Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone’s Anti-graft agency indicts former Road Safety boss and two others
September 14, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Sierra Leone’s Anti-graft Agency has indicted the former Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu and two other government officials according to a press statement from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on 12th September.
‘’The Anti-Corruption Commission, on 12th September 2019, filed an indictment against Dr. Sarah FINDA Bendu, former Executive Director, Sierra Leone Roads Safety Authority (SLRSA); Mr. Victor Labor, Procurement Manager, SLRSA; and Ms. Kepiatu Alghali, former National Revenue Authority (NRA) Officer,’’the release states.
According to the release they were indicted on various counts of Misappropriation of Public Funds, contrary to Section 36(1); Conspiracy to Commit a Corruption Offence, contrary to Section 128(1); Failure to Comply with Applicable Procedures and Guidelines Relating to the Tendering of Contracts, contrary to Section 48(2)(b); and Failure to Comply with the Applicable Procedures and Guidelines Relating to the Management of Public Funds, contrary to Section 48(2)(b) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2008, respectively.
‘’Acting on the Auditor General’s Report that public funds had been misappropriated by Dr. Bendu, Mr. Labor at the SLRSA, and Ms. Alghali of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) , between January 2016 and December 2017, the ACC accordingly instituted an investigation, the release further stated, adding that the investigations revealed that Dr. Bendu, Mr. Labor , and Ms. Alghali conspired to defraud the State of a total sum of Two Billion and Ninety One Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty-six Thousand Five Hundred and Twenty Leones ,Eight Eight Cents (Le2, 091,736,520.88).
The ACC release noted that the accused persons, with intent to defraud the State, inflated customs duties, and payments for related services, and used the bank accounts of Centrum and KABS Clearing and Forwarding Agencies, and funnelled monies in the guise of clearing tow trucks and holographic windshield labels, adding that upon the transfer and receipt of each payment, the management of Centrum and KABS, on some occasions, directly transferred the funds to Ms. Alghali’s account.
It also said on other occasions, they withdrew these monies and handed over same to her in person and the investigations further revealed that Ms. ALGHALI shared these monies with various employees of the SLRSA, including Mr. Labor and Dr. Bendu; who got the Lion Share.
‘’Meanwhile, the three indicted persons are expected to appear in the High Court Holden at Freetown on the 2nd Day of October 2019. In this light, the Commission wishes to reassure the general public of its unshaken resolve to fight acts of corruption at all levels in Sierra Leone,’’the release ended.
Kenyan family refuses to bury kin’s headless body
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma_27 |@journalist_27
A family of a 42-year-old man whose body was ferried from Malawi last week with the head missing is appealing to the government to help them retrieve their kin’s head from the south east country.
The deceased who worked as a long-distance truck driver with Exotank, a Mombasa-based plastic tank manufacturing company was reported to have involved in grisly road accident and died on the spot on August 21. One week later the deceased’s company ferried the body back to the country via road and it was received by the family in the capital Nairobi.
The family attempt to view the body upon the arrival was thwarted by the company on the ground that it was thoroughly sealed. They transfer the body to the village in Western Kenya and to their utter shock the body had no head. The company’s driver was interrogated but it was of no help. He informed them he had no idea of what the cargo contained when he received it at the border of Kenya and Uganda.
“We were not allowed to view it with reasons that it was thoroughly sealed, we headed that night to a morgue in Western. To our surprise when we unsealed the cargo the body was lying in a casket with a missing head,” reiterated the widow.
They reached out to the company to demand the whereabouts of their kin’s head; however, no proper explanation was given and since then the firm has gone silent on the matter. The deceased father stated that in line with traditions the body cannot be interred without the head appealing to well-wishers to finance his journey to Malawi to search for his only son’s head.
Gambia:European Tour Wrap-Up, T. Smallz Tells Fans Thank You, Expect more Projects in 2020
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
One of Gambia’s finest singers and songwriter T. Smallz, has commended his fans across Europe for supporting him during his recent European tour in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria and Belgium was a huge success.
He also commended promoters, Djs, in Europe for having the trust and confidence in him in hiring his service in concerts across Europe, hoping that next year tour will be on fire again.
“You are the best keeping the fire blazing till me meet again let keep the vibes going,”
Katato, as widely called assured his fans across the globe to expect more projects in 2019 and the upcoming album ‘Level Low’
The tour started on 20th July- 30th August, 2019, was organised by Warriors in a Dance and Katato Entertainment, paving the way for many. He is one of Gambian artistes who always tour Europe annually and returns home.
