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Malawi: Opposition requests Mutharika’s resignation over corruption allegations.

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Malawi’s main opposition party on Monday called for President Peter Mutharika to resign over allegations he received a kickback from a $4 million government contract.

Mutharika has called the allegations “fake news”designed to smear him ahead of an election next year.

The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) added its voice to that of civil society groups calling on the president to resign.

We in the opposition have previously and tirelessly raised such issues of nauseating corruption by President Peter Mutharika’s administration,” MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera told journalists.

He needs to resign and call for early elections.”

A $3.9 million scandal

The country’s anti-graft body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, has been investigating a $3.9 million Malawi police food supply contract awarded to Pioneer Investments, a firm owned by businessman Zameer Karim, who has denied wrongdoing.

Malawi’s two biggest daily newspapers have published what they said was the final report into the contract, although the ACB said it had not finalised it and was still investigating the case.

The leaked report said the businessman deposited 145 million Malawian kwacha ($200,000) into an account belonging to the ruling party and of which Mutharika is sole signatory.

Mutharika, president since 2014, has been tipped to be re-elected, but regular allegations of corruption could hobble his campaign in the impoverished southern African nation where reports of government graft have become routine.

Malawians next go to the polls in May 2019 to elect the president, parliament and ward councillors.

REUTERS

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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24 Hours Across Africa

Zimbawe’s doctor goes missing after masterminding strike

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Fearless Zimbabwe’s minister of health has called on the government to address insecurity lapses that has lead to the disappearance Peter Magombeyi, the head of a doctor’s union, who disappeared on Saturday.

Fears are rising over the fate of Zimbabwe medical doctor Dr Peter Magombeyi after he sent a message to say he had been abducted in that country by unknown persons – apparently for demanding a “living wage”.

An AFP report earlier on Sunday quoted the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctor’s Association (ZHDA) as saying Magombeyi had not been heard from since he sent a WhatsApp message on Saturday night saying he had been “kidnapped by three men”.

Zimbabwe doctors, who earn a miserly equivalent of about R3 000 are on strike to press for better wages, equipment and medicines in state hospitals.

The ZHDA has reportedly accused state security forces of abducting the doctor because of his role in organising work stoppages.

This week some doctors said the death of deposed Robert Mugabe, 95, in a Singapore hospital on 6 September was an indication of how bad health services in Zimbabwe

“Dr Magombeyi’s crime is only to ask for a living wage for his profession. This is a reflection of the troubles born out of refusal to implement Political Reforms.”

The Zimbabwe government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa has not publicly commented on the doctor’s disappearance

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