South Africa’s Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Thursday the country was considering the sale of non-core assets and partial privatisation of state-owned firms to wrench the economy out of recession. Gigaba told newsmen in Johannesburg that the privatisation was part of an “ambitious 14-point programme” to put the country back on the path of growth. The minister said he would continue with the disposal of non-core state assets and roll out a “private sector participation framework” by March 2018. “All of these items that we have announced… they constitute an important intervention to restore confidence and demonstrate action and outline an action plan that we as government can be responsible for,” Gigaba said. He said the government would also reduce the issuance of guarantees to state companies, especially those extended for operational purposes. The plans to stimulate “inclusive growth” in South Africa appear to represent an ideological shift by the African National Congress...
Adebayo Waheed, Ibadan Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has declared that he has no anointed candidate among the 34 governorship aspirants jostling to succeed him in 2019. The governor while fielding questions at a media interactive session organized by the state in commemoration of his 6th anniversary and this year’s Democracy Day in Ibadan, said he had raised the bar of governance in the last six years. He said his successor must be intellectual deep, compassionate, passionate, forthright and fearless to merit the coveted seat. According to him, among the 34 aspirants jostling to succeed him so far, only five of them possessed the qualities that he enunciated, saying the electorate in the state would not settle for less. Though, the governor said it was still early in the day for him to determine his political future, Ajimobi said he was contemplating a return to the National Assembly in 2019 to be a...
An Ethiopian court on Wednesday convicted an opposition politician of encouraging terrorist acts after he criticised the government’s response to protests in Facebook posts. Rights group Amnesty International said the case of Yonatan Tesfaye, a former spokesperson for the opposition Semayawi Party who was arrested in 2015, was a miscarriage of justice. Yonatan was charged with “encouragement of terrorism” in May 2016 in relation to comments made on the social media site in 2015 in which he said the government had used excessive force against protesters. The charges were brought under a 2009 law that prescribes jail terms of between 10 and 20 years for anyone convicted of publishing information that could induce readers to commit acts of terrorism. “This is not a crime, yet he now faces up to 20 years in jail under this draconian and deeply-flawed law,” Michelle Kagari, Amnesty’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the...
The ongoing rumbling in the build up to August Kenyan Presidential and Parliamentary election is a sad reminder of the 2007 killings in the country’s Rift Valley. OMONU YAX-NELSON, JULIANA AGBO AND BLESSING BATURE. The political development in Kenya will once again come under searchlight in August, when voters are expected to file out to the polls to elect the country’s President and 349 seats parliament, which is made up of 290 elected from the constituencies, 47 women elected from the counties and 12 nominated representatives. In preparation for the polls, political parties in Kenya have been holding primaries to choose the candidates who will represent them in the general elections. However, the exercise has been marred by violence in some regions. Party primaries notwithstanding, the August Presidential election is expected to be a direct contest between Raila Amolo Odinga of Orange Democratic Movement, ODM and the incumbent President, Jomo Kenyatta of...
The Federal Government says it has paid N375.8 million to 20 providers of useful information under the whistle-blower’s policy. Mr Salisu Dambatta, the Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Finance, said on Wednesday in Abuja that the sum was paid with regard to the recovery of N11.6 billion. Dambatta said that the payment was only on recovered assets that had been declared free from litigation by the attorney-general of the federation. “This payment, which is the first under the whistle-blower policy, underscores the commitment of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to meeting obligations to information providers under the policy. “The policy is an essential tool in the fight against corruption. “The ministry, therefore, encourages all Nigerians with information on misconduct, violation or improper activity which can impact negatively on Nigeria, to report it to the appropriate authorities,’’ he said. Dambatta said that the policy had been amended to include the introduction of a formal legal agreement...
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Monday said that it had repatriated 62,372 Somali refugees from Dadaab camp in northeast Kenya since the return exercise begun in December 2014. The  UNHCR said in its bi-weekly update that some 707 refugees were supported to return to their home in Somalia voluntarily in the past ten days. According to the UNHCR, 23,058 refugees out of 62,372 returned in 2017 as the UN refugee agency steps up returns to the Horn of Africa nation. The UN agency said that road convoys to Somalia remained suspended due to the heavy rains in some parts of the Horn of Africa nation. UNHCR Somalia and its partners are closely monitoring the accessibility of roads in the 12 designated return areas. However, flights to Mogadishu and Kismayo currently facilitate the voluntary return of those willing to travel by air. Kenya has been collaborating with the UNHCR to ensure a smooth...
By David Abakpa Kenya opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga has said the electoral commission's IT system has been hacked to manipulate the election results. He rejected early results from Tuesday's vote indicating a strong lead for President Uhuru Kenyatta. The electoral commission has not yet responded to Mr Odinga's accusation, but politicians have called for calm. Many fear a repeat of the violence after a disputed election 10 years ago. More than 1,100 Kenyans died and 600,000 were displaced following the 2007 vote. Electoral officials say that with 91% of results in, Mr Kenyatta is leading with about 54.5%, to Mr Odinga's 44.6%. These results mean Mr Kenyatta appears to be heading for a first-round victory. In order to avoid a run-off, a candidate needs 50% plus one of the votes cast and at least a 25% share of the vote in 24 of Kenya's 47 counties. There were eight candidates in all, but apart from Mr...
Embattled President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday said he had no idea why hundreds of thousands of South Africans had been calling for his resignation in recent weeks. “I am not worried about the political situation in South Africa. I haven’t heard that people are unhappy,” Zuma said in Durban. Zuma made the comments shortly before the opening of the World Economic Forum on Africa, which is taking place in the coastal city from May 3-5. South Africans have been demonstrating against Zuma in cities across the country since late March, calling on him to resign over corruption scandals and his decision to sack finance minister Pravin Gordhan. The dismissal of Gordhan caused the rand to plunge and prompted two ratings agencies to downgrade South Africa. Zuma said he didn’t know why people were protesting. “I don’t know what makes people so excited,” the president said. “Demonstrations are always there,” Zuma said, adding that he regarded...