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IEC asks South Africans to take advantage of the weekend’s voter registration drive

South African qued for voter registration ahead of closing date. [Image: courtesy]
South Africa—The South African municipal election will be held on 1 November 2021, to elect councils for all district, metropolitan and local municipalities in each of the country’s nine provinces.

As a result, the country’s electoral body Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has asked South Africans to take advantage of the weekend’s voter registration drive.

Voting stations across the country will be open on the 18th and 19th of September to enable those wishing to participate in the November 1 election to register and amend their details if they have moved or changed their address.

The date comes after the Constitutional Court dismissed the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) bid to postpone the elections until next year, as per the recommendation of former deputy chief justice Dikgang Moseneke.

Applications for special votes will open on September 20 and close on October 4.

“In order to register, voters need to bring an identity document which may be a smart card, green barcoded book, or a temporary identification certificate. It is essential that a voter indicates an address or a description of a place where life.

“Proof of residence is not a requirement of registration purposes. Jurisprudence from our courts provides that the commission must record a voter is registered within award in which they are ordinarily a resident,” says IEC CEO Sy Mamabolo

The IEC says it expects between 500,000 and 2 million more registrations throughout, its over 23000 stations in the country.

South African citizens in the diaspora are also lawfully allowed to vote. The Electoral Amendment Act 2013 permitted all South African citizens the right to register and vote in national elections.

To vote in diaspora one must be registered and submit a VEC10 notification within the period specified on the elections timetable, 15 days from the date on which the election is proclaimed.

Once you’re a registered voter, a receipt is pasted on your ID book when you apply for registration. If your name isn’t on the voters roll on Election Day and you don’t have your registration sticker, you have no proof that you applied for registration and you won’t be able to vote.

Addressing the concern of COVID-19 guidelines, Mamabolo said strict protocols are in place and citizens can rest assured that safety is a top priority

The tussle over voting regulations posing threat to Libyan fragile peace

Libyans express displeasure over the new voting law ahead of their next general election. [iamge:courtesy]
Libya—The 2021 Libyan general election is slated for 24th December. Elections had previously been planned for early 2019 after having earlier been planned for 10 December 2018. The elections are intended to consist of presidential and parliamentary candidates.

However, there’s a live tussle over voting law posing a threat to the Libyan peace process.

Parliament speaker Aguila Saleh last week approved legislation that would govern the country’s presidential election. Though the final; copy of the bill has not been presented to the assembly for ratification.

Libyan political pundits and critics debate that Speaker Saleh bypassed due process and pushed through a law favoring his ally, the eastern-based putschist General Khalifa Haftar.

They argue citing a clause stipulating that military officials may stand in presidential polls, on the condition that they withdraw their roles three months beforehand – and if unsuccessful they will receive back pay.

That would allow for a presidency run by Haftar, whose forces control eastern Libya, where the parliament is based, as well as parts of South Libya.

Western and Eastern Libya has been engaging in bitter civil war until a truce sponsored by United Nations calmed the situation.

Though political analyst Khaled al-Montasir warned that the latest move by Saleh which bypassed state bodies in western Libya as well as members of his own assembly could trigger a return to fighting.

“The parliament can’t pass a law on presidential elections on its own, especially given that there is still tensions and disputes among various parties,” he said.

“There needs to be agreement over any law, given the current delicate situation.”

U.N. envoy Jan Kubis told the Security Council on Friday that Saleh had informed him that the presidential electoral law was already adopted although he noted that other state bodies had complained that they had not been consulted before it was passed.

Kubis warned that a failure to conduct presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya on Dec.24 could renew conflict efforts to unite the country.

“The existing uncertainty creates a fertile ground for spoilers and skeptics to manipulate the situation against the political transition, feeding on the existing tensions in relations between diverse Libyan institutions and authorities.”

Seen as favoring Haftar, France has welcomed the law as valid, while other states have been more cautious.

