This Week Africa: of Kofi Annan and Fake Eyelashes

News Desk
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 14-Sep-2018

Finally, Late Kofi Annan is laid to rest this week. The continent and indeed, the world, stood still for the ‘exceptional leader’ last Thursday, as he was laid to rest in Ghana, his home country. The ceremony attracted a gathering of international leaders coming to honour another African after Nelson Mandela.

Goodbye to the Great Annan. May Africa have more people to take the reins from him.

While Ghana was planning to host the international community however, it was a tale of eyelashes and fingernails from opposite East Africa, Tanzania.

The Tanzanian house banned their female colleagues from coming to the parliament with ‘fake’ eyelashes and fingernails after the Deputy Minister for Health, Dr. Faustine Ndugulile told them about some health risks of using the fashion enhancers.

Different questions into the parliament’s decision hang on people’s lips: is it really out of care? Is this not an infringement of female rights when they have not banned alcohol that is of more health risks and taken the more by men? Is that the priority matter before the parliament? Too, why call it ‘fake’ instead of ‘artificial’?

In the other news, President John Magufuli of the same Tanzania has expressed his dissatisfaction with women using contraceptives or other birth control methods in his country. He does not understand why there should be anything like birth control.

According to the president, any woman who does it is a lazy one, who does is afraid of responsibilities. Really, Mr President? Looks like he  thinks his country is still in pristine era when all people do was hunt animals, farm and reproduce. He has the final say however and he should ensure the ones around, from children to the old have wonderful economic stories before advocating for more children.

Moving on, we talk about Kenya where the government’s plan to increase fuel pump price has met serious disagreement from the people.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has not signed the bill from the parliament, withholding the presidency from the move and there seems to be some kind of disagreement between the arms: the executive trying to look at the economic gains while the legislature wants to simply uphold the people’s demand. We will see who makes the compromise in the end.

Within the week also, Kenyan forces were deployed to Victoria Lake, to guard their compatriots fishing in the lake. This was after the fishermen reported of countless arrests by the Ugandan security, for poaching.

Lake Victoria is shared by Tanzania (51%), Uganda (43%) and Kenya (6%). Fishers from the countries are restricted from venturing into each other’s territory which is why the Ugandan forces arresting ‘defaulting’ Kenyans.

So tensions rose when Kenya deployed some troops to the place, as their were fears of military provocation from either side. There has been no such report though.

He came down 24-hours later after so much intervention from lawyers, according to him.

For Uganda, Bobi Wine is still in the news this week, after the government deported Jacqueline Wolfson, a charity agent believed to be his sponsor. The government said she has been in Uganda without a work permit since 2014, thereby violating their immigration rules.

But some others would have none of that. They said the government simply used that as a cover up, questioning why they suddenly realised after she was accused of being in support of the pop-star turned MP turned revolutioner turned phenomenon.

We now go back to West Africa, Nigeria particularly, where (to begin with the funny one) a 28-28-year old man named Nura Ilyasu climbed a mast to protest against President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid.

He also revealed he wanted to do a seven-day hunger strike on the mast belonging one of the network providers in Nigeria, Airtel.

This week, Nigeria’s capital, Abuja witnessed heavy tremors that gave signs of an earthquake in the country. But reports have shown that there is nothing to fear, the government has said. There are plenty prayer warriors in Abuja by the way. Indeed, there is no need to fear.

On the sadder not, a petrol station fire in Nasarawa claimed more than 15 lives, leaving more than 50 others hospitalised. The fire had caught up with vehicles on the road, burning several cars.

But before we leave Nigeria, this week also saw another strange report of the police arresting a whatsapp group admin and few members for sharing an incriminating post. They shared a picture of a woman and alleged that she was a trafficker and the civil servant got to know about it and reported to the police. It is now to be treated in court, courtesy: whatsapp share.

Now to Angola, ‘everlasting’ Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Angola’s Former President formally called a quit to politics. He gave up the leadership of the ruling People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, MPLA. He is done with his liberation efforts, one can summarise.

