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Colonial Masters Fuel Term Elongation By African Presidents – Analyst

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Adeniyi Kunnu, an African Affairs Analyst has said the elongation of Presidential terms by African leaders is an act being fuelled by colonial masters.

Kunnu, on Village Square Africa on News Central TV, said the masters, years after African countries have gained independence from them, are yet to release them from their firm grip.

He singled out France as the country with the highest degree of interference in African politics, accusing them of sponsoring leaders to be in power, in order for their desires to be served.

Kunnu said France controls the resources and even the finances of some of Francophone countries, as he advised African countries to find their freedom.

Describing the African Union as “toothless”, he said the union hasn’t provided enough protection for African countries in order to prevent exploitation.

Weighing in on President Olusegun Obasanjo’s botched third term agenda in 2006, he said Nigeria escaped it owing to the intelligence of voters in the country and the wisdom of the legislators of that period. He also added that contrary to what some people tag as an “allegation”, he said it is true that Obasanjo wanted a third term in office.

Elongation of Term Limit Not The Problem

Collins Nweke, a global affairs analyst said the term limits elongation has its good and bad sides, but Africa has mostly seen the bad.

He said this is because African leaders haven’t made good use of the long terms they’ve held in office.

Nweke said democracy may be helped by keeping limits out of terms of office but agreed that African leaders may misuse such opportunities.

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, Togo’s Gnassingbe Eyadema, Cameroon’s Paul Biya, Congo Reupblic’s Dennis Sassou-Nguesso, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and most recently, Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast and Guinea’s Alpha Conde are some of the African leaders who have “served” beyond their normal terms in office.

In Cameroon, the term limit has been totally removed while Museveni sponsored a constitutional amendment to remove an age limit and reset the term limit.

Kunnu said such practices don’t help democracy, as they don’t allow the people to test different personalities and ideas.

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East Africa News

15-Day COVID-19 Lockdown: Rwanda Distributes Food to Vulnerable Families

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Following its decision to lockdown Kigali, its capital, the Rwanda authorities have begun the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives to vulnerable families in affected by the restriction.

News Central reports that the Rwandan government had, on Monday, imposed a 15-day lockdown on Kigali to curb the spread coronavirus after a surge in cases in the capital.

All movements outside homes require an approved permit from the police, except for essential service providers.

However, to help some 3,000 families – identified as the most vulnerable – cope with the lockdown the government is distributing food rations to households.

Local and international reports said that as of Thursday evening households have started receiving sacks of rice, maize flour and beans.

Some 3,000 families have been identified as the most vulnerable. The city has a population of about one million people.

There have been concerns that hundreds of thousands of residents who live hand to mouth would face hunger during the lockdown.

The authorities have assured that food will reach the most vulnerable, as well as poor Covid-19 patients being treated at home.

The rations were being delivered by volunteers who had tested negative before the programme started, city officials said.

A free phone line is available for requests from “those who want and merit the food aid to be delivered at their doorsteps”.

On Thursday Rwanda reported nine Covid-19 deaths, the highest daily fatalities so far, and 310 new cases.

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COVID-19: Mali Plans to Start Vaccination in April

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The Malian government plans to buy over 8.4 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, the country’s council of ministers has said.

The council said it expects to roll out a vaccination campaign in April.

The vaccine is expected to cost Mali – which has a population of about 18.5 million and has so far recorded 7,911 Covid-19 cases and over 320 deaths – $58m.

The government remarks that the cost would be covered with financial assistance from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) and the World Bank.

GAVI and WHO co-run the COVAX scheme which helps developing countries to secure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines.

It did not specify which vaccines it planned to buy.

Mali like other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa is battling a second wave of coronavirus infections, although its infection rate has decreased from a peak in early January.

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Missing Senegal’s Best Student Makes Contact, Apologises for Going AWOL

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Diary Sow, the talented Senegalese student who went missing in France since 4 January 2021, has made contact with authorities in her country, explaining that she was on “a little break to regain her senses”.

Sow, who has been described as the “best student in Senegal”, has won several national academic awards and has been studying physics, chemistry and engineering at the prestigious Louis-Le-Grand school.

She is a second-year pre-university student at Louis-Le-Grand, having received a scholarship for excellence.

She also published her first novel in 2020.

Authorities in France and Senegal launched a hunt for her when she failed to show up in school after the Christmas and New year holidays.

Now Sow has written a letter to Senegal’s Water and Sanitation Minister, Serigne Mbaye Thiam, explaining her disappearance.

In a thread on Twitter, the minister shared extracts of her letter – with her permission, Sow said she was “not the victim of any kind of pressure” and apologised to those worried about her.

“I am not hiding. I’m not running away. See it as a kind of welcome respite from my life,” she wrote.

She said her failure to show up for school on 4 January was not “about overwork, or madness, or the desire for freedom”.

“I am not sorry to have left, I am sorry for the inconvenience caused by my departure and for the people I made suffer,” she said.

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