Imo Govt Denies Reported Costs Of Zuma, Sirleaf Statues

The Imo State Government has debunked the assertion that it spent Five Hundred Thousand naira each on the statutes erected by the Rochas Okorocha led administration.

Reacting to a news item run by popular tabloid GuardianNg, quoting the governor’s special assistant on electronic media Dr Ebere Nzewuji to have said that erecting each of the statutes cost between 450 thousand Naira and Five hundred thousand, the Imo Government said the report is untrue.

It said the report was just a mere distortion of facts and misrepresentation of the earlier statement.

 

Read Nzewuji’s rejoinder below:

Rejoinder: Guardian Ng and All News Editors – N400,000 and N 500,000 spent on Statutes in Imo Statutes.

My attention has been drawn to news report on Guardian Ng dated Nov.23rd 2017 on my Darling FM interview quoting my humble self as saying that His Excellency the Governor of Imo state approved between N450,000 and N500,000 each on statutes in Imo as opposed to N520m each. This is taking out of context as i never said that. What I said was that most times opposition politicians could exaggerate projects of N450k to N500k to say they cost millions. This wasnt a direct reference to the statutes.

Also i never said that 27 roads have been earmarked, i said many rural roads in the 27 local government areas have been earmarked for rehabilitation. Please note that my surname is not Nzeworji but Nzewuji.

Please note the above statements for clarification in your various publications. Regards, Dr Ebere Nzewuji Special Assistant to the Governor of Imo State on Electronic Media

South African President Zuma Survives No-Confidence Vote

The South African president, Jacob Zuma, has narrowly survived a motion of no confidence against him in parliament, the most serious attempt yet to unseat him after months of growing anger over allegations of corruption and a sinking economy.

It was the sixth such vote of his increasingly beleaguered presidency, but the first involving a secret ballot, with a broad coalition of opposition parties and renegade MPs from the ruling African National Congress (ANC) falling just short of the simple majority needed to force Zuma and his cabinet to resign immediately.

The ballot counting was accompanied by scenes of singing and dancing on both sides of the assembly, as rival parties sought to project confidence. “We taught you this song, and you don’t even sing it properly,” jeered the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, dressed in signature red overalls, addressing his ANC counterparts.

Baleka Mbete, the National Assembly’s speaker, announced the result: 198 MPs voted against, compared with 177 in favour. There were nine abstentions. “Therefore the motion of no confidence in the president is accordingly negative,” declared Mbete.

ANC MPs in parliament whooped and danced at the news.

An upbeat President Zuma arrived at the parliamentary precinct about an hour after the result was announced. “I’ve just come to say thank you to all of you. Those comrades who are in parliament needed the support from the membership. You came in your numbers to demonstrate that the ANC is there, is powerful, is big. It is difficult to defeat the ANC, but you can try,” he said.

He then gave a rendition of Yinde Lendlela, his signature tune. The title translates from Zulu as “It’s a Long Road”, and the implication is clear: his journey is not over yet.

In the hours before Tuesday’s vote, a series of coordinated protests across South Africa demanded Zuma’s removal. A petition signed by more than a million people was delivered to the deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is seen as Zuma’s main rival.

Zuma, 75, has never been far from scandal since he became president in 2009. Another major criticism raised during the parliamentary debate included allegations that he had allowed the state to be “captured” by the Guptas, an Indian business family that has been at the centre of a string of media exposés about graft in government and state-owned enterprises.

The no-confidence motion was brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA), the largest opposition party, in response a cabinet reshuffle in March, in which Zuma sacked the popular finance minister Pravin Gordhan. The president was playing “Russian roulette” with the economy, according to the DA leader, Mmusi Maimane.

“I never imagined that one day I would be here in this parliament fighting a new form of oppression,” Maimane said during the debate on the motion. “A corrupt system that keeps our people imprisoned in poverty. If you told me that one day our democratically elected president would end up corrupted and captured by a criminal syndicate, I would have never believed you. But here we are.”

In response, ANC MPs argued that the party remained united behind Zuma, and had set up internal processes to deal with accusations of corruption and poor governance. The no-confidence motion was dismissed repeatedly as an attempted power grab by the opposition.

