Africa Brief - Compiled by situation room

Friday 08 April 2016
CAIRO, April 8 (Reuters) - At least five Egyptian soldiers, a military officer and a civilian woman were killed, and 15 injured, on Thursday in the Sinai peninsula, after armoured personnel carriers exploded in two separate incidents, security and medical sources said. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on several websites. Several explosive devices were planted on the road in Rafah and southern Sheikh Zuwayed and were remotely detonated as soon as the vehicles passed by, the sources said. Egypt's military spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Friday 08 April 2016
Troubled lender Chase Bank irregularly advanced Sh16.6 billion to various entities, many of them associated with insiders, putting billions of shillings belonging to 55,000 depositors at risk. Half of the irregular loans went to the bank's insiders, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said in a statement on Thursday after it placed Chase Bank under statutory management. The statement indicated, for instance, that one director lent himself Sh7.9 billion mostly without registered collateral and beyond regulatory limits. The director gave himself more than the 25 per cent of the total capital limit set in the Banking Act.

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Thursday 07 April 2016
The trial in Paris of seven men accused of killing a French sailor and kidnapping his wife during the height of Somali piracy in 2011 is a reminder of the deadly terror the pirates once spread. However, experts and former pirates alike warn the scourge may yet return. "There hasn't been a proper pirate attack on a commercial vessel in over two years," said John Steed, Horn of Africa manager for the US-based non-profit Oceans Beyond Piracy. "But the guys haven't gone away and nothing's changed on the ground." Anti-piracy patrols by international warships and armed guards aboard commercial....

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Friday 08 April 2016
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. HARARE: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Thursday accused potential successors for wishing him dead and told ruling ZANU-PF supporters to unite against foreign enemies he said wanted to destroy the Southern African nation. Africa's oldest leader at 92 years, Mugabe has held power since independence from Britain in 1980 and says his heir must be chosen democratically and that his wife will not automatically inherit the role. Mugabe told a meeting of about 10,000 veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s independence war that his frequent trips to Malaysia and....

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Friday 08 April 2016
Abuja President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday formally received the detailed copy of the 2016 budget as transmitted to him by the National Assembly. The transmission is coming barely a week after the Presidency's observation that the lawmakers had merely sent to it highlights of the budget as they passed a fortnight ago, without the details. Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday denied claims by the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumini Jibrin that he, Obasanjo and the late Umaru Musa Yar'Adua signed budgets into law without getting details.

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Thursday 07 April 2016
CAIRO: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman arrived here on Thursday for a five-day visit aimed at solidifying ties with Egypt, ramping up unity in the Arab world and dealing with various regional security, political and economic challenges. The king was welcomed at Al-Ittihadiyah Palace with a 21-round salute before talks began in earnest. His session of bilateral talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi focused on fraternal relations between the two countries and issues of common interest. Following it, El-Sisi held a luncheon banquet in honor of the king and his accompanying delegation.

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Friday 08 April 2016
Abuja Twenty oil companies out of the 31 invited by the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to an interactive session aimed at reconciling accounts for the three per cent development tax were absent at the meeting on Thursday. Oil firms operating onshore and offshore, and gas processing companies operating in the Niger Delta region are required to contribute three per cent of their annual budget estimates to the NDDC to develop the region. A few of the companies, including Addax Petroleum, were regarded as absent by the....

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Friday 08 April 2016
Djibouti's president has opted to run for a fourth term after leading the East African nation for 17 years. The main opposition alliance has all but broken down with two rival candidates claiming to represent the group. The strategic East African country Djibouti on Friday holds elections to choose the next president, although the opposition has a slim chance of defeating Ismail Omar Guelleh (pictured above). The 68-year-old President Guelleh is vying for a fourth term after winning the last polls in 2011 with 80 percent of the vote. "Democracy: it is what today allows us to live together in....

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Friday 08 April 2016
WASHINGTON Islamic State has doubled its fighters in Libya to between 4,000 and 6,000 in the last 12 to 18 months but militias in the North African nation have limited the hardline militants' growth, the commander of U.S. forces in Africa said on Thursday. Islamic State's stronghold in Libya is the city of Sirte but it also has a presence in Derna and Benghazi in the east and Sabratha in the west, General David M. Rodriguez, head of U.S. Africa Command, told a news briefing. "In Benghazi and Derna, (Libyan armed groups) have fought back against the Islamic State and made it much tougher for them to operate, as well as in Sabratha," he said.

