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‘Your internal crisis self-inflicted,’ Zambian Presidency replies PF

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The Zambian Presidency has responded to the country’s main opposition party, the Patriotic Front (PF), over its allegations that President Hakainde Hichilema had a hand in its internal crisis using the parliament.

While reacting to the accusations, State House Chief Communications Specialist, Clayson Hamasaka, urged the PF to stop dragging Hichilema into their internal wrangling, stating that the crisis was self-inflicted as the president had no involvement in their affairs.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Thursday, Hamasaka said the president was currently “occupied with resolving significant national issues created by the same people currently engaged in internal conflicts.”

The presidential aide emphasized that it had never been Hichilema’s intention to interfere in how other political parties conduct their business.

“We have seen insinuations and attempts to drag the Republican President, Hakainde Hichilema, into the ongoing PF leadership wrangles, especially following the expulsion of nine of their Members of Parliament,” the statement said.

Hamasaka added that one of the President’s strongest pillars is his commitment to order and the rule of law in the country, and his views on by-elections were well known.

“The President has repeatedly called on stakeholders to provide recommendations on how to address this issue to avoid by-elections and save resources.

“The PF exercised its legal and constitutional rights to expel their members from Parliament according to the provisions of their party constitution,” Hamasaka said.

He recalled that the party later took matters to the courts, resulting in the expulsion of their nine Members of Parliament.

Hamasaka stated that when a decision such as this results from the PF’s self-inflicted wrangles, the President’s hands are tied despite his personal views against by-elections.

“There is no way the President can interfere with the independent arms of government, such as Parliament and the Judiciary,” he insisted.

He also noted that if the President attempted to interfere with the provisions of the Constitution, the same accusers would turn around and accuse him again.

“The President had demonstrated a willingness to push for legislative reforms, including the defamation of the President and abolishing the death penalty, which did not require constitutional amendments.”

Hamasaka also remarked that the internal wrangles between the PF factional presidents have been ongoing since the demise of the late President Michael Sata.

“Whether they fight, reconcile, fight again and then turn to the courts for arbitration, President Hichilema has no business with that. They should resolve their issues and leave the Republican President out of it,” Hamasaka stated.

Metro

After resignation of Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission DG, Hichilema sacks entire board

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A day after the Director-General of the Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission, Thom Shamakamba, resigned from his position over allegations of corrupt practices in the agency, President Hakainde Hichilema ACC board with immediate effect.

The Zambian Presidency said Hichilema’s decision was based on Article 270 of the Constitution and Section 26 of the Interpretation and General Provisions Act Chapter 2 of the Laws of Zambia.

Chief Communications Specialist at State House, Clayson Hamasaka, who confirmed the decision of the President in a statement issued in Lusaka on Thursday said the sacking of the board was to renew the Commission’s mandate to fight corruption.

“The President’s decision is intended to renew the Anti-Corruption Commission’s mandate in spearheading the fight against corruption and to implement necessary reforms to ensure the continued effective operations of the Commission,” Hamasaka stated.

The presidential spokesman highlighted the President’s unwavering commitment to fighting corruption and maintaining a zero-tolerance policy towards any corrupt practices.

“President Hichilema thanks and wishes the outgoing Board of Commissioners well in their future endeavors,” he added.

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Statistics reveal over 600k Nigerians sought asylum abroad under ex-President Buhari

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A new report released by Statisense, a data collection organisation, has revealed that well over 600,000 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries between 2016 and 2023, during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the report released on Wednesday, a total of 664,384 Nigerians sought asylum in eight years, with 355,792 persons applying for asylum in foreign countries between 2016 and 2019, while 308,592 sought asylum between 2020 and 2023.

“On a year-by-year basis, 66,862 sought asylum in 2016, 91,924 in 2017, 84,624 (2018), 112,382 (2019), 73,233 (2020), 83,105 (2021), 83,402 (2022), and 68,852 in 2023,” the report said.

“The figures indicate a surge from the past years, as Statisense noted that within 12 years – 2004 to 2015 – only 204,791 Nigerians filed for asylum in other countries.

“In total, 869,175 Nigerians filed for asylum in the last 20 years, notably from 2004 to 2023,” the report stated, citing the United Nations Refugee Agency.

“The organisation also stated that the Republic of Niger topped countries with the most Nigerian refugees in 2023 with about 200,497 Nigerians and a total of 1,268,464 Nigerian refugees between 2015 and 2023.

“Niger, a border country, shares proximity with Nigeria’s north, where residents battle a spate of insecurity in the region ranging from banditry, terrorism and herdsmen-farmers crisis,” it said.

“Nigerians topped the list of African countries who sought asylum in Canada in 2023 with about 10,111 asylum seekers followed by Kenya with 1,345.

“1,345 Nigerians however sought asylum in the United Kingdom and 5,136 in the United States of America,” the report added.

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