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Egypt’s President al-Sisi in trouble for purchasing plane worth $500m amidst economic crisis

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President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi of Egypt is in the eyes of the storm following the purchase of a brand new presidential jumbo jet at the cost of $500 million amid in a country undergoing serious economic crisis.

The purchase of the plane has triggered fierce debates in the country as opposition figures see the move as insensitive especially as the country is going through a severe economic crisis.

Egypt acquired the Boeing 747-8 aircraft last week from Shannon of Ireland, where it was undergoing painting work by International Aerospace Coatings (IAC) after purchasing it from German airliner, Lufthansa.

An Egyptian opposition leader who condemned the purchase of the Boeing 747-8 aircraft at $500 million on Saturday, said the country’s presidency does not need such a plane at a time the country is struggling to generate foreign currency for imports and to tackle inflation which has been hitting the country hard for years.

However, Egyptian MP Mustafa Al-Bakri who rose in support of the President, said the reports that the plane cost $500 million were mere propaganda from the opposition Muslim Brotherhood.

Al-Bakri said the aircraft was bought for $240 million, following a report by Boeing that the current 28-year-old presidential Airbus A340 would be unfit for use by 2023.

But an expert of Constitutional Law, Nour Farahat said Egyptians would only accept the narrative of Al-Bakri if he can prove his claims by providing the public with a report from Boeing about the expiry of the presidential plane, as well as details about the purchase of the new one.

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Lesotho to hold parliamentary election as political instability rages

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Southern African nation, Lesotho will hold its parliamentary elections on Friday despite political instability rocking the country following the inability of politicians to pass constitutional reforms meant to end years of conflicts.

The ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) which has been in power in the country since 2017, has continued to battle with internal divisions within the party which led to the appointment of two prime ministers in five years.

One of the prime ministers, Thomas Thabane, stepped down in 2020 after he was charged with the murder of his ex-wife.

His successor, Moeketsi Majoro, declared a state of emergency in August this year after legislators failed to pass two bills meant to end political volatility in parliament.

But in September, Lesotho’s highest court ruled the declaration unconstitutional.

The proposed constitutional reforms would have amended everything from the role of political parties, to rules over floor-crossing in parliament, the appointment of senior officials and the role of the prime minister.

The aim of the proposed reforms, according to the Prime Minister, was to make Lesotho less prone to political logjams when disagreements occur but the lawmakers had failed to agree on them.

The general elections scheduled to be held in on October 7, will see the election of120 members of the National Assembly and the Lower House of Assembly.

According to the guidelines for the elections, the 120 members of the National Assembly will be elected using the mixed-member proportional representation system, with voters casting two votes.

Eighty members are elected from single-member constituencies by first-past-the-post voting, with the remaining 40 elected from a single nationwide constituency as leveling seats, which are allocated to make seat totals reflect the national vote share.

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President Tshisekedi of Congo DR appoints new military chiefs amidst growing unrest

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The presidency in the Democratic Republic of Congo has replaced the head of the armed forces as part of broader military reforms aimed at boosting efficiency.

President Felix Tshisekedi appointed Christian Tshiwewe Songhesha, former commander of the Republican Guard, an elite unit in charge of protecting the head of state.

Songhesha replaces Célestin Mbala Musense as the army chief of staff, the government said in a statement late on Monday.

The president’s deputy director of communications, Giscard Kusema, told journalists that the wave of appointments is part of a broader framework of military reform.

He further revealed that “almost the entire staff has been replaced by young officers. Several are from the Republican Guard, but not all, and that’s because they have proven themselves.”

“For years, all the experts have been asking for a military programming law that gives more financial autonomy to the army and flexibility in procedures,” Kusema added.

Congo is one of the troubled zones of East Africa. between 1998 and 2003, government forces supported by Angola, Namibia, and Zimbabwe fought rebels backed by Rwanda and Uganda in what is known as the Second Congo War.

Unfortunately, the wave of unrest does not seem to be over as the country remains a territory for terror acts with multiple attacks lately.

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