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Opposition Candidate Wins Zambian Presidential Election

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Opposition Candidate Wins Zambian Presidential Election

Zambia’s electoral commission has confirmed that last week’s presidential election was won by the opposition candidate Hakainde Hichilema.

Mr Hichilema defeated his main rival, the outgoing President Edgar Lungu, by more than a million votes.

It was Mr Hichilema’s sixth attempt at winning the presidency. His supporters have been celebrating on the streets of the capital, Lusaka.

Earlier, Mr Lungu alleged that the elections were not free and fair.

He said election officials from his Patriotic Front party had been chased from polling stations, leaving votes unprotected.

In response, Mr Hichilema’s United Party for National Development said the statement was the “desperate final act of an outgoing administration.”

In its final tally, the electoral commission said Mr Hichilema had won 2,810,777 votes to Mr Lungu’s 1,814,201 in Thursday’s election. There were seven million registered voters.

The landslide win means Mr Hichilema will not have to fight a run-off contest.

READ ALSO: Madagascar President Sacks All Ministers For Poor Performance

“I therefore declare the said Hichilema to be president of Zambia,” commission chairman Esau Chulu announced at the results centre in Lusaka.

Mr Lungu’s six-year rule was criticised for alleged human rights abuses, corruption, a failing economy and massive unemployment.

Correspondents say Mr Hichilema, 59, tapped into widespread dissatisfaction among voters.

He now faces the daunting challenge of turning around the country’s economic fortunes.

Celebrations which started on Sunday continued until sunrise as Zambia was painted red by supporters of Hakainde Hichilema.

There’s no doubt that that political winds of change were ushered in by young people who are often accused of being reluctant to vote. They turned up in high numbers and generally rejected President Edgar Lungu.

“We want jobs, young people want jobs,” chanted throngs of people as they filled the streets of the capital shortly after Mr Hichilema was declared the seventh president of this copper-rich nation.

There’s no doubt that Mr Hichilema will inherit the rot and will attempt to clean up corruption left by his predecessor.

That’s if President Lungu respects the will of the people and hands over power. He claimed the election wasn’t free and fair after he lost votes in many of his traditional strongholds.

READ ALSO: Assassination Attempt On Madagascar President Foiled

He said elections were characterised by violence, which is in direct contrast with regional and international observers, whose preliminary findings said the elections were relatively peaceful despite pockets of violence, political interference and an uneven playing field which favoured the governing Patriotic Front.

A concession speech hasn’t been made by the incumbent even after losing by close to one million votes. Mr Lungu is expected to approach the courts to challenge the result but the margin of his defeat might make it hard for judges to overturn the result.

Mr Hichilema was born into humble beginnings in the southern district of Monze.

He managed to get a scholarship to the University of Zambia, and later graduated with an MBA degree from the University of Birmingham in the UK. He went on to become one of Zambia’s richest men, with business interests in finance, ranching, property, healthcare and tourism.

Hichilema said the 2016 election was stolen from him.

Mr Hichilema has described himself as an ordinary “cattle boy” and has contested and lost every election held in Zambia since 2006. However, each time he has increased his share of the vote.

 

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How Museveni Surrendered Uganda’s Only International Airport For Chinese Loans

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How Museveni Surrendered Uganda’s Only International Airport For Chinese Loans

The details of the deal Uganda signed with the Chinese lenders have shown that the African country “surrendered” its most prominent and only international airport.

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) says some provisions in the Financing Agreement with China expose Entebbe International Airport and other Ugandan assets to be attached and taken over by Chinese lenders upon arbitration in Beijing.

It also emerged that China has rejected recent pleas by Uganda to re-negotiate the toxic clauses of the 2015 loan, leaving Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s administration in limbo.

According to the Daily Monitor of 25 November 2021, the Ugandan government waived international immunity in the agreement it signed to secure the loans, exposing Entebbe. International Airport to takeover without international protection.

In desperation, Uganda in March sent a delegation to Beijing hoping to renegotiate the toxic clauses of the deal but the officials came back empty-handed as China would not allow the terms of the original deal to be varied.

Last week, Uganda’s Finance Minister Matia Kasaija apologized to parliament for the “mishandling of the $207 million loan” from the China Exim Bank to expand Entebbe International Airport.

“I apologize that we shouldn’t have accepted some of the clauses,” Kasaija told members of the committee in response to questions asked by the legislators. There were also questions over the interest rate that was set by the China Exim Bank for the funds placed in an off-shore Standard Bank account that was used as collateral for the project.

Three weeks ago, Uganda Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises raised concern over terms of the loan acquired to upgrade and expand Entebbe International Airport.

Committee members led by chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi demanded the Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development Maria Kasaija, to explain whether due diligence had been made prior to government signing the agreement with the Chinese bank.

Ssenyonyi asked the finance minister to explain at what stage the due diligence had been done on the loan financing terms, noting that the terms were not in favour of the tax payer.

“It is right to understand how China has done this. But then, how has Uganda always done its loan agreements? This would have provided a meeting point between the two parties,” said Ssenyonyi.

