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Zambians denounce government corruption in rare demonstration

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Around 100 demonstrators protested Friday in front of the Zambian Parliament in Lusaka against corruption in the government, as the Minister of Finance presented her 2019 draft budget to MPs.

The protest was organised by a consortium of non-governmental organizations and had the rare approval of Zambia’s authorities.

“We are protesting because of the way the public money is being spent in Zambia and endless corruption, scandals that we hear, the unsustainable debt that the country now owes and importantly because all this means that our poor and our vulnerable are having to live much much worse life than they could,” said Laura Miti, the protest organizer.



As demonstrators marched, Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe presented a budget of €6 billion in the wake of international aid cuts.

The United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland and Ireland have suspended their assistance to Zambia after over $4m meant for a social assistance programme for the country’s poor was stolen.

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Since his re-election in 2016, president Edgar Lungu and his government have been regularly accused of corruption and authoritarian drift by their political opponents.

In June 2018, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Zambia’s anti-corruption watchdog released a report that found some cabinet members and presidential aides had siphoned billions of Zambian kwacha from government coffers through money laundering.

In September of 2017, several activists were arrested and charged with ‘disobeying lawful orders’ after they staged a protest outside Zambia’s parliament to highlight the abuse of public funds, particularly the procurement of 42 fire trucks by the state for an alleged cost of $42m.

In August of 2017, Zambia dropped treason charges against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema. Hichilema, leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND) and five others had been arrested in April and charged with treason after his convoy failed to make way for President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade.

Human rights campaigners had slammed the charges as political persecution.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Salah withdraws from Egypt Squad

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Egypt Football Federation has leave out Mohammed Salah on the upcoming AFCON qualifiers match with Kenya due to injury worries.

Egypt were grouped with kenya, Togo, Comoros in Group G, football fans has tipped Egypt to top the group due to their attacking threat.

The Egyptian talisman has now been ruled out of the upcoming AFCON qualifiers after due assessment by Egypt’s medical team.

The physios believe the Liverpool star’s injury, which was sustained from a challenge by Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury earlier last month, has been aggravated during the clash against Manchester City and needed time to heal.

The Egyptian frontman will miss the two matches scheduled this week.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Groups criticise Kenya’s census figures

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Groups has criticised the released Kenya’s population census figures stating that the results are not accurate.

It found that the total population of the country is now 47.6 million, nine million more than in 2009.

But some regions have experienced a decrease in population.

These outcomes can be hugely controversial because the size of the local population has important implications for the level of government funding they receive.

Kenya’s population is made up of many different ethnic groups, closely aligned to competing political parties.

The government has yet to release all the data on the ethnic composition of the country, but the changes in population in certain regions from this latest census have already caused arguments.

The outcome of such surveys can embolden or weaken claims made by groups for political representation or resources.

In one area of the north-east territories bordering Ethiopia and Somalia, the census indicates a decrease in the population, prompting local political leaders looking to retain funding for their provinces to question the veracity of the survey

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