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Thursday 07 April 2016
File picture: Eric Risberg. Cape Town - Uber’s decision to drop its fares by 20 percent has infuriated many of the electronic hailing service’s drivers and operators in the metered taxi industry. Uber, which uses a cellphone application to connect with customers, reduced the rates on its UberX service in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban on Thursday. Fare rates had been between R7 and R7.50 per kilometre. The decision has infuriated hundreds of Uber drivers in Cape Town, who went on strike on Thursday. “The drop in fares means less pay for us, and we are already struggling as the season....

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Friday 08 April 2016
UK-BASED Afro-pop singer Kazz has been named as one of the performing acts to grace the stage at the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) next month. Kazz is the first act the The Zim Achievers organisers have revealed for the 6th Edition of the awards, and the She is Worth It singer, on the 7th of May, will dazzle guests at the luxurious five-star Royal Garden Hotel in London's affluent district of Kensington. This year's awards are sponsored by Ecocash diaspora, Chitoro and Steward bank. Known for his raw energy and magnetism, Kazz has established himself as one of the leading African Pop artists to come out of Zimbabwe.

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Friday 08 April 2016
ZIMBABWE'S victory over Swaziland in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers has earned them an upward move on the FIFA world rankings after they climbed four places. The Warriors are now ranked 127th in the world. The Warriors demolished Sihlangu 4-0 at the National Sports Stadium last week to take charge of Group L in the qualifiers with two rounds of matches remaining. The win was preceded by an away 1-1 draw in Swaziland and should be a huge motivation ahead of their next assignment against Malawi in June. The latest rankings, released yesterday, show that Zimbabwe's progress was....

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Friday 08 April 2016
Patriotic Front Secretary General Davies Chama says those suggesting that the lives of the Zambian people have not changed since the PF came to power in 2011 are not telling the truth. Chama says people making suggestions are only doing it out of hatred for the ruling PF and its leadership. He says to the contrary, the country has been undergoing transformation since the ruling PF came to power. Chama points out that the massive road infrastructure development taking place in the country as one such undisputable evidence of the transformation the PF government has brought to the country.

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Friday 08 April 2016
Inspector General of Police Kakoma Kanganja says the deployment of Police recruits in Lusaka is aimed at enhancing the security of residents. Reacting to reports that the recruits deployed to conduct night patrols in the city are beating up people and charging those caught for loitering K55 to be let go, Kanganja says it is wrong for the officers to brutalize and make people pay for their release. He has since advised any victim of such behavior at the hands of the recruits to report to the nearest Police station for possible action. Kanganja further states that people should not be scared of reporting such situations.

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Thursday 07 April 2016
Mr Chapman has pleaded not guilty to six corruption charges over alleged bribes in 2007, 2008 and 2009 to a Nigerian mint official who cannot be named for legal reasons. Mr Chapman arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars to be transferred to the official through a web of offshore companies and accounts, the jury heard this week. Mr Ellery said he was present at a meeting at Securency's head office about their Nigerian operation, attended by Mr Chapman and several other senior Securency directors. The discussion focused on bringing forward an order for polymer substrate (used to produce....

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Friday 08 April 2016
Read more 09:30 Zimbabwe Looking Into Rio Tinto’s Murowa Share Sale Zimbabwe is checking Rio Tinto’s disposal of its stake in two mines in Zimbabwe, claiming that it is doing so because the shares were held offshore so it needs to see if the correct procedure was followed. Rio Tinto sold its 78% stake in the Murowa diamond mine and a 50% stake in the Sengwa coal mine last year. Both stakes were sold to RioZim, a separate, locally-listed entity that held 22% in Murowa and about half of Sengwa. Mining sources in Zimbabwe say Rio Tinto pulled out of Zimbabwe after encountering regulatory and operational hurdles, miningweekly.

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Friday 08 April 2016
. 7 April 2016 Determining that the situation in South Sudan poses a continuing threat to regional peace and security, the United Nations Security Council today renewed, until 1 June, its sanctions regime imposed last year against those blocking peace in the war-torn country, including a travel ban and a freeze on their assets. Unanimously adopting a new resolution, the Council also decided to extend, until 1 July, the mandate of the Panel of Experts overseeing the sanctions, with the intention of reviewing it and deciding, no later than 15 April, whether to renew it further.

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Friday 08 April 2016
RESIDENTS are threatening to sue Harare City Council for forcing them to pay fixed water charges. The council is issuing summons to residents who are failing to settle their water bills. Some of the water bills, according to residents, are accumulating from fixed water charges in areas where no service has been provided for years. One such area is Old Mabvuku where residents say they last received tap water nearly 18 years ago. At the weekend, over 50 residents from across Harare gathered in the capital and resolved to sue the local authority for forcing them to pay for a service they are not getting.

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