Zimbabwe officials inflating prices to pillage $10m cholera donation

6 days 8 hours ago

Strive Masiyiwa, a Zimbabwean millionaire has disclosed that officials were bloating prices of basic health and medical supplies with the aim of profiting off fleecing a fund set up to help fight a cholera outbreak.

Masiyiwa’s private company, Econet, last week announced a $10m fund to help government efforts at combating the outbreak that has so far claimed over 20 lives.

In a Facebook post on Monday, he described the conduct of the officers as ‘sad’ with the promise that after the crisis ends, he was ready to name and shame them via social media.

His full message read as follows: “Reflection: One of the saddest things that happened last week when Econet announced that it had set aside $10m to help with support to buy medicines and materials, was the number of suppliers, and even officials in some of the affected municipalities who tried to defraud our company by offering things at highly inflated prices!

“Gloves worth $3, were suddenly worth $65! That is just so pathetic!

“I have told my people to prepare lists of anyone who willfully tries to exploit the situation. After this crisis is over we will go after them on this platform. Naming and shaming them.”

Econet was one of other private outfits that donated in cash and kind to support government efforts. The Minister of Health’s move to open a crowfunding avenue drew mixed reactions with most people criticizing government for misusing taxes and seeking public donations in times of crisis.

@alfaafrican

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Sudan unveils new cabinet

6 days 9 hours ago

Sudan’s new 21-member cabinet were sworn in on Friday and will be hard pressed to deal with a growing economic crisis.

Sudan has been grappling with an acute foreign exchange shortage and inflation above 65 percent for several months, prompting Omar al- Bashir to sack his 31-member cabinet to “fix the situation”.

Prices of food items and other products more than doubled over the past year across Sudan as the economic crisis grew, while the foreign currency market has seen the Sudanese pound plunge against the US dollar.

The ruling National Congress Party (NCP), in a late meeting Thursday, approved the ministers chosen by Prime Minister Moutaz Mousa Abdallah, who had been tasked with forming a new government after he was sworn in.

Finance minister Osman al-Rikabi was replaced by Abdallah Hamdok, while Ahmed Bilal was named new minister of interior.

Sudan’s economic crisis has deepened despite the United States lifting in October its decades old trade embargo on the African country.

Reuters

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Nigerians take part in drive to clean up ocean on World Cleanup Day [No Comment]

6 days 10 hours ago

Nigerian women and children picked up plastic waste at a beach in Lagos on Saturday (September 15), as part of an international coastal clean-up movement on World Cleanup Day 2018.

The program was aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris.

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Addis Ababa at standstill as Ethiopians protest deadly violence

6 days 10 hours ago

Residents in parts of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa are protesting over brutal deaths which claimed lives and displaced hundreds over the past few days.

Reports from Addis as at Monday morning said economic activity had largely grounded to a halt as people continued to mass up around the Meskel Square. Police have blocked the protesters from accessing the square.

News from Burayu, a town in the Oromia region and located on the outskirts of the capital said organized and gruesome mobs unleashed terror on residents.

Hundreds were said to have fled their homes heading to Addis Ababa. This increases Ethiopia’s internal displacement figures which is closing in on the 1.5 million mark.

The Addis Standard portal on Sunday reported seeing soldiers on their way to the affected communities. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has denounced the attacks he labeled as cowardly, vowing that the appropriate response will be taken.

Activists have also condemned the attacks which have been identified as a potent threat to reforms by the government.

Businesses in Merkato and other parts of#AddisAbaba are still closed. Business activities are at standstill in major trading areas over the past five days.— Samson Berhane A. (@BerhaneSamson) September 17, 2018

#Ethiopia: Mass demonstrations happening in various parts of #AddisAbeba to denounce the organized, gruesome mob attack over the weekend against civilians in #Burayu & its environs which resulted in the several deaths and displacement of thousands. In front of ETV buldg. Pics: SM pic.twitter.com/SKe7oZ4pMG— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) September 17, 2018

Crowds gathering near UN and Meskel Sq, protesting deaths and displacement in Burayu and other parts of Addis over the weekend. Riot police and federal troops present pic.twitter.com/aKjMQQg5ig— Tom Gardner (@TomGardner18) September 17, 2018

Protests ongoing in central Addis Ababa, #Ethiopia following violence on outskirts of town over the weekend pic.twitter.com/vJjdIE7ppy— Chris Stein (@ChrisJStein) September 17, 2018

Update: While demonstrations continue in various places, including parts of Piassa, its area's business district is largely shut off and transport service is scarce. some commuters resort to walk to their destinations. pic.twitter.com/DxwALhiScL— Addis Standard (@addisstandard) September 17, 2018

Photo credit: Tom Gardner @TomGardner18

@alfaafrican

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