A Legal Advisor at the finance ministry told the committee that they reviewed the agreement, especially on the waiver of immunity. He admitted that some conditions could not be negotiated.

“The President on his trip to China, raised this as one of the challenges that China ought to address in our agreement,” the advisor told the committee while under oath.

READ ALSO: Kyrgyzstan Security Operatives Detain Suspected Coup Plotters

Progress of work at the airport has reached 75.2 per cent, with two runways having reached overall completion of 100 per cent.

The phase one project that commenced on 10 May 2016, was expected to have been completed by 09 May 2021. It was extended to 05 December 2022. But still, there are genuine fears the airport could be lost as Kampala is struggling to meet the strict loan repayment regimen.

Built in 1972, Entebbe International Airport is Uganda’s only international airport and handles over 1,9 million passengers per year. Its seizure by China would greatly dent Museveni’s legacy and expose him to election defeat especially by the younger and fierce rival Bobi Wine.

Museveni, who came to power on the back of an armed uprising in 1986, has defied the political laws of gravity which have felled other long-serving leaders in the region.

The 77-year-old has managed to maintain his grip on power through a mixture of encouraging a personality cult, employing patronage, compromising independent institutions and sidelining opponents.

 

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Kyrgyzstan Security Operatives Detain Suspected Coup Plotters

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Kyrgyzstan Security Operatives Detain Suspected Coup Plotters

Security operatives in Kyrgyzstan have detained 15 “active members” of a coup plot involving lawmakers and former officials ahead of a parliamentary vote at the weekend.

The detained were part of a plan to get “1,000 aggressive young people” to protest the results of the vote, the state committee for national security said in a statement on Friday.

“After the announcement of the results of the upcoming parliamentary elections…this group planned to organise mass protests in (the capital) Bishkek and subsequently to aggravate the situation, provoking clashes with the forces of law and order and further violent seizure of power,” the statement said.

Security services “obtained irrefutable evidence of the criminal activity of a group of persons under the leadership of certain destructive political forces, including deputies of the (parliament) and former high-ranking officials.”
Without naming the detained, the committee also said it had “found and seized firearms, ammunition and drugs” in a raid on the alleged group’s office.

Kyrgyzstan, a poor, mountainous Central Asian country which has seen three presidents overthrown since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, hopes to avoid further instability from the first parliamentary vote since unrest brought the current leader, Sadyr Japarov, to power last year.

READ ALSO: Girl Takes Mother’s Doctor To Court For Allowing Her Birth

After rising to the presidency from a prison cell during the last post-vote crisis, Japarov pledged to hold free and fair elections.

But electoral authorities have already excluded one candidate and fined another, both of whom are regarded as independent voices in the outgoing parliament.

The president was serving a sentence for hostage-taking prior to his release amid the protests over alleged vote-buying by pro-government parties last year.

He has always insisted that the charges were a punishment for his campaign to nationalise a key gold mine upon which the largely resource-poor economy depends.

The new administration moved in May to seize the Kumtor mine from the Canadian company that controlled it, Centerra Gold, citing environmental violations.

Centerra, whose operations at Kumtor accounted for 12.5 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s gross domestic product in 2020, has denied the claims and is contesting the seizure in an international court.

Japarov’s critics have said the head of state is repeating the mistakes of his predecessors by arresting potential rivals after overseeing constitutional changes that strengthened his position.

Kyrgyzstan hosts a Russian military base and looks to next-door China for loans and investments.

Experts say it is unclear however how much trust the new government enjoys from Russia, whose leader Vladimir Putin registered distaste at the street protests and sudden overthrow of then-president Sooronbay Jeenbekov.

AFP

 

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Girl Takes Mother’s Doctor To Court For Allowing Her Birth

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Girl Takes Mother's Doctor To Court For Aiding Her Birth

A 20-year-old girl has decided to take her mother’s doctor to court for allowing her to be born.

The lady identified as Evie Toombes suffers from spina bifida, a condition where the spinal cord of a baby fails to develop while in the womb.

Evie who is from Skegness Lincolnshire in London stated that her birth could have been avoided if the doctor had given her mother the right advice.

Despite her condition, Evie has built quite a career in show jumping as she successfully competes with disabled and able bodied contestants.

Evie stated that her mother’s doctor Philip Mitchel did not advise her mother to take folic acids before her conception. However, Doctor Mitchel said he offered Evie’s mother reasonable advice.

READ ALSO: Woman Sues Man After Rescuing Her From Drowning

Evie’s lawyer, Susan Rodway QC explained to the high court how Evie’s mother went to Doctor Mitchel at age 50 and informed him that she planned on having her baby in February 2001.

She said: “This was a very precious decision to start a family because she herself had lost her parents when she was young.

“They had been refraining from sexual intercourse until after they had received advice at this consultation.”

Evie mother maintained that she was not told about the importance of Folic acid in pregnancy.

However Doctor Mitchell’s lawyer, Michael De Navarro QC stated that his client had offered reasonable advice to his patient.

Evie is of the opinion that if her mother had been properly advised she would not have given birth to her.

 

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