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Trending News This Week (July 19th – July 26th)
Trending News This Week (July 19th – July 26th)
Posted

By - Adedoyin Shittu

Posted - 27-07-2019

Outside the Continent
British navy to escort all UK vessels in the Strait of Hormuz
On Friday- July 19, Iranian authorities seized two vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic waterway that has become a flashpoint between Tehran and the West. The ship was flying the British flag while the other was sailing under the Liberian flag
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard confirmed the seizure of the British-flagged ship, an oil tanker named Stena Impero, which it said was breaching “international maritime regulations.”
On Saturday, July 20, the Fars news agency, a news agency in Iran cited an Iranian official saying that the vessel had been involved in an accident with a local fishing boat. Fars said the tanker was taken to the port of Bandar Abbas and that the crew of 23 would remain on board while investigations continued. The British government also summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires in London over the incident. Shortly after, Jeremy Hunt, the UK foreign secretary, said the seizure showed “worrying signs Iran may be choosing a dangerous path of illegal and destabilising behaviour”.
The owner of the Stena Impero, Swedish-based transport company Stena Bulk, described how Iranian forces took control of the tanker and directed it toward the Iranian coast.
The ship was “approached by unidentified small craft and a helicopter … while the vessel was in international waters,” Stena Bulk said in a statement. “We are presently unable to contact the vessel,” the company added.
The company said that no injuries had been reported among the crew.
Citing an unnamed military source, Iran’s news agency IRNA earlier reported that the tanker had sailed in the wrong direction in a shipping lane and was ignoring warnings.
The tanker had turned off its tracker and ignored several warnings by the Guards before being captured,” the source told the agency.
Iran’s move comes after Britain detained an Iranian tanker, Grace 1, near Gibraltar on July 4. A senior Iranian official then threatened “reciprocal action” over the incident.
A few days later, the UK accused Iranian forces of trying to capture one of its cargo vessels, forcing a Royal Navy warship to intervene. That prompted Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to accuse the “vicious British” of “piracy” and vow retaliation.
On July 22, the UK’s foreign ministry asked UK-flagged ships to stay away from the Strait of Hormuz for an “interim period”.
The UK also deployed the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Duncan to boost its presence in the region, and it said, it would be sending an Astute-class attack submarine to provide surveillance support.
The UK also tasked its warship, the Royal Navy, to accompany British-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz, either individually or in groups, should sufficient notice be given of their passage on July 25, 2019.

Trump renews racist attack on Squad: ‘They’re not capable of loving the US”
US President Donald Trump renewed his attacks Sunday – July 20, on the four Democratic congresswomen he launched xenophobic tweets against last week, demanding they apologize “for the horrible (hateful) things they have said.”
“I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country,” Trump tweeted of ethnic-minority first-term Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley.
“They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!” the president tweeted.

US troops in Saudi Arabia
The United States has authorised the deployment of military personnel and resources to Saudi Arabia as tensions in the Gulf mount over the US’s standoff with Iran, the kingdom’s archrival.
In response to the tensions with Iran, King Salman of Saudi Arabia has approved plans to host US troops to boost regional security.
The US deployment will eventually include more than 500 troops, as well as aircraft and air defense missiles, according to The Associated Press. Some troops have already arrived at Prince Sultan Air Base near the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Boris Johnson elected as head of UK’s Conservative party
Brexit hardliner Boris Johnson won the contest to lead Britain’s governing Conservative Party on Wednesday, July 24, and to become the country’s next prime minister, tasked with fulfilling his promise to lead the UK out of the European Union “come what may.”
He defeated his rival Jeremy Hunt overwhelmingly in a vote of Conservative Party members.
Johnson has vowed that Britain will quit the European Union on the scheduled date of October 31 even if it means leaving without a divorce deal.

 

Inside Africa
North Africa
About 150 feared dead in 2019 worst Mediterranean tragedy
Two boats carrying about 300 people capsized off Libya’s coast, with scores, including children, feared drowned.
Ayoub Qasim, a spokesman for Libya’s coastguard, told The Associated Press news agency that two boats carrying around 300 people sank around 120km east of the capital, Tripoli, before adding that 134 others were rescued.
However, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a Twitter post on Thursday, July 25, that more than 150 people were feared drowned while 145 were rescued and returned to Libya after the incident.
Charlie Yaxley, spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), said the survivors were picked up by local fishermen and then taken back to shore by the Libyan coastguard.
“We estimate that 150 migrants are potentially missing and died at sea,” he said. “The dead include women and children.”
“The worst Mediterranean tragedy of this year has just occurred,” Filippo Grandi, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, said.
Most of the rescued from the sea were from Ethiopia while others were Palestinians and Sudanese.
Sabah Youssef, from Sudan, lost her seven-year-old child after the boat sank. “I don’t want anything now except to go back to my country, Sudan, to die there,” Youssef, who was rescued, told Reuters news agency.

