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Nigeria: Finally, Buhari signs amended Electoral Bill into law

He claims that the Section has created qualification and disqualification criteria that are in violation of the Constitution by imposing blanket restrictions and disqualification on serving political office holders who are legally protected. [Image: courtesy]
Nigeria—President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Electoral Amendment Law into law, which has been rewritten.

On Friday, the president signed the measure in the presence of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and other officials in the Presidential Villa.

The law was signed just days after a presidential communications assistant, Femi Adesina, promised that President Buhari would sign it.

The president requested an adjustment to the bill before signing it, asking the National Assembly to remove Clause 84(12).

“No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at any political party’s Convention or Congress for the purpose of nominating candidates for any election,” the article states.

According to the president, the Clause disenfranchises serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at political party conventions or congresses for the purpose of nominating candidates for any election held more than 30 days before the national election.

He claims that the Section has created qualification and disqualification criteria that are in violation of the Constitution by imposing blanket restrictions and disqualification on serving political officeholders who are legally protected.

“If assented to, the actual implementation of section 84(12) of the Electoral Bill, 2022 will subject serving political office holders to the inhibitions and limits alluded to in sections 40 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution by operation of law.”

“It is critical to remember that the sole constitutional requirement put on serving political office holders who qualify as public officials within the meaning of the constitution is that they quit, withdraw, or retire at least 30 days before the election date.”

“Importing additional restrictions into the constitution on the basis of the practical application of section 84(12) of the law, where political parties’ conventions and congresses were to be held earlier than 30 days before the election, will be straining things beyond the constitutional limit.”

“…in light of the Bill’s benefits, industry, time, resources, and energy invested in its passage, I hereby assent to the Bill and request the National Assembly to consider immediate amendments that will bring the Bill into conformity with constitutionality by deleting section 84(12) accordingly,” he said.

Mr Buhari, who said he gathered feedback from relevant MDAs following extensive examinations of the law and its implications for Nigeria’s democratic processes, said it has key elements that might positively revolutionize Nigerian elections through the adoption of new technology advancements.

Zambia: Mumbi Phiri formally apprehended and charged with murder

Mrs. Phiri and Chilekwa both said in front of Magistrate Hamaseke that they understood the charge. [Photo: courtesy]
Zambia—Mumbi Phiri, the former Deputy Secretary-General of the Patriotic Front (PF), has been formally arrested and charged with the murder of Lawrence Banda.

Mrs Phiri and former President Edgar Lungu’s barber, Shebby Chilekwa, have been accused with the murder of UPND member Lawrence Banda.

Mrs. PHIRI has also appeared in front of the Kaoma Magistrate Court.

To 10:00 a.m., Mrs. PHIRI came at the Kaoma Magistrates Court.

The two defendants appeared before Kaoma Magistrate Besting Hamaseke for a charge explanation.

Mrs PHIRI 52 of Waterfalls area in Chongwe and Shebby Chilekwa 34, a businessman from Chilanga, are accused of murdering Lawrence Banda in Kaoma District on October 6, 2019.

The defendants were charged under section 200 of the Penal Code, Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia, according to Magistrate Hamaseke.

Mrs. Phiri and Chilekwa both said in front of Magistrate Hamaseke that they understood the charge.

The two couldn’t say anything because they were just in front of Magistrate Hamaseke for explanations of the charge as the court awaited instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

While they are in detention, the two will appear in court on March 10, 2022 for mention.
Mrs. Phiri is the second person to be charged with the murder of Mr. Banda, following Shebby Chilekwa.

In the run-up to the Council Chairperson By-election in Kaoma in 2019, the late Lawrence Banda was shot and killed.

International authors in action to revitalize Rwanda’s Francophone literature

In parallel with the conference, roundtable discussions, musical readings, exhibitions, testimonies, and professional meetings are part of the program of these Meetings. [Image: courtesy]
Rwanda—The Francophone Cultural Centre of Rwanda has launched an effort to bring together authors and experts from the book and publishing industries in order to attract and expose more Rwandans to Francophone literature.

From March 1 to 3, different authors from eleven countries will engage with the audience at the ‘Rencontres Internationales du Livre Francophone,’ a conference titled ‘Rencontres Internationales du Livre Francophone,’ to explore several themes of francophone literature and to discuss the challenges facing the book industry.

Among the authors are Alain Mabanckou, Ibrahima Aya, Béata Umubyeyi Mairesse, and Joseph Ndwanyi.

