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Military backs out but Ugandan court charges MP Bobi Wine with treason

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Robert Kyagulanyi, the Ugandan parliamentarian popularly known as Bobi Wine, has been charged with treason after a military court Thursday withdrew a weapons charge against him but ruled that he should be tried for treason instead.

The pop star, 36, was then re-arrested and charged in a civilian court. He sat in the dock during proceedings as his lawyers argued he was too weak to stand.

A frail Wine, wearing a Ugandan flag scarf around his neck, was seen walking out of court while being assisted on crutches during a brief adjournment on Thursday morning.

He has been in detention since August 15 and needs urgent medical care, his lawyers argued.

The lawmaker’s attorney told CNN last week that his client has been tortured and suffered multiple injuries while in detention.

“He could not stand because his leg had been injured. He was being carried by soldiers at the military court where he has been arraigned when I saw him. He complained of pain in his spine, and we could see he has really been beaten,” Erias Lukwago said.

Read also: Uganda opposition figure detained after his driver is slain

The magistrate court ruled that Wine could have access to his private doctors and the case was adjourned until August 30.

There have been large-scale demonstrations online and on the streets of Uganda to #FreeBobiWine, and musicians around the world such as Chris Martin, Angelique Kidjo, Damon Albarn and others have joined the campaign.

Museveni has ruled Uganda for nearly 33 years and recently got parliament to amend the constitution to drop age limits on leadership.

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Look beyond Lungu, Hichilema, former minister Siamunene urges Zambians

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Former Defense Minister, Richwell Siamunene, suggests Zambians should see beyond President Hakainde Hichilema and Edgar Lungu if recent reconciliation efforts failed.

Siamunene made the position known while guesting on Saturday’s Prime Television Governance and Leadership Talk. “They needed to reconcile like yesterday. But if they fail to reconcile, Zambians should forget about them and choose other leaders among the 20 million citizens. Life shouldn’t be about the two,” he said.

Siamunene said the appeal for Presidents Lungu and Hichilema to reconcile was long overdue and that Zambians should turn elsewhere if they don’t while also urging the public to refrain from ‘joking when voting’ to enhance governance

“I think Zambian voters joke a lot when voting. We need to be as serious as Zambians; that is why the country is in this situation,” Siamunene said.

He stressed that ethnically motivated leadership was harmful.

Siamunene believed that leaders should be chosen based on their ability to advance development, not their wealth or education.

“Once you become a leader of the country, you cease to be family property and become part of the Zambian family. No friends or family considerations should influence decisions,” he said.

He underlined the necessity for exceptional leadership to fight corruption, saying that waiting for the President to authorize probes makes it academic.

Hichilema at his sixth attempt at winning the presidency in 2021 defeated the incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, by a landslide – more than a million votes. Hichilema capitalized on the failings of Mr. Lungu’s six-year tenure which was criticized for human rights abuses, corruption, a faltering economy, and high unemployment. The two politicians have remained political enemies despite recent talks of reconciliation.

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Tunisia’s Kais Saied eyes reelection despite human rights concerns

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In one of over twenty presidential elections scheduled to be held across Africa in 2024, Tunisian President, Kais Saied, declared his intention to seek reelection on October 6.

According to Saied, the goal of the campaign is “to continue the national liberation struggle,” as stated in a Facebook video posted by the presidency.

The government of Saied has been accused by opposition parties, many of whose leaders are incarcerated, of pressuring the courts to punish his opponents in the 2024 elections so that he may be elected to a second term.

On the same day that opposition leader Lotfi Mraihi, a possible presidential contender, was sentenced to eight months in prison for allegedly purchasing votes, the bid to run for reelection was made public.

Additionally, the court permanently barred Mraihi, the head of the Republican Union Party and a vocal opponent of President Kais Saied, from standing for office.

The opposition claims that unless imprisoned politicians are released and the media is free to operate without interference from the government, no fair or credible elections can be place.

The opposition has referred to Saied’s 2021 dissolution of the parliament and transition to executive order as a coup. Saied was elected in 2019.

According to the president, putting a stop to years of widespread corruption within the political class required judicial action.

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