Sat, Sep 3, 2016
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg surprised the African continent by visiting Nigeria largely unannounced.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg surprised the African continent by visiting Nigeria largely unannounced. He arrived in Lagos on Tuesday and visited Co-Creation, an innovation hub in Yaba. Yaba is considered Nigeria’s Silicon Valley. Speaking on why he was in Nigeria, Zuckerberg said, “This is my first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. I’ll be meeting with developers and entrepreneurs, and learning about the startup ecosystem in Nigeria. The energy here is amazing and I’m excited to learn as much as I can.” Apart from business, Zuckerberg was also seen taking a walk in the streets of Lagos and jogging on the Lekki Bridge with no sign of heavy security. Some Africans took the time to challenge each other and their politicians over how they enjoyed having sirens and heavily armed guards follow them around to show their importance. President Buhari of Nigeria had an opportunity to meet with Zuckerberg who he told, “In our culture, we are not used to seeing successful people appear like you. We are not used to seeing successful people jogging and sweating on the streets.”
The official results from the Saturday Gabonese elections gave President Ali Bongo a 5,594 vote win over Jean Ping. Five people have died in protests over the election results. There are allegations of rigging with the major contention being the voter turn-out in some areas. In Haut-Ogooue, Bongo’s home province, the turnout stood at an unbelievable 99.93% and 95% of the voters chose Bongo. Elizabeth Blunt, an election observer also queried the turn-out arguing that a 98 or 99 percent turnout in an honest election was impossible. Voting in Gabon is compulsory but not enforced. Bongo has however said, “I know who has won and who has lost. Who has won? 1.8 million Gabonese with whom we will progress together. Who has lost? A small group which has the objective of taking power to use Gabon instead of serving it.”
More than 1,000 people have been arrested in the rioting against the results.
Zimbabwe’s police force imposed an interim ban on protests over the next two weeks citing lack of manpower. The Statutory Instrument providing for the ban was published on Thursday, just one day before the opposition coalition’s planned protest on Friday. The coalition also announced it was postponing its demonstration by two weeks. An opposition party Member of Parliament and Bulawayo Deputy Spokesperson, Thabitha Khumalo said, “It is a violation of Zimbabwe’s constitution, which gives every Zimbabwean the right to express themselves. Anyway, their ban does not mean they are stopping the wheels of the struggle, because the social and economic problems that are affecting Zimbabweans are still there. It will not create jobs; it will not turn around the economy.” Meanwhile, a Zimbabwean court denied bail to 58 people arrested during the anti-Mugabe protests at the end of August but freed 11 others on $50 bail each. One of the 11 is a 68 year old man. The Court criticised the police for arresting the man arguing it struggled to imagine how such a man of advanced age participated in violence.
Then Daily Post reports the Commander of the operation against Boko Haram, Major General Lucky Irabor said Abubakar Shekau had been killed. Speaking during a tour of formations under his command, General Irabor said, “I can confirm to you that the original Shekau was killed, the second Shekau was killed, and the man presenting himself as Shekau, I can also confirm to you that a few days ago, he was wounded. We are yet to confirm if he is dead or not.” Reports had suggested earlier that a man believed to be Shekau had been fatally injured following an airstrike. It may take time before the Nigerian military is believed since it has claimed Shekau to be dead before only to then see him on the outfit’s videos. Boko Haram is notorious for the Chibok abductions of more than 200 girls. Mail and Guardian reports that Boko Haram intends to free the girls and seeks peace.
Tatenda is an advocate of cultural identity and African development. Interact with him on http://africanaforum.blogspot.com/
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