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Botswana’s new leader urges Joseph Kabila not to stand for re-election in Congo

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Botswana’s new leader has urged President Joseph Kabila not to stand for re-election in Congo’s long delayed presidential poll, saying he had already been in power longer than expected.

Botswana, one of Africa’s most stable democracies, is so far the only country in Africa to have directly criticised Kabila.

Earlier this year, the government issued a statement openly blaming the president for Democratic Republic of Congo’s deteriorating humanitarian and security situation.

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“The president of the DRC has stayed in power longer than the time that was expected,” President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who took office this month, said during a interview with London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies streamed on its website on Thursday.

“Hopefully we can get from (Kabila) a real commitment to not attempt to come back to power by whatever means.”

Kabila’s opponents suspect him of seeking a referendum to change Congo’s constitution to enable him to run for more than two terms, as the leaders of neighboring Uganda, Rwanda and Congo Republic have.

He has neither confirmed nor denied this, but his refusal to step down at the end of his mandate in December 2016 triggered widespread street protests. It also emboldened several armed groups, raising fears the country is sliding back into turmoil.

The election, now scheduled for Dec. 23, has been repeatedly delayed.

DR Congo emerged from a five-year war in 2003 during which millions were killed, mostly from hunger and disease, and militias and foreign armies exploited the country’s fabulous mineral wealth.

“The DRC is potentially the richest country in Africa and arguable one of the richest in the world,” said Masisi. “The world has failed the DRC.”

Other African countries have been more cautious, encouraging progress towards elections but avoiding direct criticism of Kabila.

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President Museveni Orders Refund of Mobile Money ‘Error’ Tax in Uganda

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Yoweri Museveni
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President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the refunding of 1% percent mobile money tax paid by Ugandans.

In a statement issued on a social media platform , Museveni insists that the 1 per cent tax which he ordered to be reduced to 0.5 percent last week was passed in error and he signed the bill knowing it had an error.

The mobile money tax and social media tax which triggered massive outcry were effected at the start of 2018/19 financial year.

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“I signed the law with the error because we could not delay the other measures. However, parliament, when it reconvenes, will be requested to correct it. The ones whose deductions had been made on the basis of 1% should have their money reimbursed,” said Museveni.

Apart from salary earners and those who use banks, Museveni said the earnings of many other Ugandans are not known. He revealed that each day, $52 million moves around in the form of mobile money that translates into $19 billion a year.

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Egypt: 37 persons bag jail terms over illicit human organ trade

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For illegally trafficking in human organs, an Egyptian court has sentenced 37 people to prison terms ranging from three to 15 years.

The rulings which took place on Thursday in Cairo Criminal Court, reported by the state-run Al Ahram newspaper, sentenced six people to 15 years, 11 to seven years and 20 to three years while three people were acquitted.

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The sentences can be appealed.

An investigation found that doctors, medical workers and intermediaries were involved in multiple incidents of illicit organ transplants and harvesting of human organs.

The probe found that the defendants exploited poor Egyptians who sold their organs.

Egypt prohibits the sale of human organs under a 2010 law but some Egyptians, driven by poverty, offer to sell theirs to make ends meet.

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-The Washington Post

 

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