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Ghana President, Akufo-Addo, Sacks Minister for Corrupt Practices

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Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday fired his junior finance minister over corruption allegations made in an upcoming documentary on illegal gold mining.

The president has “terminated the appointment of the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Charles Boahen, with immediate effect,” he said in a statement.

The fallout from the expose by a well-known investigative journalist comes as the government is under pressure over a faltering economy and lawmakers push Akufo-Addo to fire Finance Minister Kenneth Ofori-Atta.

The presidency’s statement said Akufo-Addo’s decision came after “being made aware of the allegations” against Boahen in the documentary “Galamsey Economy,” which is scheduled to be released on Monday.

Akufo-Addo also referred the case to prosecutors for further investigation.

Teasers from the expose show Boahen in what the documentary claims are images of him trying to demand $200,000 from potential investors to give to the vice president to allow them to do business.

Galamsey is a local Ghanaian phrase referring to the illegal or unregulated, small-scale gold mining operations.

Boahen has not commented on the allegations made in the teasers.

But before the sacking was announced, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday said he was not aware of any meeting in which Boahen had used his name to “peddle influence and collect money from supposed investors.”

“If what the minister is alleged to have said is accurately captured in the video, then his position as a minister of state is untenable,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I will not allow anyone to use my name to engage in corrupt activities.”

The documentary was made by Anas Aremeyaw Anas, whose previous exposes led to a ban on the former Ghana FA president by FIFA and sanctioning of over 50 referees across Africa.

He had also investigated the country’s judiciary leading to the dismissal of over 30 superior and lower court judges in Ghana over bribes to drop cases.

The documentary will have a public screening at the Accra International Conference Centre for two days.

Akufo-Addo has been under increasing pressure after recently opening negotiations with the International Monetary Fund over a potential $3 billion loan to help shore up the country’s economy.

Last month, he appealed to Ghanaians to support his efforts to manage the “crisis” as inflation has hit 40 per cent and the national currency, the cedi, has dropped sharply.

Lawmakers are investigating Finance Minister Ofori-Atta over economic mismanagement and other allegations, though he is leading the talks with the IMF team over the loan deal.

AFP

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Africa

South Africa: Gunmen Attack Birthday Party, Kill Host, Eight Others

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Gunmen opened fire on a group of people celebrating a birthday at the weekend in a township in South Africa, killing eight and wounding three others, police said on Monday.

The birthday celebrant was among those gunned down in the mass shooting in the southern port city of Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth.

“The owner of the house was celebrating his birthday when two unknown gunmen entered the yard” on Sunday evening “and started shooting at the guests,” police said in a statement.

The gunmen “randomly shot at guests,” police said, adding “eight people died while three others are still fighting for their lives in hospital. The homeowner is among the deceased”.

The motive of the attack is yet unknown.

Nomthetheleli Mene, the provincial police chief for the Eastern Cape province, condemned the killings as “a blatant disregard for human life”.

An investigation has been launched into the attack and police said a manhunt for the perpetrators was underway.

Shootings are common in South Africa, which has one of the world’s highest murder rates, fuelled by gang violence and alcohol.

South Africa last year saw string of shootings that killed nearly two dozen at separate bars in working class suburbs in Johannesburg and in the eastern city of Pietermaritzburg.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, the national police commissioner Fannie Masemola, and crime experts were scheduled to visit the scene of the attack later Monday morning.

AFP

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Africa

Kenya Election: We Respect But Disagree with Supreme Court Ruling – Odinga Camp

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The rival of William Ruto in the Kenya presidential election, Ralia Odinga, has disagreed with the position of the Supreme Court which upheld Ruto’s electoral victory.

Chief Justice Martha Koome on Monday, struck out the suit filed by Odinga that challenged Ruto’s victory and subsequently upheld the election of Ruto as the president-elect Kenya.

But in reaction on Monday, Odinga Presidential Secretariat released a statement, saying they disagreed with the position of the court.

The statement titled, ‘RE: STATEMENT ON COURT RULING’, read, “We have taken note of the decision of the Supreme Court on the presidential election held on August 9, 2022. We have always stood for the the rule of law and the constitution. In this regard, we respect the opinion of the court although we vehemently disagree with their decision today.

“Our lawyers proffered irrefutable evidence and the facts were on our side, unfortunately the judges saw it otherwise. We find it incredible that the judges found against us on all nine grounds and occasion resulted to unduly exaggerated language to refute our claims. This judgement is by no means the end of our movement, in fact it inspires us to redouble our efforts to transform this country into a prosperous democracy where each and every Kenyan can find their full belonging.”

“We thank our supporters and Kenyans across the country for standing with us. We will be communicating in the near future on our plans to continue our struggle for transparency, accountability and democracy.

“God bless you and God bless Kenya!”, The statement shared by Odinga’s running mate, Martha Karua, on Twitter, added.

Karua, who had earlier tweeted also said, “The court has spoken. I respect but disagree with the findings.”

Kenya’s Deputy President, Ruto, was declared winner of the August 9 election by the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission.

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Africa

William Ruto Declared Winner of Kenya’s Presidential Election

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The head of Kenya’s election body on Monday declared Deputy President William Ruto the winner of the country’s close-fought presidential election, despite several commissioners rejecting the results.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said Ruto had won almost 7.18 million votes (50.49 percent) against 6.94 million (48.85 percent) for his rival Raila Odinga in the August 9 vote.

Ruto, in his acceptance speech, vowed to work with “all leaders”, attempting to ease tensions after the outcome sparked a split in the election commission and fears of violence.

“There is no room for vengeance,” Ruto said, adding, “I am acutely aware that our country is at a stage where we need all hands on deck.”

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