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Officials face court charges over substandard fertilizer in Kenya.

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A Kenyan magistrate’s court on Monday charged the head of the state-run standards body, seven other officials and two businessmen with attempted murder for allowing the importation of substandard fertiliser containing mercury.

Kenya has been hit by a series of scandals involving bogus tenders and suppliers that the authorities say led to the theft of hundreds of millions of shillings from government bodies by state officials.



On Friday police arrested Charles Ongwae, managing director of the Kenya Bureau of Standards’(KEBS), and the other officials after finding that the fertiliser imported from Morocco was approved for sale despite failing KEBS’s standards.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said on Twitter they were charged with attempted murder over the importation of 5,846,000 bags of substandard fertiliser.

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A charge sheet presented in court by the prosecutor’s office said the fertiliser contained mercury.

KEBS is responsible for checking the standard of goods entering the country.

Eight of the 10 defendants appeared before Kenneth Cheruiyot, senior principal magistrate in Nairobi, and pleaded not guilty. Two others were not present in court.

The prosecutor’s office said they were also charged with procurement of fake standardisation sticker marks worth 882 million shillings ($8.75 million), aiding the commission of felony, breach of trust and abuse of office.

President Uhuru Kenyatta vowed to stamp out corruption when he was first elected in 2013 but critics say he has been slow to go after top officials and ministers.

Kenyatta, who was elected for a second term last year, has spoken out recently against graft and urged the judiciary “to ensure fair trials and justice”.

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Former communication minister arrested over corruption in Ethiopia.

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Ethiopia’s former Communication Minister, Bereket Simon, has been arrested by the federal government at his residence in the capital, Addis Ababa, multiple news sources, state and private, have reported.



Simon is also a founding member of the ruling coalition, the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF. Multiple local mdia channels are reporting that his arrest is in connection with corruption.

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Another arrested official is Tadesse Kassa, a former top civil servant. Simon was a member of the Amhara regional bloc in the EPRDF.

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His party, now the Amhara Democratic Party ousted him from executive committee membership.

Bereket resigned his position in government in October 2017 at the time as an advisor in charge of Policy Studies and Research to ex Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

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Nigeria: Council of State reaches final pegs new minimum wage at 27,000

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The National Council of State presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N27,000 as the new minimum wage.



The national council approved the sum during an ongoing meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The meeting had in attendance former presidents like Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, among others.

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