Africa 54 – October 23, 2020

You are watching Africa 54, your daily news and feature magazine-style program, from the Voice of America. Host Esther Githui-Ewart and a team of correspondents zero in on the big stories making news on the continent and around the world with context and analysis.

Top Stories:

Nigerians are soaking in the words of their president on Friday, after Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday urged youth involved in protests against police brutality to end their demonstrations and begin a dialogue with the government. In Buhari’s address to the nation Thursday evening, his first public comments on the unrest gripping Nigeria, he urged protesters to not be used by subversive elements seeking to create chaos with the aim of truncating the country’s democracy. However, Buhari did not mention the shooting by security forces of peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza earlier this week. At least 12 protesters were shot dead by Nigerian security forces. The United States is condemning police brutality in Lagos.

U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo said in a statement “we welcome an immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces. Those involved should be held to account in accordance with Nigerian law.”

As protests and violence continues to rock Nigeria, political analysts say the government is failing to show leadership. Esther Githui-Ewart spoke to Yetunde Omede, a professor at Farmingdale State College in New York state and asked her what she thought about President Muhammadu Buhari’s initial silence to the crisis.

With political tensions high, preliminary results show Guinean President Alpha Conde winning a landslide re-election victory on Thursday, giving him a third term in office after a bitterly fought election that has sparked deadly street violence. With 37 of 38 electoral districts counted, conde, 82, received 2.4 million votes. His closest rival, opposition candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo, garnered 1.2 million votes, according to Reuters. Conde spokesman Tibou Kamara says the conde team is satisfied with the preliminary results.

Diallo spokesman Aliou Condé, without providing any evidence, said “the results are not in line with what happened on polling day. We have the evidence of the fraud and we will challenge all of this in the constitutional court,” a Guinean election commission official defended the vote saying it was most transparent and the cleanest that has ever been organized in guinea. The official says numbers showing more votes than registered voters in one district was a “typing error.”

Zimbabwe’s severe water shortages have forced one desperate community near Harare, to draw water from a graveyard. As Columbus Mavhunga reports from Harare, the practice continues despite warnings from health experts about the dangers of drinking contaminated water.
Losses continue to mount for the U.S. airline industry as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy and hope for an immediate government aid package is bleak.

Tanzania’s main opposition Chadema Party presidential candidate, Tundu Lissu, says the electoral commission is once again harassing his campaign, with less than a week before country’s October 28th presidential election. The registrar of political parties on Thursday wrote to the opposition Alliance for Change and Transparency Wazalendo Party demanding explanation why its chairperson, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, appeared on the same podium with Lissu on October 19th during a Chadema campaign rally. Lissu’s campaign has already been suspended once for seven days for violating election laws. Tanzania’s political party law requires parties wishing to form electoral alliances to reveal all their strategies to the registrar of political parties, an appointee of President John Magufuli. Lissu, who has received the endorsement of ACT Wazalendo Party’s leadership, says his campaign did nothing wrong to contravene Tanzanian election laws.

Over the next few days, we will bring you a series called “We are Tanzanians” where we spoke to voters about their feelings and concerns ahead of the upcoming election. In our second episode, VOA’s Swahili service spoke to Ali Kiba Bin Simba, a Tanzanian businessman and resident of Dar es Salaam.

Republican President Donald Trump and his Democratic Challenger, Former Vice President Joe Biden, debated Thursday night in their last face-to-face confrontation before the November 3rd U.S. presidential election.

A54 Entertainment: Afi Fest, one of Hollywood’s most prestigious film festivals and part of the American film institute, was held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. VOA’s Penelope Poulou spoke to the festival’s organizers and filmmakers about the challenges and advantages of the online platform.

#Nigeria #EndSARS #MuhammaduBuhari #Protests #Youth #UnitedStates #Guinea #AlphaConde #Tanzania #DonaldTrump #JoeBiden #USSenate

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