T Smallz performed at revered clubs and entertainment venues such as Pays Club, Club Casablanca, Karlsruhe, Club Calwer Stuttgart, Diamond Dance Café and Halle Saale all in Germany.
He performed at Austria, Vienna; in August entertain the Na Nang Club.
In Italy, he performed at the Playa Catania Lido Jolly Club and the Replay Club in Bologna, after moving to Sweden where he performed at the Styrso festival and then wrapping things up in Belgium.
He was speaking to journalists shortly before leaving the shores of The Gambia, telling them the objective of the tour is to reach out to fan-bases across the globe.
An international star singer, Smallz said the tour is necessary because not only Gambians listen to his golden voice over radio and podcasts. “It is prudent to do more shows in Europe to build a wider audience of followers and contacts, has a studio session with artistes, video shooting, sessions with deejays, producers and promoters across Europe.”
According was huge people are loving the vibes in Europe, as his new ‘Problem’ featuring Lil Omz was big in Europe and disclosed he shot a video for the song ‘Elafta Elafta’, the first single from his album in-making ‘Level Low’.
“This is a big uplift for my music representing Gambia across the globe and at the same time educating and entertaining my global fans. I commended all Gambian and non who come to attended the shows in their various cities,” Smallz, also widely referred to as Katato -troublemaker for English, said.
“We commend them, however, we urge them to do more, and to do better for Gambia music to cross borders,” the 2013 Nominated Male artiste of the year said.
He urged Gambian DJs to keep supporting and embracing Gambian music by playing it in their various concerts because a lot of good music is coming outta Gambia.
Gambia to Host Drama Fest-Gambia 2019
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Gambia is expected to host maiden edition of Drama Fest-Gambia 2019 on 25-26 October, 2019 at Ebunjan Theatre in Kanifing.
Organised by Stage and Screen Entertainment Africa is a premium Entertainment Art network that seeks to nurture, promote, develop and engage the vision of creative and performing art in Africa.
This was revealed during a press conference which attracts writers, playwrights, directors, actors at West Africa Insurance Institute on 7th September, 2019.
Milton Kamanda, coordinator of Stage and Screen Entertainment Africa The Gambia explained that the event will showcase an array of cultural diversity through drama, music, dance poetry and arts exhibition which will feature creative and literary work done by renowned playwrights and directors from the Gambia.
According to him, this year the festival will show case home grown talents from the different facets of art.
He added that: “Our goal is to use Art Edutainment as a means of sustainable livelihood for upcoming and established artist, artiste thereby showcasing the work of creativity, craft and art to the world”
Miss Monica Davies, Chairperson Drama Fest-Gambia said they want to empower the next generation of art through leadership training.
She pointed out that Drama Fest want to promote arts entrepreneurship in Africa, through training, mentorship and networking platforms, to appreciate and celebrate the diversity of African arts.
“Recognizing distinguished accomplished personalities in the arts fraternity in the Gambia and Africa at large. Promote arts as a positive tool for social and economic transformation in Africa. To use creative and performing arts to address the ills in our communities. Giving preferences to promote and support local talents. Engage relevant stakeholders in the arts industry within the region with the implementation of policies that benefits its people,” Davies a prominent actress in Gambia said.
She noted that the event will be in a form of trade fares, concerts and art exhibition as one of the medium to showcase African arts to the world, by encouraging government to create state funds to support arts in school and tertiary levels.
Zimbabwe Grapples with Big Shortage of ARVs.
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
The Government of Zimbabwe has been urged to un-lock the US$400 Million Global Fund HIV and AIDS Finance. This will make it work way-forward solutions to prevent the further spread of HIV and AIDS. The call has come at a time the country is running serious shortage of ARVs.
Secondly, the Executive Director of the Zimbabwe AIDS Net-Work [ZAN] Taurai Nyandoro advised the Government to pay US $6, 9 Million owed to suppliers of ARVs between 2017 and 2018. This, he said is the other reason why suppliers of ARVs are not supplying the country with drugs.
According to ZAN Director, to un-lock the Global Fund US $4 million, the Government must increase support to programs that focus on HIV and AIDS.
