As we wrap up the week, here are the top stories from Africa. South Africa and Ghana have reached an agreement for visa-free travel, enhancing cross-border connections.
In Uganda, authorities are intensively pursuing the gunmen responsible for the tragic deaths of two tourists and their guide, reaffirming a commitment to safety in the nation’s national parks.
In Lagos, the government has initiated a groundbreaking $100 million Film City project in Epe, promising to boost the film industry and local economy.
Meanwhile, residents near the Lebombo Border in Nkomazi took to the streets to demand action against rising crime, including kidnappings, killings, car smuggling, and robberies in the border region.
Check out all the top stories below:
SOUTH AFRICA AND GHANA REACH VISA-FREE TRAVEL AGREEMENT
Ghana and South Africa have recently reached a visa waiver agreement to let their citizens visit each other without visas.
In a statement on Friday, Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration announced that citizens from both countries can visit each other for up to 90 days without the need for work permits.
The visa waiver agreement is set to start on November 1, 2023.
Travelers may transit through, depart from, and stay in the territory of both countries for a cumulative period of up to 90 days without recourse to work,” the statement of the Ministry reads.
In another statement, the South African High Commission in Ghana explained that regular passport holders should apply for a visa if their stay in South Africa exceeds 90 days.
UGANDA HUNTING DOWN GUNMEN WHO KILLED TWO TOURISTS AND GUIDE
On Wednesday, 18 october 2023- President Yoweri Museveni made a firm commitment that Ugandan forces would pursue the individuals accountable for the tragic demise of a honeymooning couple and their safari guide in one of the nation’s renowned national parks.
In a Tuesday attack in southwestern Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park, a Briton, a South African, and their Ugandan guide were killed by gunmen, with their vehicle set ablaze, while authorities attributed the incident to the IS-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia based in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to the police and park officials.
Museveni urged Uganda’s military and other security forces to prevent any recurrence of “these mistakes”.
Museveni said on X, formerly known as Twitter:
Fellow Ugandans and, especially, the Bazzukulu.
Yesterday, the 17th of October,2023, we had a most unfortunate and infuriating incident in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. A couple of tourists and the Ugandan driver with them were killed at around 1800hrs on the Katwe- Kabatooro murram road, by a small group of terrorists running away from our operations in Congo, as I had shared with you in a previous message.
It was a cowardly act on the part of the terrorists attacking innocent civilians and tragic for the couple who were newlyweds and visiting Uganda on their honeymoon. Of course, these terrorists will pay with their own wretched lives.
However, killing these wretched individuals will not bring back the lives of these wonderful friends of Uganda who had chosen our country for their honeymoon out of the 193 Countries of the world. Our High Commission in the UK will reach out to their families and provide whatever support is necessary in this tragic situation.
More importantly, the UPDF, the Police, the UWA and Intelligences should ensure these mistakes do not happen again and that ADF is wiped out. The wiping out is moving very well. What needs to be done is to ensure that the remnants do not commit these atrocities. That is why I congratulate, again, the Wanainchi, the Police and other agencies on preventing the bombing of Bunamwaya, Kayanja’s church and the churches in Kibibi, Butambala.
There were a few gaps in the handling of these remnants. UWA was guarding tourists once they were in the Park. However, apparently, the tourists were arriving and departing individually. It is this gap that they used.
Secondly, the UPDF has been using one form of tracking these fugitive groups from Congo, Kufuata Nyayo- following their tracks (ekisinde, ekirari). There are more reliable ways of tracking, which we have discussed with the Army.
The terrorists will be defeated like Kony was defeated and the cattle rustlers that have been killing people in Karamoja and the surrounding districts or those that were cutting People with pangas (bijambiya) in Masaka.
May their souls rest in eternal peace.
ZIMBABWE: TWO FEMALES KIDNAP, RAPE MAN, AND COLLECT HIS SPERM
Two women who offered a man a ride from Zvishavane to Sandawana (Zimbabwe) were reported to have sexually assaulted him and collected his sperm, as confirmed by Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko, spokesperson for the Midlands provincial police.
“We confirm an aggravated indecent assault case in which a man was sexually assaulted by three unknown suspects who had offered him a lift from Zvishavane to Sandawana. The incident occurred on 10 October 2023 at around 1000 hours in Zvishavane,” he said.
According to the police already on board were two female passengers and a male driver.
“Whilst on the way the driver is said to have diverted the route and went along another road named Drummond. The two females who were sitting in the back with the complainant in the back passenger seat and sprayed him with an unknown substance on the face resulting in him falling unconscious.”
The victim eventually woke up and discovered he was in a room with the three suspects, and one of the women compelled him to ingest a brown pill.