DNA confirms body remains retrieved from septic tank in Uganda belong to Auditor general’s wife, Francis Onebe

Mary Asio’s remains handed over to her immediate relatives for a decent burial. [Image: courtesy]
Uganda—Wednesday 15th September a woman’s body slightly decomposing was retrieved from a septic tank in her marital home in Munyonyo, a Kampala suburb.

The woman is believed to have been abducted by security forces early this year, however, efforts to trace her had proved abortive.

With only the skin peeling off, it has been gathered that Mary Immaculate Blessing Onebe, the wife of Uganda’s auditor general Francis Onebe died not long ago.

The mystery is about the cause of her death as well as how the corpse was secretly moved and plunged into the family septic tank nine months after she disappeared while returning from shopping groceries.

Witnesses and on onlookers intimated that Mary’s body had deep cuts that relatives kept scrambling for answers on whether the body was really Mary’s.

The misery led to the Investigation police conducting a DNA test that candidly confirmed the body to be Mary’s, the wife of Francis Onebe.

“The DNA from the skeletons samples and that of the family members clearly matched. As a result, the remains of late Mrs. Immaculate Onebe were handed over to her immediate family members for decent burial,” CID spokesperson, Charles Twine said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon.

Claims that another body was retrieved from the very septic tank were thrashed by Twine, saying these were part of the remains of Mrs. Onebe.

“The results from the team of medical examiners and pathologists, confirm that bones recovered from the septic tank, are for one person and not two has earlier alleged from the scene of crime investigators. In addition, the bones were submitted for further forensic examination and scientifically identified as that of an adult female.”

According to police, after confirming that the body recovered from the septic tank belongs to Onebe’s missing wife, investigators are now focused on gathering evidence on circumstances surrounding her disappearance and how the body was dumped in the septic tank.

After the mysterious vanish, Francis Onebe filed a case of a missing person at Kabalangala Police station and later kept frequenting different detention centers in search of his wife who he claimed had been kidnapped by unknown people, though that was fruitless too.

However, Police is now seeking to crack the nut on how Onebe’s wife disappeared and who really are the perpetrators of the inhumane act.

 

Huawei set to launch an innovation hub for App Developers in Africa

Huawei plans to expand its DIGIX Lab to Africa. [Image: courtesy]
South Africa—Huawei technologies company Ltd is a Chinese multinational technology organization headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong. It designs, develops, and sells communication equipment and consumer electronics.

The company has announced plans to launch DIGIX Lab. A new facility targeting app developers in the Middle East and Africa.

DIGIX Lab Test Services can be used to develop, debug, and test mobile apps on a wide selection of real Huawei devices, enabling you to easily and efficiently integrate Huawei Mobile Services’ open capabilities.

The first in the region Huawei says DIGIX Lab will allow developers to experience its open capabilities and real devices firsthand, master and share knowledge about Huawei’s latest open capabilities through hands-on practice, and directly access the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) ecosystem.

It’s a new facility that apparently shows the tech giant’s continued growth and investment in the region, as well as its commitment to skills development and training. It will serve as an innovation hub for HMS App development on the African continent to drive idea exchanges, business growth, and collaboration.

Its lab will give space to a home for developers to experience the full range of HMS developer resources such as training on Huawei integration kits, marketing of Apps, technical skills assistance, and testing to help them reach new heights.

This is in conjunction with the “Huawei Developers Programme,” which provides developers to participate in workshops, developer community and receive newsletters and comprehensive support from the DIGIX Lab team.

Huawei says it is empowering developers by putting their skills to use and giving them platforms to innovate from scratch, building the entire App lifecycle from ideation to development.

Also, Huawei has various platforms and resources in place that are helpful for the developer community, such as Huawei Developer Groups, which provide a space for in-depth exchange and collaboration among developers.

Through these initiatives, developers all around the world get to connect and share ideas. Over one million developers have already registered on Huawei’s developer portal.

The mobile tech is set to launch the Huawei Developer Hub, the “DIGIX Lab” in Johannesburg on 21st September 2021.