‘’ Zimbabwe must un-lock US$ 400 million Global Fund HIV finance which can help in alleviating poverty related to the spread of the deadly HIV which progresses to AIDS if not well managed .
‘’How-ever, to un-lock the finance, the Government must support programs in line with HIV and AIDS in the country.’’
‘’We want the number of those clients under the Global Fund to increase from 710,000 clients to a much bigger figure. The Government working with NAC has 113, 000 [Anti-Retroviral Therapy] ART Clients while PEPFAR has 193 clients .This will help eradicate HIV. Even by 2030 it’s possible to eliminate HIV if as well 90%, 90 %, 90% targets of the UNITED NATIONS are put in place.
Nyandoro further highlighted that the Ministry of Health and Child-Care has 100,000 people on ARV TEST and TREATMENT. This brings to 8000 new clients a month accessing services. He further advised the Government to give 15% support to the Health sector in its budget. This 15% increase which is Z$502 million makes it easy to get Global Fund support.
‘’The need to unlock the Global Fund finance facility is a big way-forward in making an end to the spread of HIV. There is shortage of ARVs of which the problem must be solved as fast as possible in the country’’, concludes Nyandoro .
A National AIDS Council official who declined to be named out said NAC in 2019 availed Z $23 million for HIV and AIDS in the country. He pointed out that besides this big money availed, the shortage of ARVs and STI Anti-Biotics is there because the Government owes suppliers much money.
‘’Yes. The shortage of ARVs must be addressed now. Anti-Biotics on Sexual Transmitted Diseases Treatment are on the short supply list as well. The challenge is now with those who use ARVs, the HIV positive people’’, he said.
Gambian Rapper Killer Ace, 6 youth receive 700,000 bail bonds
September 13, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Adama Makasuba
A High court has granted bail to remanded Gambian rapper Killer Ace whose real name is Ali Cham and six youth asking each of the accused to pay a sum 100, 000 dalasi with two Gambian surety and their travelling documents.
Presiding over the case, vocation judge Basiru Mahoney said: “I am here by granting the seven accused persons a bail in the sum of 100,000 dalasi each. They should tender their travelling documents to the registrar of the high court and sureties of two Gambians each.”
He said despite the case is transferred to the high court; he added that the charges are not yet read in court.
Meanwhile, the accused persons were represented lawyer Antuman Gaye, Lamin S Camara, Saliu Taal, Kombeh Gaye and Patrick Gomez while the state was represented by A. Yusuf and Muhammed Sowe.
After applying for bail for the accused, Lawyer Antuman Gaye, also applied that one Muhammed Fadia’s name was not in the new list and applied that his name to be captured in the new list.
The youth have been in remand at mile two prison for weeks after they were arrested for allegedly taking part in July 24 protest. Their case was last week transferred to the high court by Kanifing Magistrate court after it said it cannot hear the case of the youth. Thirty youth have been released.
Cameroon: Ghost towns, Locked gates, Few Students characterised back to school in SW
September 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The 2019/2020 school year across the South West region of Cameroon has witnessed a low turnout by students on Monday September 2, 2019. The situation across the Anglophone regions which has been witnessing upheavals for the past 2 years was characterised by lockdown, closed gates and few students present in classrooms across both private and government establishments.
At 7:30 A.M, Monday September 2, most of the gates of the establishments were still closed. The situation was even worse for most of the private institutions with no student present for lectures. Some of the school administrators were however present.
The low turnout across the South West Region can be linked to the imposed lockdown by separatist fighters across the North West and South west Regions. Before school resumption, separatist fighters had imposed two sets of lockdown beginning September 2 to 6 and from September 9 to 13. These lockdown are aimed at frustrating efforts to get school resume in the Anglophone regions.
The situation were however encouraging in confessional schools who had many students in attendance for the first day of school. In PCSS Buea Town, a few hundred students were present, though not in their classrooms for lectures. Baptist High School, still in Buea equally had a good number of students who answered present.
Bilingual Grammar School Molyko Buea, Government Technical School Molyko, known for having thousands of students had virtually no student present. BGS Molyko was full with administrators though the students stayed away while that of GTTC had about two students present.
The low turnout of students in Buea was the same scenario witnessed in educational establishments across Limbe. Many of the schools remained shut while the few who braved the odds to open their doors witnessed just a handful of students present.
