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CHOGM 2021 Postponed Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

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Paul Kagame and Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland QC are expected to officially announce the postponement of CHOGM 2021 as a result of the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

President Kagame said in a statement that having reviewed all available evidence and risk assessments, and after close consultation between the Commonwealth Secretariat and Member States, the decision has been made to postpone the CHOGM in Kigali for a second time. 

The decision to postpone CHOGM for a second time has not been taken lightly, the statement said. 

“The health and welfare of all Commonwealth citizens at this critical time must take precedence. We look forward to welcoming the Commonwealth family to Kigali for CHOGM at the appropriate time,” Kagame said.

The Cmmonwealth Secretary-General is queues saying that, “We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to have a hugely damaging impact on our member countries, many of whom continue to face huge losses to lives and livelihoods. And while it is with deep disappointment and regret that we cannot bring Commonwealth leaders together at this time to discuss many of these critical issues, we must be mindful of the huge risks large meetings pose to all.

“I want to thank the Government and people of Rwanda for their professionalism, support, patience and their impeccable readiness to hold CHOGM. And I want to thank all our member countries and, in particular, the United Kingdom as our Chair-in-Office and India, who have suffered so grievously in these trying times. I look forward warmly to a time when we can be reunited with the Commonwealth family, face-to-face, in Rwanda when the conditions allow for us to do so safely and securely.”

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National

Police Intercepts 88 People At Wedding Reception

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About 88 people have been intercepted at a wedding reception convened at Green Mountain Biking Garden in Nyamirambo a suburb in the capital Kigali.

According to details, the wedding was of a couple identified as Buregeya Saidi Codo (34 yrs) and Nyampundu Thausie.

Other details showed that apart from the bride and groom, the rest of the group did not test for COVID-19 as prerequisite for attending such an event. This is in addition to violation of physical and social distancing guidelines on COVID-19.

As the norm, all the people that have been at the wedding event will spend the whole night at Amahoro Stadium and will be subjected to other procedures.

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National

Africa Mourns Zambia’s Founding President Kenneth Kaunda

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The government of the Republic of Zambia has declared 21 days of mourning to honour the life of former President Kenneth Kaunda who died Thursday.

According to the Secretary to the Cabinet and Principal Private Secretary to the president Simon Miti said Dr Kaunda died peacefully at 14:30 hours at the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka, just three years short of a century at 97 years.

Dr Kaunda was Born on April 28, 1924.

President Edgar Lungu said during the period of mourning, all activities of entertainment nature will be suspended and all flags will fly at half-mast.

He said through Cabinet Office, Government will guide the public on details of the funeral and burial programme for the fallen former head of State, taking into consideration the COVID-19 guidelines as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.

President Lungu has since sent his condolences to the family of Dr Kaunda on behalf of Government and Zambians.

Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga, a former diplomat in Dr Kaunda’s government for many years, said he will remember the former President for his passionate commitment to liberate the continent from colonialism.

“His contribution to Zambia, Africa and the world was huge and was regarded larger than life. He mentored and gave me opportunities at a young age of 21 years,” Mr Mwaanga said in a statement.

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National

New ICC Prosecutor Karim Asad Takes Oath

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The International Criminal Court officially has a new Prosecutor that begun working on Wednesday after taking oath at a ceremony held at the Seat of the Court in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC a national of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will serve as Prosecutor for a period of nine years.

“I solemnly undertake that I will perform my duties and exercise my powers as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court honourably, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously, and that I will respect the confidentiality of investigations and prosecutions,” Khan declared.

Khan then signed his oath before the ICC Registrar, Mr Peter Lewis, and delivered his first remarks as the Prosecutor of the ICC.

“The Rome Statute architecture is a promise to the future that tomorrow need not be as bleak and sorrowful as yesterday”, stated Prosecutor Khan.

“I am truly and sincerely humbled at my opportunity to serve, and the responsibilities that have been entrusted in me. I will do my outmost to discharge those responsibilities without fear or favour, faithfully and with integrity, and in full conformity with solemn declaration that I have just given”, he added.

Subject to provisions of Article 45 of the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the ICC, the ceremony was held in open court.

The ceremony was presided over by ICC President, Judge Piotr Hofmański.

“While Judges are the ones who ultimately decide on the verdict in each case, it is also true that those cases would never reach the judges without the Prosecutor’s decision to bring them to court,” President Hofmański noted.

He also said that It is the Prosecutor who is responsible for the way in which preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions are conducted, and how evidence for the prosecution is selected and presented.

“On behalf of the Court, I offer heartfelt congratulations to Mr Karim Asad Ahmad Khan QC. As President of the Court, I look forward to working with him to strengthen our joint institution”, he added.

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