Nigeria’s ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, has been nominated by the African Union (AU) to lead the continental body’s Election Observation Mission, to Mozambique’s scheduled October 15 general elections.
Jonathan’s spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, said in a statement on Thursday, that his principal is billed to leave the country today for Maputo, capital of Mozambique.
While there, he will be overseeing the deployment of the mission’s 40-member team of observers, to different parts of the country.
In a letter of invitation signed by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the AU described Jonathan as a man who is deeply committed to peace and democracy on the continent.
It said: “Given Your Excellency’s vast experience and commitment in promoting democracy and peace on the continent, I would like to invite you to lead the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) to the Republic of Mozambique.”
This comes just 24 hours after Jonathan met with President Muhammadu Buhari in a closed-door meeting, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
I’m Not Afraid Of Jail — S. Africa’s Ex-President, Zuma
In his first public appearance since investigators documented signs of government corruption, former South African President, Jacob Zuma, told supporters on Saturday he wasn’t scared to go to prison because he had been jailed during apartheid.
The Public Protector, an anti-graft watchdog, said in a report last week that a judge should investigate whether Zuma, cabinet members and some state companies acted improperly in their dealings with wealthy Indian businessmen.
The Gupta brothers, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, who are friends of Zuma and work with his son, have been accused of influencing cabinet appointments and securing sweetheart government tenders. Zuma and the Guptas deny any wrongdoing.
Thousands of protesters called for the president to resign after the 355-page probe was released and some opposition politicians said Zuma should face criminal charges.
“I’m not afraid of jail. I’ve been to jail during the struggle,” Zuma told a cheering crowd in his home Kwa-Zulu Natal province. Zuma spent 10 years as a political prisoner on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela during white-minority rule.
“There’s no longer any space for democratic debate. The only space there is for court arguments by lawyers. That’s not democracy,” Zuma added.
The Public Protector’s investigation stopped short of saying crimes had been committed but recommended a judge take the investigation forward.
In one case, the report cited “extraordinary and unprecedented” government intervention in a private business dispute involving Zuma’s friends and his son.
This, it said, may have created “a possible conflict of interest between the President as head of state and his private interest as a friend and father.”
Zuma faces a no-confidence vote in parliament next week. He has survived two similar votes this year, backed by the support of his African National Congress (ANC) which controls about two-thirds of the assembly.
Since taking office in 2009, Zuma, 74, has overcome several corruption scandals with the backing of top echelons of the ANC.
Sudan Agrees To Send Ex-President al-Bashir To Face ICC
Sudan’s rulers have agreed that those wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) will appear there.
The commitment came at peace talks between Sudan’s government and rebel groups from the Darfur region.
The decision will pave the way for ex-President Omar al-Bashir to be sent to The Hague to face charges there.
He is accused of genocide and war crimes in the conflict that broke out in Darfur in 2003, which killed about 300,000 people.
“Justice cannot be achieved if we don’t heal the wounds,” said Mohammed Hassan Eltaish, a spokesman for the Sudanese government.
“We agreed that everyone who had arrest warrants issued against them will appear before the ICC. I’m saying it very clearly,” he added.
Bashir, who refused to recognise the authority of the court when he was charged for crimes in the region in 2009, was ousted as president in April last year.
He came to power in a military coup in 1989 and ruled Sudan with an iron fist.
ICC prosecutors in The Hague requested that the former leader stand trial over the Darfur killings and issued an arrest warrant for him on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The UN said that in addition to those killed in fighting between local armed groups, and Bashir’s forces and government-backed militia – such as the infamous Janjaweed – around 2.5 million people were displaced in the war.
In December, Bashir was sentenced to two years in a social reform facility for corruption.
Under Sudanese law, people over the age of 70 cannot serve jail terms. Bashir is now 76.
Prosecutors in Sudan have also charged him with the killing of protesters during the demonstrations that led to him being ousted.
Malawi Top Court Annuls Presidential Election Results
The 2019 election victory of Malawian President Peter Mutharika has been annuled by the country’s constitutional court on grounds of widespread irregularities.
Five top judges who presided over the case on Monday February 5, ruled that Mutharika was “not duly elected” in the election which is the first to be legally challenged since Malawi’s independence in 1964. The court judgement which ordered a fresh poll within 151 days, allowed Mutharika to stay in power till the new election takes place.
Before annulment of Malawi’s 2019 Presidential election, the country’s electoral body announced that President Peter Mutharika won a second term in May with 38.6% of the vote, while opposition party leader Lazarus Chakwera got 35.41% and Deputy President Saulos Chilima who formed his own party had 20.24% in the final tally.
Some of the irregularities pointed out by the opposition candidates includes use of correction fluid – known by the brand name Tipp-Ex on some of the tallying forms sent in by polling stations. They alleged that changes were made after they had been signed by party agents. There were also some mathematical errors in a small number of cases.
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) defended itself by saying the correction fluid was used to alter procedural information that had been incorrectly entered. It however denied supplying the Tipp-Ex.
Reacting to the court judgement on Wednesday February 5, Mutharika said he will be appealing the court’s decision which overturned his victory.
Speaking to AFP, Mutharika’s spokesman Mgeme Kalilani said;
“The judgement is a serious miscarriage of justice and an attack on the foundations of the country’s democracy”