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Tanzania President Samia Shakes Up Government Institutions

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President Samia Suluhu Hassan on Sunday April 4 made major changes in government institutions just days after assuming office considered the first step to assert her authority.

She has appointed Permanent Secretaries and heads of several government institutions including the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) with some being transferred.

Former permanent Secretary in the ministry of finance and planning, Dotto James has been moved to the ministry of industry and trade.

Dk Hassan Abbas on the other hand remains as the permanent secretary in the ministry of Information, Culture, arts and Sports, he will no longer serve as the government spokesperson, and instead that position will be held by former director of Presidential Communication Gerson Msigwa.

In the reshuffle, President Samia has removed former heads of various government institutions including the director of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Deusdedit Kakoko who has been suspended pending an investigation, and has now been replaced by Erick Hamis.

The President also made changes in  the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) after appointing Alhayo Kidata as the director of the authority to replace Edwin Mhede while the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) appointed Dr Jabir Kuwe to replace James Kilaba.

TCRA has in the past week come under criticism after data bundle prices that has since caused a public outcry.

The national Social security Fund was not spared either as Masha  John Mshomba has been appointed the new Director General of NSSF.

The newly appointed Permanent secretaries and heads of institutions will be sworn in on Tuesday April 6, 2021.

Most notable casualties in Sunday’s appointment includes NSSF’s William Erio, TRA’s edwin Mhede, TCRA’s James Kilaba and TPDC’s James Mataragio.

However, in another twist of events, today Monday April 5,State House has announced to have reinstated Mr James Mataragio as Director General of TPDC hours after it had announced his removal.

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Politics

Cameroon: Armed Conflict Can’t Resolve Anglophone Crisis Says Archbishop Nkea

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Metropolitan Archbishop of Bamenda, Andrew Nkea Fuanya says he is dismayed by the world’s indifference towards the conflict in the English speaking territories of Cameroon.

“In many other parts of the world where there is an ongoing conflict, if someone dies or there are attacks, the press all over the planet talk about it. In Cameroon, clashes, killings, massacres or kidnappings have taken place every day for years, but nobody talks about it. Obviously, they are of no interest to anyone, and this increases our suffering,” observed Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya. He spoke to the Agenzia Fides.

The Anglophone Crisis sometimes referred to as the Ambazonia War or the Cameroonian Civil War, is an armed conflict in the English speaking territories of Cameroon.

The Anglophone regions of Cameroon are the South-West and North-West regions. They make up about twenty per cent of Cameroon’s population.

The current conflict spiralled out of control following the 2016–17 Cameroonian protests about marginalisation.
The protests were forcefully suppressed by Cameroonian authorities.

What resulted was a low-scale insurgency that has since intestified and spread to most parts of the English speaking areas. Political observers say that the violence has recently worsened.

The insurgents known as Amba Boys fighting the security forces seek to form a separate state called Ambazonia.

World’s indifference is troubling

Archbishop Nkea is saddened by the general silence from the international community towards the conflict in Cameroon.

In the last five years, the conflict has caused thousands of deaths and created families that are internally displaced.

Over one million persons have fled and become refugees in Nigeria.

People just want a normal life

“The political situation is still very difficult, and the crisis continues. There is no way out. Violence increases, and more and more weapons circulate among the separatists.

The population is exhausted. They no longer want war. They just want a normal life.

The Church and other religious communities in the area say they are committed to promoting dialogue and national reconciliation.

No alternative to dialogue

“There is a platform of religious leaders which is now a point of reference for all dialogue. We speak directly to the government and then to the Amba Boys. We meet them secretly, and we are in constant contact. In the meantime, we are also trying to talk to the (Ambazonia) independence leaders in the diaspora. Thwy are important because they are very influential people. Although carried out with great difficulty, the dialogue is bearing some fruit, such as the reopening of schools. Now sixty per cent of young people attend school regularly,” said Archbishop Nkea.

The Archbishop of Bamenda added, “This conflict can never be resolved with arms. There is no alternative to dialogue,” he emphasised.

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Politics

Laurent Gbagbo Launches New Political Party

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The Political tempo in Ivory Coast is rising steadily as Laurent Gbagbo, a former Convict at the International Criminal Tribunal forms a new political party to take a shot at the 2025 Presidential elections.

“This is Laurent Gbagbo’s big comeback on the political scene,” said Justin Koné Katinan, spokesperson for the former head of state.

Since his arrival in Abidjan on June 17, acquitted by international justice who tried him for crimes against humanity in the bloody post-election crisis of 2010, Laurent Gbagbo has never been far from politics.

Gbagbo says he wants to “unite the left”, with the 2025 presidential election in his sights.

Visit to the former president and former rival Henri Konan Bédié, meeting of “reconciliation” with the head of state Alassane Ouattara, final rupture with his former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan: he occupied the Ivorian political landscape. “Let’s assume we’re playing politics,” he said on July 10, when he visited Henri Konan Bédié.

The Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), his historic party founded underground in 1982, now in the hands of Pascal Affi N’Guessan, Laurent Gbagbo has chosen to breathe new life into his return by creating his own party.

Nearly 1,600 delegates are expected at the prestigious Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan to draft the manifesto and the texts of this new formation, which should be called the “African Peoples Party – Ivory Coast” (PPA-CI).

In both the name and the logo – two hands intertwined in a map of Africa – which will be offered on Sunday, the emphasis is on the pan-African dimension of the party. The sovereignty of Africa vis-à-vis the Western powers should be one of the main themes of the congress this weekend.

However, there is no question of abandoning national politics in the Ivory Coast. In the entourage of the former president, the watchword is clear: this new party aims to recreate a political debate in a country where the opposition has been considerably weakened for 10 years.

“We want to build a normal political opposition party that brings criticism. So that the debate leaves violence and becomes essentially political ”, proclaims Justin Koné Katinan.

“We are waiting to see if it will be a real opposition or a party in search of power. We will see how they proceed, what their alternative program will be, “said political analyst Sylvain N’Guessan.

With Simone Gbagbo?

It remains to be seen which Ivorian political figures will join this platform. A large part of the executives and former ministers of the FPI will follow their former leader in this new adventure, but some unknowns remain.

Simone Gbagbo The former First Lady, whom Laurent Gbagbo filed for divorce on his return to Ivory Coast, has been sending signals in recent weeks to go it alone, like the launch of a platform supporting her.

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Politics

Britain To Return Cock Statue British Soldiers Stole From Nigeria

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In 1897, British colonial forces raided a Court of Benin in what is now Nigeria and stole a bronze cockerel and shipped it out of Africa and kept it in Britain. It was later donated to Jesus College of Cambridge University in 1905.

However, in 2019, Jesus college decided to backtrack on keeping a stolen statue (Okukor) and announced it would hand it back to Nigeria.

The whole process to return the Okukor statue started in 2016 after students protested, saying it represented a colonial narrative. The college administrators decided to remove the statue from public view.

The college set up a working group to examine the legacy of slavery, and the group concluded that the statue “belongs with the current Oba at the Court of Benin.”

The Oba of Benin is head of the historic Eweka dynasty of the Benin Empire, centred on Benin City in modern-day Nigeria.

The college said Friday that it will hand over the statue to Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments in a ceremony at Cambridge on Oct. 27.

His Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, said he was “indeed very pleased and commend Jesus College for taking this lead in making restitution for the plunder that occurred in Benin in 1897.”

“We truly hope that others will expedite the return of our artworks, which in many cases are of religious importance to us,” he said.

Thousands of artifacts were looted after British imperial troops occupied Benin City in 1897.

However, the British Museum in London has said it doesn’t currently have plans to return parts of its collection.

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