 

Dimension Data Company appoints Christopher Makyao as its Managing Director in Tanzania

Christopher Mukyao appointed New MD for Dimension Data in Tanzania. [image:courtesy]
Tanzania—Dimension Data, a company specializing in information technology services has appointed Christopher Mukyao as the managing director for its business in Tanzania.

While announcing the appointment of Mukyao, Dimension Data East and West Africa Managing Director Richard Hechle said the company was beefing up its operations in Tanzania with increasing demand for ICT solutions within the market as more companies embrace digital transformation accelerated by the Covid pandemic.

“We are seeing demand for our solutions in the market among our existing enterprise clients and multi-national companies operating in the East Africa region. Technology has been crucial in keeping businesses going since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemics – some with crippling effects,” he said.

Besides, Hechle noted while technology and innovation have always been connected, Covid-19 has accelerated the urgency of the mindset shift many industries need to stay in operation whatever the prevailing environment.

The Information tech company is also working to hire more engineers and commercial resources to directly with its clients in Tanzania.

While accepting the appointment, Mukyao underscored that the company will be focusing on developing uniquely tailored IT solutions providing value-driven services through customer engagement, and reliable and secure internet connectivity, and outstanding technology infrastructure that advances productivity and business growth.

“Our vision as Dimension Data is to be a partner of choice for businesses not only in Tanzania but in our region. We intend to do this by delivering and solutions to our clients,” he said.

Among looking to leverage on connectivity, other solutions of the company are installing intelligent security, Business connectivity, Cloud services, and other IT solutions for existing and high-value clients who are the mainstay of the Tanzania economy.

The newly appointed MD underlined that as the market in Tanzania continues to evolve, the company was conscious of the need to remain relevant by delivering products and services that enable clients to meet the increasing demand for personalization and customization.

 

Safaricom to reap handsomely from smart electricity meters deal

KPLC and Safaricom collaborate to curb dubious electricity loss. [Image: @kplc/Twitter]
Kenya—Safaricom PLC is a listed Kenyan mobile network operator headquartered at Safaricom House in Nairobi Kenya. It is the largest telecommunications network in Kenya and one of the most profitable companies in the East and Central Africa region.

The telco company is set to earn 53.5 billion for installing smart electricity meters to Kenya Power’s large consumers in an agenda focused on stopping power electricity theft and leakages while fixing weaknesses on the utility firm’s transmission network.

Safaricom targets to install Sh31 billion intelligent system that will connect 330,300 electricity meters to a cardinal point and track how power is consumed, power outages while loading transformers as well as read meters remotely.

Technically, the step will bring down the share of electricity bought from generators such as KenGen that do not reach homes and businesses, often called system losses from 23.93% to 8% hence Kenya Power gaining surplus revenue of 71 billion in eight years.

There would be both parties’ gain however, Safaricom will bag the bigger share of 75% of the surplus sales or Sh53 billion, with Kenya Power taking home the remaining Sh 17.9 billion, according to the utility firm’s board agreement.

Revealing that the giant telco will recover its investment in four years and transfer the smart reading network to Kenya Power after 8 years.

Even though a final deal is yet to be stamped as the leadership of KPLC is debating about the deal favoring Safaricom more than expected.

“Safaricom will have recouped its full cost in year four hence the need for a further discussion on the revenue uplift sharing proportion,” Said Martin Mutuku, Kenya Power’s general manager for businesses strategy.

“Basis to support the 75 to 25% sharing proportions—KPLC should register for a better sharing proposal.”

In 2014, Safaricom started installing a Sh 14.9 billion communication and surveillance system that is linked to police stations to help combat crime in Nairobi.

The smart meters will cover electricity users that account for 84% of KPLC’s sales. It is the latest plan to cut the systems losses that remain well above the global benchmark of about 15%.

According to the dealers, the smart meters are expected to be installed in homes and organizations that consume more than 200-kilowatt hours (kWh) monthly.

