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Mali’s Keita resigns as president after military mutiny | Mali News

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Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned late on Tuesday, hours after mutinying soldiers seized him from his home following months of mass protests against alleged corruption and worsening security in the West African country.

Speaking on national broadcaster ORTM just before midnight, a distressed Keita said his resignation – three years before his final term was due to end – was effective immediately. He also declared the dissolution of his government and the National Assembly.

“If today, certain elements of our armed forces want this to end through their intervention, do I really have a choice?” Keita said in a brief address from a military base in Kati outside the capital Bamako where he had been detained earlier in the day.

“I wish no blood to be shed to keep me in power,” he said. “I have decided to step down from office.”

It was not immediately clear who was leading the revolt, who would govern in Keita’s absence or what the mutineers wanted.

Images posted earlier on social media said to be taken at the Kati garrison showed Keita and his Prime Minister Boubou Cisse surrounded by armed soldiers.

The M5-RFP coalition behind the protests signalled support for the mutineers’ action on Tuesday, with spokesman Nouhoum Togo telling Reuters news agency it was “not a military coup but a popular insurrection.”

Disputed elections

The news of Keita’s detention was met with alarm by the United Nations, the former colonial power France and elsewhere in the international community. But in the capital, anti-government protesters who first took to the streets back in June to demand Keita’s resignation, cheered the soldiers’ actions. 

“All the Malian people are tired – we have had enough,” one demonstrator said.

The political upheaval unfolded months after disputed legislative elections, and came as support for Keita tumbled amid criticism of his government’s handling of a spiralling security situation in the northern and central regions that has entangled regional and international governments, as well as a United Nations mission.

The downfall of Keita, who was first elected in 2013 and returned to office five years later, closely mirrors that of his predecessor.

Amadou Toumani Toure was forced out of the presidency in a coup in 2012 after a series of punishing military defeats. That time, the attacks were carried out by ethnic Tuareg separatist rebels. This time, Mali’s military has sometimes seemed powerless to stop fighters linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS).

The 2012 mutiny also erupted at the same Kati military camp, and hastened the fall of Mali’s north to armed groups. Ultimately a French-led military operation ousted the fighters, but they merely regrouped and expanded their reach into central Mali during Keita’s presidency.

West Africa bloc ECOWAS calls for Mali unity government formation (2:29)

In recent weeks, anxiety had mounted about another military-led change of power in Mali after regional mediators from ECOWAS failed to bridge the impasse between Keita’s government and opposition leaders. 

Keita tried to meet protesters’ demands through a series of concessions, and even said he was open to redoing disputed legislative elections. But those overtures were swiftly rejected by opposition leaders who said they would not stop short of Keita’s resignation.

Dialogue urged

Then on Tuesday, soldiers in Kati took weapons from the armoury at the barracks and detained senior military officers. Anti-government protesters immediately cheered the soldiers’ actions, and some set fire to a building that belongs to Mali’s justice minister in the capital.

Cisse urged the soldiers to put down their arms.

“There is no problem whose solution cannot be found through dialogue,” he said in a statement.

But the wheels already were in motion – armed men began detaining people in Bamako too, including Keita, Cisse and the country’s finance minister, Abdoulaye Daffe.

Tuesday’s developments were condemned by the African Union, the United States, and the regional bloc ECOWAS. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sought “the immediate restoration of constitutional order and rule of law,” according to his spokesman.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union, said he “energetically” condemned Keita and Cisse’s arrest and called “for their immediate liberation”. 

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France “condemns in the strongest terms this grave event.” J Peter Pham, the US envoy to the Sahel, said on Twitter that the US was “opposed to all extra-constitutional changes of government”.

ECOWAS denounced “the overthrow by putschist soldiers of the democratically elected government” and ordered the closing of regional borders with Mali as well as the suspension of all financial flows between Mali and its 15 members states.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.

Background

Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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