Oldest World President dies at 92
Tunisia’s president Beji Caid Essebsi died on Thursday, July 25, according to a statement from the presidency.
Essebsi, who was 92 years old was a key figure in Tunisia’s democratic transition after a 2011 revolution ended decades of authoritarian rule.
One of the world’s oldest leaders, Essebsi was taken to a military hospital on Wednesday, July 24.
Essebsi had been hospitalized late last month and spent a week in hospital after suffering what authorities described as a severe health crisis.


Morocco court condemns 3 to death for decapitation of Scandinavian hikers
Three Moroccan men were sentenced to death on Thursday – July 18, for murdering two Scandinavian women in the Atlas mountains.
The three main defendants sentenced to death on Thursday were Abdessamad Ejjoud, a 25-year-old street vendor, underground imam, Younes Ouaziyad, a 27-year-old carpenter, and 33-year-old Rachid Afatti.
Ejjoud and Ouaziyad admitted to beheading the women, while Afatti said he filmed the murders on his mobile phone.
All asked God for forgiveness before a court in Sale, near the capital, Rabat, sentenced them to death.
A fourth defendant who fled the scene before the murders was sentenced to life in prison.
Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were killed in their tent in December near the Moroccan village of Imlil, a popular hiking destination.
The anti-terrorism court in Sale, near Rabat, had heard at earlier sessions that the men had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group in a video days before the murder.
The slayings and video showing the murderers decapitate the women shocked Morocco and the world.

British Airways Resumes Cairo Flights After Security Review
British Airways and Lufthansa abruptly suspended flights to Cairo on Saturday, July 20, over security concerns, but gave no details about what may have prompted the move.
German carrier Lufthansa  resumed flights the next day,
On Friday, July 26, nearly a week after abruptly cancelling services to the Egyptian capital over security concerns, British Airways said that it was resuming flights to Cairo.

West Africa
Middle East gangs using fake job offers to lure Nigerians –NAPTIP
The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons on Wednesday, July 24, raised the alarm over the activities of criminal gangs who used fake job vacancies and scholarships to lure Nigerians to “some of the notorious Middle East countries.”
The anti-trafficking agency said many of the victims had ended up as sex slaves while others had their organs harvested and subsequently died.
The NAPTIP Director-General, Julie Okah-Donli, gave this warning at a press conference in Abuja to commemorate the 2019 World Day Against Human Trafficking under the theme, “Human trafficking: Call your government to action”. “I wish to alert the nation to the emerging tricks in human trafficking which should be urgently addressed in order to protect our loved ones. Some of the tricks involve advertorials calling for the recruitment of young Nigerians as drivers, nurses, maids, fake offers of scholarships and non-existing football clubs in some of the notorious Middle East countries.
“These young Nigerians are targets of organ trafficking and eventual death in the process, labour exploitation and sex slavery. Many of them that have ignorantly responded to these invitations are going through hell. Many have died while a few lucky ones survived with bitter experiences.

Action Against Hunger Aids Workers kidnapped by Terrorist group
A convoy carrying aid workers of Action Against Hunger was attacked by unknown gunmen in Borno. In the attack which happened on Thursday, July 18, one of the staffs was killed, and six others went missing.
The three-vehicle convoy were returning to Damasak from Layi village where Action Against Hunger NGO runs a clinic when gunmen opened fire. The aid workers were helping the community affected by a decade of Boko Haram militia violence in the region.
The humanitarian organisation vowed to get back the missing workers as they expressed sadness over the deceased
The Jihadists aligned with the Islamic State group that kidnapped the aid workers released a video on Thursday, July 25th showing the female aid worker and five male colleagues kidnapped in an attack.
In the three-minute video a woman wearing a bright blue hijab says she is the abducted aid worker, she was seated in front of five men she describes as her colleagues, as she addresses the camera in English.
The transcript of her appeal reads: “My name is Grace, I work with Action Against Hunger, an NGO in Borno State; my base is Damasak. We went to work on Thursday, July 18, 2019. On our way back to Damasak by Keneri/Chamba ward, we were caught by an army called the Kaliphas and they brought us here. We don’t know where we are.
“I want to beg the Christian Association of Nigeria because I am the only Christian among the six of us here. I want to beg CAN to please do something about me to see how I can be released. I call on Borno State.
“I beg Action Against Hunger. We have families, some of us have children. We are Nigerians who are working for Nigerians. I am begging please, I am begging again; please do something to see that we are released because this has happened in the Red Cross before where some ladies were caught, Hauwa and Zipporah. They also asked to be released but because of Nigeria did not do anything about it, they were killed.
“I am begging on behalf of all of us. I don’t want such to happen to us and it also happened again with Leah and Alice, because Nigeria could not do anything about them, they were not released they were also killed.”
The footage seen by Channels Television was released through the same channels as previous videos from the IS-linked Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).


