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Malawi opposition to track bank accounts of electoral staff

We will examine bank accounts of electoral staff to track possible bribe collection -opposition

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Malawi opposition to track bank accounts of electoral staff
Malawi opposition members from Malawi Congress Party sing and dance as they try to prevent Malawi President from delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to open the 46th session of parliament on June 21, 2019 at the Malawi General Assembly in Lilongwe, Malawi. (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP)

A legal representative for the opposition parties in Malawi has said they intend to examine bank accounts of the country’s electoral staff to track possible bribe.

The lead legal counsel for the Malawi Congress Party and United Transformation Movement, Mordecai Msiska, spoke to journalists on Wednesday.

“As for the bank accounts, we need to know whether any MEC (Malawi Electoral Commission) staff had had transactions in their accounts that are unusual, that could not be explained in terms of inflows of funds”, he said.

On Wednesday, Malawi’s opposition filed an appeal at the country’s Constitutional Court in the capital Lilongwe, requesting that the presidential election be annuled. The court will rule on these applications on Thursday.

Police officers were deployed to stand guard at the court’s headquarters as they sit on the case.

Following the announcement of disputed presidential results held in Malawi in May, there have been cases of violent protests.

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North Africa Politics

President Kais Saied Urges Restraint, 4 Days into Protests in Tunisia

The Tunisian President Kais Saied visited Ariana, a city near the capital Tunis, and asked people not to let others take advantage of their anger and poverty

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The Tunisian President has showed up at a rally where demonstrators were protesting and pleaded with them to put an end to the protests which are already in their fourth consecutive day against the worsening social and economic crisis in the country.

Blocking streets and setting barricades on fire on Monday, demonstrators clashed with police who responded by firing tear gas. The Protests have led to the looting of shops and protesters have thrown stones and Molotov cocktails at official buildings and businesses in some areas.

The Tunisian President Kais Saied visited Ariana, a city near the capital Tunis, and asked people not to let others take advantage of their anger and poverty.

“Through you, I want to speak to all the Tunisian people, I know the state of poverty and I also know who is exploiting your poverty.  Don’t let anyone exploit your misery, don’t attack private or public property. We live today because of moral values and not because of theft or looting,” Saied said to the crowd.

Angry about the high unemployment rate and the financial crisis in the North African nation, Tunisians have protested since Friday in Kasserine, Tunis and several other cities.

On Monday, demonstrators shouted: “Dissolve the parliament, dissolve the parliament.”

In some regions, the defence ministry deployed the army to protect private and public property. It said troops will conduct joint patrols with security forces in the regions of Siliana, Kasserine, Sousse and Bizerte, where police and protesters clashed.

Authorities made 630 arrests linked to the violence on Sunday alone, the interior ministry reported.

Amnesty International has called for restraint, citing footage showing officers beating and manhandling people they had detained. They have also demanded the immediate release of Hamza Nassri Jeridi, a rights activist arrested on Monday.

“Security forces must immediately refrain from using unnecessary and excessive force to disperse protesters in the capital and several governorates against marginalisation, police violence, poverty and lack of job opportunities,” it said.

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East Africa Politics News

Ugandan Security Forces Stop U.S. Ambassador from Gaining Access to Bobi Wine’s House

Shortly after casting his ballot on Thursday in the country’s presidential elections, Opposition leader Bobi Wine was placed under house arrest.

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The U.S. ambassador in Uganda was stopped by security personnel from visiting opposition leader Bobi Wine at his residence, prompting the mission to call his house arrest a “worrying” sign.

Shortly after casting his ballot on Thursday in the country’s presidential elections, Opposition leader Bobi Wine was placed under house arrest.

The incumbent president Yoweri Museveni, 76, who has been ruling the country since 1986 when Bobi Wine was only four years old, was declared winner of the election with 59% of the vote against Bobi Wine’s 35%.

The U.S. embassy said in a statement on Monday, that the U.S. ambassador Natalie E. Brown was stopped from visiting Kyagulanyi at his residence in a suburb in the northern outskirts of the capital Kampala.

The mission said the U.S. ambassador wanted to check on Wine’s “health and safety.”

The embassy noted that the just concluded election was tainted by harassment of opposition candidates, suppression of media and rights advocates as well as nationwide internet shutdown.

“These unlawful actions and the effective house arrest of a presidential candidate continue a worrying trend on the course of Uganda’s democracy,” it said.

No observers were deployed for the polls from both the United States and the European Union due to denial of accreditations and failure by Ugandan authorities to implement recommendations by past missions.

During the campaigning security forces routinely broke up Wine’s rallies with teargas, bullets, beatings and detentions, citing violations of laws meant to curb the spread of the coronavirus for those actions.

After Wine was detained for alleged violation of the anti-coronavirus measures in November, 54 people were killed as security forces quelled a protest that erupted.

Opposition leader Bobi Wine and his National Unity Platform (NUP) have rejected the results of the election, saying they were planning a court challenge.

Ugandan security forces on Monday cordoned off offices of opposition party’s in the capital Kampala. The party said the move is complicating their efforts to gather evidence of irregularities committed during the election.

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Health

Bread Crisis: Libya’s Central Bank Rejects New Letters of Credit for Flour

Governor of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) Al-Siddiq Al-Kabeer emphasised that the letters of credit, which were opened in 2020 for the supply of flour, were appropriate for the amounts consumed in Libya.

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In response to the Head of Presidential Council, Fayez Al-Sarraj’s regarding requests for new letters of credit to import flour, the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) Al-Siddiq Al-Kabeer has on Sunday issued a statement.

Al-Kabeer emphasised that the letters of credit, which were opened in 2020 for the supply of flour, were appropriate for the amounts consumed in Libya.

The General Union of Bakers in Tripoli shut down all bakeries in the city on Saturday, citing an increase in the price of ingredients. This move was justified by the union’s head, Saeed Boukhreiss who claimed the new prices were necessary due to the new prices of flour being linked to lack of supply by the mills’ company.  

The Governor explained that the PM’s call represents a grave breach of the country’s financial law and public spending controls, stipulated in the 2015 Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). He further stated that the state’s balance of foreign exchange with the Libyan Foreign Bank (LFB) is linked to sovereign revenues.

Al-Kabeer also countered rumours suggesting that it had opened letters of credits for importing unnecessary food items.

He further reminds the GNA officials on their obligation to control the country’s borders and ports to curb the smuggling of subsidised goods, especially flour and fuel.

Bakeries reopened Monday after the Bakers’ Union reached an agreement with the control authorities. Bread prices have been impacted largely by flour shortage, the prices of wheat which increased globally by 40% and the new exchange rate of the Libyan dinar to U.S. dollar on the confectionary sector. Bakeries may face dire straits in the coming months if state authorities do not resolve the problem satisfactorily.

In 2018, inflationary pressure and dwindling oil prices among other factors saw bakeries in Tripoli abruptly shut for two weeks, thereby triggering a food crisis around bread – a staple for many Libyans.

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