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Profile: Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Mali’s overthrown president | Mali News

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Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was forced to resign as Malian president after being detained on Tuesday in a coup launched by mutinous troops, has long relied on his reputation as a firm leader to project command over the country.

But the man who won election in a landslide in 2013 and was re-elected five years later was left flailing by  inter-ethnic violence that has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

Slow reforms, a crumbling economy and decrepit public services and schools, along with a widely shared perception of government corruption, also fed anti-Keita sentiment, sparking large protests in the capital, Bamako, in the past months demanding his resignation. 

The 75-year-old was until this week able to shrug off criticism from a divided opposition, partly relying on support from the international community, which has seen him as a bulwark against the threat of armed groups.

But the coronavirus pandemic and the kidnapping of opposition leader Soumaila Cisse by armed fighters in March made severe inroads into Keita’s standing.

Mali’s president resigns amid military mutiny

The son of a civil servant, Keita was born in the southern industrial city of Koutiala, the declining heartland of cotton production.

He was educated at Lycee Askia-Mohamed in Bamako and Paris’s Sorbonne University, and holds degrees in history, political science and international relations.

After completing his studies, Keita worked as a researcher at the National Centre for Scientific Research (known in French as Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – CNRS), a public organisation under the responsibility of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation.

Keita returned to Mali in 1986 and worked as a technical consultant for the European Development Fund, launching the first small-scale development programme for the European Union’s aid activities in Mali.

Political activities

A founding member of the ADEMA party, historically Mali’s largest, Keita befriended Alpha Oumar Konare, who was elected president after Moussa Traore, Mali’s former president, was toppled in a 1991 military coup.

Konare then promoted him steadily from ambassador to Ivory Coast, to foreign minister and ultimately prime minister.

As a socialist prime minister between 1994 and 2000, Keita quelled a series of crippling strikes which earned him the reputation of a strong politician.

Keita quit ADEMA to found his own party, finishing third in the 2002 presidential election won by Amadou Toumani Toure, the president who was toppled a decade later in a military coup.

He withdrew his RPM party from a coalition opposed to the military government in May 2012, saying that the handling of the Mali crisis had infringed upon national sovereignty.

A nationalist with a popular touch, Keita avoided strongly criticising the leaders of the March 2012 coup which overthrew Toure, amid widespread frustration at his government’s corruption and failure to tackle poverty.

Mali president, prime minister arrested in apparent coup

In 2013, Keita pledged to restore Mali’s honour as a model for democracy in West Africa as he campaigned as a unifying figure in his fractured country, pledging “zero tolerance” for corruption – echoing the words of coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo.

He went on to win a landslide election, defeating Cisse and finally ascending to the presidency after losing runs in 2002 and 2007.

In 2018, Keita was re-elected to serve a second five-year term after beating Cisse again in a runoff vote despite opposition claims of voting irregularities.

Cisse, who was kidnapped in late March by unidentified gunmen while campaigning in the country’s volatile north and has not been heard from since, has criticised Keita for not addressing Mali’s rising insecurity.

Mali has struggled to regain stability since 2012, when ethnic Tuareg rebels and loosely aligned armed groups seized the northern two-thirds of the country, leading former colonial power France to intervene to temporarily beat them back.

Ethnic killings and armed forces’ abuses have become a defining feature of Keita’s presidency, despite thousands of French and international troops deployed to contain the armed groups.

Mali coup: Soldiers promise to hold new elections

Resignation

Keita announced his resignation with immediate effect in the early hours of Wednesday morning, hours after being detained by military officers in a dramatic escalation of the country’s months-long political crisis.

Opposition supporters had been protesting in the streets of Bamako since early June, calling for Keita to resign following disputed parliamentary elections in which the president’s party came out as the largest bloc.

In his address on state television, Keita said the government and Mali’s national assembly would be dissolved.

“I would like at this precise moment, while thanking the Malian people for their support throughout these long years and the warmth of their affection, to tell you of my decision to relinquish my duties,” Keita said, before adding he had no choice but to resign.

“If it pleased certain elements of our military to decide this should end with their intervention, do I really have a choice?” he said of the day’s events.

“[I must] submit to it because I don’t want any bloodshed.”

In a televised statement later on Wednesday, the soldiers behind the coup that drew widespread international condemnation pledged to restore stability and oversee a transition to elections within a “reasonable” period.

There was no word, however, on the future of Keita



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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