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African Leaders: Day 1 at the UN General Assembly

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Heads of State, Heads of Government and representatives of the 193 UN Member States are participating in the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations which opened with a summit for refugees and migrants on September 19, 2016.

The world leaders are addressing the Assembly in the General Debate which started on Tuesday, September 20.

The subject for the debate which will end on September 26 is – The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform our World.

After the speech by the outgoing Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, 32 Heads of State addressed the Assembly including presidents of Chad, Malawi, Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Senegal.

Chad

President Idriss Déby Itno acknowledged Chad’s effort in the fight against Boko Haram through its contribution to the regional force to fight the Islamist group.

He stressed on the need for the international community to support African regional efforts to solve problems citing the situation in Libya, South Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR).

President Deby said he believes a political solution is needed in these countries including Burundi and Gabon urging the political players to engage in dialogue.

He expressed support for an independent and viable Palestinian State and called for continuation of the peace process.

Malawi

President Arthur Peter Mutharika expressed Malawi’s respect for basic human rights as it opened its doors to refugees from neighbouring countries.

He however outlined the effects of climate change on the country which has been struck by floods and drought rendering millions of people in need of food assistance.

President Mutharika stated that Malawi will sign the Paris Agreement. He also called on the international community to engage in business with Malawi.

Tunisia

President Béji Caïd Essebsi explained his country’s strides in promoting security and human rights since the revolution but requested for more support to improve its economy.

He emphasized Tunisia’s commitment to the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which was a call for action to build a prosperous and united Africa on the basis of shared values and a common destiny.

He called for a solution to conflicts in the Arab world and supported an independent Palestinian State.

South Africa

President Jacob Zuma recalled the progress made by South Africa over the years against colonialism and apartheid. He also outlined their deveopmental progress in line with the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Zuma called for inclusive growth where countries put global interests ahead of national ones. He finally requested for the transformation of the United Nations Security Council to include African countries.

Egypt

President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi called for support of developing countries to achieve the sustainable development goals.

He said Egypt had managed to preserve its stability in the midst of a highly unstable region and called on the conflicting countries in the Middle East to resort to a political settlement.

Al Sisi also called for support for the Somali government and also a resolution of the political crises in Burundi and South Sudan.

Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari highlighted Nigeria’s anti-corruption stance and effects of the global downturn on the country.

He also pointed out the effects of climate change on the region which has threatened the livelihoods of an estimated 30 million people calling for global attention.

Buhari addressed terrorism citing the September 11 attacks in the United States and the battle against Boko Haram. He called for international collaboration against terrorism but warned against unilateral decisions that could disrupt collective efforts.

He finally called for a UN reform to include Africa into the permanent membership of the Security Council.

Uganda

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni addressed the implementation of the SDGs to eradicate poverty as well as “bottlenecks” in the Agreement including “misguided ideology”.

“Ideology had to be singled out and must be addressed to prevent discrimination based on religion, gender and political orientation,” he said.

he also addressed African trade and the effects of the SDGs on local production.

Zambia

President Edgar Chagwa Lungu wanted least developed countries to get more attention because of their vulnerability during the implementation of the development goals.

He noted his country’s efforts towards the development of small- and medium-size enterprises and their solution to challenges including unemployment and access to health services.

Lungu also called for African representation on the Security Council.

Senegal

President Macky Sall addressed Islamophobia and peaceful co-existence which he believes will tackle all threats to international peace and security.

He called for respect for Africa which is developing rapidly with progress in good governance and business climate relevant for investment.

He also described Africa’s absence on the permanent seat of the Security Council as unjust although its countries represented almost one-third of all Member States.

Finance

South Africa: Ramaphosa’s team faces accountability test.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign team has gone into crisis mode, undertaking to audit all monies — from more than 200 individuals — that came into its coffers ahead of his election as ANC president, to ensure that “fundraising processes” and the “sources of funding” were “above board”.



This is after Ramaphosa had to backtrack on a response to a parliamentary question by DA leader Mmusi Maimane about a payment of R500,000 from controversial security firm Bosasa.

Ramaphosa said when he answered Maimane’s question he was unaware  that the payment had been made as a donation to his campaign and not to his son Andile’s consultancy firm, as he had initially stated.

Now Ramaphosa’s campaign management team has said he was not kept in the loop on the funding and fundraising had been intentionally ring-fenced from other campaign functions.