Justice Tanko Muhammad has been sworn in as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Justice Muhammad while taking his oath of office on Wednesday, July 24 pledged not to allow personal interests’ override his official decisions in office.
In attendance is the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Borno State Governor, Head of Service, Chief of Staff, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of Appeal Court, Justices of the Supreme Court, Bauchi Governor, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and other senior government officials.
Justice Tanko who hails from Bauchi State will be the 18th Chief Justice of Nigeria.

EFCC goes after two-time governor of the southern Imo State, Rochas Okorocha
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, announced on Wednesday, July 24 that it had began probing a two-time governor of the southern Imo State.
Rochas Okorocha, a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is currently serving as a Senator. The EFCC said its operatives had so far marked properties in his name as well as that of family members and cronies.
“It was the outcome of painstaking investigation, and as a result of the failure of those to whom they were traced to, to honour the EFCC’s invitation for interrogation.” Some of the affected properties include, Dews of Hope Hospital traced to Dr. Paschal Obi, former Principal Secretary to ex-governor Okorocha, Market Square supermarket, All in One Shop, and premises belonging to Imo State Broadcasting Corporation now hosting Rochas Foundation College owned by Senator Okoroacha.
Other properties are, East High Academy and East High College, owned by Okorocha’s daughter, Uloma Okorocha-Nwosu; Royal Spring Palm Hotel and Apartment, a 16 block cum 96 flats and eight bungalows multi-million naira estate traced to Okorocha’s wife..
Operatives neither “raided” nor “harassed” anyone in the course of the action.

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari releases ministerial nominees
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday – July 23, officially transmitted a list of ministerial nominees to the Senate for vetting and further confirmation.
The list, comprising of 43 names has five former senators; ten former governors, with one of them being an ex-military governor; thirteen previous members of that mostly adjudged as underwhelming Buhari’s first term cabinet; seven women, and no youth.

Mauritius Leaks: how ‘treasure island’ profits off its neighbours
On Tuesday, July 23rd, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released confidential documents showing how Mauritius has benefited from its position as a tax haven to the disadvantage of African countries, especially countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal and countries in Southern Africa.
The files, now widely referred to as the Mauritius Leaks, show how the Indian Ocean Island nation is enabling both global and local companies to cheat poorer African countries of tax revenue in millions of dollars.
The files were leaked from offshore law firm, Conyers Dill and Pearman.

151 Repentant Boko Haram Members Returns To Borno
The Borno State on Monday, July 22 says it has received 151 repentant Boko Haram members from the Nigerian Army for rehabilitation and re-integration into society.
This was made known by the Coordinator, Operation Safe Corridor, Maj.-Gen. Bamidele Shafa, while handing over the repentant insurgents at the Bulunkutu Rehabilitation Centre, Maiduguri in Borno.
According to Shafa, the insurgents were subjected to weeks of de-radicalization in Gombe.
Out of the 151 insurgents, 132 are adults and 19 are teenagers.
He disclosed that the people had acquired more knowledge in skills and thought in Islamic religious knowledge (IRK).
They were also offered as drug and psychological therapies during the training.
Shafa affirmed that he was sure that the “clients” have fully repented from their bad deeds, adding that Operation Safe Corridor was designed to encourage Boko Haram insurgents to surrender and to be re-orientated before they can rejoin society.
“The clients confessed their past misdeeds; denounced membership of Boko Haram group, asked for forgiveness and took oath of allegiance to Nigeria. I believe they are now good citizens to rejoin society,” he said.


US imposes visa restrictions on Nigerian politicians
The United States on Tuesday, July 23rd, imposed visa restrictions on Nigerians it said were involved in trying to undermine democracy in presidential and parliamentary elections this year.
The U.S. State Department however did not name the individuals or say how many were affected by the visa restrictions.
President Muhammadu Buhari won a second term in February in an election marred by delays, logistical glitches and violence. The election was one of the bloodiest Africa has seen in 2019 and was marred by voter apathy.

