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BURUNDI GOVT TAXES PUBLIC WORKERS TO FUND 2020 ELECTIONS.

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The Burundian government has started ‘taxing’ salaries of civil servants in order to fund the next general elections slated for the year 2020.

Workers are losing 10% of their monthly earnings into a fund set aside to ensure polls hold despite a withdrawal of international donor support.

The government has previously stated that workers earning between 50,000 and 500,000 Burundian francs ($28-280) would lose 5000 francs ($2.80) of their salary, whiles those earning above a million Burundian francs ($560) will part with one month’s salary a year.

The deductions have kicked off despite inconclusive talks with trade unions in the country. A government spokesperson justified the move in an interview with the BBC.

“The talks… will not stop this process,” Therence Nthahiraja, an Interior Ministry spokeseman said, adding “[Support] for these contributions came from millions of Burundians. It’s not one, two or three [unions] that will stop life in this country.”

The country’s partners halted financial support as far back as 2015 following disputed election in which incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza contested and won a third term despite the having completed his final constitutional term in office. The polls were roundly condemned as not being free and fair.

The constitution has since been amended to allow Nkurunziza vie for multiple terms in office. He is expected to lead the ruling party into the 2020 elections. The country has been hit by a security and economic crisis with grenade attacks targeting top government officials and security operatives.

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PM Abiy reiterates Ethiopia’s decision over latest clampdown.

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has finally spoken on ongoing anti-corruption and rights abuse clampdown stating that there was not going to be any backing down let alone retreat.

A statement from the Abiy’s office issued in Amharic tasked citizens to rally behind the development as a means of ridding the country of lawlessness and criminal elements.

State-affiliated FBC reported that the statement titled, ‘Let’s Fight (the) Cancer,’ said the government was bent on bringing people behind injustices to book.



The statement said the underlying objective of recent arrests was to get rid of Ethiopia criminals. “… criminals do not care about ethnicity, country, or morality; they only care for themselves.

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“The key to justice is to create a system for innocent citizens to live in freedom and dignity while criminals are held accountable and punished in accordance with the law,” the statement read in part.

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Since early this week, authorities have announced the arrest of over sixty former military and intelligence officials arrested in connection with rights abuse in prisons and gross corruption in the military run business conglomerate, Metals and Engineering Corporation, MetEC.

A former head of MetEC, Kinfe Dagnew; and a former intelligence chiefs, Tekleberhan Woldearegay and Yared Zerihun have all been detained and put before courts in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Head of security at the state monopoly, Ethio Telecom, Gudeta Olana, has also been arrested as has head of the entity and brother of ex-MetEC boss, Essayas Dagnew.

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New Zealand denies refusing refugees with holiday visas entry.

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New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, on Friday, rejected allegations that the country’s government was blocking refugees who wished to travel into the country from Nauru on visitor visas.

Nauru’s president, Baron Waqa, also claimed in an interview with Australian media that he had also personally brokered a deal for New Zealand to accept 80 refugees currently located on the island.



“It’s incorrect to say that there is some kind of agreement for 80 specific individuals to take residence or visit,’’ Ardern told media at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

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“The request did not ask about whether refugees could visit New Zealand on holiday visas,’’ he added.

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The country assessed all applications for visitor visas on a case-by-case basis. This applies regardless of a person’s country of origin or nationality.

The country is under pressure to transfer the remaining 30 children from the island.

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