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If judges in Ghana will shut down the courts, here is why

Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) has threatened to embark on industrial action over non-payment of arrears and review of salaries of lower court judges and magistrates

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Association of Magistrates and Judges of Ghana (AMJG) has threatened to embark on industrial action over non-payment of arrears and review of salaries of lower court judges and magistrates.

The Association said although reviews of salaries of lower court judges had been constitutionally provided for by the 1992 Constitution, past and present governments had failed to implement the law.

Addressing the media in Accra last Friday, Justice Victor Ofoe, a Court of Appeal Judge, said a meeting would be convened on July 6 for a decision to be taken on the matter.

Even though, strike action, was not one of the considered options to have the concerns of members addressed, Justice Ofoe, who is the president of the Association said the matter was getting out of hand.

“The situation is frustrating, annoying, in fact, insulting. For how long can we continue to hold our members in check?” he asked.

For more than three years, he said the Association had prevented judges and magistrates of the lower courts from striking, but their concerns remained unresolved.

To calm down tempers, the Chief Justice, Ms. Sophia A.B.Akuffo met President Nana Akufo-Addo but nothing has changed.

“Should the CJ now be a trade unionist?And even after her meeting nothing appears to have changed. This is where our members think the “no strike no strike” should give way since all equations in executing the dictates of the constitution is being unbalanced.”

The Judge, observed that the bench was made up of more young men and women who cannot be financially deprived.

We should note that the bench is not made up of old men as it used to be sometime back, he explained, adding that “about 90 per cent are now young men and women, very boisterous and hot blooded, who cannot be easily convinced anymore with the reputation of the judiciary when they are being financially deprived.”

He appealed to the President to take immediate action in the matter and approve the salary review.

Politics

Kenya’s Ruto sacks cabinet amidst protests in major win for protesters

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In response to pressure from widespread protests that have produced the greatest crisis of his two-year government, Kenyan President William Ruto dismissed his entire cabinet on Thursday, with the exception of the foreign minister.

After beginning peacefully, the youth-led demonstrations against the proposed tax increases descended into violence, resulting in at least 39 deaths during altercations with the police last month. A few protestors briefly invaded the parliament before Ruto decided against the new levies.

“I will immediately engage in extensive consultations across different sectors and political formations and other Kenyans, both in public and private, with the aim of setting up a broad-based government,” Ruto said in a televised address to the nation, adding that he would announce additional measures later.

In addition, he fired the attorney general but claimed that this had no bearing on the deputy president’s position.

Kenyans had been requesting significant cabinet changes, seasoned anti-corruption activist John Githongo told Reuters.

“Let us see what happens now if the new ministers deal with big issues around corruption and just the arrogance and excess of his administration and the fact that a lot of Kenyans died during the demonstrations,” he said.

“Hopefully this should temporarily calm things.”

Ruto finds himself torn between a beleaguered populace reeling from the rising expense of living and lenders like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pressuring him to reduce deficits. He suggested borrowing more money and cutting spending in approximately equal proportions last week to close the nearly $2.7 billion budget deficit left by the removal of the tax rises.

Although the government has no outstanding debt, many claim that Kenya is likely to miss its IMF targets as a result of the tax rollback. For the fiscal year that began on July 1, the estimated budget deficit is currently 4.6% of GDP.

Dismissing so many cabinet members, according to Ojango Omondi, a community organizer from the Social Justice Centers Working Group in Nairobi, was a “move towards justice,” but activists would want to see who Ruto chooses to replace them.

“It’s one thing to dismiss, the second is to ensure that the people that will be chosen in the cabinet are accountable to the constitution and the rule of law,” Omondi said.

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South Sudan’s president dismisses 6th finance minister since 2020

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Four months into the position, South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir, has fired the finance minister, the sixth person to hold the position since 2020, according to state-run television.

The report stated late on Wednesday that Kiir did not explain the dismissal of Awow Daniel Chuong, who was appointed in mid-March of this year. Economist Marial Deng has been selected to take over as finance minister in Kiir’s place.

Due to intercommunal violence, South Sudan’s economy has been under strain recently. Since the civil war that lasted from 2013 to 2018, revenue from crude oil exports has decreased, and more recently, export disruptions have occurred because of the conflict in neighbouring Sudan.

The governor of the central bank, James Alic Garang, declared in May that the foreign exchange reserves of South Sudan had reached all-time lows.

This year, the International Monetary Fund predicts that consumer price inflation will soar to 54.8%.

After South Sudan separated from Sudan in 2011, Kiir was elected as the country’s first president.

In December, the nation is scheduled to elect a president, members of the legislature, and regional delegates.

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