Shiites Protest turn Violent, Deputy Commissioner of Police Killed
On Monday, July 22, the Shiites had begun a protest at Nitel junction which was expected to end at the secretariat. The protest turned violent when protesters reportedly clashed with security agencies close to the Federal Secretariat in the Nigerian capital.
This incident occurs about two weeks after two Shiites were killed and two police officers injured after a similar protest turned violent at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
The Shiites are demanding the release of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention for alleged murder since December 2015.
The violent led to the death of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Umar who was in charge of operation at FCT command. It was reported that DCP Umar was gunned down by the Shiites as he made an attempt to prevent their violent activities at the axis of the federal secretariat in Abuja. A journalist reporting for Channels TV was also killed by a stray bullet.
In an effort to subdue reprisal attacks from the IMN members, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate beef-up of security in all the States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the Nigerian authorities to stop its violent campaign against the Muslim sect and to investigate what it calls the excessive use of force by the police. The Shia sect has been calling for the release of its leader Ibraheem Zakzaky who was arrested in 2015 during a military operation in which more than 300 followers were killed.
On July 25, the Islamic Republic of Iran has asked Nigeria to release the embattled Islamic cleric, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, to enable him to travel to that country for medical treatment.

Nigeria’s air force returns a parcel containing 37,000 euros to its owner
Bashir Umar, a member of the force’s Mobile Air Defence Team that is deployed to Kano airport for security duties while on routine patrol with his colleagues found the parcel of money containing 37,000 euros ($41,000; £37,000) in cash.
Instead of keeping it, the serviceman found a telephone number on the parcel which turned out to be the contact for the money’s owner.
Mr Umar will now be rewarded “so as to encourage other personnel of the service”, the air force says.
On Thursday, July 25, the Chief of Air Staff delivered the said reward for Bashir’s integrity and for giving the Force a good name with his actions.
ACM Bashir Umar was decorated with the new rank of a corporal, which according to reports automatically meant a double promotion in the AirForce hierarchy.
The ceremony at which he was awarded was attended by other high-ranking officials of the NAF and by relations believed to be his parents. He was clad in his full attire as he received a document from the Chief of Staff


Chadians back on social media after 16 months net blockade
For sixteen odd months, Chadians were cut off social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp – with the main government justification hinged on protecting internal security.
No amount of appeals, protestations and even a legal challenge succeeded in getting connection to be restored to internet users.
In March 2019, an Appeals Court struck out an application to force the government to restore access to social media but the security consideration argument of the state was upheld.
It wasn’t until a week (July 13) that the restrictions were lifted after President Idriss Deby announced the lifting of social media restrictions imposed since March 2018.

The four Turkish nationals abducted in Kwara State have regained their freedom.
Armed men kidnapped the four Turkish nationals in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Ajayi Okasanmi, said the foreigners who are construction workers were abducted at a drinking joint in Gbale village on Saturday night, July 20. They are Seyit Keklik (25), Yasin Colak (33), Ergun Yurdakul (35), and Senerapal (40).
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Kayode Egbetokun, received the men on Friday July 26, at the Police Headquarters in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

Passengers panic as man climbs aircraft at Lagos Airport
On Friday, July 19, Federal Airport Passengers on board the Port Harcourt-bound flight panicked after the man identified as Usman Adamu from Niger Republic, was spotted walking on one of the wings of the commercial aircraft as it prepared for takeoff.
A short video showing the man on top of the wing of the airplane went viral on the social media and was repeatedly played back by international media.
He had attempted to gain access into the plane’s cabin, forcing the Pilot-in-Command to switch off the engine.
FAAN general manager, Public Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, confirmed his identity even as Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the suspect was arrested five days earlier for intruding on the airport.


Central Africa
Distrust, violence hamper Ebola treatment efforts in DR Congo
Deep mistrust, political instability and violence is fuelling the pro-longed Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ebola patients are refusing treatment while others reject vaccination. Instead they prefer to seek help from traditional healers.
They interpret the vaccines in their own way and they believe that after you get vaccinated, it will be difficult to give birth, that the vaccine is going to kill them, that the vaccine was designed to exterminate that community. Health experts say the experimental Ebola vaccine has saved multitudes in eastern DR Congo.
So far more than 1,700 people have died of the virus. Last week, the World Health Organization declared Ebola an international health emergency.
On Sunday, July 21, unidentified attackers ransacked and set an Ebola treatment center in eastern DR Congo on fire.

