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JUBA, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The central bank of South Sudan on Wednesday restricted public institutions and the private sector to transact business only in the local currency, the South Sudanese pound (SSP), amid the current volatile exchange rate which has seen the local pound depreciates against the U.S. dollar.

Johnny Damian Ohisa, the governor of South Sudan's central bank, directed the public to pay for travel, hotel, entertainment services, and any other commercial transaction in the local pound.

"It's strictly prohibited for any institution, official or private within the legal jurisdiction of the Republic of South Sudan to denominate its commercial transactions in any currency other than the SSP," Ohisa said in a circular issued in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.

The list further includes services in high-end restaurants, and commercial outlets as well as private services contracts and monetary dealings.

Ohisa said they are aware of some government and financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, the hotels industry, travel agencies, commercial outlets, restaurants, the service entertainment industry, and private businesses which are executing official and private contracts, rent payments in foreign currency and not in the local currency.

"This unacceptable practice has fundamentally undermined and threatened to erode public confidence in SSP as a legal tender and must be entirely discouraged," Ohisa said, calling on government institutions set to sign contracts with global contractors to do so under the oversight of the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

Ohisa said the public budget, financial records, and accounts, required by any law or established or maintained in South Sudan, shall be assessed in SSP.

The central bank governor added that payment of monies when required in any indictment or legal proceedings other than for enforcement of foreign currency obligations shall be stated in SSP. - Xinhua

President Paul Kagame's son, 2nd Lieutenant Ian Kagame...  -  Copyright © africanews/Photo Courtesy

Ian, appeared publicly for the first time taking on his new assignment at the Annual National Prayer Breakfast held on Sunday.

Photos of Ian alongside other members of the Rwanda Defence Forces emerged on social media. 

Last August, Ian was commissioned to the rank of a second lieutenant during a graduation ceremony at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst UK. He joined the college in 2021.

President Kagame and first lady Jeannette Nyiramongi Kagame attended the ceremony.

“Such a proud moment. Congratulations Ian, thank you for the joy you brought us, this ceremony was one for the books,” Jeannette tweeted after the graduation in November. 

Being, a highly trained officer, the third-born son, Ian is tasked with ensuring the safety of the country’s top in command.

His latest role has left many suggesting that he could be walking in the footsteps of Ugandan President Museveni's son, Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who previously served in the Special Forces Command (SFC), an elite unit equivalent to the Presidential Guard in the RDF.

Muhoozi served in the SFC as commander, from 2008 to 2017 and again from December 2020 to 2021 before being elevated to Commander of Land Forces. By African News with Agencies

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula during a plennary sittig at the Parliament buildings November 15, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula should now settle down and conduct himself in the public eye as an impartial arbiter in the august House, not like an agent of the ruling coalition. 

As a Speaker, Mr Wetangula must be reminded that the office he holds as envisioned in the Constitution must be an independent arm of government, just like the Presidency and the Judiciary. 

Seeing him address two major presidential rallies over the weekend left me wondering whether he was speaking on behalf of the Parliament that he heads or as a Ford Kenya leader. 

He thanked Kenyans for voting for President William Ruto and the entire Kenya Kwanza, leadership forgetting that at the moment, he is the head of all MPs elected to the House from all political parties. 

He was even given the onus of inviting Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi to speak, a responsibility that in a way implied he was miles below Mr Mudavadi.

Even if as per our constitution a Speaker must be fronted by a political wing, the moment one ascends to that office, he or she is expected to shed off the tag of party affiliation and be strictly be impartial and be seen to be impartial. 

It is obvious that any government will want to have a Speaker and a House it controls for easy passage of bills and budgets and rejection of unfriendly audit reports presented, but a speaker should not be a cheer leader in functions presided over by the ruling party. 

It is for impartiality reason that the law requires elected MPs to first resign before being voted for as Speakers to ensure the holder of the office doesn't get consumed in the interests of a constituency. 

For our democracy to grow, the Speaker must always remain an umpire who ensures all have equal opportunities once on the floor of the House. We should not have a situation where one feels the chair will eventually influence the outcome of a debate. 

I fear that at public rallies addressed by a popular president like Ruto is, a number of policy statements can easily be made.

Once made in the presence of a Speaker, chances are high that once brought to the House either through a bill or through a public petition the speaker can easily be swayed. 

