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Malawi Court Releases Fugitive Prophet Bushiri, Wife

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A Malawian court has released Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary unconditionally after they were arrested on Wednesday.

South Africa has issued an arrest warrant and demanded extradition of the couple, who are standing trial in the country for fraud and money laundering related charges, after they skipped bail and fled to Malawi.

The duo had denied the charges and, after resurfacing in Malawi, claimed that the fled South Africa over death threats.

On Wednesday, the couple surrendered to the police in Malawi. But a magistrate in the Malawian capital, Lilongwe, freed them unconditionally after their lawyer, Wapona Kita, argued that their arrest had been illegal.

The state prosecutor had asked the court to allow police to keep the couple in custody for a further 30 days to allow for the South African government to formally submit an extradition request.

Mr Kita said it was illegal to arrest them before South Africa made a formal extradition request.

The Pretoria magistrate’s court had earlier ordered that the couples’ R5.5m property at Midstream Estate in Centurion be forfeited to the state as they had contravened their bail conditions.

They have already forfeited a combined R400,000 in bail money after slipping out of SA to avoid trial for alleged involvement in fraud and money laundering worth more than R100m.

Bushiri put out a brief statement on his Facebook page after the court ruling.

“In his ruling the magistrate ordered that my wife and I must be released unconditionally because our arrest was illegal. Further, the magistrate also ruled that whenever they have a case against my wife and I we should appear before court through summon (sic) not arrest.

“I am also informed that some of my assets in SA have been confiscated by authorities, to which I say: ‘My right to life is more important than any asset in this world.’

“Whatever has happened today, I don’t see it as our victory, neither our lawyers. God has won. Tomorrow is better than today!”

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Nigeria Stock Exchange | All-Share Index and Market Capitalization increased by 2.19%

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Nigerian Stocks ended last week on a bullish run cumulatively. The All-Share Index and Market Capitalization increased by 2.19% to close the week at 34,885.51 and N18.228 trillion respectively. We had, on News Central Now, the CEO of TrustBanc Asset Management Limited, Oluwaseun Adesoye join Sulaiman Aledeh to discuss this.

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The Big 5 Review | 30 – 11 -2020

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Malaria Death Toll to Exceed COVID-19 Deaths in sub-Saharan Africa – WHO

More than 409,000 people globally; most of them children in the impoverished parts of Africa were killed by malaria last year, the WHO said in its latest global malaria report, and COVID-19 will almost certainly make that toll higher in 2020.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that, due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, malaria deaths will far exceed those killed by COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa.

More than 409,000 people globally, most of them children in the impoverished parts of Africa, were killed by malaria last year, WHO said in its latest global malaria report, and COVID-19 will almost certainly make that toll higher in 2020.

Director of WHO’s Malaria Programme Pedro Alsonso said “Our estimates are that depending on the level of service disruption (due to COVID-19), there could be an excess of malaria deaths of somewhere between 20,000 and 100,000 in sub-Saharan Africa, most of them in young children.”

“It’s very likely that excess malaria mortality is larger than the direct COVID mortality.”

Meanwhile, drugs like Hydroxychloroquine, which should have been used to treat malaria patients, were once sold out in many countries. Both U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro touted the drug as a preventative measure for the coronavirus.

But later studies have shown that it’s not an effective treatment for COVID-19. WHO has halted the drug’s clinical trials, as it doesn not reduce the death rate among COVID-19 patients.

Read also: Africa COVID-19 Cases Surpass Two Million – WHO

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also revoked the emergency authorization for malaria drugs championed by the President, amid growing evidence they don’t work and could cause serious side effects.

The WHO report found there were 229 million malaria cases globally in 2019. It further said that despite the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries around the world had fought hard and held the line against the disease.

But it also said “long-term success in reaching a malaria-free world within a generation is far from assured.” Some of the African countries worst affected by malaria have struggled to make significant progress since 2016.

Due to the ongoing transmission of malaria via mosquitoes in many parts of the world, half the global population is at risk of contracting the disease, and it still kills a child every two minutes. Despite this, the focus of worldwide funding and attention has been diverted, making preventable child deaths more likely.

Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, said the WHO report’s findings were “extremely timely.”

“The global health world, the media, and politics, are all transfixed by COVID, and yet we pay very little attention to a disease that is still killing over 400,000 people every year, mainly children.”

“And to remind you, this is a disease we do know how to get rid of – so it is a choice that we don’t.

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