DRC authorities ban Kinshasa rallies over tensions
DR Congo authorities have banned political rallies this week in the capital Kinshasa because of tensions between supporters of President Felix Tshisekedi and those of former leader Joseph Kabila, police said Sunday.
Tshisekedi was elected in December to replace Kabila who presided over sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country for nearly two decades.
Tensions rose in the capital after the youth wing of Tshisekedi’s Democracy and Social Progress party (UDPS) announced it would hold a protest against the candidacy of a former justice minister for the senate presidency.
In response, the pro-Kabila Red Berets movement said it would hold a counter-march to support the candidacy of Alexis Thambwe, who is considered by many a hardliner from the Kabila regime.
Kinshasa police chief General Sylvano Kasongo told state television that given the tensions in the capital, Kinshasa’s governor had banned all political rallies for this week.
He instructed the police to take all appropriate measures. Anyone who attempts to march or disturb the public order this week will find the police in their way,” he said.

Largest ivory haul from DR Congo seized in Singapore
Singapore announced on Tuesday, July 23, that it had made a record seizure of 8.8 tonnes of elephant ivory.
The elephant ivory, estimated at $12.9 million, came from 300 African elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo and headed to Vietnam. According to conservation groups, the city-state has become a transit point for illegal wildlife trade.

South Sudan’s Kiir bans singing of anthem in his absence
South Sudan’s information minister Michael Makuei said on Monday – July 22, that the country’s cabinet has banned anyone from singing the national anthem unless the president is present.
Makuei said that with the exception of South Sudan’s embassies, which represent the president, and schools where children are taught the anthem, no one was allowed to sing the song in Kiir’s absence.
The minister also said that military leaders have also been banned from addressing the public when in uniform.
Makuei told reporters that different leaders and institutions were playing the anthem at whim, which was an abuse of the national tune, written shortly before independence in 2011.
For the information of everybody the national anthem is only meant for the president, in a function only attended by the president, not for everybody,” Makuei said.

East Africa
17 dead, dozens wounded in Somalia car bomb attack
At least 17 people were killed and 28 others wounded when a bomb went off outside a hotel near the international airport in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Monday, July 22.
“The city’s Medina Hospital received 17 bodies and 28 people with injuries, 12 of them in critical condition,” said Mohammed Yusuf, the hospital’s director.
The blast went off at the first checkpoint on the road that leads to Mogadishu airport, said Farah Hussein, a shopkeeper who witnessed the attack. The explosion near a checkpoint outside the Afrik Hotel reverberated throughout the city, and sent a massive plume of black smoke into the air.
“The area was relatively dense with bystanders and some were killed and wounded in the blast, but we don’t have the exact number of casualties.”
The attack comes just over a week after 26 people were killed and 56 injured in a 12-hour attack by Al-Shabab on a popular hotel in the southern Somali port city of Kismayo.
That attack was the latest in a long line of bombing and assaults claimed by Al-Shabab, which has fought for more than a decade to topple the Somali government.
In 2010, the Al-Shabaab declared their allegiance to Al-Qaeda. In 2011, they fled positions they once held in the capital Mogadishu, and have since lost many strongholds.

Suicide bomber kills six in attack on Mogadishu mayor’s office
A female suicide bomber blew herself up inside the mayor’s office during a security meeting. It is unclear how the bomber managed to enter the heavily guarded building. The mayor of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, was injured in the explosion at his office and several other officials have also sustained injuries.
Six people were originally reported to have been killed in the attack that took place just hours after a visit by the newly appointed United Nations envoy. The victims were all government officials, five men and one woman.
The death toll has risen to 11, authorities said, adding that the injured mayor, Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman has been flown to Turkey for treatment.
Militant Islamist group al-Shabab says it carried out the attack, hoping to target the new UN special envoy to Somalia, James Swan, a US citizen.
But he had met the mayor earlier, leaving before the blast occurred.
Al-Shabab is affiliated with al-Qaeda and remains a powerful presence in rural Somalia.
The Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s weak U.N.-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Africa’s largest wind power project is now open in Kenya
Kenya has unveiled Africa’s largest wind power plant, a project aimed at reducing electricity costs and dependence on fossil fuels and moving the nation to meet its ambitious goal of 100% green energy next year.
The sprawling wind farm of 365 turbines on the shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya was designed to boost the nation’s electricity supply by 13%, giving more Kenyans access at a lower cost, President Uhuru Kenyatta said at its launch on Friday (July 19).