The Governor of the South West Region Bernard Okalia Bilai while touring the various educational establishments to ascertain the level of back to school across Fako Division encouraged those who braved the odds in attending school. According to him, they are building a future for their families, the society and the country as a whole.
He further encouraged the students to call on their fellow colleagues who are still in the quarters and villages to join them in school while assuring them that their security is guaranteed with the security forces present to protect them. “You cannot fully participate in the building of your country if you cannot read or write” Governor Okalia Bilai told the students.
The hope for the administrators in the Region is that the coming days will be much better-that still may however be farfetched.
RedOne pays tribute to Africa with the new hit “WE LOVE AFRICA”
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
This new record was chosen to be the official song of the 12th edition of Pan-African Games 2019 in Rabat
Cameroon Humanitarian Relief Initiative statement on operations
September 1, 2019 | 0 Comments
As unfortunate actions continue to escalate the ongoing crisis in Southern Cameroons, CHRI counts on your support in order to continue to take actions to alleviate the suffering. On the 31st of July 2019, the Cameroon Humanitarian Relief Initiative, CHRI, successfully carried out its latest outreach to the refugees at Ikom settlement camp, Cross River, Nigeria. We distributed 20 bags of clothing donated by Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Benin, Nigeria (see photos). The church also raised 1 million naira to support refugee relief. CHRI extends appreciation to Our Lady of Fatima church and the Nigerian community at large for supporting those affected by the crisis.
Starting on August 3, CHRI is hosting a series of webinars with other NGOs engaged directly with internally displaced persons in Cameroon or refugees in Nigeria to discuss ways to collaborate/coordinate to optimize our collective response to the crisis. Action plans arising from these positive discussions will be provided in future updates.
On July 11, 2019, CHRI carried out its 22nd monthly donation of food items to SC detainees at Kondengui Central Prison in Yaounde, Cameroon. Due to protests at the prison and related challenges, we have suspended this important outreach initiative until the appropriate conditions are in place to continue.
On behalf of CHRI, I would like to appreciate and encourage your continued support to the victims of this unfortunate crisis. Since our inception last year, we have raised $77,796.68 and spent $66,197.2 supporting these victims. We are planning our next outreach to the many refugees in Nigeria who are not currently covered by UNHCR. To channel your support through CHRI, I kindly request you to visit our website at chrelief.org/donate to make a donation or mail a check to: CHRI at 4413 Nuttall Road, Fairfax, VA 22032
Five African countries bid to host 2021 ICASA conference
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Five African countries have submitted bids to the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) to host the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) 2021 conference.
The society has revealed that the countries which have submitted their bid for pre-selection to be the host of ICASA 2021 are Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda and Tunisia.
The pre-selection started from 14 August 2019 ending on 29 August 2019, according to the society.
ICASA is a major bilingual international AIDS conference which takes place in Africa.
This year the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa will take place in Kigali, Rwanda.
It is reported that the conference represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it.
It is also added that the conference theme this year “AIDS Free Africa – Innovation, Community, and Political Leadership” engages the whole continent and all stakeholders in the Post-SDG Framework, where sustainability of the response in reaching 90, 90, 90 UNAIDS will not be possible if human rights are not a key priority for a new of leadership in the context of strengthening the application of science-based evidence.
ICASA is a major international AIDS conference which takes place in Africa. Its current biennial hosting alternates between Anglophone and Francophone African countries.
The society says that the convening of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it.
The biennial International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for professionals working in the field of HIV, as well as leaders, people living with HIV and others committed to ending the epidemic. It is reported to be a tremendous opportunity for researchers from around the world to share the latest scientific advances in the field, learn from one another’s expertise, and develop strategies for advancing all facets of collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV.
The Society for AIDS in Africa was established in Kinshasa in October 1990 during the 5th International Conference on AIDS and Associated Cancers in Africa, a precursor to the International Conference on AIDS
and STIs in Africa (ICASA).
It is reported that the formation of the Society for AIDS in Africa, was facilitated by the (W.H.O) to encourage the African continent to host international conferences on HIV/AIDS, a disease whose scourge has hardest hit the continent.It is reported that the move encourages and empowers Africans to directly address and respond to the challenges posed by the HIV and AIDS pandemic on the continent.