Maimane told Business Day on Sunday that the matter showed the ANC was rotten to the core.

The DA leader now wants Ramaphosa to set up an independent inquiry, headed by a retired judge, to look into all of Bosasa’s dealings with the government. He said the inquiry should also be tasked with determining whether Ramaphosa had lied to parliament. Andile Ramaphosa has a contract with African Global Operations — previously Bosasa — for the provision of consultancy services in a number of African countries, but excluding SA to avoid a conflict of interest.

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In a statement on Friday, the presidency said Ramaphosa had informed the speaker of parliament that he was made aware after his question-and-answer session that the money was in fact a donation towards his campaign. He said he had not been aware of this at the time and the donation was made without his knowledge.

The statement from Ramaphosa, in which he backtracked on his parliamentary response, excited those in the ANC who continue to support former president Jacob Zuma, with insiders in those camps saying it was only a matter of time until Ramaphosa could be successfully challenged as party boss, given his tenuous victory over Zuma’s preferred candidate, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, at the Nasrec conference in December 2017.

Zuma backers are likely to continue to lie low until after the election in 2019, but the run-up to the ANC’s next national general council — when a decision on an early elective conference can be taken — is expected to be fractious.

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 In an address to elderly citizens on the campaign trail in KwaMashu outside Durban, Zuma said on Friday that party members should vote for the ANC first and only after that consider removing people with whom they are unhappy.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said given the fact that Ramaphosa misled parliament about Bosasa, it would only be “fair” if he came back to the National Assembly and took MPs into his confidence on the matter and explained under which circumstances he misled them.

EFF leader Julius Malema reportedly also called on Friday for the president to come back to parliament and explain himself.

Meanwhile, a senior ANC leader aligned to Ramaphosa said the Bosasa matter was being used in a factional way by the president’s detractors within the party, and that this must be seen against the backdrop of the noose tightening on corruption.

The leader said the issue was a non-story and he believed it would blow over quickly, as the party was now focusing on elections. He did say, however, there was push-back within the party from the “other group” and that this relates to the Zondo commission, among other matters.



Another Ramaphosa ally said while the Zuma group would seek to capitalise on this, there was no reason for him to worry.

A statement from Ramaphosa’s campaign management team on Sunday sought to draw a distinction between the president and his campaigners. The statement said the “CR17” campaign — comprising of a number of structures including a finance task team — was established and managed by “like-minded individuals” to support Ramaphosa.

“To avoid conflicts of interests and to completely eliminate any expectation of reciprocal intent, action or preferential treatment by donors, real or perceived, the fundraising team was ring-fenced from other operations,” the statement said. “Consequently, it was also determined that President Ramaphosa should not be involved in the fundraising effort and that he shouldn’t have a record of donors, although he was asked on occasion to attend dinners with potential donors.”

The campaign management team said the donations were for venue hire, transport and accommodation, and that Ramaphosa, his family and foundation had not received any of it.

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Zimbabwe Opposition leader Chamisa Bemoans summoning Mnangagwa to testify.

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Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa has challenged the commission of inquiry into post-election violence, to equally summon president Emmerson Mnangagwa to testify.

The July 30 poll was the first after Robert Mugabe was forced to resign following a coup in November 2017. In the aftermath of the vote, six civilians died in an army crackdown on opposition protests.

Chamisa lost a legal challenge to the election results but still maintains the vote was rigged and that Mnangagwa lacks legitimacy.



A commission of inquiry led by former South African president Kgalema Motlante has heard evidence from security chiefs who this week denied soldiers had killed civilians and blamed Chamisa and other opposition leaders for inciting violence.

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Video from the Aug. 1 protests showed soldiers, some with their faces obscured by camouflage masks, opening fire with automatic weapons.

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Chamisa said he and former finance minister Tendai Biti were among leaders of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) who on Thursday received letters calling them to appear before the commission when it resumes hearings next week.

“If they are to be fair, what’s good for the goose must be good for the gander, they must be able to invite Mr Mnangagwa. If he is not going to go, why should I go alone?” Chamisa said to reporters at the MDC’s headquarters in Harare.

Police chief Godwin Matanga on Tuesday told the commission that Chamisa could be arrested any time for inciting violence. Chamisa said this was part of pressure on him to recognise Mnangagwa as president.

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