Kenya’s finance minister, top officials arrested for corruption
Kenya’s Finance Minister Henry Rotich and other treasury officials was arrested on corruption and fraud charges related to a multi-million dollar project to build two massive dams overseen by the Italian construction company CMC Di Ravenna. The two dams were budgeted to cost 46 billion shillings ($446 million), but the treasury borrowed 17 billion more than necessary or required, payable on a timely basis without regard to a performance or works
Rotich denied any wrongdoing in a large newspaper advertisement in March. The company has also denied any wrongdoing.
Rotich and his co-accused face eight charges, ranging from conspiring to defraud and financial misconduct. The minister will be charged along with 27 other people, including Italian Paolo Porcelli, the director of CMC di Ravenna; and Rotich’s number two at the ministry, Kamau Thugge, the principal secretary.
Rotich’s arrest marks the first time a sitting Kenyan minister has been arrested on corruption charges, in a country where graft is widespread. Rotich, who has been in the finance post since 2013, was bailed on a surety of 15 million shillings, he is due to return to court on Aug. 8.
“They broke the law on public finance management under the guise of carrying out legitimate commercial transactions, colossal amounts were unjustifiably and illegally paid out through a well choreographed scheme by government officers in collusion with private individuals and institutions,” Haji told a news conference.
Kenya’s labour minister Ukur Yatani was on Wednesday appointed as interim finance minister and President Uhuru Kenyatta also replaced the finance ministry’s number-two official, Kamau Thugge.

Ethiopia deploys soldiers to take over security in southern region
Ethiopia’s government said on Monday, July 22, it would deploy soldiers and federal police to take over security in a restive southern region following days of violence that has left at least 18 people dead.
The regular security structure has been unable to ensure rule of law and has been stymied by various agendas,” said a statement read on regional state television late Monday.
From today onward the southern region will be under a federal security forces-led command post.”
The unrest stems from efforts by the Sidama ethnic group, the largest in the southern region, to establish a new semi-autonomous state, a project that has put them on a collision course with the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Protests erupted last week as Sidama activists sought to declare their own territory separate from the diverse Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region.

Mozambique: Bill banning child marriage passes second reading
The bill confirms 18 years as the minimum age for marriage, eliminating the loophole in the Mozambican Family Law whereby minors could marry at 16, with the consent of their parents.
Tough penalties of between 12 and 16 years imprisonment are envisaged for any adult who marries or enters into a sexual union with a child. Such a sexual union is regarded as rape, and the penalty may be increased if the rapist infects his victim with a sexually transmitted disease.
Any parent, guardian, step-parent or other person looking after children who authorises a child marriage, or forces a child into marriage, will be sentenced to a jail term of between two and eight years.
If President Felipe Nyusi assents, the bill it will become law.
Zelia Menete, from the Coalition for the Elimination of Premature Marriages, a local rights group, urged the government to also focus on ensuring that girls remain in school.

South Africa

Zimbabwe tourism minister held for suspected corruption
Zimbabwe’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) said on Thursday, July 25, that it had detained the country’s tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira for questioning.
Mupfumira is the first senior government official to be detained by the commission which was appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwe on July 15 after he promised tough action against graft.
Transparency International says corruption costs Zimbabwe’s economy at least $1 billion annually.

Hundreds of Zambians raise Yellow Card against PF’s misrule
Zambians donned in yellow, waving yellow posters, are denouncing the corruption that is plaguing their country. During a rally in Lusaka, the capital on Saturday – July 20th, several hundred people demanded that the living conditions of the population be improved. *
They demanded that the government use public funds for the poorest so that to provide better schools and health care.and to ensure ministers do not end up with so many houses or individual executives with so much money. This money, if we managed it better, our whole lives would be better. So we are all citizens wondering if it is possible to improve our lives at all levels. ‘’
The demonstrators say that they are giving the government a yellow card as a warning.

Violence erupts during Malawi protests
Malawians have taken to the streets in all cities and major towns to protest against the manner in which last May’s elections were conducted.
Nearly two months since the elections were held, political tension remains high as election results are being challenged in court by the opposition. The protesters demanded the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission chairwoman Jane Ansah
The largest crowd was in the capital, Lilongwe, where the protest was largely peaceful, though some main roads in the city were blocked by burning tyres and rocks placed by demonstrators.
A few privately owned vehicles have also been stoned.
More violent scenes were reported elsewhere.

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