“This solution is expected to result in a turnaround of Kenya Power’s current financial position by reducing energy losses,” said the Kenya Power board papers.

Nigerian businesses at cross roads over double taxation from Federal & local government

Nigerian entrepreneurs crying foul over double taxation. [Image: courtesy]
Nigeria—Many of the world’s poorest nations are in Africa. Most economies are unstable and poverty is widespread. However, there are some African countries that have the fastest-growing economies in the world.

The largest components of the African economy are Agriculture, trade, and natural resources.  GDP information from the International Monetary Fund was used to determine the wealthiest African countries and Nigeria topped the list with $514.05 billion.

However, Nigerian traders are currently at stake after the Federal Government declared a Double Taxation on all assets and goods they trade.

Lagos City governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu inked a law on September 10 that permits Nigeria’s richest state, rather than the Federal government to collect VAT generated there.

Lagos State accounts for roughly a third of Nigeria’s gross domestic product and is home to nearly every Nigerian Company and bank as well as most multinationals and the bulk of the country’s rich. Officials have long complained it pays out far more in taxes to the central government than it receives.

A similar law passed in Rivers State, the center of the country’s oil industry, is the subject of the appeal and has been put on hold. Lagos has argued that this stay of execution does not apply to its law.

Interestingly, confusion ensued for businesses in Rivers State, after  Governor Nyesom Wike threatened to shut down companies that don’t pay VAT locally, while the Federal government has requested companies to continue paying the tax to it as usual.

“This whole controversy is creating confusion and uncertainty, it’s not good for business,” said Muda Yusuf, a consultant, and ex-head of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Everyone is worried about the prospect of double taxation and businesses worry they may be subjected to harassment from Federal government and state tax authorities.”

The money raised from VAT accounts for roughly 30% of the county’s tax haul: the levy contributed N53tn of N4.95tn in tax Nigeria collected in 2020, according to data from the National Bureau of statistics.

“Any redistribution would have significant implications for political stability and fiscal sustainability,” Accra-based consultancy Songhai Advisory noted.

The Nigerian Tax tussle is part of a long-running debate about deepening federalism In Nigeria. Advocates argue that greater autonomy for the states would reduce insecurity and corruption and allow them to focus on developing local economies.

Nigerian music star Omah Lay unfollows girlfriend amid infidelity accusations

Omah Lay’s relationship with girlfriend in limbo after unfollowing her on Instagram,m [Image: @omahlay/Insagram]
Nigeria—Singer, Stanley Omah Didia better known as Omah Lay, has unfollowed his girlfriend, Gloria Eberechi on Instagram.

This comes barely 24 hours after he showed her off on social media for the first time. He gave his female fans the shocker of their lives in the viral video and while most complimented the lady as the lucky one, others were jealous of her.

There are widespread allegations that Nigerian music star, Omah Lay and his lover, Gloria are having a difficult time in their relationship.

An Instagram user shared a short video of Gloria with another man having a nice time in a car with the caption:

“They have something together, I’m sure, Omah Lay can’t stay with her, she’s cheating.”

Both parties have remained silent over the latest development.

The romantic musician has been described as lady’s favorite on numerous occasions, with several females hoping to have a moment with him.

Seemingly something fishy has been happening with the singer and his love life when he released the hit track, understand, a song about cheating in relationships.

A song that has since elicited reactions with many fans indicating that he was stylishly referring to his relationship with Gloria.

Netizens have poured their thoughts on the matter. Below are some of the responses:

jiganbabaoja said: “So sorry bro let’s thank God for life.”

larrythenatural_ekundayo said: “I hope you guys are okay though.”

djbaddo said: “Thank God for Life Blood So Sorry.”

stanley_u said: This breakfast came too fast it never even reached 24hrs on the internet, violence everywhere.

 Cubana white lion said: You see social media…. AVOID IT. Especially your relationship.