According to Joseph Ndwaniye, a Rwandan novelist residing in Belgium, this is an excellent platform for those who enjoy or at least wish to study French to be exposed to a variety of themes and resources.

Young Rwandan authors may also look forward to the event, as it will provide them with an opportunity to connect and network with some of the industry’s biggest stars, as well as learn a thing or two.

The event, which is perhaps the first big event organized by the French center since it was launched in May 2021 by French President Emmanuel Macron, is a complement to the initiatives done by both nations since their re-establishment.

The Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) has contributed €5 million to educate teachers for French-language instruction in schools, as part of France’s efforts to promote the learning and teaching of the French language in Rwanda.

Antoine Anfré, the French ambassador to Rwanda, stated that throughout his many interactions within the community, he discovered that there are really more French-speaking Rwandans than expected who are more comfortable interacting in the language.

“As I understand it, there are more Rwandan intellectuals, writers, and artists in francophone literature, and young people need to acquire the French language to access their works.”

He stated that, based on the event’s success, they may look at hosting future editions on a regular basis.

Uganda: 30000 evacuees demand government compensation

The residents claim they were expelled from a 9,500-acre plot of land where the corporations do agriculture. [Image: courtesy]
Uganda—Over 30,000 people of Kiryandongo District have petitioned the government to speed up the compensation and relocation process.

Residents claim that the firms that have taken the land where they have lived for generations are being intimidated by police, military, and other security organizations.

Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the minister of Information, Communications Technology, and National Guidance, told journalists earlier this week that he did not have figures on the number of persons impacted, but that the government will determine if they were eligible for compensation.

“Sometimes these individuals are occupying the land illegally, so we merely offer them some help,” Dr Baryomunsi said. “But if they are true landowners, I can tell them that they will be reimbursed.”

The residents claim they were expelled from a 9,500-acre plot of land where the corporations do agriculture.

Early this week, civil society organizations held a news conference in Kampala, claiming that the government’s persistent silence on the evictions in Kiryandongo has hampered the victims’ right to justice.

Most of the individuals they’ve talked to have accused their evictors of rape and other human rights crimes, according to Mr Francis Odokorach, Oxfam International’s country director.

“We are requesting that the government speed the compensation, mediation, and negotiation processes since many people are suffering despite the fact that they have lived in this country for generations and have been denied justice by the authorities,” Mr Odokorach told journalists.

The issue of mass evictions in Kiryandongo District began in 2017 when Kiryandongo Sugar Limited arrived, taking over around 2,400 hectares of land for sugar cane plantation and the construction of other facilities.

A few years later, another firm, Agilis Partners Limited, arrived and took over another 3,850 hectares of property, where it is constructing a grain company and a 1,165-acre coffee plantation.

When asked about the reports that his firm was evicting people, Mr. Suresh Kumar, one of Kiryandongo Sugar Ltd’s directors, told Daily Monitor on Wednesday that the compensation procedure is underway but that no evictions have taken place.

Senegal: Dancer Mbathio Ndiaye prosecuted for theft by her ex-husband

Senegal’s famous dancer and model Mbathio Ndiaye has been sued by her ex-husband Mame Baye Niass for allegedly stealing a Rolex brand watch whose value is estimated at 11 million FCFA.

The two confronted each other at the premises of the central police station on Tuesday in Dakar in a case that was suggested to be settled without authorities’ intervention.

“The offense of theft does not exist in a couple. And Mbathio Ndiaye and Mame Baye are still husband and wife. Neither can sue for the theft offense. They were not legally divorced. Therefore, this complaint must not prosper”, a judicial source gave a blow.

The argument happened days before the dancer reportedly traveled out of the country, keeping her followers on social media with a post on Instagram.

“Currently, out of the country, I wanted to congratulate and thank his Excellency The President of the Republic Mr. @macky_sall for this sporting gem 🏟🇸🇳 Thank you again for giving the best of yourself every day! Special mention to the Minister of Sports @baamatar always constant to set the bar high. Long live Senegal” she captioned a video of her showing off.

Russia Stripped of Champions’ League Final After Ukraine Invasion

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UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, has confirmed that May’s Champions League final has been moved from St Petersburg to Paris in response to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

“The UEFA Executive Committee decided to relocate the final of the 2021/22 UEFA Men’s Champions League from Saint Petersburg to Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The game will be played as initially scheduled on Saturday 28 May at 21:00 CET.” UEFA said in a statement after convening an emergency meeting on Friday.

