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Uganda plans amoured escort vehicles for 456 lawmakers. Just how smart?

President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly approved sharpshooters and amoured escort vehicles for the country’s 456 lawmakers. This was soon after a ruling party lawmaker and his bodyguard were shot dead on June 8

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President Yoweri Museveni has reportedly approved sharpshooters and amoured escort vehicles for the country’s 456 lawmakers. This was soon after a ruling party lawmaker and his bodyguard were shot dead on June 8.

Critics have termed the planned spending as wasteful and failed to address security concerns of normal citizens who fear rampant crime in a country marked by unsolved murders, waves of kidnappings for ransom, burglaries and robberies.

In a letter to the finance minister seen by Reuters on Thursday, Museveni said the decision to boost security was taken after a meeting with members of parliament in which incidents of “criminality and terrorism” were discussed.

Read Also: ‘Africa, learn to fend for yourselves’

“Members of parliament … have been singled out for intimidation and possibly attack. I have, therefore, decided to protect the members of parliament … since they are being singled out,” he said.

If things go as planned, lawmakers would now be accompanied by military sharp-shooters as Museveni has ordered the finance ministry to purchase armoured pick-up trucks to use as escort vehicles.

Uganda’s civil societies have accused the government of wasteful spending and failing to reign in corruption.

“Ordinary Ugandans are being taxed heavily to meet wasteful expenditure of politicians,” said Cissy Kagaba, executive director of Anti Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU).

“Security should be guaranteed for every Ugandan not for a few selected people … it’s pathetic and annoying,” she said.

Parliament spokesman Chris Obore denied the spending was wasteful, describing it as a “short term measure” to meet credible threats.

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Ruling junta, politicians sign agreement for civil transition in Sudan. Will it work?

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An agreement for a civilian-led transition that will last for two years has been made between Sudanese political parties and the military.

The arrangement is toward elections and ends a sometimes violent standoff triggered by a coup in October 2021.

The power-sharing arrangement between the military and the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition was delayed due to the absence of a Prime Minister after a coup in 2021.

The military under the new arrangement agreed it would only be represented on a security and defence council headed by a prime minister.

The military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said civilians should control politics and guide foreign policy. Signatories applauded when he repeated a slogan used by protesters to call for the army to exit politics: “Soldiers belong in the barracks, and parties go to elections.”

Recall that Sudanese politician, Wagdi Salih was released from prison on Sunday ahead of the discussion surrounding the coalition agreement.

Meanwhile, the transition plan does not seem to have sat well with some session of the public as security officers fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters about 1-1/2km from the presidential palace on Monday over the development.

One of the protesters, 36-year-old state employee Ahmed Fateh al-Rahman, said. “We want justice for our martyrs, trial for the military, and civilian rule.” “We will defeat this agreement because it is an extension of the coup.”

Will the arrangement lead to lasting progress in the political crises facing the East African country?

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, to visit Ivory Coast for summit on nutrition

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Zambia’s Vice President, Mutale Nalumango is set to visit and attend the African Union (AU) High-level meeting to address issues of nutrition on the continent.

Fourteen member countries are participating in a two-day meeting which includes governments, experts, and cooperating partners.

The Vice President Permanent Secretary for Administration, Lilian Kapusana confirmed the journey on Tuesday.

Among other issues, the Vice President will reaffirm the commitments by the ruling government’s commitment to ensuring food security in the country.

“Mrs. Nalumango will address the challenges and milestones made in food and nutrition together with our cooperating partners who gave implemented projects in addressing issues of malnutrition and stunted growth in the country,” Ms. Kapusana said.

Participating countries at the summit are expected to reaffirm commitments to improving food and nutrition through agreements that will be signed during the course of the deliberations.

The United Nations Children’s Fund reported that in 2021, six million children are affected by life-threatening severe acute malnutrition in West and Central Africa.

Hopefully, the summit on nutrition will end with concrete measures to address some of the issues like land and crop degradation, periodic droughts and weather-related shocks, poverty, limited access to basic food staples and essential services, and population growth, which all contribute to emergency levels of malnutrition in the region.

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