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SOUTH AFRICA – Zuma faces two years in prison

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The commission charged with investigating state corruption and headed by Raymond Zondo, filed an urgent appeal with the Constitutional Court on Monday, February 22, 2021 for the former South African head of state, Jacob Zuma, to be sentenced for illegal refusal to appear. The commission requires two years in prison for refusing to testify in a case where more than forty people, including ministers or former ministers, elected officials, businessmen or senior officials, have already been heard.

The former South African head of state, Jacob Zuma, is at great risk by stubbornly refusing to respond to the commission charged with investigating corruption during its presidency from 2009 to 2018. Its last convocation is dated Monday, February 15, 2021. Jacob Zuma had once again decided not to appear before the anti-corruption commission on the grounds that he is treated as an accused and not as a witness and on the grounds that Judge Raymond Zongo, head of the said commission, poured into “political propaganda.” He even took the opportunity to accuse some judges of being “lawless.”

Raymond Zondo filed an appeal with the highest court in the country to have Jacob Zuma sent to prison for having “intentionally and illegally” refused to advance the investigation. The former president will not have enough arguments this time because in his decision rendered in January 2021, the Constitutional Court had forced him to go and appear, thus depriving him of the right to remain silent.

It is now up to this court to confirm the offence of “contempt of justice” and if this is the case, Jacob Zuma will inevitably be imprisoned. Indeed, the 78-year-old former South African head of state only responded once to the anti-corruption commission, and that was in July 2019.

The current president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who has made the fight against corruption one of his top priorities, has not appreciated Zuma’s accusations against the judges. He believes that his words could be used against him at his trial.

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MOZAMBIQUE

MOZAMBIQUE – Opponent Daviz Simango passed aways

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Mozambican opponent Daviz Simango died at the age of 57. The announcement was made on Monday, February 22, 2021, by his family. Mayor of the city of Beira, several times affected by cyclones, he was known for his commitment to the fight against global warming.

Mozambique has lost one of its main opponents. Daviz Simango died, according to his brother Lutero Simango, in a hospital in South Africa, where he had been transferred last week. However, no details of his illness were disclosed.

Daviz Simango was mayor of Beira, the country’s second largest city with a population of some 500,000 since 2003. He was a member of the country’s largest opposition party, the former rebel group Renamo. He left this political party to create, in 2009, his own party, the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM).

He was re-elected several times as mayor but never exceeded the third position in the presidential election. This was the case in 2009, 2014 and 2019. Daviz Simango was the son of one of the founders of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), which fought against the Portuguese colonial power.

Beira is a port city located below sea level. As mayor, David Simango fought against the effects of climate change and rising water levels. Two cyclones ravaged the Mozambican coast in 2019. Much of the city of Beira was devastated. More than 600 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were left homeless.

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MOZAMBIQUE

MOZAMBIQUE: Indictment of former Finance Minister Manuel Chang

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Former Finance Minister Manuel Chang was charged with the hidden debt scandal. The Attorney General of Mozambique, Beatriz Buchili announced this judicial decision on Tuesday 10 number 2020.

The facts go back between 2005 and 2015, when former president Armando Guebuza was in power. Two billion dollars is the astronomical sum that fueled this scandal of hidden debts. In this case, a negotiation of a loan to finance a tuna fishing project, which was revealed in 2006, prompted the country’s donors to suspend their aid.

Manuel Chang has been detained in South Africa since 2018, the United States is demanding his extradition but in May 2020, the Mozambican Parliament opposes it. According to the prosecutor, Beatriz Buchili, the American justice does not have jurisdiction to judge this case. There are a total of twenty people under investigation by the Mozambican justice system in this case.

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MOZAMBIQUE

MOZAMBIQUE: Outgoing President Filipe Nyusi largely re-elected.

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The results of the presidential elections of 15 October 2019 in Mozambique are now known. The national commission in charge of the elections announced, this Sunday, October 27, 2019, the very broad victory of the outgoing president Filipe Nyusi with 73% of the votes.

Voting had generally gone well even though there was a lot of tension in the area. However, this outgoing president’s victory announced by the chairman of the elections commission, Abdul Carimo, was totally disputed by the main opponent, Ossufo Momade. The latter, along with civil society and the observer commissions, consider that the vote was marred by obvious fraud, and that the government resorted to violence to intimidate the population.

The US Embassy has noted irregularities in the conduct of the election in some localities. In Gaza, for example, located in the southern part of the country, the declared participation rate is 100% whereas it was relatively low at the beginning of the afternoon.

Moreover, Frelimo, the main party that has run the country since independence in 1975, had already begun to gloat on Sunday before the announcement of the official results.

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