“Together with the French government, UEFA will fully support multi-stakeholder efforts to ensure the provision of rescue for football players and their families in Ukraine who face dire human suffering, destruction and displacement.”

The match, scheduled for May 28, was to be held in a stadium built by Gazprom, a Russian energy behemoth and one of UEFA’s key sponsors.

The UEFA Executive Committee agreed today that until further notice, Russian and Ukrainian clubs and national teams competing in UEFA competitions must play their home matches at neutral locations.

The changes come at a time when Russia and Ukraine have severed relations and conflict between the two escalating.

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with forces storming from the north, east, and south, wreaking havoc on military institutions and killing civilians.

Central African Republic Releases 4 French Peacekeepers After UN Outcry

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The Central African Republic released four French soldiers from the UN peacekeeping force in the country on Thursday, according to the mission. Their arrest had triggered UN outrage.
 
“The four MINUSCA personnel members who were arrested… at Bangui airport have just been freed,” the mission’s chief, Mankeur Ndiaye, said on Twitter.
The four soldiers who were detained at the airport on Monday were members of the elite French Foreign Legion with French, Romanian, Bulgarian, and Italian passports.
The three had gone to escort MINUSCA’s military leader, General Stephane Marchenoir, who was flying to Europe, according to the French Embassy and the UN.
However, claims quickly spread on social media that they were planning to “assassinate” President Faustin Archange Touadera, charges that coincided with a spat with France over Touadera’s use of Russian paramilitaries.

Ukraine military plane with 14 aboard crashes

Imager: Courtesy

A Ukrainian military plane carrying at least 14 passengers crashed in the south of Kyiv on Thursday, emergency services said. The agency is still figuring out how many people died.

Hundreds of Russian servicemen are expected to have been killed in the incident, according to a Ukrainian defense spokesman. Ukraine’s border guard agency also claimed that Russia launched an attack on the country from Belarus.

A Russian plane was shot down over the Luhansk Region, according to the Ukraine Army.

Russia has also stated that it has destroyed military infrastructure at Ukraine’s air bases in order to ‘suppress’ the country’s air defenses.

Meanwhile, after President Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine, Russia has taken control of two villages in Ukraine’s east.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin launched a military action in Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday which has been condemned by the United States and the European Union, who have imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Guinea Bissau’s Ex-Prime Minister barred from travelling

Following a failed coup attempt in the notoriously volatile West African country, which resulted in the deaths of 11 people, the decision to expel the ex-Prime Minister was made. [Image: courtesy]
Guinea Bissau—Following an inquiry into an alleged coup attempt last year, ex-Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau Domingos Simoes Pereira has been prevented from leaving the country.

Following a failed coup attempt in the notoriously volatile West African country, which resulted in the deaths of 11 people, the decision to expel the ex-Prime Minister was made.

On February 1, heavily armed men assaulted government buildings in Bissau’s capital when President Umaro Sissoco Embalo was chairing a cabinet meeting.

Attorney-General Bacary Biaye told reporters on Wednesday that Pereira had been placed under judicial review the day before, meaning he couldn’t leave the country without authorization.

The decision is connected to a separate alleged plan to depose Embalo in April 2021, the details of which have yet to be revealed.

President Ramaphosa in DR. Congo for security talks

South Africa is a member of the regional stability framework for peace, security, and cooperation. On Thursday, the signatory countries’ gathering will begin. [Image: @DRCpresidency]
Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African president, has arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ahead of high-level talks with President Felix Tshisekedi on security cooperation, peace, and security in the country and surrounding areas.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor, as well as other top officials, followed Ramaphosa.

South Africa is a member of the regional stability framework for peace, security, and cooperation. On Thursday, the signatory countries’ gathering will begin.

“At the summit, participants will address political and security cooperation, as well as proposals to promote economic development and regional integration through integrative cross-border projects.”

“Under the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework agreement for the DRC and the region, the regional monitoring mechanism is the key oversight body,” the Presidency said on Wednesday.

“It meets once a year at the head of state and government level to monitor progress in implementing national and regional commitments under the Framework agreement signed on February 24, 2013 in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, by 13 nations and four guarantor entities (UN, AU, ICGLR, and SADC).”

“Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia were among the first signatory countries.” On January 31, 2014, Kenya and Sudan became the peace agreement’s 12th and 13th signatories.”