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Zimbabwe First Lady Denies Links To Gold Smuggling

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Zimbabwe’s First Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa, has denied links to gold smuggling and challenged police to produce “any incriminating evidence” against her.

The first lady also denied illegal dealings with Henrietta Rushwaya – a suspect in a high profile gold-smuggling case – who was arrested last Monday while carrying 6kg of gold in her hand luggage at Harare International Airport on her way to Dubai.

Police said Ms Rushwaya did not have the necessary export permits, but she denied the charges in court and is awaiting a ruling on her bail application.

Mrs Mnangagwa also absolved her son from links to gold smuggling.

“It pains me that my son who is hard-working and an obedient son, is being attacked for no reason other than being a member of the first family. He is a hard working person and strives to improve himself day by day,” she said.

Zimbabwe’s Secretary for Information, Nick Mangwana, said police investigations had found claims linking the president’s family to gold smuggling to be “false and intended to intimidate law enforcement agencies”.

The First lady distanced herself from Rushwaya saying she is a strong advocate for transparency.

“I have no dealings nor involvement with Miss Henrietta Rushwaya of any illegal kind. I am challenging the Police through their relevant office to issue a statement.

“I am a strong advocate for transparency and honesty and any continued silence by the police can be misconstrued as a cover-up. If there is any incriminating evidence against me I challenge the police to present it to the nation without fear or favour. If there be none I also challenge the police to say so,” she said.

North Africa Politics

Algeria’s President Tebboune to Return Home after COVID-19 Treatment in Germany

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Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is set to return home from a German hospital “in the coming days” after treatment for COVID-19.

“The president assures the Algerian people that he is recovering and will return to the homeland in the coming days,” the office said in a statement, published on Facebook.

In late October, Tebboune was transported to Germany for an in-depth medical examination following a doctor recommendation.

Shortly after, the office announced that the president was diagnosed with COVID-19.

In compliance with the recommendations of his medical team, the 75-year-old Algerian leader continues to undergo the rest of recovery procedures after leaving a specialised medical facility in Germany, the office added.

Tebboune has served as the president of Algeria since December 2019.

He assumed the post after the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika following months of protests.

Since the start of the pandemic, 83,199 cases of the coronavirus have been registered in Algeria.

To date, the North African country’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 2,431, while the number of recoveries is approaching 54,000.

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Ghana to Bury Ex-President Rawlings December 23

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Jerry Rawlings calls for review of Ghana's constitution

The remains of deceased former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, will be buried on December 23, his family has said.

James Victor Gbeho, Head of the funeral planning committee, in a press release on Monday, said the family, in consultation with government, has agreed on the date.

The funeral rites for the 73-year-old will come off at the Independence Square in Accra.

Mr Gbeho said, “The family is working in conjunction with government on the finer details of the funeral ceremony and will communicate the arrangements in due course.”

Rawlings, Ghana’s longest-serving head of state and founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), died on 12 November at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra after a short illness.

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Akufo-Addo, Mahama Go Toe to Toe as Ghana’s Presidential Election Draws Closer

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President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) will face former president John Dramani Mahama, leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the West African country’s December 7 presidential election.

The election has been dubbed the “battle of two giants.”

It is the third time Akufo-Addo and Mahama will compete against each other for the highest office in the country, with each previously having won one poll each– Akufo-Addo in 2016 and Mahama in 2012.

Although 12 candidates are vying for the presidency, including two women, only Akufo-Addo and Mahama are said to have a chance of coming out victorious.

The electoral campaign has been dominated by Ghana’s economy, infrastructure development, education, corruption, and debt relief.

Akufo-Addo, 76, has been touting economic growth during his current four-year term in office as well as the streamlining of government services and implementation of free schooling for senior high school pupils.

Mahama, 62, has meanwhile stressed the many infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, he realised during his presidency, promising do invest more in this area if re-elected.

Political analysts of the University of Ghana in the capital, Accra, predict a slim win for Akufo-Addo in the December elections.

Polls have indicated voters prefer Akufo-Addo’s policy-driven approach to run the nation of 30 million people, the university’s head of the political science department, Kaakyire Frempong.

A candidate is required to gain at least 50 per cent of votes to be elected in the first round.

Ghana’s roughly 17 million registered voters will also elect 275 legislators from 914 candidates on Dec. 7.

Akufo-Addo’s NPP is expected to once again gain the majority of seats in parliament.

Voting will take place at more than 33,000 polling stations between 7 am and 5 pm (0700 and 1700 GMT).

The electoral commission will announce results within 72 hours after the election.

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