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Ugandan parliament revokes presidential age limit

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Ugandan Parliament passed a controversial bill to remove the presidential age limit by a large majority on Wednesday, effectively paving the way for long-ruling President Yoweri Museveni to run again in 2021.

Parliamentarians voted for the legislation after three days of rowdy debate, with great applause as the motion passed with members of parliament shouting and stamping their feet.

A total of 317 members of parliament voted in favour of the amendment, with 97 against it and two abstentions, parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said.

“Therefore the motion has been carried,’’ she announced.

The president now has to sign the bill into law.

The current law states that any person over the age of 75 is not eligible to stand for election as president, but the new bill imposes no age limit, allowing 73-year-old Museveni to stand again when his ongoing term ends in 2021.

The Ugandan president has been in power since 1986 and is one of Africa’s longest ruling leaders.

Opposition lawmakers had opposed the amendment, resulting in violent outbursts in parliament over the past months.

On Wednesday, several opposition legislators were arrested as they tried to enter the chamber.

“They were blocked and arrested and we do not know where they were taken.

“Our colleagues went to court and they were bringing court orders to the Speaker to allow our colleagues to vote,” legislator Gilbert Olanya said on NTV television.

“We are living in a military junta regime, a military State,’’ another opposition legislator, Kato Lubwama, said.

Crime

Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe

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Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.

The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).

The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.

According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.

It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.

“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.

“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.

Source: BBC

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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