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Zambia: No elections in 2026 without Lungu on ballot, PF faction vows

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The faction of Zambian opposition party, Patriotic Front (PF), led by former President Edgar Lungu has vowed that there will not be general elections in 2026 if Lungu is stopped from contesting.

The party faction, which made the vow on Tuesday through its Secretary-General, Raphael Nakacinda, while addressing party members in Lusaka, said the message should be relayed to President Hakainde Hichilema.

With party members carrying banners with the slogan “No Edgar, No Elections” Nakacinda said the faction rejects outright Constitutional Court refusal to dismiss petition against Lungu’s eligibility for 2026 polls, adding that the party would embark on a “Black Friday” campaign against the current economic conditions in the country.

“We are starting every Friday to wear black t-shirts as we embark on Black Friday against these bad economic conditions under President Hichilema’s administration,” Nakacinda said.

The PF Secretary stated that said the current state of the economy was dire, with no solutions forthcoming from the governing party, the United Party for National Development (UPND).

“We want to tell the courts and President Hakainde Hichilema that if Edgar Lungu is not on the ballot, there will be no elections in 2026 and we are embarking on Black Friday against this bad economy.”

The Constitutional Court which is Zambia’s highest court had rejected a motion filed by Lungu seeking to dismiss a petition challenging his eligibility to contest future elections.

In his application, Lungu had argued that the petition which was his fifth, was an abuse of the court process, claiming his eligibility had already been adjudicated and was now barred by statute.

Lusaka businessman, Michelo Chizombe, the petitioner, however, maintained that the issue of Lungu’s eligibility had not been conclusively resolved.

In a ruling delivered Tuesday by Justice Mudford Mwandenga, the 11-member bench of the Constitutional Court declined to dismiss the case at the preliminary stage.

Metro

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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Zambia’s Anti-Corruption Commission DG resigns amid public outcry over corrupt practices

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The Director-General of the Zambian Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Thom Shamakamba, has resigned from his position following public outcry over the state of corruption and corrupt officials in the country.

Chief Communications Specialist at the State House,
Clayson Hamasaka, who confirmed Shamakamba’s resignation in a statement issued in Lusaka on Tuesday, said President Hakainde Hichilema has accepted the resignation of the former D-G while wishing him well in his future endeavours.

“President Hakainde Hichilema has accepted the resignation of Mr. Thom Trevor Shamakamba from his office as Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission,” Hamasaka said.

“The President thanked Shamakamba for his service to the government and wished him well in his future endeavors,” he added.

Local media reports that an ACC Board Member and a lecturer at the University of Zambia (UNZA), Dr. Obrien Kaaba, had exposed deep-seated looting of the National Treasury involving State Chambers and allegedly facilitated by the ACC.

“State Chambers are at the forefront of looting the Treasury and are strong allies of corruption,” Dr. Kaaba had stated in a petition.

The lecturer also claimed that the ACC had been captured and unable to fight corruption in its current state.

“Judges are identified outside Lusaka to sign off corrupt settlements. The ACC DG threatened to sort me out and finish me for exposing corruption,” Kaaba alleged.

He noted that the strong anti-corruption fight Hichilema launched when he ascended to office had ebbed off and lost traction while “institutions charged with fighting corruption were merely massaging, bandaging and covering up corruption.”

The Executive Director of an advocacy group, Alliance for Community Action (ACA), Laura Miti, had also supported Dr. Kaaba’s observations and called for the sanitization of the ACC.

Miti urged the President to act on reports of Treasury looting involving state chambers with the support of the ACC.

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