Well the bigger news from his quitting was the elevation of Luisa Damiao, a female politician and former journalist to deputise the current President, Joao Lourenco. It was met with fanfare in Angola.

For Zimbabwe, the recent outbreak of cholera has downplayed the swearing in of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s economic revival ‘Dream Team’.

The president swore in new cabinet members (while Sudan’s president is dissolving his) to drive Zimbabwe out of its current economic dungeon or help him distribute their share of the Chinese cake.

However, by Thursday this week, public gatherings were temporarily banned in Harare to monitor the sudden rise of a deadly cholera break that claimed 24 lives, with over a thousand cases in the hospitals. Definitely, that was not a great welcome to the new Health Minister.

The same cholera also affected Niger Republic, claiming up to 55 lives with more cases registered.

Still on casualties, South Sudan recorded a fatal plane crash this week. The passenger aircraft had 22 people on board but only 3 people survived, one of them in a critical condition.

President Paul Kagame is lobbying to make Rwanda the first African country to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as it intensifies efforts to mobilise private investment.

Sources claim that Rwanda has hired some Israeli experts to help with the feat. Rwanda’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Olivier Nduhungirehe, said the government’s official position on joining the OECD will be communicated at a later date.

The Burundi government was not cooperative with a United Nation’s team sent to make findings on the abuse of human rights after the 2015 crisis that erupted after President Pierre Nkurunziza’s refused bowing out of the presidency.

The UN Human Right Council, in a meeting with Burundi’s Ambassador, Renovat Tabu, berated the government for not giving the team all they needed to do the work that they, Burundian authorities accepted initially.

The international community watches Burundi with keen interest, as they wait to persuade Nkurunziza out of office, following the seeming unpopularity of his government with many Burundians. The UN did make him consider having a peace dialogue with the opposition groups which he has always dragged his feet towards.

They groups now want a final meeting later in September, so they can seal every agreement to start preparing for the 2020 election. The good news is that the president has announced his unwillingness to contest again.

Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for a shooting attack on the headquarters of Libyan state oil firm NOC in Tripoli. The attack killed two NOC staff and wounded 10; three of the terrorists who were also killed.

Meanwhile, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, leader of the Libyan National Army controls the eastern part of the country, has threatened to move in on the capital, Tripoli at the proper time and ‘liberate it from enemies’. So many deaths in Tripoli lately and the Field Marshal believes he alone has what it takes to contain the unrest.

Like Libya, like Somalia. The United Nations Envoy to Somalia, Michael Keating, said the only way there can be progress on the political and security fronts of Somalia is for the regional leaders to spare themselves some trusts.

They are approaching an election and there is no agreement among the warring parties which means the election may not go well if there is no sacrificial compromises.

Zambians are warned of an encroaching EL Nino, a devastating weather condition. The leader of Zambia’s United Party for National Development (UPND), Hakainde Hichilema warned them to consider stocking up enough food especially maize at household levels and only sell that which is really in excess. Sounds apocalyptic though.

In South Africa, a plot was revealed of some ANC members conniving with former President Jacob Zuma to oust President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The party chieftains have denied the plot and labelled the publication as totally false. While everyone can agree with the official refutal, many still think there are pro-Zuma ANC faithfuls who are against Ramaphosa. Maybe, the battle line is about to be drawn as South Africa prepares for elections.

It was all jolly good for the Horn of Africa as the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afeworki of Eritrea celebrated the New Ethiopian Year together at Bure checkpoint at the Ethiopian-Eritrean border on Tuesday, along with members of the Ethiopian and Eritrean defence forces.

Abiy Ahmed’s emergence has really been a great thing for the region.

Emmanuel Macron of France, recalling the France-Algeria independence war, admitted that French soldiers deployed certain inhuman treatments to torture the Algerians. He went ahead to call for a clearer investigation on how the disappearance of Maurice Audin, an Algerian activist. He also visited the old wife of the late activist.

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