“The two females took turns to force the complainant to have protected sexual intercourse with him in the presence of their male counterpart as they harvested semen, tied in condoms, and kept them in a cooler box,” added Mahoko.
It has been established that the suspects then searched his pockets and took cash amounting to US$453 and his sim cards before spraying him again and he fell unconscious and woke up the next morning.
“The accused persons forced him again to take the brown pill and they forced him again to have sexual intercourse with the two women. One of the accused persons assaulted him with a metal object on the head before they drove away,” he said.
The complainant walked for 2 kilometres unaware of his location until he managed to find his way to the Grain Marketing Board Depot Zvishavane.
source: New Zimbabwe
NIGERIA: TINUBU FILES MOTIONS TO BLOCK FBI, CIA, AND OTHER US AGENCIES FROM RELEASING CONFIDENTIAL FILES IN DATABASE
President Bola Tinubu is taking measures to prevent the release of his records by U.S. agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, as reported by the Peoples Gazette.
According to the report, lawyers representing Mr. Tinubu in the U.S. have filed motions to participate in a freedom of information action against U.S. organizations that hold records relevant to inquiries about the president’s true identity and lengthy activities.
As reported by The Gazette, Christopher Carmichael, one of the attorneys involved in Mr. Tinubu’s recent academic record case, filed a motion in accordance with Civil Local Rule 83.2(c).
Mr. Tinubu learned of the lawsuit when the FBI said it would disclose 2,500 pages of response information about the Nigerian leader, who had been previously investigated for narcotics trafficking in the 1990s, resulting in a forfeiture of $460,000 through a federal court order in Chicago.
Read more: gazettengr.com
SOUTH AFRICA: TWO ZIMBABWEAN NATIONALS ARRESTED FOR R9.6 MILLION ILLICIT CIGARETTES
The Polokwane specialized commercial crimes court has convicted two Zimbabwean nationals for attempting to smuggle illegal cigarettes valued at R9.6 million into South Africa.
Marshall Masiya (32) was sentenced to 18 months for illegal immigration, while Oswald Raisi (27) received an eight-year sentence for corruption when he attempted to bribe the official who discovered the contraband.
Raisi was also convicted of possessing illegal cigarettes and received a sentence of five years in prison or a fine of R5 million for this offense.
The Limpopo National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, explained that in May 2023, officials from the South African Revenue Service (Sars) conducted an inspection at the Beitbridge border and identified inconsistencies between the declared goods on a document and the actual load on a truck, leading to their discovery.
“They redirected the truck to the inspection ramp and unpacked the load. They found 440 master boxes of illicit cigarettes worth R9.6m hidden under cotton oil cake.
“Raisi offered the Sars official R30,000 as a gratification to prevent him from inspecting and searching the truck. The official called police officers and the accused were arrested,” Malabi-Dzhangi said.
NIGERIA: LAGOS GOVERNMENT BEGINS WITH $100M FILM CITY PROJECT
Lagos State has begun with the construction of a $100 million Film City aimed at film production and related services, utilizing a Public-Private Partnership model to create job opportunities and spur economic growth through collaborations with industry leaders such as Ebonylife Academy and Delyork.
On Wednesday, 18 October 2023, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu laid the first foundation block for the development of Lagos Film City, a 100-hectare site in Ejinrin town, Epe Division, to support local talent and create a hub for movies, tourism, and entertainment.
Mr. Gawat said the project’s goal is to establish a hub for various filmmaking services, from production to visual effects and more, and it’s a collaborative effort between the Lagos state government and industry leaders like Ebonylife Academy, Delyork, and Ogidi Studios.
The space will also consist of accommodation and numerous state-of-the-art studios.
DAVIDO, J HUS, AND BLACK SHERIF TO HEADLINE AFROFUTURE FESTIVAL IN GHANA
Afrobeats star Davido, British-Gambian rapper J Hus, and Ghanaian rapper Black Sherif will headline the 2023 AfroFuture Festival later this year.
The festival will be held at Accra’s El Wak Sports Stadium on December 28th and 29th, 2023, with a celebration of African music, food, fashion, and the arts.
Launched in 2017 and recently renamed AfroFuture from Afrochella, the theme for this year is “Black Unification & Pan Africanism,” celebrating the accomplishments of Black pioneers worldwide and recognizing their influence on art, culture, and innovation.
Before the festival, AfroFuture will run a two-week expo featuring digital experiences, wellness sessions, screenings, and panel discussions, along with an entrepreneurial pitch competition in collaboration with Pharrell Williams’ non-profit Black Ambition, and the Rising Star challenge for emerging artists vying to perform at this year’s AfroFuture Festival and promote their music.