His participation in almost all State functions compromises his impartiality as a speaker.  

Chief Justice Martha Koome appeared at a few functions graced by the president but ended up eliciting sharp criticism. The same should now apply to the National Assembly Speaker.  

It is notable that past Speakers, among them Justin Muturi, rarely attended rallies.

Wherever you go kindly carry the independence of that office with you. By Beuttah Omanga , The Standard


FILE - Cameroonian troops stand in formation in Douala, Feb. 20, 2014.

Cameroon's government deployed at least 100 troops Wednesday to Gayama, a village on the border with Nigeria, after clashes between Cameroonian separatists and Nigerian herders left at least 12 people dead.

Cameroonian officials say the fighting broke out six days ago, after herders who crossed the border in search of food for their cattle refused to pay taxes the rebels demanded.

Abdoulahi Aliou, the highest-ranking government official in Menchum, the administrative unit in charge of Gayama, said the rebels killed two herders immediately upon their refusal to pay. The surviving herders, who are ethnic Fulani from Taraba and Benue states, returned home and organized a counterattack.

Aliou said the herders came back in huge numbers, attacked separatist camps, and killed at least four fighters. Six civilians, including the traditional ruler of Munkep village and his son, were also killed in the clashes.

Authorities say at least 20 civilians were injured, scores of cattle were killed, and homes were torched.

The Roman Catholic Church in Menchum says many civilians fled Gayama and neighboring villages to avoid getting caught in clashes between separatists and the arriving troops.

The governor of Cameroon's Northwest region, Deben Tchoffo, said civilians should not fear the military. Speaking by telephone from the region's capital, Bamenda, he said villagers should help the troops by denouncing rebels hiding in their communities.

"The future is bright, provided we are united against the agents of chaos that are trying to hijack our youths," Tchoffo said. "The armed forces are bringing themselves close to the population. That is the reason why, compared to last year, things are becoming more and more normal in the Northwest region, even if we still have some hotspots."

Tchoffo said Cameroon's military would protect civilians in all border villages.

Separatists on social media, including WhatsApp and Facebook, acknowledged they have been battling Nigerian herders, who they say should respect their orders.

This is not the first time Cameroon's anglophone separatists have attacked Nigerians along the border.

Last June, villagers in western Akwaya town said armed men believed to be rebels carried out a series of attacks that killed at least 30 people, including five Nigerian merchants.

The separatists have been fighting since 2017 to carve out an English-speaking state from French-speaking majority Cameroon.

The U.N. says the conflict has left more than 3,500 people dead and 750,000 displaced.  By Moki Edwin Kindzeka, VOA



Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has placed a blanket ban on travel abroad by members of Parliament and civil servants to save money for other priority sectors.

While commissioning facilities on Saturday at Uganda Petroleum Institute-Kigumba (UPIK), a training facility for oil exploration, Mr Museveni said he was unhappy to learn that the institute was incomplete due to a lack of funds.

“Tell the civil servants, the MPs and all politicians to stop travelling abroad. Money is wasted on external travel and here Kigumba is crying for money. This is really poor planning,” the President said.

Uganda is expected to begin commercial oil production in 2025, with China considered to be one of the major funders among other oil companies.

The President also suggested freezing allowances.

Earlier, the Principal of UPIK, Bernard Ongodia, had reported that whereas the World Bank had financed construction of five modern workshops, multipurpose buildings, and a gatehouse, at a cost of $15.5 million, the institution needed a fence, a police post and to extend the ICT fibre network.

“We shall find funds for staff housing, ICT lab, and fence. You said that you are staying outside and the hyenas are coming and we shall hear one day that the hyena has taken one of the students. How shall we explain this? No please. What is the money needed? We shall look for it,” the President responded.

In response, the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija, said the government cannot ban all travel abroad.

“Some government officials who travel to get money like negotiating for loans need to travel among other important things,” Mr Kasaija said.

“President Museveni did not say we would ban all travel abroad. He said some travels and he asked us to prioritise,” he added.

Museveni visits UAE

Mr Museveni is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a three-day official visit since Sunday.

He is expected to hold talks with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi. 

The President will also attend the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Summit and hold discussions with government officials and the business community from the UAE. - DAILY MONITOR

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