Official leczy said: Yesterday when I said to them Sweet mate he carried on and said I am wicked now you see now. If you want to carry a girl now better go back village.

The Met Gala 2021 fashion show unfolds

2021 Met Gala Red Carpet photos [Image: courtesy]
After much anticipation and a yearlong delay due to covid-19, the 2021 most fashionable show in New York City, Met Gala was finally held yesterday (Monday, 13, September), with Hollywood’s biggest stars showing up for the colorful event.

The guest list was limited because of safety protocols but many popular actors, singers, athletes, and red-carpet pros attended the glitzy event.

Timothee Chalamet, Billie Eilish, poet Amanda Gorman, and movie star Naomi Osaka were the event’s co-chairs, while designer and filmmaker Tom Ford, Instagram head Adam Mosseri and Anna Wintour held the title of honorary chairs.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ dress at her first Met Gala appearance was a suffragette white gown, with tuxedo detailing more typically seen in menswear. But when she turned around, it had the message: “Tax the Rich” printed in bold, red typeface across the entire back bodice. The dress was designed by creative director Aurora James of Brother Vellis.

Lupita Nyong’o showed up wearing a full denim dress with her hair masterfully styled on top of her head in a manner that showed off her natural texture at every angle.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck were also present. Wearing Ralph Lauren, Lopez’ outfit was also an exercise in remembrance, with a plunging neckline that harked back to her Versace Oscars and a matching cowboy hat.

American rapper Lil Nas X debuted at the Met Gala dressed in all gold by Versace. The rapper arrived draped in a regal velvet cape. He threw this off to reveal a reflective suit of armor beneath. Then, unclasped that to show off his final look: a crystal-studded catsuit. Lil Nas X told reporters on the carpet that the drawn-out show was symbolic of his “coming out of his shell” over the past year.

Frank Ocean was accompanied by a ghoulish robotic baby whose head appeared to move on its own accord, meeting photographers with a steely, horrifying gaze. Decked out in a printed onesie, the infant, whose name is Cody, matched its father’s freshly dyed buzzcut.

Kim Kardashian wore an all-black, fetish-inspired outfit with her face fully covered. Her Met Gala gown was designed by Kanye West himself.

The invitation listed the dress code as “American independence.”

Richard Branson’s ‘Mahali Mzuri’ ranked best hotel globally

Mahali Mzuri, Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya [Image:courestey]
Richard Branson’s Kenyan Safari camp located in the private olare Motorogi conservancy camp has been named as World’s number one hotel in 2021 by Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards.

The survey which allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences in top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships and survey was concluded in May after 5 months of voting, rating based on facilities, location, service, food and overall value.

The resort boasts a 40-foot infinity pool and an spa resting above acacia-dotted valley, offering tourists a perfect view of the numerous and various animals in the surrounding.

The Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has admired the win as a testimony to the destination’s mission towards attracting international luxury travelers.

Mahali Mzuri was set up in partnership with former chair of the Kenya Tourism Federation Jake Grieves cook in 2007 as a way of getting closer to the wildlife and feeding back into the Maasai Mara.

“It is an exceptional honor and dream come true to be named as the Number One Hotel in the World by Travel + Leisure’s knowledgeable readers,” says General Manager Wilson Odhiambo.

“Being recognized in any capacity by one of the most respected and renowned resources on travel globally is incredible in itself. Receiving two accolades, including Number One Safari Lodge alongside World’s Best, is exemplary and a recognition of the hard work and dedication that every single person in our Virgin Limited-Edition team puts into Mahali Mzuri and serving its incredible guests each and every day.”

KTB CEO Dr. Betty Raider disclosed that Kenya, over the years, has been working towards profiling the destination to attract niche clients who have specific preferences and needs.

“This is coming after the inaugural Roar Africa and Emirates executive private jet safari- a world class conservation safari to Masai Mara for luxury experiences in facilities within Mara, this shows that we have enough facilities to accommodate the luxury traveler,” said Betty.