The Society envisions an HIV free Africa with capacity to confront all related consequences and diseases. The Society enables a positive environment for research on HIV and related diseases. The Society for AIDS in AFRICA (SAA) is governed by an Executive Council drawn from South, North, East, West and Central Africa. SAA collaborates with
AFRICASO, SAFAIDS, SWAA, NAP+, and Network of Youth in Africa and enjoy the support of the UN- System, as well as various International organizations, including the International AIDS Society (IAS).
Since its inception, SAA has successfully organized 19 International Conferences on HIV /AIDS and STIs in 14 Africa countries. On 6th December, 2017, in Abidjan, during ICASA 2017 the Sofitel Hotel Ivoire, the Minister of Health of Rwanda in the presence of ICASA 2017 President and the ICASA Director and other Executive Board Members, won the bid to host the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs which was conferred to Rwanda. Rwanda’s selection was a result of a rigorous evaluation of 3 countries to host ICASA 2019.
With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Minister of Health and SAA with the strong support of the Rwandan Government, Dr. Ihab Ahmed, SAA President, officially declared Rwanda as the next host
country of the 20th edition of ICASA, ICASA 2019.
Rwandan community head in Mozambique shot dead
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Arnaldo Cuamba
Rwandan community head in Mozambique Louis Baziga was shot dead on Monday morning in Matola City, Maputo province, by unknown gunmen.
According to witnesses, Baziga, 47, was intercepted with 3 individuals armed with two pistols and one AKM and fired several shots at the victim, who was in a Toyota Prado-branded vehicle on an AIH 330 MC registration plate. The miscreants were transported by a cream-colored Toyota branded car.
The victim was rescued alive to the Maputo Provincial Hospital, but could not resist and died, a police officer told Pan African Visions adding that the measures taken by the authorities included the on-site examination, external examination of the corpse, vehicle examination. Six projectiles and cartridges were collected on site, he said.
Baziga was a pastor of Igreja Pentecostal de Reavivamento em Moçambique and businessman with commercial establishments and pharmacies.
In 2017 three Rwandan nationals, refugees in Mozambique, unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Baziga, for political reasons and with the aim of subsequently assuming church leadership.
The accused alleged that Louis Baziga is in the country at the service of the Rwandan Government with a view to monitoring and harassing refugees in Mozambique, especially those supporting the former regime against Paul Kagame.
Tensions high in Kenya hours to census
August 23, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27
The Government of Kenya is wary of threats from its citizens and a section of political leaders which it thinks might interfere with this year’s census with just few hours remaining to the kickoff of the exercise.
Kenya Population and Housing Census 2019 is set to start tomorrow, August 24 and to continue up to August 31 with primary results expected after three months, preliminary report six months and a final report after one year. The event is carried out in the East African country after ten years. This year’s Census will see Kenya becoming the first African country to acknowledge its intersex population and data will also be captured electronically for the first time.
Even though preparations are already in place ahead of tomorrow there is fear that the process might not run smoothly as expected compared to the previous ones. A section of Kenyans had put the government on notice that they will disrupt the process as a protest against unfair hiring of enumerators. They had expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the census officers were hired claiming it was skewed. They called on the Kenya Bureau of Statistics to conduct the process afresh but their pleas fell into deaf ears.
The authority dismissed the allegations noting the recruitment was conducted in a fair way while the residents have insisted it was marred with bribery, impunity and nepotism. Since 129, 000 were hired to undertake the process youths across the country have protested threatening to boycott the exercise.
A number of Kenyans who spoke to Pan African Visions expressed their disappointment noting that unemployed youths were neglected and a number of state officials, teachers among others employed instead. They asserted the locals from some areas were ignored and the opportunities given to outsiders.
“The first question I will pose to them (the officers) is what are their names and when I realize that they do not hail from this area I will shut them out of my house. Our sons and daughters are languishing in unemployment, they should have been given the first priority instead of the outsiders,” stated one of the residents.
“I will not support impunity. No to corruption! No to nepotism! I repeat again it is No to impunity. We cannot move on like that as if nothing happened,” added another one.
Addressing the press yesterday on the State’s preparedness for the exercise, the Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i disclosed there is a group of politicians with an intention of inciting their supporters to boycott the long awaited census which its preparations began in 2016. He cautioned them saying their night meetings are being monitored.
“We are monitoring those activities. We are aware of the meetings that you had last night. At the end of the day you will meet with the law. Let’s desist from these activities. I urge our leaders especially politicians to support census. This is a straightforward exercise and let’s leaves it at that. Let us do it with decency,” said the minister.