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Nigeria delivers relief materials, $1.5m cash to Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique over cyclones3 minutes read

No fewer than 1.6 million people were affected and displaced by the disaster and 603 deaths recorded.

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Nigeria delivers relief materials, $1.5m cash to Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique over cyclones

Nigeria on Tuesday in Maputo began the distribution of relief materials including cash donations of $500,000 each to Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe over the recent disaster caused by Cyclone Idai that left over 1.6 million people homeless.

Foreign Affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama who is on a tour of the affected countries to deliver the relief supplies began his trip from Mozambique where he handed over relief items to Antonio Tchamo, the country’s Permanent Secretary heading the National Institute of Disaster Management in Maputo.

Onyeama and the Nigerian delegation later left for Lilongwe, Malawi where he delivered another set of relief materials on Tuesday. He was received by Nicholas Dausi, Malawi’s Minister of Homeland Security and Disaster Management Affairs.

“Total donation is 30,000 tonnes of drugs, medical equipment, insecticide treated nets and the sum of $500,000”, Minister Onyeama told Malawian officials.

“President Muhammadu Buhari commiserates with the government and people of Malawi over the unfortunate incident that claimed many lives and displaced thousands of people,”

-The foreign minister said.

The minister explained that President Buhari directed him to deliver the 8,000 medical supplies, 35 tonnes of relief materials and $500,000 each to the three countries as a show of brotherhood and solidarity to the people of Southern Africa.

“Whatever happens to any country in Africa, our pan-African sentiment is always with them. We will be with you at every step of the way towards rehabilitation and reconstruction process that will now take place,” Minister Onyeama said.

Responding on behalf of the government of Mozambique, Tchamo explained that no fewer than 1.6 million people were affected and displaced by the disaster and 603 deaths recorded.

He also said that 16,200 people sustained various degree of injuries, more than 300,000 houses destroyed, 45,000 students affected, 3,600 schools affected and 93 health centres destroyed.

“We never doubt your solidarity and brotherhood since the time of struggle against colonialism. It is in the difficult moment that we know who is surrounding us. On behalf of the government and people of Mozambique, we will like to thank the government of Nigeria for this gesture,” Tchamo said while commending Nigeria’s contributions to the liberation struggles of many countries in Southern Africa.

The Nigerian delegation, which includes officials of the country’s disaster management agency, NEMA later proceeded to Zimbabwe to deliver same relief materials.

The hurricane attack has led to many countries providing relief materials to the three countries including the World Bank which is set to extend more than half-a-billion dollars in grants.

Cyclone Idai caused catastrophic damage earlier this year that affected millions of people especially the port city of Beira in Mozambique, which is the worst affected country.

The tragedy was further compounded by Cyclone Kenneth, another cyclone that hit the country after six weeks of Idai’s devastation.

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Politics

Court orders rearrest of Lesotho ex-first lady in murder trial

Maesaiah Thabane is suspected of orchestrating the shooting of Lipolelo Thabane, who was gunned down outside her home in the capital Maseru.

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Former Prime Minister of Lesotho, Thomas Thabane (L) and his wife Maesaiah Thabane sit at the Magistrate Court in Maseru, Lesotho, on February 24, 2020. AFP

Lesotho’s Court of Appeal has ordered the rearrest of former first lady Maesaiah Thabane after revoking her bail on murder charges over the killing of her husband’s estranged wife in 2017.

The 42-year-old was charged in February after police quizzed her on the brutal murder of former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s wife two days before his inauguration.

She spent one night in jail, after which Lesotho’s High Court freed her on a 1,000 maloti ($57) bail, according to AFP.

“The decision… is set aside and the bail petition is remitted back to the High Court to be determined by a different judge,” Court of Appeal president Kananelo Mosito ruled on Friday.

Police said Maesaiah Thabane would be arrested and handed over to correctional service officials later on Friday.

“As soon as we get the written judgement… we will arrest her,” deputy police commissioner Paseka Mokete told AFP.

Maesaiah Thabane is suspected of orchestrating the shooting of Lipolelo Thabane, who was gunned down outside her home in the capital Maseru.

Police have also charged her for the attempted murder of Lipolelo Thabane’s friend Thato Sibolla, who was wounded at the scene.

