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Wasteful trips! Ghana’s president bans appointees from foreign travels

Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo has banned all ministers, deputy ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and heads of government agencies from foreign travels

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Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo has banned all ministers, deputy ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) and heads of government agencies from foreign travels.

It is unclear what may have prompted the new directive but a memo from the presidency said the ban was temporary.

The memo, which was signed by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare said the minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey is exempted from the directive.

“The President of the Republic has directed that, all foreign travels by Hon. Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs and Heads of Government Agencies be temporarily suspended with immediate effect. Guidelines in respect of future foreign travels aimed at minimizing disruption to Government’s domestic work will be communicated to you shortly.

The memo however exempted the minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration from the temporary foreign travels ban.

The last time a similar travel restriction fro government officials was imposed was in December 2015 under the John Mahama government where he banned public officials from first-class air travel as part of efforts to cut wasteful spending.

Some officials in government have had the cause to complain about incessant travels of some appointees who in most cases are unable to justify why they travelled outside the country.

A former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourist Development Company, Akua Djanie recently resigned from her position alleging among other things that her boss, was fond of travelling outside the country, neglecting the core duties at the company.

“I wanted to work, not travel and chop per diem…I don’t see what GTDC is doing. The CEO travels every month for two weeks straight. In April, he was gone for three weeks,” she stated in an interview with a local radio station Citi FM.

Most of such travels are on the account of the Ghanaian taxpayer and the presidency believes, they also lead to a serious disruption in local government business.

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Tunisia’s Interior Ministry alleges threats to President Saied’s life

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The Tunisian Interior Ministry has alleged serious threats to the life of President Kais Saied as concerns over a mounting political crisis in the North African country grows.

The Ministry said the country’s intelligence apparatchick revealed that both internal and external elements were involved in plans targeting the president.

Ministry spokesperson Fadhila Khelifi said in a news conference that “the goal was to undermine Tunisian public security by eliminating the President.”

Though Khelifi did not give out names of the purported planners, he however assured that they would soon be rounded up and made to face trial.

President Saied has been having a running battle with the opposition in Tunisia with opponents accusing him of a coup for seizing most powers last summer to rule by decree and preparing a new constitution that he plans to put to a referendum next month.

This year alone, Saied has moved to consolidate his powers by dissolving the parliament, annuling the electoral commission and taking also taking the war to the judiciary by sacking 57 judges after accusing them of protecting Islamists.

Critics have also accused him of clamping down on the opponents with the arrest of leading opposition figures and a widespread crackdown on the opposition parties.

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Senegal’s opposition leader calls for nationwide mega protest on June 29

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Despite clashes between government security forces and anti-government protesters which led to the death of three people last week, Senegal’s main opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, has called for a fresh demonstration to be held on June 29.

Sonko who came third in the last presidential election in the country and has a large followership made up of mainly youths, had also called on citizens to bang pots and pans in protest on Wednesday which was a huge success, prompting in his call for the July 29 showdown.

“On the 29th of July, with or without authorization, we are going to organize our demonstration,” Sonko, a leader of the PASTEF party said in a press conference on Friday.

“If President Macky Sall wants to prevent this affair, he should be ready to arrest us or terminate us.

“Let the whole of Senegal rumble and let Macky Sall understand that the Senegalese people do not agree with his dictatorial designs or his ill-fated plan for a third term,” Sonko added.

Though the police has banned protests in the West African country citing risk of unrest, Sonko and other opposition figures have called on citizens to come out enmasse for the demonstration.

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