“AfroFuture has always been more than just a festival; it’s a comprehensive celebration of African culture, its people, talents, and serves as a platform to acknowledge the broader contributions we make to the world. This Detty December, we’re returning bigger, better, and stronger, eager to provide our global supporters with an unforgettable experience that seamlessly blends food, art, fashion, and music,” said Abdul Karim Abdullah, CEO/co-founder of AfroFuture.
SOUTH AFRICA: RESIDENTS MARCH TO LEBOMBO BORDER OVER CRIME: KIDNAPPING, KILLINGS, CARS SMUGGLING AND ROBBERIES HAPPENING AT THE BORDER
On Wednesday, October 18, 2023, Nkomazi residents in Mpumalanga held a peaceful march to Lebombo Port of Entry to present their grievances, claiming a surge in local crime, including kidnappings, murders, hijackings, and robberies, with allegations that undocumented Mozambican immigrants cross the border to engage in criminal activities before returning to their country.
SABC reports that Nkomazi residents are fed up with the increasing criminal activities and blaming undocumented Mozambican immigrants and alleged border official corruption, marched to the Lebombo Port of Entry to submit a memorandum of grievances.
Issues raised by residents include kidnapping and the smuggling of stolen cars.
SABC further reports that community leaders are demanding improved security measures due to the daily smuggling of cars into Mozambique, increasing kidnapping cases, and the recent kidnapping and torture of three South African citizens, allegedly by Mozambican nationals.
Border authorities accepted the memorandum and assured the residents that they would forward it to the relevant stakeholders, with the residents expecting a response within 30 days.
NIGERIA RECORDS OVER 9,000 DIPHTHERIA INFECTIONS
On Thursday, October 19, 2023, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced that there were approximately 15,060 suspected cases of diphtheria infections in the country.
Out of these cases, 9,478 were confirmed, with occurrences reported across 137 local government areas (LGAs) spanning 20 states, along with the Federal Capital Territory.
During a press briefing in Abuja, the Director General of NCDC, Ifedayo Adetifa, reported that the majority of the confirmed diphtheria cases, 71.5 percent, were among individuals aged one to 14 years, with infants comprising less than one percent of the cases, and noted that Kano, the epicenter, had the highest number of cases at 7,747, followed by Yobe with 841 cases.
- Bauchi State – 369 infections
- Katsina – 275 infections
- Borno – 164 infections
- Jigawa – 24 infections
- Kaduna – 18 infections
- Lagos- 8 infections
- Zamfara – 7 infections
- FCT – 7 infections
- Gombe – 5 infections
- Sokoto – 4 infections
- Osun – 3 infections
- Niger State – 2 infections
NIGERIA: TINUBU APPROVES APPOINTMENT OF EIGHT (8) NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
President Bola Tinubu approved the appointment of eight new Chief Executive Officers for Parastatals and Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation, as confirmed in a statement signed by presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale on Thursday.
The President has instructed the newly appointed leaders in these important sectors to innovate and revitalize key government institutions that aim to unite people, influence mindsets, and promote the nation globally. The appointees include:
1) National Orientation Agency (NOA) — Director-General/CEO — Mr. Lanre Issa-Onilu
(2) Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) — Director-General / CEO — Mr. Salihu Abdulhamid Dembos
(3) Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) — Director-General / CEO — Dr. Muhammed Bulama
(4) National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) — Director-General / CEO — Mr. Charles Ebuebu
(5) Voice of Nigeria (VON) — Director-General / CEO — Mr. Jibrin Baba Ndace
(6) Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) — Director-General / CEO — Dr. Lekan Fadolapo
(7) News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) — Managing Director / CEO — Mr. Ali Muhammed Ali
(8) Nigerian Press Council (NPC) — Executive Secretary / CEO — Mr. Dili Ezughah
The appointments are effective immediately.
NIGERIA: TIWA SAVAGE POSTPONES LONDON SHOW DUE TO HEALTH CONCERNS
Tiwa Savage has postponed her OVO Wembley Arena (London) performance and all tour dates for November due to health issues.
Tiwa Savage shared on Instagram that she is dealing with a vocal infection, which has necessitated her to be on strict vocal rest for the foreseeable future.
Per the statement:
To my dear Savage Soldiers, I’ve been fighting off a virus for the past few weeks and was today firmly instructed to be on strict vocal rest for the next few months.
I will unfortunately have to postpone all performances including my first ever headline arena show in London.
I’m heartbroken and devastated but I have to do this to save what’s left of my voice.
I’m so sorry. I love you all and promise to be back performing once I’m fully healed.