Lipolelo and Thomas Thabane, now 81, had been embroiled in bitter divorce proceedings when the 48-year-old was killed.

The former prime minister agreed to step down in January after police linked his mobile number to communication records from the crime scene.

He officially resigned this month, bowing to pressure from his rivals who accused him of hampering investigations into Lipolelo’s death.

Thabane has denied any involvement in the murder.

His wife initially went into hiding after police first called her in to testify in January.

She has not yet been allowed to respond to the charges.

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Politics

Niger passes new wire-tapping law to fight terrorism despite opposition

The opposition decried “the will of those in power to deprive Nigeriens… of all privacy in their communications.”

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Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou

Niger’s parliament has adopted a new legislation authorising wiretapping as a means of curbing “terrorism and transnational criminality”, brushing off an opposition protest walkout.

The new law permits “research of information” which notably may “threaten state security” or “prevent the fight against terrorism and organised transnational crime” in a country large swathes of which are in thrall to jihadist conflict, an AFP report said Friday.

Opposition parties are concerned that the country’s constitution holds that “secrecy of correspondence and of communications is inviolable”.

Under the new law, “obtained proofs can be used in investigations and criminal prosecutions initiated by judicial authorities, “with communications intercepted by “competent technical services” who will target “any person against whom there are serious reasons” to proceed.

Barkai Issouf, minister overseeing relations with institutions, insisted that “this law is not a threat to liberty. It is indispensable and emanates form the government’s wish to secure our people”.

Justice Minister Marou Amadou played down the move, saying: “You feared being listened in on? Well, you were before and you still are — only now it will be organised.”

In a statement, the opposition decried “the will of those in power to deprive Nigeriens… of all privacy in their communications.”

It added “this law will allow surveillance of all Nigeriens, as well as all those who live in Niger under the false pretexts” of maintaining security and fighting terrorism.

Niger has endured repeated unrest in its west near its borders with Mali and Burkina Faso from rival jihadi groups as well as in its southeast from Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa, a breakaway group from Boko Haram.

There have been several recent incursions including a massacre in which 20 people were massacred earlier this month.

In the same immense and unstable region of Tillaberi, which covers 100,000 square kilometres (40,000 square miles) and runs into the three-border area of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, three attacks on the army since December left 174 soldiers dead, according to an official report.

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East Africa Politics News

Court sets Tanzanian opposition leader free despite being guilty for sedition

In a written order setting out conditions for Kabwe’s discharge, Magistrate Huruma Shaidi said Kabwe should commit no seditious offence for a period of one year, and if he did, he would be liable to be sentenced for the offence.

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Zitto Kabwe, local lawmaker and head of ACT Wazalendo party.

A Tanzanian opposition leader found guilty of sedition and incitement on accusations that he falsely said some 100 people were killed in clashes between herders and police in his home region in 2018 was on Friday set free by a Dar es Salaam court.

Zitto Kabwe, a local lawmaker and head of ACT Wazalendo party was set free on condition that he refrain from saying or writing anything that would be considered sedition to the government.

Kabwe, who is member of parliament for Kigoma urban constituency, in western Tanzania, was charged in November 2018 with three counts related to incitement after saying that 100 people were killed in clashes between herders and police in the region, a Reuters report said.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

At the time, the head of police in Kigoma said just two herdsmen and two officers had died during an operation to stop pastoralists keeping livestock illegally on a government-owned ranch.

Huruma Shaidi, principal magistrate of Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s court in Dar es Salaam, said he found Kabwe guilty on all three counts.

In a written order setting out conditions for Kabwe’s discharge, Shaidi said Kabwe should commit no seditious offence for a period of one year, and if he did, he would be liable to be sentenced for the offence.

Kabwe’s defence lawyers said they were going to appeal the verdict.

“Zitto Kabwe is a politician and we are in the elections period, we are going to appeal this ruling to clear him,” Jebra Kambole, Kabwe’s lead counsel, told reporters outside the court.

Kabwe split away from the main opposition CHADEMA movement in 2015 and is now his party’s only lawmaker.

The East African country has been one of the continent’s most stable, but opposition leaders and rights groups have accused the government of cracking down on dissent – an accusation it dismisses.

Tanzania is expected to hold presidential, parliamentary and local government elections in October.

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