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8 months after its suspension, Tunisian parliament dares President Saied to hold virtual session

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A fresh report from Tunisia says the members of parliament have defied President Kais Saied order and held their first full session since last summer when he suspended the chamber and moved to one-man rule.

The report further says some 120 members of the parliament attended the online session and were expected to hold a vote against the “exceptional measures” that president Saied has used since July to brush aside the 2014 democratic constitution and govern on his own.

Tunisian president Kais Saied had called out members of the suspended legislature in the North African country, who were planning on holding what he described as “illegal” meetings of parliament.

President Said sacked the government, suspended parliament, and seized a string of powers in July 2021. In December of the same year, he announced in a speech on national television a three-month “popular consultation” with the Tunisian people after which “draft constitutional and other reforms will be put forward to a referendum on July 25”.

The assembly’s speaker, Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, has called for a plenary session on Wednesday to discuss Saied’s “exceptional measures” imposed since July.

The president accused those responsible for calling today’s meeting of wanting to spread chaos.

“What happened today, the so-called ‘virtual meeting’ is illegal, because the Assembly and its bureau are frozen”. (…) The State will only recover through an independent judiciary, opposed by those who try to undermine the State, and those who desperately try to stage a coup”, accused Tunisian president, Kais Saied.

Three weeks ago, africanewswatch.com reported that President Kais Saied has continued his “revolution” of government institutions in the North African country as he inaugurated a “temporary” council of judges to replace an independent watchdog that he abolished in early February.

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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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Farmgate: South Africa’s ruling party, ANC, defends President Ramaphosa, wants panel reports rejected

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South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) has told the country’s lawmakers to reject a report that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct over a stash of cash in his farm.

The party’s Treasurer-General of the ruling African National Congress said Paul Mashatile, “the president continues with his duties as president of the ANC and the republic.”

Meanwhile, in his defence, President Ramaphosa in a statement to the Constitutional Court said “the panel misconceived its mandate, misjudged the information placed before it, and misinterpreted the four charges advanced against me.”

Ramaphosa wanted the panel report “reviewed, declared unlawful, and set aside”.

Ramaphosa also wants any steps taken by the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, over the panel report to be declared unlawful and invalid, the papers showed.

According to one of the party chieftains, Mashatile, while addressing journalists on the development, the party’s National Executive Committee’s decision to back Ramaphosa is said not to have been unanimous.

“Were we unanimous? No, there were a lot of debates, but we had to end somewhere, and what I am reporting is where we ended. That we will not support this report,” Mashatile said.

The Parliament on Thursday received a report on an investigation on the president after a huge sum of money in cash was reportedly found (stolen) on his Farm.

President Ramaphosa denied any wrongdoing but confirmed that a robbery occurred and an estimated $4 million was stolen at the farm back in 2020, on his game farm.

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