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Doubt looms over election rerun in Kenya
17 September 2017, 8:30 AM

Doubts are growing over Kenya‘s ability to hold a rerun of its presidential election in a month’s time, as argument continue on how to conduct a credible vote.

The October 17 repeat vote was called after Kenya’s Supreme Court annulled the initial election, citing widespread irregularities.

The opposition has vowed to boycott the new vote if its demands are not met. These include staff changes at the country’s electoral commission, which it accuses of rigging the first poll.

The court has until September 22 to give the reasons for its ruling and further orders, which would give the commission little time to make any necessary changes.

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– By AFP

Doubt looms over election rerun in Kenya
17 September 2017, 8:30 AM

Doubts are growing over Kenya‘s ability to hold a rerun of its presidential election in a month’s time, as argument continue on how to conduct a credible vote.

The October 17 repeat vote was called after Kenya’s Supreme Court annulled the initial election, citing widespread irregularities.

The opposition has vowed to boycott the new vote if its demands are not met. These include staff changes at the country’s electoral commission, which it accuses of rigging the first poll.

The court has until September 22 to give the reasons for its ruling and further orders, which would give the commission little time to make any necessary changes.

Click below for more:

Sunday 17 September 2017 08:30

AFP

Zimbabwe can feed itself again, Mugabe claims
12 September 2017, 3:51 PM

Zimbabwe produced enough food to feed its people for the first time since adopting a controversial policy to strip land from white farmers, President Robert Mugabe told parliament on Tuesday.

From the year 2000, hundreds of white farmers were evicted from their farms, often violently, and land was handed to allies of the ruling ZANU-PF party and in many cases became neglected and unproductive.

Zimbabwe had previously been known as the “breadbasket” of Africa.

“The country has this year succeeded in regaining its food self-sufficiency status on the back of the good rainy season and the introduction of command agriculture,” Mugabe said as he opened parliament.

“Government is now working to consolidate agriculture through, among other things, investing more resources in water harvesting and irrigation development.”

A bumper harvest of maize helped Zimbabwe regain its food independence, he added.

Mugabe has previously acknowledged that handing vast tracts of land to inexperienced black owners was a mistake.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers warned just last week that the acute shortage of foreign currency could cause severe shortages of essential staples.

But on Tuesday Mugabe said he was hopeful that the rejuvenated agricultural sector would lift the nation’s moribund economy which has been plagued by a dire shortage of hard currency and soaring unemployment.

Zimbabwe’s legislators are starting their final session before presidential and parliamentary elections set for next year.

Mugabe who turns 94 next year has already been named as the presidential candidate for his ZANU-PF party.

Tuesday 12 September 2017 15:51

AFP

Zimbabwe can feed itself again, Mugabe claims
12 September 2017, 3:51 PM

Zimbabwe produced enough food to feed its people for the first time since adopting a controversial policy to strip land from white farmers, President Robert Mugabe told parliament on Tuesday.

From the year 2000, hundreds of white farmers were evicted from their farms, often violently, and land was handed to allies of the ruling ZANU-PF party and in many cases became neglected and unproductive.

Zimbabwe had previously been known as the “breadbasket” of Africa.

“The country has this year succeeded in regaining its food self-sufficiency status on the back of the good rainy season and the introduction of command agriculture,” Mugabe said as he opened parliament.

“Government is now working to consolidate agriculture through, among other things, investing more resources in water harvesting and irrigation development.”

A bumper harvest of maize helped Zimbabwe regain its food independence, he added.

Mugabe has previously acknowledged that handing vast tracts of land to inexperienced black owners was a mistake.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers warned just last week that the acute shortage of foreign currency could cause severe shortages of essential staples.

But on Tuesday Mugabe said he was hopeful that the rejuvenated agricultural sector would lift the nation’s moribund economy which has been plagued by a dire shortage of hard currency and soaring unemployment.

Zimbabwe’s legislators are starting their final session before presidential and parliamentary elections set for next year.

Mugabe who turns 94 next year has already been named as the presidential candidate for his ZANU-PF party.

– By AFP

Tanzania seizes diamonds from British mining company
10 September 2017, 3:32 PM

The Tanzanian government said on Sunday it had confiscated diamonds worth nearly 30 million dollars after accusing British company Petra Diamonds of having declared a lower value when trying to export the gems.

Speaking on government television channel TBC 1, Finance Minister Philip Mpango said the diamonds extracted from the Williamson Diamonds mine had been “nationalised”.

The mine is 75 % owned by Petra Diamonds, with the remaining stake held by the Tanzanian state.

The diamonds were seized on August 31 at the airport in Tanzania‘s main city of Dar Es Salaam as they were being shipped to Belgium.

According to Tanzanian authorities, the documents from Williamson Diamonds estimated the value of the shipment at 14.7 million dollars based on a lower declared weight, while in fact they were worth double the amount.

“The Williamson Diamonds company documents put the value of the diamonds at 14.7 million dollars, before cutting and polishing, while their real value is 29.5 million dollars,” the finance ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

On Thursday, two senior officials in the mining sector who had been cited in parliamentary reports on suspected embezzlement connected with the mining and sale of diamonds resigned following pressure from President John Magufuli.

Nicknamed the Bulldozer, Magufuli swept to power in 2015 on an anti-corruption platform.

He has said government officials implicated in the parliamentary report should resign and not wait for a formal dismissal order.

Magufuli has also locked horns with foreign mining companies which according to a parliamentary report have underreported their production, thus depriving Tanzania of tens of billions of dollars in revenue since 1998.

Sunday 10 September 2017 15:32

AFP

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