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Caf president Ahmad undecided about pursuing second term

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Ahmad has led the Confederation of African Football since 2017

Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Ahmad says he is undecided about running for a second term in office next year.

Ahmad, the subject of an ongoing Fifa Ethics case, indicated that he is likely to decide late on and only after seeking guidance from colleagues.

“I still take advice from all the participating parties of African football,” the Fifa vice-president told BBC Sport Africa. “Once it’s done, I’ll be able to say whether or not I go for it.”

The former Madagascar FA head announced his 2017 candidacy four months before the elections, and just a week before their deadline, saying he decided to run after hearing some federation presidents call for change.

“I do not do this function out of personal ambition,” Ahmad ventured. “I do it far more out of collective motivation and currently, even if I think about it a little bit, I do not want to think about it too much.

“I’d rather put my energy into the obligations that Caf has to face these days, that are very urgent. Many things need to happen.”

Since coronavirus spread across the world, Caf – like many sporting organisations – has been facing a logistical nightmare working out when it can stage forcibly-postponed tournaments, such as the next Africa Cup of Nations.

It is also in arbitration with Lagardere Sports, whose billion-dollar TV and marketing deal was cancelled by Caf last October – a decision Ahmad blames on anti-competition regulations, but one which could cost his organisation tens of millions of dollars in compensation to the French company.

Campaign trail?

While he mulls his future, some have seen this month’s decision by Caf to increase the yearly subventions for its members from $200,000 to $300,000external-link as a possible first step along the election campaign.

But the 60-year-old states the money is to help federations as they battle financial losses brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are making an effort to stabilise our finances at Caf but at the same time substantially help the federations,” he said.

“We have decided to give $300,000 to each of them, which implies an enormous engagement on the part of Caf for $16.2m, but it’s an obligation. We must invest to be able to hope to increase future revenues.”

Ahmad is the subject of a Fifa ethics investigation after his former Secretary General Amr Fahmy made various allegations to football’s world governing body against the Malagasy – all of which he denies.

French anti-corruption authorities have also been interested by one of the allegations, which centres on a controversial deal with Tactical Steel, a little-known French gym manufacturer run by an old friend of Ahmad’s then attaché, which provided sportswear equipment to Caf in 2017 after an original deal with Puma – slightly smaller, but costing four times less – was cancelled.

Images from the Tactical Steel website
Tactical Steel’s website highlights its role in both making and supplying gym – and not football – equipment

Fifa has not released information about the ethics investigation but has sent auditors to Caf, with Pricewaterhouse Coopers – in a damning report that leaked in February – questioning missing funds amounting to over $20m while also calling for further investigation into Ahmad’s role in the Tactical Steel affair.

The Zurich body undertook the audit along with Caf while undertaking an unprecedented move in the history of world football.

Between August 2019 and February 2020, the global body sent its own Secretary General, Fatma Samoura, to act as a ‘General Delegate for Africa’ in a bid to improve football governance on the continent.

Many saw this as an admission that Caf under Ahmad was clearly failing. The Malagasy sees it differently and insists it was he who asked for assistance.

“I might be the only president of a confederation with a real experience of managing public affairs,” said the former vice-president of Madagascar’s Senate.

“I was in a government, in a Senate, and perhaps it is those experiences that pushed me to always look up towards the bigger organisation and collaborate with it.”

Fifa Secretary General Fatma Samoura (left), Fifa President Gianni Infantino (centre) and Confederation of African Football President Ahmad Ahmad (right).
Fifa secretary general Fatma Samoura (left) was sent to act as a ‘General Delegate for Africa’ between August and February

‘Transform Caf’

The joint Fifa-Caf relationship, which lasted six months before being abruptly curtailed in February, ended with Fifa listing 100 points that required reform, including relieving Caf’s Executive Committee of its management responsibilities and introducing a Code of Ethics.

The African body has itself created a so-called ‘Transform Cafexternal-link‘ programme, which Ahmad says will achieve similar objectives.

“When we analysed Fifa’s document, we went to 120 points more or less – and today, Caf is open,” he asserts. “We only need to validate certain points that need the approval of Congress.

“In December, important decisions will be taken. Not all will be taken though, because some changes relate to the president and in December we’ll be on the eve of presidential elections.

“So we won’t seal these changes to ensure it is not interpreted as a way of closing the door to other candidates. On that point, the new president will be able to decide if he or she wants to amend the statutory clauses.”

Ahmad did not elaborate any further but all should be revealed in Ethiopia at the General Assembly in December, by which time candidates for the election will have been determined.

Should he contest March’s elections, Ahmad is likely to face more challengers than three years ago, with a strong challenge from North Africa anticipated.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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