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Malawi ends visa requirement for China, US, UK, others

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In an effort to improve its tourism sector, which is one of Malawi’s main sources of foreign earnings, the government has waived the need for a visa for visitors from a number of nations, including China, the United States, and other countries.

This comes after a portion of the nation’s Immigration Act was changed to facilitate foreign tourists’ admittance into the country.

Ken Zikhale Ng’oma, the minister of homeland security for Malawi, signed the amendment to the Act on Wednesday, which listed the 47 nations on the planet free from Malawian visa requirements. Ghana and the Gambia are two of the exempted African nations, while Germany, France, and Russia are all exempted nations outside of Africa.

Furthermore, citizens of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are also exempt from the need for a visa, with the exception of those nations that require one for Malawians.

The change further exempts holders of Laissez-Passers from any of the following: United Nations, African Union, African Development Bank, SADC, Comesa, all diplomats, and government officials travelling on official business.

The gazetted amendment states that the six- and twelve-month validity periods of multiple entry visas in Malawi must be reciprocated with the corresponding country’s multiple entry visa validity.

The country’s business community, in the meantime, has applauded the decision, stating that “it will make Malawi an attractive tourism destination while boosting foreign currency flows in the long term.”

In implementing the MW (Malawi) 2063 Agenda, which aims to make the country self-reliant with more exports than imports, Minister of Tourism Vera Kamtukule told the local media that the amendment to the Immigration Act augers well with the country’s three priority areas, namely agriculture, tourism, and mining (ATM).

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Politics

South Africa: Parliament reelects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Julius Malema, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighter, was also put forward for the nation’s presidency, necessitating a vote in parliament to determine the winner.

With a majority of votes in the National Assembly, Chief Justice Ramaphosa was proclaimed president. Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, received 44 votes, while Ramaphosa received 283.

The Democratic Alliance party said earlier in the day that it would support Ramaphosa in the election as part of a deal to establish a unity government with the African National Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Out of the 400 seats in the recently elected National Assembly, 246 are held by the ANC and DA.

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Niamey court revokes immunity of overthrown Nigerien president

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The State Court of Niamey has revoked the immunity of Niger’s deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum, signalling the start of criminal proceedings against him by the junta, according to a statement from his attorneys on Friday.

In July of last year, a military coup overthrew Bazoum. Since then, he and his spouse have remained in custody despite numerous requests for his release from Western nations and the ECOWAS regional political and economic grouping.

 

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the junta’s spokesperson, stated on state television in August that the military government had “gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute the ousted president and his local and foreign accomplices for high treason and for undermining the internal and external security of Niger before competent national and international authorities.”

In a statement, one of his attorneys, Moussa Coulibaly, claimed that the court’s ruling cleared the path for Bazoum to face charges of treason and conspiracy to compromise state security.

The court proceedings “violated (ed) the absolute rights of the defence: we were not authorised to meet our client and the court refused to hear our arguments,” he added.

It was not immediately able to get in contact with the Niger government for a response. Because of Bazoum’s interactions with foreign heads of state and international organizations, the junta declared last year that it would bring high treason charges against him.

Following 2020, there have been eight coups in West and Central Africa that have brought the military government to power. Calls for Bazoum’s reinstatement have gone unanswered, including by the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which declared last year that his arrest was unjustified.

According to Bazoum’s attorneys, he and his spouse had never appeared before a magistrate. Lawyers said that since October, when their phone line at the White House was taken away, they have been cut off from the outside world and are only permitted to have visitors from their doctor.

Mohamed Bazoum Salem, the 23-year-old son of the deposed president, was given provisional parole from house imprisonment by the Niger military tribunal in January.

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