“[The opposition] are using the constitution so as to collapse government, deter service delivery and sow the seeds of chaos in society so as to ultimately grab power … Shame on you!” said Doris Dlakude, the ANC’s deputy chief whip.

Although Zuma has survived this battle, he is still fighting for his political future. His term as president expires in 2019 and under the South African constitution he cannot run again.

More immediately, his term as president of the ANC expires in 2017. He is lobbying hard to install the former African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is his ex-wife, as his successor. Opponents within the party are largely rallying behind Ramaphosa, although there are other names in the mix.

Despite the parliamentary defeat, Maimane hailed the close vote as a victory for the opposition DA. “Today’s motion of no confidence result is closer than anyone expected. The result reveals an ANC that is totally divided against itself. Jacob Zuma has survived, but he has nothing to celebrate tonight. He is mortally wounded and his party is in tatters. Tonight’s result, despite the slender victory, signals the death of the ANC,” he said in a statement.

But outside parliament, where hundreds of pro-Zuma supporters were gathered, a celebratory atmosphere prevailed. The police minister, Fikile Mbalula, told the crowd. “We were inside [parliament], they said they’re going to topple the president. But with your support, we have defeated them inside. There are those who have been asking [us to vote with] our conscience. We’ve got political conscience to keep the ANC in power forever, and that is political conscience … The African National Congress will survive!”

While the ANC, Africa’s oldest liberation movement, and the president live to fight another day, there is little doubt that both are wounded by Tuesday’s proceedings. “ANC MPs were ordered to vote to retain President Zuma. It looks like at least 25, possibly as many as 30, willingly defied that order. This looks like the first big sign of a possible rebellion against him in the ANC,” said Stephen Grootes, a political analyst with Eyewitness News.

Zuma must also contend with a supreme court of appeal hearing on 15 September, which will decide whether to reinstate 783 criminal charges against him, including fraud, corruption and racketeering.

Source: The Guardian

South Africa’s President Sacks Finance Minister

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has sacked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan after days of speculation that rocked the country’s markets and currency.
Mr Gordhan will be replaced by Malusi Gigaba, said a statement issued late on Thursday by the president’s office.

Earlier this week, President Zuma recalled Mr Gordhan from planned events in the UK.

Sfiso Buthelezi will become Deputy Finance Minister, replacing Mcebisi Jonas.

President Zuma also made a number of other changes in the cabinet.
“I have directed the new ministers and deputy ministers to work tirelessly with their colleagues to bring about radical socioeconomic transformation and to ensure that the promise of a better life for the poor and the working class becomes a reality,” President Zuma’s statement said.

Last October, Mr Gordhan was charged with fraud – but the charges were later dropped. He has described the allegations as politically motivated.

Mr Gordhan has been seen as standing up to President Zuma in cabinet and has warned against corruption becoming rampant.

The South African Communist Party, an ally of the governing African National Congress, had earlier lodged a formal objection to plans to dismiss Mr Gordhan, who is widely respected internationally.

Many senior ANC figures also opposed the finance minister’s removal.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s main opposition party, said it would call a vote of no-confidence in President Zuma in parliament.

Mr Gordhan’s recall from the UK caused South Africa’s rand to lose nearly 5% of its value against major currencies earlier this week.

Pressure has been growing on Mr Zuma to step down amid numerous allegations of corruption. He denies the claims.

BBC Africa

MTN Contributed To Boko Haram Killings – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said that the slow registration of Nigerians on the MTN lines by the service providers contributed to the killing of at least 10, 000 innocent Nigerians by the insurgents, Boko Haram.

He made the remark during a joint press conference after holding closed door meeting with South African President, Jacob Zuma at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the concern of the Federal Government was purely security and not the fine imposed on MTN.

Answering questions on Tuesday, Buhari said: “This is the first time I will be personally as a president making a public comment about it. The concern of the federal government is basically on the security and not the fine imposed on MTN.

“You know how the unregistered GSM are being used by terrorists. And between 2009 and today, at least 10,000 Nigerians were killed by Boko Haram.

“That was why NCC asked MTN, Glo and the rest of them to register GSM. Unfortunately, MTN was very, very slow and contributed to the casualties,” he added.