in my administration,’’the statement said, adding that while it is apparent that the allegations against  the former president are without merit and are a politically motivated charade calculated to impugn his  hard – earned reputation, he further believe that the  Bio-led government’s relentless heckling around him has reached undue and unacceptable levels that amount to political harassment.

 The Statement from the former President further said that for ten years, he served his country diligently, fairly and with honour and integrity adding that his government was widely recognised for its robust fight against corruption, for consolidating peace, rebuilding the country’s battered infrastructure, for improving the lives of our people in many ways and for the peaceful, smooth democratic transition he  superintended.

 “It is unfortunate that the government has chosen this route to unduly tarnish my reputation because of politics. Such ridiculous political witch hunt does not only scare good and well-meaning citizens from getting involved in governance; it also has the propensity of undermining peaceful democratic transitions on the continent as current leaders following these unfortunate events in Sierra Leone might find it difficult to readily hand over power, especially to opposition political parties,’’the statement from former President Koroma added.

The former President has been invited by the Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) to appear on Monday for questioning over the findings in the commissions of Inquiry and the government’s White paper even though there has been any statement from the former president confirming to honouring the invitation from the country’s graft agency.

President Koroma ruled the small  west African nation of  Sierra Leone from 2007-2018.

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